Thunderbird IV review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (402 votes)
Epiphone: Thunderbird IV

Sound — 10
I play rock, nothing fancy, and this bass suits that perfectly. I use it with a Ibanez PD7 OD and a Hartke A100 amp. The hum bucking pickups give a fat loud punchy tone, and block out crackling noises even with the tone turned up. This bass can rattle walls; the growl is unbelievable, and very similar to Gibson. It suits the distortion pedal very well and can produce gut-wrenching tones. It's very rich and full sounding, especially on a high tone setting. This bass isn't just for rock or metal, despite popular belief; this is a good slap bass too, with a good funky tone, although it's not primarily meant for that sort of music. For the price it's excellent; this is probably the most under priced bass on the market.

Overall Impression — 10
I play rock, and the Thunderbird is a perfect match, it goes great with my current setup. If it were stolen or lost, I would buy this again definitely. I love the value for money, the huge low end sound, the versatility, the looks and the sheer presence. I'm quite tall for my age so it suits me well; it suits the bigger sort of person. It looks so much cooler than a P-Bass. I don't dislike this bass but I wish the strings were closer to the fret board when I got the bass, and the neck could be thinner. I compared it to the Fender Standard Jazz Bass (weak, uninspiring) and the Fender Standard Precision Bass (nice but more costly and less powerful than the T-Bird). Overall this bass rocks and my friends are so jealous of it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This bass is a monster, it's massive and solid. This guitar is so solid it would survive a nuclear war. The strap does come off very occasionally but that's because my strap isn't great. I would use this at a gig without a backup, but I would use another bass like a Geddy Lee Jazz Bass or a Music Man for funkier stuff. The natural finish is beautiful, can't fault that, there is so much varnish on the body that it blinds you. Everyone criticises this bass by saying that it's too heavy and too neck heavy. I've never found the neck dive to be a problem, and the weight isn't either. A good strap can help.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up quite well at the factory, the neck was straight and true and the tone/volume knobs were firmly on. The bridge was properly routed, tuning pegs were tight, great quality wood. There were a couple of issues; the action was quite high, and the bridge pickup was close to the strings on the right side than the left. No problem though, I just lowered the action, and adjusted the pickup height, and the bass sounds beautiful.

Features — 10
20 frets, Korean made, 34" scale (huge behemoth of a thing), alder body, fast but heavy mahogany neck, rosewood fret board, reverse body style (beautiful), gorgeous shiny finish, a lot darker than in the pictures, passive electronics, dot inlays, 2 volume controls (1 for each pickup), 1 tone control, 2 hum bucking pickups (an EMG 81 in the bridge and an EMG 85 in the neck I think, not too sure).

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    i have a goth t-bird and it puts out an amazing sound. this is the best bass i have ever owned. i play rock/metal and this has the best tone for both