Thunderbird IV Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 03/12/2012 category: Bass Guitars
Epiphone: Thunderbird IV
The Thunderbird bass with its distinctive reverse body style is a favorite for rock and heavy metal. Producing serious low end from its dual humbucking pickups, the Thunderbird blazes new tone trails on stages everyday.
 Sound: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.9
 Features: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (23) pictures (4) 85 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.3
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: Secondhandloser, on october 21, 2005
23 of 23 people found this review helpful

Sound: Very heavy, will seem muddy if not EQ'd properly. I use it for everything from pop punk to metal to playing at my church, and it has never left me short. Not super versatile, but it is like a P-Bass, it's is at home everywhere. Besides most versatility comes from your amp anyway. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything on this was above par for a $400 instrument- except balance. I've seen worse fretwork on my MIA Fender. Pickups were well set, finish was flawless. But I had to move the strap buttons to behind the neck and the other one up a tad to fix the neck dive. Other than that though, very comfortable bass. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This things a beast, I wouldn't worry about anything happening to it. Massive hardware and excellent construction. // 9

Overall Impression: I love this bass, it shares the top spot with my ash-bodied MIA Jazz bass. Very deep and full sounding, gives a real old-school dark sound, but can be EQ's for that twangy pop-punk sound too. I chose this bass because it was the most well constructed bass I found. I compared it with basses up to $1200 dollars and I bought this and my Jazz. I tried high end Ibanezes, found them to be sterile, mid range Fenders were mediocre. Higher end Fenders, even, are hit-or-miss. I didn't like Spector, or Gretsch, or even the other Epis. This bass, though is beatiful. If they would just make it with the strap buttons moved, I could justify a nine. // 8

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overall: 9
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 02, 2005
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 503.25

Features: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 6

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 08, 2004
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Cash Converters

Features: According to the barcode, this guitar was made in Kroea in 1995. It has 21 frets. The neck is beautifully made with a dark ebony finish. In case you're wondering why I mentioned that it has four strings, thats because (if you were a Gibson guitar enthusias, you'd know) Thunderbird V are suppose to have 5 strings, and Thunderbird IV are suppsoe to have 4 strongs, quite simple eh? It has three knobs, two for each pickup, and one for tone. The pickups are magnetic acrylic (or plastic). As the other Thunderbird review suggest, it is very shiny, I could use it as a mirror if I needed to. Very nice body, I have the non-reverse body (as opposed to all the Thunderbird IV which all have reverse body). It has a massive pick guard though, I hated it to begin with but I must admit, it is starting to grow on me, actually no, I lie, still hate it. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Again, this guitar is second hand so I have no idea on how the guitar would sound fresh from the factory. I do know that Epiphone and Gibson no longer make Thunderbird V bodies anymore. The guitar is however top heavy, which is the same with all Thunderbirds. It has an extra large head which makes bass bag buying a real bitch. I'm still looking for a bass bag that'll actually fit this guitar, and I have found nothing that even comes close! (Except for a Ritter bad that cost more that a case, which is just useless for me). But aside from that (which has nothing to do with the fir or finish) do with, its in excellent condition for a 9 year old Epiphone. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The strap buttons could be made bigger because of the top heaviness of the guitar, but it hasn't fallen off the strap with me yet. Very reliable very hardy guitar. The body is absolutely solid, has a few little scratches here and there but nothing remarkably noticable. I would probably show up at a gig with no backup because this is the only guitar I have, which seems funny. // 8

Overall Impression: If this guitar was stolen I'd hunt the cunt that stole it and beat the crap out of them, but if I couldn't find the thief, I probably would buy something similar to it. A Thunderbird IV most likely, since they don't make Thunderbird V bodies anymore, maybe I'll upgrade to an actual Gibson? // 10

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overall: 9
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 23, 2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 375.15

Purchased from: N/A

Features: 20 frets. Made in Korea. Laminated top which is very nice and shiny (I can see my face in it.) Standard thunderbird shape body. There are 3 knobs, 2 volume (one for each pickup) and one tone. Unlike some other cheap basses, the tone on this guitar actually does change the tone quite dramtically. 2 Gibson pickups (I think they are humbuckers but I'm not sure if you can get them on basses.) One at the bridge and one in the middle. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I got this guitar second hand, but the previous owner basically hadn't touched it so it was as gd as new. Judging from this, there are practically no flaws at all (or that I can see). The only thing I would say is that the neck is quite heavy compared to the rest of the guitar, but I have tried out other Thunderbirds in the shops and they are all the same so I wouldn't really call it a flaw. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is rock solid. I have played with it live and it didn't go down on me, though I never gig without a backup guitar. The strap buttons could be a little thicker at the ends, it fell off once but that was because I was in an awkward playing position, not the guitars fault. As I have said before, the finish is very shiny and will last for a long time. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing just over a year now and this guitar is the perfect step up from my crappy first guitar (don't even ask what it was, I don't know). It is quite a good match for my style, but I can't really define the style I play as I play alot of each genre. I own a Boss Me50b effects processor and the Epi is a good partner for it. If it were stolen I'm not sure if I would buy it again, I don't know if I could afford it, (I got it at an exceptional price from a friend). I love the shape of it, it looks so cool when playing in the mirror. The thing I marginally dislike about it is the heavy neck, but I have learnt to cope with it and don't really notice it anymore. The one thing I wish it had was a selector switch between the two pickups for quick tone change, but if I did have it I suppose I would only use it occasionally. // 8

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overall: 9.6
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: UP-THE-IRONS, on june 22, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: At a first look some bassist might fall in love with the amazing look of this instrument. I saw this bass and and had to try it out. The bass is made with a alder and maple body, a mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard which is my favrite, 2 humbucking pickups, streamlined design, the tuning keys reversed for greater functionality, and obviously volume and tone controls. One thing thats my favrite is the bridge, it slides off, and you can slide your strings on instead of looping them through. The only downside is is that the bass is top heavy, which isnt too bad. // 9

Sound: Well, I play music that consist of metal, hardcore, black metal, and classic rock. If you are not sure of this music it consist bands rangeing from Children Of Bodom to Led Zeppelin. Anyway, The sound that comes from this bass is amazing. With the down you have a very low deep bass sound, with the tone on you get a little more punch to it. I like to have a huge "clank" so I lower my action. I have used many effects with this bass like chorus, flanger, overdrive, delay, reverb, phaser, and octivator and they all came out nicely. When pluged in the bass dose not make a sound at all, meaning that if your not playing anything there is no strange buzz. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got this bass I had to see if anything was wrong with the body, neck, ect. I could not see anything wrong with the controlls, bridge, tuning pegs, frets, body, neck, or anything, but later on I would find out that my nut was poorly cut. While playing at a gig with my band I was going what you would call crazy and my nut came undone and the chord poped right out. This was the only problem I have ever had with the Thunderbird. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This bass can stand up to a lot when it comes to realiablity. I have used this bass for all of my shows. The first time I used it at a show I had a Fender P-Bass for my backup, but only found out that I would not need a backup. The neck has not began to curve on me yet, and it has been 2 years. I have sweat a lot on this bass, and nothing has been changed with the finish. For me and probably most of you bass players this thing can really surprise you. // 10

Overall Impression: I play music like Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, and The Who. I can get a similliar tone to a lot of bands except Iron Maiden, and this is only because of Steve Harris' maximum output quater-pounders. If you wish to have a Steve harris tone you can lower your action just before you get a nasty fret buzz, and then turn the humbucker on closest to where you play. For a normal deep sounding bass all you would have to do is crank everything up. I use Fender amps and can find the right tone that I love. I have only been playing this for two years, but still amazed by how easily it can show me how great of a bass it really is. I would have to buy another one if this were taken from me, or lost. My favrite thing on this bass is the design. First off it looks amazing! But what I love about it is that where I place my figer-picking hand is a very comfortable spot. I never can say that this bass has given me a problem. I give the Thunderbird a 10. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: Dustin_Ortiz850, on june 02, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: It was made in China on May 1st 2007. It has 20 jumbo Frets. It has a solid mahogany body and neck. It has a beautiful Vintage sunburst finsh. It has a thunderbird/ Firebird body style. It has a badass 2 Bridge. A giant plus is the active Electronics. It has 2 Volume and one Tone knob. It has 2 Emg Bass Humbucker Pickups. The Tuners are just standard Non Locking Tuners. All that was included was a Truss rod Adjustment wrench and a cable. // 9

Sound: It suits my style Pretty well. I play mostly metal and classic rock. I use it with a Behringer BX300 30 Watt amp. The pickups are virtually noiseless. It has a Full, Dark, and Funk style tone. I can get a lot of differant tones out of this bass. I can play anything from Funky Slap style lines, to dark Gritty Bass Lines. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This Bass was set up almost perfect when it came except for the strings. The action is set really low so I was happy with it. I would suggest throwing some DR's or Elixers on it as soon as it comes to you. The pickups were set up at just the right hight and the bridge is routed perfect. It was flawless when it came to me. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I have yet to gig with this bass so I don't know how well it would stand up, but I do beleive it will be my main Bass for the future gigs. I always put strap locks on my basses and guitars so I wouldn't know how the stock strap bottons are. It is a very dependable bass, and I would use it without a backup if I had too. The finish is strong enough to not chip or ding when It was dropped so It will Last a long time. // 8

Overall Impression: I play lots of metal and classic rock sot this thing matches me perfectly. I have been playing bass for a litle over 6 years. I am happy with my decision and would buy another one if I could afford it. If it were stolen I would defintatly buy anther one of these basses. I love everything about this bass, and regret nothing. My favorite feature is the playabillity on this bass. I chose this one becouse I liked the look of it and had heard good reveiws on this bass. The only thing I wish it had was a pickup selector switch. // 10

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overall: 7.8
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: mandokiddo, on november 20, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: The Epiphone Thunderbird IV Bass has a classic shape and a great sound. This streamlined design is based on Gibson's original model. 2 humbucking pickups. Volume and tone controls. Alder body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. Limited lifetime warranty. // 6

Sound: I would consider the Thunderbird to be a one-trick pony. It's built to rock and rock it does. You can dial in on an extremely round sound with a very crisp attack very easily with the two volume blending knobs. I usually plug strait into my Fender Rumble 100 and get a wonderful sound. Sometimes I play through a Big Muff Pi Fuzz pedal but it sounds great either way. I use it in both grunge and classic rock settings. Best feature of this bass! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Overall I was very pleased with the setup on this bass. I tweaked it but only surprisingly little considering it came in the mail. The action is set slightly high but it is well suited to pickstyle playing. The hardware is top notch with little or no flaws. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This bass is built like a tank! It is huge. I would not recomend playing this bass Live to anyone of small stature because it will eat you alive. I use a locking strap which is necessary because of the placement of the top strap button. The neck also is very heavy and tends to divebomb to the floor. Overall the bass is very trusty. If I could only bring one bass to a gig it would be this one but I wouldn't recomend ever doing that with any bass. // 6

Overall Impression: This is definately one of my favorite basses that I own and I would definately buy it again given the choice. It is a perfect match for anyone playing rock or even metal styles and it can take an extreme beating. I would definately recomend this bass to any intermediate to advanced player. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: the_guy, on december 27, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 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). // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 18, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: It's a really gorgeous bass, with a slightly glazed top layer, brilliantly smooth and shiny. The materials have been said before, I believe so I'm not gonna waste my time. The finish is a gorgeous sunburst colour, quite dark, but on looking at the bass is really gorgeous and toned looking. There are 3 controls, 2 volume knobs and a tone knob. The tone knob makes a good difference to the sound. The pickups are as standard with all Thunderbirds, the Epi make. Nothing much came with the bass however, which is why I've lowered the score from 10. Only and Allen key and a cheap cable. But the bass more than makes up for it. // 9

Sound: My musical style varies hugely. I play classic rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin) with my band, but at home I tend to play along to anything from The Feeling to Slipknot. I'm playing it through a Laney amp, not sure of the make, it's quite old, but the guitar makes a really good, deep and woody sound through it. The sound is very. Very rich, and averagely bright. The only gripe is there is not much variety in sound on the bass, unless you play with pickup levels and tones a lot. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I got the bass new from the factory, and contrary to most people's gripes about bad setup, the setup was incredible. Absolutely incredible. The action is quite low, but there is no fret buzz at all, it is perfect, I will not need to adjust it. All of the knobs are well stuck, the tuning knobs and the volume and tone knobs are excellent too. The best guitar I have ever bought, out of about 15, this is the only one which has come from the factory perfect. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will easily withstand Live playing. There is a slight neck dive, but with a rough strap, the friction will keep it in place. The hardware is incredible, really well made, and will last a long time. The strap buttons are very, very solid too. I would quite happily gig with this without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: This is simply a phenomenal guitar, easily as good as the Gibson version which I have also played. I would happily buy a knew one if I stole it, after hunting down and torturing the thief by pushing the headstock slowly up their nose. On a slightly less disturbing note, I love it. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: stuntakebenson, on october 16, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Thunderbird VI is a distinctive shape known as the reverse-body, looks amazing. 20 frets on a maple neck. Reverse body as I said before. Passive electronics. Black hardware. Limited Edition Alpine White finish. No accessories included, the hard-case for this bass is a bit expensive at 120 but I'm soon getting it as I want to take care of my Thunderbird at all costs. // 9

Sound: I play heavy, grindcore styles of music and it seems to fit it perfectly when I tried it, sounds amazing, really low and bassy with a slight hint of grunt in it. I used a Trace Elliot 200W Amp when I tried it at SoundControl and it sounded soo good, it was astonishing. Not much variety on sound but it's un-needed as the sound it normally produces was astonishing. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Easy to play bass and fun to play. Pickups were adjucted nicely and sounded good. No flaws of any sort and all sounded like it should of done. The wood is perfectly made and plays soo nicely and the only slight flaw is that there were finger marks on the body but that's because it was displayed in a music store. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Really light bass so you can swing it around on stage with ease and have good fun with it. Looks all perfect hardware and has a long use without degrading. Very dependable bass, never die down on you, really sound bass and no-technical errors should be occured. The finish looks perfect, the Alpine White looks sharp and smart and really attractive. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said, I play heavy music and it fits in well, looking perfect. I've only tried it out but I was blown away by how good it was, I own a Warwick 60W Blue Cab which will sound amazing with it I know. I want to try it out before buying it but I know I will love it all over again lol. If it were stolen, I would definately buy it again because in my opinion, it's the best bass out there at this time. I love the Alpine White finish on the body, the only small thing I don't like is the white outline on the head of the bass, still, I will love it due time. I would maybe compare it to the Dean Z-Tour bass just because those are the two basses I've been looking at and because the shape is almost similar. I wish I had it now! // 10

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overall: 9.4
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: Carcinogenic, on july 19, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8.4
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: Tip_The_Scales, on january 21, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 700

Purchased from: Rock Shop

Features: Features included free cables and a perfect fit epiphone hardcase. As for the actual guitar itself, two humbuckers create amazing lows, the bridge allows for easy action change, just three screws to turn. Mahogany Body which makes it a bit heavy but it's a beast, I've dropped it, banged it, even used it to hit the cymbals while doing a show and it didn't even scratch it. Deffinantly built to last. // 8

Sound: The sound is amazing, goes great for alternative-metal, to soft rock, then back to hardcore/ heavy metal. great bass, great sound. can't go wrong. I run it through a Fender Rumble 60 and it's great, I use quite a few effects with it, distortion, wah, phaser, tremolo, reverb, and it moulds into the effect giving a great sound. I love using it with both distortion and wah at the same time, such an amazing sound. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It was a shame that when I got it the action was so low that it caused fret buzz, had slight chips in the neck and the strap button fell out (thankfully only at paractise). but after all that was fixed, she played like a beaut, one of the nicest basses I have played. // 6

Reliability & Durability: As I said before the body is mahogany so it is heavy but strong, the length of the neck combined with the weight of the headstock 'causes it to kneck dive. No matter what guitar I had I would always have a back-up. You just never know what could go wrong. the strap buttons were loose and one fell out when I first got it but I replaced them with strap locks and glued them in with woodworking pva and the've been completely reliable ever since, even after high energy shows. // 9

Overall Impression: My overall impression of it was amazing, I love this bass from the amazing shape to the tobacco sunburst colour. Has an amazing feel just having strapped around your shoulders. A great bass for the bassist who wants to be noticed. And at such a great price. // 10

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overall: 7.8
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 17, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 240

Purchased from: Pawn Shop

Features: This is an older Thunderbird bass, made in China, but I'm not sure of the age. It has a mahogany body, and bolt-on mahogany neck unlike the curent model that has an alder body with maple neck. It's your standard reverse body thunderbird with it's dual passive humbuckers, 2 volume and a master tone control and covered tuners. The neck is close to a P-Bass and gives a very good feel. // 8

Sound: This bass provides a very deep and rich low end with plenty of growl in the mids without getting too mudy. I use this with a Fender Bassman 100 and it sounds brilliant, not quite as good as my P-Bass and wont fit as many styles but it works good for heavier stuff or when your doing a driving bass line. When it comes to slap forget it, and for tonal versitility it's pretty good, but you wont see this as my main bass. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: From the factory who knows how this bass was set up. When I got it though I had to clean it, change the strings, adjust the pickups, adjust the bridge, and then tighten the truss rod because the bow in the neck was appalling. The finish is the Vintage burst which is flamed on the wings and it looks beautiful. Once this guitar was properly set up and cleaned it looked and played like a dream. Yes the neck does like to dive but every bass is neck heavy and with this one being lighter then my P Bass it's not an issue. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'm gonna start by saying never gig without a backup! Having that said this guitar doesn't seem very durable. With how much the neck was bowing, and just the over all feel I think that if it feel off it's poorly placed strap buttons or the neck hit something the wrong way the neck would call it quits and snap clear in half. This bass feels solid enough but I have my doubts. Quality is fairly good though, closed back tuners is a defenit plus, but even my Peavey milestone feels better made and like it will withstand more abuse. // 7

Overall Impression: I'm a bit hard on this bass I know, but I am a Fender guy. I really do like this bass though, it's a real looker for sure. It does suit half of my music but I play nearly everything. For ska and slap stuff my percision bass is way better suited though. I have been playing guitar for 6 years and bass for almost 3 now and I can say that this bass with all it's flaws is still one of the better ones I've flayed. I love it's looks and it's low end and the way it feels when you play it. I hate how it feels a bit fragile though. If this bass we're stolen I'd probably build a new one just to ensure better quality, and not to mention it's imposible to find one around here. Considering I bought this bass just because I'm infatuated with it's looks though I can say I'm the farthest thing from disapointed with it. // 8

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overall: 9
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: Metal_NZ_FTW, on july 05, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: NZ Rockshop

Features: First off, I love this bass, plays great and has a very fast fretboard, although I think it'd be alot better with 24 frets instead of 20. The 2 humbuckers give an awesome low-end sound and the body is finished really well, 3 knobs, 2 for the pickups and 1 for tone. // 8

Sound: Thunderbird has an awesome deep, heavy sound and is perfectly at home with the metal that I play (e.g Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer etc.) and it goes hard with hard rock/blues rock like GN'R style music. I can slap and pop on it just as easily as a Fender I find. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar the bridge had to be slightly adjujsted because I was getting a bad fret rattle on from the 5th fret to the 1st on all the strings but now that's fixed it plays awesome. But as everyone else has said, its not balanced very well but it doesn't matter too much when your playing because your hloding the neck up anyway. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This bass can take a hit, I've accidently whacked against my door, table etc. 2 or 3 times and no change to sound and hardly leaves a scratch on the body, the strap buttons are a different story, the top strap button is constantly coming loose and I have to screw it back into place and the strap has slipped off it a few times. // 8

Overall Impression: This bass is awesome for playing metal but it fits in well with mostly any genre, favourite feautre would have to be the fretboard its just so quick to play on. I've had it for about 5-6 months and no problems (apart from the bridge when I first got it) at all. Definatly buy a new one if it got stolen or lost etc. Best bass I've owned so far. // 10

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overall: 9
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 20, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 335

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Features: Made in 2010 in China. 22 frets. 34'' scale. Jumbo frets. Rosewood finger board. The neck and body are maple. Finishes: Vintage sunburst and goth. Controls: 2 volume 1 tone. There are 2 Epiphone thunderbird pickups. Tunners: groovers Here is a link to gibson's website // 8

Sound: I play punk rock metal and rock. Mostly punk. It works great for all of the genres. It has a great sound with distortion or clean. It has a very full and clear sound. I run it through a Fender rumble. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The bass was set-up at the factory. I have not change anything on it. The pickups are very good. I don't plan on changing anything. I don't even don't even think you could ask for a better bass for the price I paid. I have not found any flaws. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This bass does extremely well live because it is very consistent. if you play with it in practice thats how it will sound live. The hardware is very good. It all seems like it will last for a very long time. I use it all the time in gigs without backups. The only bad thing is that the finish is coming off already from my stand. // 9

Overall Impression: I play punk rock metal and rock. Almost only punk. It works great for me. I have been playing for 5 years. Before that I played guitar for 2 years before that. I would defiantly buy it again if it were lost or stolen. I love how light it is. It is light than most of the guitars I have played. It is very easy to play. The only thing I don't like about it is that the body is very light. It is actually to light. It is neck heavy and if you let go the neck hits the ground. // 9

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overall: 7.6
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 29, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 235

Purchased from: pittsburgh guitars

Features: My bird is a 2007 tabaco sunburst, I, like many others put the front strap button behind the neck and moved the rear one up about 2 inches. Top heavy no more. Alder body mahogany neck rosewood fingerboard. 2 humbuckers sound good, but could see how putting higher quality pickups in may help. // 8

Sound: I play old school punk with this and will use it in my alt. Country band as well. It offers a piano-like tone, very deep and clean. I play it through a Hartke 250 watt head, and mess with the EQ a lot just to hear its different sound qualities to which there are a few, not a lot but enough. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought it used at Pittsburgh guitars and they set up every guitar before it goes up on the wall, so the action was great, it is a very big bass as everyone will or has mentioned. The neck is thin and fast and it gets a little difficult to hit the higher frets, but not impossible just a matter of adjusting your playing approach. // 7

Reliability & Durability: My friend has forewarned me of the headstock cracking if it goes down too hard, and has also told me to put a little cloth under the neck while in the case, thus raising the headstock up just a bit, but enough to prevent the cracking issue. Other than that it is a freaking beast. // 7

Overall Impression: Unlike most people writing about this bass, I can see it being highly adaptable. Maybe I just don't care if a country bass line comes off sounding more metal/piano chord like than what is the norm, but other than my old Kramer aluminum neck bass it is the only bass I have found to get this type of sound. Love it and after playing over 30 years and many basses I know both cheap crap and affordable quality. This is worth your money. // 8

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overall: 9.8
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 12, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 199

Purchased from: Guitar Guitar Birmingham

Features: Well, it was made in 2010 in china, I was expecting it to be from Japan for some reason, comes with 20 frets, I found this quite weird, and has jumbo frets and a BOLT ON neck. If you have the Vintage sunburst, it does look a lot darker than the natural look that's given in the picture on gibsons website, and obviously has the reverse body. This is what I couldnt find in the reviews, it has passive pick-ups, some people may think they are active because of the guitar being so... Agressive but there passive. It comes with 3 control dials, two volumes, one for each pick up and a tone, and unlike my Fender jazz and my Peavey cirrus, it make a difference. Comes with two EMG style humbuckers that when playing with your fingers, give a comfortable rest whereas a Fender pick up will start to hurt after about half an hour! Guitar Guitar gave me a brilliant deal, I paid 227.99 for the guitar, an Epiphone softcase that fits every guitar/bass I own and a 20ft lead. There is one fault, and it is probably in every review I've seen, its the strap pins, there placed so that the guitar is top heavy! // 9

Sound: I play virtually anything, I love my heavy stuff but I even get sad and play stuff like 12 bar blues, the only thing I have to do to change from these two genres, turn that tone dial! Its that simple. I have a Hartke systems HA7000 head and a couple of XL series cabs, and this just sounds perfect through it. I never had a better sound in my life, and I hired an Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray bass and played it through my setup and it sound terrible compared to my thunderbird. It suits every type of music, the only problem I seem to have is a little buzzing noise when then tone dial is turned up, but I think that's my amp because all my guitars do that. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: i had no problems with this guitar technically, just a little bit of excess glue from where the wood had been glued on the body, this came off easily. the only thing i found was that i never knew that there was wood sticking out (well glued onto the body) in the centre where the pick ups and the bridge go, the same is on the back, by this is mean when you look at the photo in the middle of the guitar there is two lines, that is where it turns like 3-D! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have had this guitar since christmas 2010, bought it on the day after boxing day... No problems, except the strap pin closest to the neck, the guitar has threaded! But I'm putting strap locks on soon so the screw in those are always slightly bigger so if your guitar does thread then you can use them anyway. // 10

Overall Impression: Amazing guitar, but I hate the look of it, I'm not fond of eregular shape guitars, I love my simpleness off the Fender jazz! My friend owned one and she always offered it me to play and I would say, I hate that ugly thing, and one day I played and realised what I was missing out on! It plays amazing, and sounds amazing, if you like the look, it looks amazing, but I personally think it is an ugly looking guitar. I would certainly buy one again if I broken it or it had been stolen... The best feature I love about it is that the 20 fret neck is short into the body, so it leaves a good place to slap inbetween you neck pick up and your neck, how many times I have hurt my thumb on a pick up slapping! The only way I could improve it is by sorting out the ballance with a strap! // 10

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overall: 6
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: ovalman24, on january 31, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 200

Features: It was made in china, it has 20 frets mahogany body, reverse body, much like the Gibson version, its actually the goth version with the XII inlay on the 12 fret. IT has a Tune-O-Matic bridge, the pick-ups are 2 t-bird pluss pick-ups and has 2 volume, one for each pick-up and a tone nob, the tuners are non locking. // 7

Sound: Well all I can say is this bass guitar can come out with most sounds you wont, all you need to do is play around with that toe nob, I play most styles of music from heavy metal to funk and I gotta say it can create both sounds and more for those genres. I use a White Horse BP 80 bass amplifier and a Zoom B2.1u, it goes well with both. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Well the set up wasn't the best I've had from factory but it wasn't terrible the only thing I had to change was the action as it came waaaay to high. The bridge was terribly routed I cannot change the action on this bass or the poles will come out, even with the super glue, which was a terrible idea but hey I had no choice at the time. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Well once near enough all times I've had playing wih this at shows its broken down on me, when I lowered the action the pegs for the tun-o-matic bridge came out of the body and wouldn't stay in so I had to super-glue them back in, not the best idea but with out a back up guitar with me what was I supposed to do? The harware set up is just horrible I've had to resolder the wire from one of the pots to the jack 3 times now and to be honest its getting on my nerves. The strap buttons are waaay out and cause extreme dive, from personal experience I can not say I would depend upon this bass. // 3

Overall Impression: I play most styles, for home use and not alot of livee playing this things ok, but other than that I would NOT reccomend one. If it was stolen the first thing I would do is go out and buy a Fender or Traben as the quality is far better from my experience playing them. To be tottally truthful apart from the sound this bass hast given me a very positive impresion on epiphones quality. // 3

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overall: 8
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 07, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 249

Purchased from:

Features: It was made in china in 2010. The bass has a red finish, and has really large frets on it. It has an alder body with a neck made from some really hard wood. Mine was eqipped with 50-105 strings, (thick) and two volume controls with master tone. Mine was also a special edition (came with new-tech electronics) and Epiphone bassbuckers. It has sealed tuners. // 9

Sound: I have to admit that the bass is really weird compared to any of my previous basses. I play mostly only disco basslines with heavy use of octaves, and all I can say, is that this bass really needs some strength to play the octaves, especially on the first frets. The sound is really good and thick, but I never use the neck pickup, or it gets really muddy. This bass is anything but noisy, it is REALLY quiet, really. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup pissed me off right away. The bridge was set way too high, the screws are soft as ****, and I could not tighten the screws without really destroying them, and the bridge fell off one time. The truss rod was all ****** up, and I had to tighten it a LOT. Overall the bass feels really bad when you play while standing, you have to pull the bass backwards all the time when you play it, which is really annoying. The bass is very heavy, and feels like its made from metal 100%tly, its made from very hard wood. The strap fells off instantly (more below), and the bass is too much forward, your hand is like on the bridge, while playing with jazz bass, it is on the start of the neck. Overall, very bad bass to handle, but if you want, you can get something playable out of it. The finish is flawless and sparkling. // 5

Reliability & Durability: This bass stands very well when you play live. I would still take a backup because you cannot trust to the bridge, it can just fell off from the screws suddenly during a show. The strap buttons are solid, but they just cannot carry out their job, because they are placed in so bad places. You CANNOT play this bass live without STRAPLOCKS. No way. The finish will wear off in the year 3000, so no worries. // 9

Overall Impression: Well, as I said, I play almost only octaves. The bass really produces a nice groove, but I don't suggest you should play with the neck pickup, or you wont have your ears tomorrow. Well, I have used it for metal playing with pick sometimes. I have played 3 years (ooch) My other basses are fender, or fender-style, and I can really say that this is the bast bass for slap, never listen again for those nagging about it. Slapping with this bass gets really groovy. If the bass would be stolen, I would maybe get this bass only for the looks. I bought this bass because of the look... I love the look of the bass, but it is really uncomfortable. I recommend this bass, even if it has the certain flaws. I would not recommend this bass for someone who cannot handle setting up it first. // 8

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overall: 6.2
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: Molochnik, on may 05, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 279

Purchased from: GC

Features: I won't bother with the standard features other than the mahogany body, the black satin finish, the Roman numeral twelfth fret marker, and the Celtic Cross pickguard unique (AFAIK) to the Goth. Feature-wise, it's an Epi T-bird with a very sweet-feeling finish... At least that is the draw for me. // 9

Sound: I like to play everything from classic rock to funk, disco, country, jazz, and even early Gary Numan (whatever you choose to call that). I'm also a beginner/~6 months of playing so it suits me fine as long as I can play what I know so far with any competency. I've been playing it through a Rumble 15 and a Rumble 30. SO, for my purposes it sounds fine and doesn't have any issues with hum or any other errant noises. I have played with the overdrive on the 30, and it's a lot of fun, but really there isn't a setting on this bass that I don't like or don't find useful... So far. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This came with a fairly flat neck; it needed a minor tweak on the truss rod to which it was very responsive. The action was too high for my preference; I generally try to get it as low as I can without any frets buzzing under normal play (finger - no picks). That said, there are couple of high frets, but not too high to preclude getting the action "within standard spec". Knobs are all quiet and effective. Pickups were just fine. A couple of rough frets on the neck, but still not so bad. Tuners seem to be fine. Stock strings are absolute crap. The bridge suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuux though for attempting to set the action with any precision. I was going to buy a Hipshot Supertone until the event you'll see below. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I haven't gigged this bass. The neck is cracking from the notch for the nut diagonally up and towards the back of the neck. This bass has suffered NO abuse/neck dives/etc. I bought a hard case for it before it ever left the house and has been to my instructor's approximately 3 times in 2.5 months. Very bummed. // 1

Overall Impression: My wife bought this for me as a Valentine's present (yay meeee!) after I played one (not THIS very one) at GC and marvelled at how comfortable it felt, and how slick the neck felt with the satin finish, in comparison to other T-Birds... And didn't stop talking about it. It's the second bass I've owned, and after playing my P-Bass for a couple of months between the time I began playing, and tried out the T-Bird, I found the T-Bird to be great for songs I knew well, but not so good for learning new ones. In just a month or two, it was not the panacea to my bass awkwardness I thought it would be... But I still loved the shape and finish and found myself playing it very often. Very disappointed about the neck cracking; I haven't seen too many mentions of this taking place even with all of the metions about neck dives. Would I recommend it? I dunno. If it hadn't broken - certainly. // 6

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overall: 7.8
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: Kondeeka, on september 08, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 229

Purchased from: Feedback Utrecht

Features: This Thunderbird has a Vintage sunburst finish, and was made in China. I don't know exactly when it was built, but it'll probably be 2010 or earlier since I bought it brand new in June 2010. It came with black hardware, a fixed bridge (think it's a Tune-O-Matic? it's only a single piece bridge), 3 knobs, 2 TB+ humbucker pickups, a cheap cable and 20 jumbo frets. The body is made out of Alder and the bolt-on neck has a rosewood fretboard with dot inlays. I can't find out what brand the tuning machines are, in the manual it says Grovers but I can't find any brand logo or name on the tuners themselves. The humbuckers have a round cutaway on the edges in which you can perfectly press your thumb on for fingerstyle. // 7

Sound: I've played a couple of basses now, but this bass has one of the muddier/heavier sounds. I play rock, metal, funk (especially slap style funk), pop, indie, techno and some country, all through a Line6 Lowdown LD15 with a Zoom B2 for additional effects. The sound fits for most of the styles, but for a brighter sound you should only use the bridge pickup (with tone control full to treble). A really big advantage of this bass is the height of the neck above the body (about 2 cm) providing a lot of space for slapping and especially popping. Different types of strings can make a big difference on the sound, so stringing it with thinner strings will make the sound less muddy if you prefer it that way. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The pickups were fine, it had no flaws with the finish. However, the action was a bit too high for me, but it's easy to adjust this with the screws (but you need a really big flathead screwdriver, about 1cm wide). The finish on the headstock is very glossy and hard to slide on, which can be quite annoying. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This bass is durable. I've had it for 15 months now and the only thing I had to replace were the strings. I've also fitted straplocks on it because I felt safer with locks instead of buttons. 23rd of December I'll be having my first gig with this bass, and I don't plan on getting a backup. I've dropped it a few times and it was smashed into the ceiling, where it left a hole in the ceiling instead of the headstock. The finish has a few cracks on the edge when I accidentally hit a wall. The fretwire on the 20th and 19th frets on the E and A string positions have started to wear, but I think that's because of my berserking-frenzy way of slapping I've been using last half year (songs like Nobody Weird Like Me from RHCP and Dirty Drowning Man from Primus) // 10

Overall Impression: This bass is perfect for beginning players, you can easily slap all out on it if you want to because of the large space after the 20th fret. It's rock solid and with a bit of playing with the equalizer on your amp you can get most of the sounds you may want from it. The hard-to slide-on-neck can be a plus if you get a new bass, because if you can slide with this neck, you can probably slide on any neck. This is the only bass I own, but I play on other people's basses (ranging from brandless Precision rip-offs to high end Warwick 6-strings) on a regular base. A big burden is this things neck dive, if the top straplock/strapbutton was placed on the right instead of the left side of the neck, this would probably be solved. If this was stolen I'd probably get a 5- or a 6-string because of the added flexibility. I think this bass is perfect for beginners, and slap-style lovers like me. // 8

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overall: 8.6
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: BigRiver374, on march 01, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 8.4
Thunderbird IV Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 12, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 250

Features: 2 pickups. 3 dials, 1 for each pickup and a tone dial. Tone dial doesn't appear to be very responsive but volume dials are good. Tuners pretty good, stays in tune with no problems and finish looks great. No extras supplied with this bass. No strap, gig bag etc. // 10

Sound: Sounds great for rock music, but it does need some some adjusting of the volume/tone to get the sound right otherwise it can sound very muddy on the low end. Very easy to create a variety of sounds. I run this through an Ashdown rig and an AX10B effects processor. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory set up was horrendous and felt like playing a plank of wood - the fretboard felt really hard on the fingers and the action was way too high making it difficult to play anything around the 12th fret or higer. Once I lowered the action and a few tweaks of the truss rod it was like playing a completely different bass. Finish was flawless and sturdy. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Very solid build, it falls over quite eaisly when stood upright and leant up against something due to the shape, but doesen't damage easily even though mine has fallen over a few times the finish is still unchipped. The shape of the guitar makes it difficut to find a hard shell case and I had to get one custom built. I think gig bags are now available that fit this bass. // 10

Overall Impression: Great guitar and sound and I love the shape of it, it just oozes sex appeal. The downside is the weight and the neck heavy imbalance. After an hour or two of playing the strap really digs into my shoulder and your fretting hand is also working to hold the head of the guitar up. Not the easiest Bass to play and it's more suited to playing with a plectrum than fingerpicking. In retrospect I may have bought a different bass given these downsides but not I own it I wouldn't sell it for the world. // 8

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