Thunderbird IV review by Epiphone

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  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (402 votes)
Epiphone: Thunderbird IV

Price paid: $ 503.25

Overall Impression — 10
I play every type of rock/punk/metal/emo/funk you can imagine in various bands and this bass suits the sound of all of them with the possible exception of punk pop style crap like Blink 182 for which you really need a whiney Fender or something to get that sound. Clean this bass gives an awesome roar for classic rock, through effects you can brilliantly mimick muse, a pick gives you any punk rock sound you want and it even slaps brilliantly. My other bass is a Warwick Fortress which I haven't picked up since and would sell if it wasn't for sentimental reasons because there really is no need for it. I love everything there is about this bass: it sounds awesome, it plays awesome and it looks awesome so what else is there that matters? If it were stolen then I'd join the other guy in his manhunt and shoot the bastard who nicked it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The bass will withstand a hell of a beating playing live as I have myself discovered. My strap became worn without me noticing (this being before I fitted strap locks) and slipped off the strap buttons - the bass fell to the floor and despite smacking into a hard floor and crashing against the metal frame of our drummers kit the bass sustained minimal damage. There was a chip where it smacked against the drum kit and a slight crack in the finish from hitting the hard floor but it fared remarkably well. I have never bothered with a backup bass since buying this one because I know that nothing stort of an explosion is gonna stop this beauty. As mention before there is a design fault with the placement of one of the strap buttons meaning that the bass has a tendency to neck dive if you let go because of the weight of the neck. If you really are that bothered (and it's not something thats ever really worried me) then this can be solved by fitting another button where the neck meets the body and this will make the bass balance properly.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This is where it falls flat on its face I'm afraid. When the bass arrived it was appaulingly set up. The neck was not straight to the point that the head was level with the underside of the bass and instead of sorting it out the bridge and pickups had been adjusted in line with the neck as opposed to the body meaning that the bridge pickup was much higher than the neck pickup and that the strings were miles too high. After being set up properly however the bass plays like a dream. The action is perfect with the strings nice and low giving a rich meaty sound and making this bass ideal for any style of play including slap and pop. It's just a shame it was set up so poorly in the first place.

Features — 10
Neck: 20 frets, beautiful wooden finish, extremely fast neck to play. Body: Big and bad. Beautiful finish, incredibly shiney, blinds audiences if you polish it. Pickups: 2 meaty humbuckers giving awesome low end. Knobs: 3 knobs; 2 volume (one for each pickup) and a tone which unlike on fenders actually does do something.

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