Thunderbird Pro-V review by Epiphone

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

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
This bass guitar is the best for me since I play Metal/Hardcore, Jazz and Punk. You can easily change the sound by using the knobs (I have heard someone make a pretty good copy of the Rickenbacker sound on this bass guitar). It also works very well with my pedal Boss Metal-Zone. I got this bass guitar because I wanted the high C so there were some string changing but it works really well with the high C (E A D G C). It's not noisy at all, its pretty much the perfect one for me. Too bad they don't have a 6 string version (wink).

Overall Impression — 8
It's perfect for the rock and and metal, also works well with jazz and funk. I have been playing for 5 years now and I own a Cort A4 and a Peavey Millennium 4. I wish it was a 6 string version as well. If it got stolen, I would go nuts and chase the person down. If not, I would get a new one. I don't like the neck dive even if that is adjustable, It just disturbs me that they didn't fix that problem. I compared it to the rest of the store because I have been going in and out and trying out different models. I also have a memory with the Thunderbird being the first bass guitar that I tried out 5 years ago and it gave me a good impression on how a bass guitar should sound like.

Reliability & Durability — 9
As I wrote before, its the perfect bass guitar for me, it works very well live. The strap buttons could have been moved a little (as I did). I would depend on it and I would not need a back up, just back up of batteries since its a active bass guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
It was set up pretty okay. Some minor changes with the action. The pickups are well placed. The shape and the neck dive is a minor problem but easily fixed. You just put it in a case and adjust the strap buttons so the weight lays somewhere else. It might be one of those bass guitars that is not build as an tank but it will survive a fall and students playing with it.

Features — 9
- 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 Natural Oil (it looks beautiful) - 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

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have both the 4 and 5 string of the Thunderbird Pro, both in natural oil as well. And they sound incredible. I really like the look of the natural versions as well. All the different colours of wood look really great together with the black accents.
    I just bought the vintage Sunburst...I'm hoping they send me the dark red one as well. I tried the ones at GC and they are a bargain at $479.00. My Son has a Gibson 'Bird and I had one in the past (Great sounding, but not for an additional $1,400.00 dollars. Thank GOD I don't care about anyone's opinion, I go for the quality and sound not the logo. Case in point, I had a Warwick 5 string and it had a boutique price and everyone raved about how it looked and how it was a quality German instrument. It was a dog. Same with my Ric, I'm so glad I got rid of both of them. Big $$ doesn't always = quality. Don't buy something because the logo says status, buy it because it fits you.
    So sick of people saying only guys who can't afford a Gibson buy an Epi...lmao. I own 23 basses (Parkers, Ernie Ball, REAL TOBIAS, REAL US MASTERS, Brian Bromberg B-2 ) the point I'm trying to make is yeah, there's a difference in an Epi and Gibson Thunderbird but not a $1,400.00 difference. I'm sorry I posted twice.
    ZZ Taff
    I have the mahogany Pro V. I find if I use a 3inch wide leather guitar strap and wear it over the front of the guitar body [at the bridge end]then all Neck dive problems will cease. Good tones for the blues & rock I play. Action needs to be slightly higher for heavy right hand pounding and frents could be a bit more beefy in my opinion. Well worth the 200 I paid for it. All frets accessed easily. ZZ Taff
    I really want this bass and have done for some time. However, after reading a lot of these comments it's clear that this bass is only really good (or rather preferred) for metal and heavier styles of music, whereas I play more indie/alternative styles... so should I be advised against this bass?
    Laurie, I play original music (sounds like Govt. Mule, Albert King )and it suits me just fine. Go to GC and try one out. I think it'll be fine for you, just be aware of how to avoid neck dive and check out the weight and make sure you can play 3 sets of music or practice 4-5 hours with it. You get used to it...really.