Thunderbird IV review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (402 votes)
Epiphone: Thunderbird IV

Sound — 10
I play alternative rock, and the Thunderbird fits my music style almost perfectly. It has this beautiful, heavy, earth-shattering sound that makes sure it'll get heard. The bass will sound great with or without effects, although high reverb gives it this amazing, Floyd-esque sound, and medium distortion is perfect for a bass solo.

Overall Impression — 10
If I lost this bass, or it was stolen from me, I would make damn sure to get it back. The look of the guitar is amazing, and the sound that comes out of this monster is just absoulutely astonishing. The only real thing I wish it had would be a six-stringed version for helping play lead parts. Overall, I love this bass, and I'm pretty sure I'll be holding onto it for a long time.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The Thunderbird is a tank, and it can take a beating. On one occasion, I was practicing in my room when the upper strap button came loose and the bass fell to the floor. Amazingly, it barely even got scratch and still sounded perfect. This is the only bass I have, and I don't ever worry about borrowing a bass for backup.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When I obtained the Thunderbird, the set-up was really poor. However, I'm not sure whether that was due to the factory set-up or the set-up of the previous owner. Anyways, after fixing it, it'll sound fine. The two pickups on the bass are great. However, my biggest issue with the Thunderbird is the balance. It is quite top-heavy, and it will do a neck dive unless you are holding the neck. This problem can probably be solved by adjusting the strap buttons, but I haven't gotten around to doing that yet.

Features — 9
I bought this bass used from someone in San Francisco. It had minor blemishes when I bought it, but it came with the respectful case, so that helped my decision. I'm not quite sure what year it was made, but I know it was made in Korea. The neck of the Thunderbird has twenty frets and is a fast neck to play. The first five or so frets are spread out in a manner that takes getting used to, but apart from that, it's great. There isn't any unwanted buzzing of the sort on it. There are two volume knobs and one tone knob. The knobs on this bass, unlike most basses in its price range, do indeed adjust the sound from the bass. The tuners on the bass tend to be somewhat loose, and at times it will brush against something and I might have to retune it. Then again, the difference usually is hardly noticeable.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    How I wish they make it with 24 frets instead of just 20! How the hell I would play metal on this bass. Arguable, but I always liked to scroll all the way up the fretboard. Only drawback I realised from it. I think it sounded pretty versatile. Just the way how you interpret it. I've seen on youtubes some sound sample from it.
    rejected1, you can't really play past the 12-14th fret as is, so adding 4 more frets will be completley pointless. bradh2414, the Blackbird is basically a re-fretted version of the Goth Tbird with better pickups. The downside is that you don't get any tone or volume controls, and the pickup switch on it only turns the pickups on or off entirely, IE, turn them off for bassless parts. The guitarworld review pretty much sums it up, unless you need the deep six pickups and the iron cross inlays, the epi goth/tbird is a better buy.
    scootlaundry wrote: u cant pop or slap on this? wtf?
    DW, I have one and you can pretty easily slap n pop on it.
    i bought one of these second hand and it's amazing its got a great sound and is easy to play i find it easy to slap and pop on i got it for 150.00 and i don't regret it
    bassbizzle is a fag. anyone that primarily relies on ibanez and praises them like gods is a ****ing tool.
    Its 194.00 on GAK Atm! coming new replacing my rusty, ten year old bashed around uncared for bc rich. twas cheap.dont judge me.