So I managed to score a brand new Gibson Thunderbird recently from GC on sale cheap. I love the feel of the neck and the look of it.......being a Warwick guy this whole time.....it is a change of gears for me. I couldn't pass on the price tag to give a quality Gibson a good test drive though. Coming from a guitar background and always having a Les Paul in my hands......I knew it was a matter of time before I owned a Gibson bass as well.
So anyway a few things I noticed and changed within the first few weeks of owning it.
The stock tuners (grovers I believe) were kinda sticky. If I detuned they would hang and then suddenly "let go". All 4 were like that and I didn't care for it......so I had ultra lite hipshots so I just swapped them. They probably just need a little grease inside......but I knew these hipshots were smooth so I just swapped them. Though there was no neck dive on this model......I knew if even the slightest was present the new tuners would take care of it anyway.
The bass leans forward. I tried designing something that would hold it back....that failed with the first energetic gig.....so I said screw this and did what most wouldn't......took out the drill.
After looking at placement of the REAR locks on some Tbirds (mostly Sixx's he uses on stage) I noticed the rear lock was high up on the wing........this would ultimately take care of the leaning forward (NOT neck dive.......there is no dive!). So i relocated the top button toward the top of the rear wing. The BEST upgrade IMHO to this bass. It fixed the leaning forward issue and its more comfortable on my forearm (after a gig I could actually feel it) and just sits "like it should" now. So I am super pleased with that change. I filled the old hole in with a wooden plug and painted it black and put clear epoxy over it......obviously you can still see it there but from 4ft away you would never know it was even there.
I decided I wanted more tonal control over this bass than just a tone control......so I put a EMG BTC in the tone pot hole. Quite the difference......more punch and just a deeper low end. The treble is adjustable with the dipswitches on this preamp so I want to mess around a little more with that yet......but in time.
So what I want to do yet is what I wanted to throw out and see if anyone has done on here.
Has anyone used the EMG Thunderbird drop in replacement pickups? I'm thinking about putting in 2 EMG TBJ's or maybe a TBJ in the neck and a TBDC in the bridge. I'm VERY familiar with EMG pickups......I've had them in nearly every bass I've owned......I've had DC's in a Spector one time......they sound good in the bridge of that bass but not in the neck. My favorites so far have been the J's EMG makes.......so if the TBJ's sound like their standard J's then I'd probably like them. I was just curious to see if anyone out there has put any of these EMG pups in a Tbird.
Anyway thanks much!