Thunderbird IV review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (402 votes)
Epiphone: Thunderbird IV

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Sound — 9
I play lots of different styles of music and this axe has yet to let me down in any of them. Primarily I play in worship bands at church which asks for a fat, warm and responsive tone which this guitar provides 100% of the time. Beyond that, I've also used this bass in jazz combos where it really shined on stage both in sound and appearance. At home, though, I really enjoy playing alternative and nu-metal tunes as well as hardcore/grindcore stuff and if this bass is the perfect instrument for those, I don't know what is. At home I play through a Crate BT-50 amplifier as well as a Boss Bass Equalizer GEB-7 pedal. Te variety of sounds this instrument can achieve just through altering the settings on the bass itself is amazing. This instrument is really versatile tonally.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this has proved to be a versatile, sturdy and impression-making bass. I never have a single doubt when I walk on stage with it and it has yet to let me down.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This instrument is a beast and reliability has never been an issue. I've dropped it, banged it up and haven't always been the most caring with it, but it always plays well no matter what's chipped up on it. The straps holds are great, but I installed strap locks after buying it so I can't brag on these too hardly. I never worry about a back-up instrument; this bass is all I need.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
However, adjustable, this particular bass is best played with a lower action as per manufacture. The passive electronics provide for some great bite and response as well as warmth due to the placement of the pickups being just around the elusive "sweet spot". The tuners and nut are sturdy; I've never picked it up too out of tune. I opted for the bright red finish and when I picked this baby up out of the box, the finish was flawless.

Features — 8
My 2007 Thunderbird IV is the Japanese model. It has 20 frets and a 34" scale. The body is solid wood and it has a bolt-on neck construction. The tension bridge is amazing and really provides for great resonance and responsiveness from the action. The only let down is that the case to accompany it was rather expensive for the quality but there are many other substitutions available on the market.

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