Fender single coil sound from Thunderbird?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AlexanderB, Jan 30, 2014.


  1. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Out of curiousity, I recently spent a few minutes with a neck-through Thunderbird at the MI shop. I really liked the general feel, workmanship, dimensions etc of this bass. The only thing I did not really like was the tone of the pick-ups - humbucker is not my thing.

    I have found reference to SD SSB-4 but have not found any good sound clips. I play mostly blues, rock and a bit jazz/funk: 98% fingerstyle and 2% slap - no pick. (Typically, the Thunderbirds seem to be played exclusively at knee cap height by pick wielding rockers, which makes it hard to find reviews applicable to my styles. ;) )

    The sound I am looking for is single coil Jazz. For my use, I REALLY liked the SD design pickups in the Squier CV Jazz. I do not want active pickups or preamp.
     
  2. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle Washington
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    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups



    Perhaps you're letting some preconceptions color your opinion.........

    Here's Walter Becker of Steely Dan playing a Thunderbird live.



    Still, if you like the tone of single coil Jazz basses a stock Thunderbird may not be your best choice, the better aftermarket pickups from Lull, Thunderbucker Ranch and Jason Lollar all have a warmer, growl to them. There are quite a few examples posted in the T Bird club thread.
     
  3. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

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    Feb 25, 2007
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    Thanks for the reply! :)

    No, no preconceptions in this case. I have one Gretsch with humbuckers and one luthier bass with split coil humbuckers. I do not like humbuckers; too "raspy" and "thick" sounding, but in the "wrong" way. For me, that is!

    Nice clips, even if the Steely Dan guy uses a pick.

    Like I said, I really like bass but not the pickups.

    >heading over to the T Bird club thread< :D
     
  4. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    I can't find anything on Duncan's website about an SSB-4 sound clips. I think you'll have a problem with ever getting a single-coil tone from a T-Bird. Just not the right bass for that type of tone.
     
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  6. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle Washington
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Wish this was mine..............

    [​IMG]
     
  7. poit57

    poit57

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I got a Gibson EB Bass last year. It has dual humbucker setup similar to a Thunderbird with volume/volume/tone controls. Each volume is a push/pull pot so that each pickup can be independently coil tapped for a single coil sound. I don't know enough about pickup wiring to know if this is possible with the Thunderbird pickups, but it might be worth looking into if it single coil sound is what you are looking for without having to change out the pickups.
     
  8. George Himmel

    George Himmel

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    Manager, Bass San Diego
    With some padding to make up the room, you could ostensibly put singles in T-bird shells. It could even have the front coil all the way forward and the rear all the way back; the spacing would be pretty close. Just depends on how ambitious you are! I wonder if any of the custom guys has gotten requests for J's in TB shells... I sort of bet Nordy could do it, but I don't know if he'd want to!
     
  9. Sartori

    Sartori

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    What's wrong with using a pick? :confused:
     
  10. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

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    Feb 25, 2007
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    What is wrong with NOT using a pick, Sartori? :D

    Thanks for the replies, guys!
    My personal reflection is that it is a great instrument but a bit "niche" in stock format. IME, there is no current, non-CS Fender Jazz with such resonance, response, even tone and authority. Not even the road worn or AVRI. It is a pity the "hard rock" image is so strongly attached to the instrument, or it would probably sell a lot more.
    Especially if it could do a single coil sound... ;)
     
  11. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle Washington
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    A little more like this one then.
    Epi body, no name lefty neck (optional) Gibson pup covers with SD '51 P Single Coils.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Sartori

    Sartori

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    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Nothing, just the "even if he is using a pick" seems to imply that you don't think much of those of us who occasionally play that way.
     
  13. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Aha!

    Ok! I said I play fingerstyle, get suggestions on clips to look at.
    I like them and find them useful, "even if he plays with a pick", which I don't.

    No other meaning was intended. English is not my first language...

    Keep pickin', ehhh...
     

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