Thunderbird Pro-V review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (33 votes)
Epiphone: Thunderbird Pro-V
1

Price paid: £ 369.99

Purchased from: Gear4music

Sound — 9
I play a lot of thrash metal, a little black metal and some heavy metal. The Thunderbird suits these styles perfectly. I love the sound as you are very easily able to (due to the EQ and active pickups) create a low drone for death metal but also its surprising how easy it is to Switch to bright, poppy P-Bass sound. When it comes to jazz and funk, the old T-Bird models never stood a chance. However the new Pro series has overcome this hurdle and its not too hard to pull out a nice funky tone. In my opinion, and due to this being my bass, you will all dismiss me for being a fanboy for saying this, but I personally think that the new Epiphone Thunderbird Pro series has a superior sound to that of the Gibson Thunderbirds. I think that the Pro series is far more versatile and produces a stronger sound. However this is all opinion so if you wish, dismiss whatever I say. The T-bird only seems to get noisy if I max the settings on the amp, T-bird and my effects pedal. Overall, I think if you are looking for a great rock n' roll bass for a good price, this is where you should be looking. If you are looking for a jazzy feel or you play a lot of funk then this is not for you unfortunately.

Overall Impression — 10
It's perfect for everything rock and metal. My other guitar is an Encore PK-20 which is a beginners bass and that is it. My bass amp is a Marshall MB15 which I feel doesn't show the T-bird's full power. When I was in the shop trying it out, I tried several others. None had quite the same power that is in the T-bird. I wish the finish didn't rub off so easily but I guess that happens with all guitars over time.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I would definitely use this live, however I would have strap locks in place as the awkward shape and the position of the strap buttons means it can easily fall. I wouldn't gig without a backup anyway but I think the T-bird is definitely strong enough and if I wasn't able to gig with a backup, the T-bird on its own would do. The finish as I previously stated, is easily damaged.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When the T-bird arrived it was very badly set-up. I had to change the action completely. The pickups, however were set-up rather well. I have to say however the finish can very easily be damaged. When playing on stage, I may wear a spiked bracelet which has caused a few scratches on the body. Due to the awkward shape of the bass, it didn't sit steady in the stand and so has once fell to the side, hitting the wall. It wasn't a hard fall but the finish on the headstock is dented.

Features — 9
Made in June 2009 20 frets 7-piece neck (alternating walnut/maple) Thru-neck construction Rosewood fretboard 5 String Nut Width: 1.93" Body wings: Mahogany 3 finishes available: Vintage Sunburst, Translucent Black and Natural Oil I have the Translucent Black Classic Thunderbird shape with a fully-adjustable flush-mount bridge T-PRO active humbucker pickups with an 3 EQ settings and a volume knob Pickups are set in the middle and at the bridge Non-locking premium die-cast 14:1 bass tuners Slim-taper neck profile Epi-designed straight-string pull headstock Black pickguard with classic thunderbird logo Came with a cheap cable (same ones found in local music store for 1) and an allen key

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Silverpack
    On some sites, the vintage sunburst finish features an awesomely beautiful dark red color. But on other links, like the official Epiphone website, this vintage sunburst is... Well, classic brown sunburst, indeed. Can anyone solve this color mystery ??? I'm planning to buy this bass with the vintage (red) sunburst, while I don't like much the other color.
    cashon
    guitar-noob=P wrote: I take is this is not good for slap? What Bass can I get that can do metal... while being able to slap like crazy?
    I highly recommend any neck-thru B.C. Rich. Even though they are mostly known for Metal, they are extremely versatile and sometimes get a bad rap. Like you, I'm a slapper and a Metalhead and the B.C. Rich is my first choice in bass guitars. If I were you, I would give the neck-thru Mockingbird a whirl. You'll love it and you won't want to own any other bass after. If I'm wrong I will eat my B.C. Rich...without ketchup!
    cashon
    guitar-noob=P wrote: I take is this is not good for slap? What Bass can I get that can do metal... while being able to slap like crazy?
    Any neck-thru B.C. Rich. Trust me. I do a lot of slap, Rock and Metal. Even though B.C. Rich is known mainly for Metal, they are very versatile. I recommend the neck-thru Mockingbird. You'll love it and if you don't I'll eat mine...without ketchup!
    guitar-noob=P
    I take is this is not good for slap? What Bass can I get that can do metal... while being able to slap like crazy?
    DrageKage
    I have an original thunderbird and have been considering these as a replacement to me 5 string squier. Is the head dive actually still a problem, as i find my current thunderbird puts a lot of weight on my left hand which makes it uncomfortable to play for long periods of time and I don't fancy moving the strap button and leaving a nice hole in my bass.
    Istwan
    It's great guitar! I have it for about year and it's just awesome. Powerful attack and great sustain is perfect for metal, rock and grunge. Nose diving may be a problem but you will forget about it in a month. 20 frets in a V string ver. it's ok because his neck is very thick and it's hard to play on a 15-20. I'd really recommend this Epiphone. I just love it :]
    Johnhowell00
    I have the Epiphone Thunderbird IV Pro. Its GREAT. However, there is noise that has appeared like a loud harsh hiss which is made more prominent when the EQ config is at full treble and on the bridge pup. This just might be bad luck, if any one has a cure for this please share. I would be very greatful.
    Bezza1994
    Silverpack wrote: On some sites, the vintage sunburst finish features an awesomely beautiful dark red color. But on other links, like the official Epiphone website, this vintage sunburst is... Well, classic brown sunburst, indeed. Can anyone solve this color mystery ??? I'm planning to buy this bass with the vintage (red) sunburst, while I don't like much the other color.
    well i bought one of these with that lovely red sunburst. it was really nice but it had a messed up earthing so i sent for a replacement and it came back as that classic sunburst which aint so nice. I have no idea why this colour can vary but be wary it could be either you get. i disliked it so got a black one instead.
    XavierDeVoy
    Black Paranoia wrote: i have a 4 string of this one its actually very good for me,i play different styles like punk,metal,blues,rock and so on but it does it all for me
    You mean a bass? Or is it actually a 4 string electric guitar?
    drakey girl 66
    I love Gibson models- i have an Epiphone Les Paul junior. This sound like an awesome guitar except for the fact that it damages easily
    jean_genie
    Funny story: I made a new hole for a Firebird, and didn't place it well. Long story short, I was playing in front of a (thankfully small) audience with a nylon strap, and instead of going down, the neck popped up and hit be right in the side of the face. Everything is funny, so long as it happens to someone else.
    Black Paranoia
    i have a 4 string of this one its actually very good for me,i play different styles like punk,metal,blues,rock and so on but it does it all for me
    Gary.Blizzard
    I've been interested in buying one of these. Don't really feel like buying a Gibson. To overrated and pricey. This looked all right though.
    jambododger
    They're not universally hated A quick move of the strap buttons fixes most of the neck dive
    Echoplex
    I thought that these were universal hated because of how unbalanced they were.
    cashon
    Sorry for the double-posting folks. The website slowed down on me for a bit and I thought it had crashed.