Gibson Thunderbird or Grabber Pickup, help?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by biggestriff666, Nov 12, 2012.


  1. biggestriff666

    biggestriff666

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    Nov 10, 2009
    I recently just won a vintage Gibson humbucker on Ebay that I plan to put in my Epiphone Ripper Reissue. The listing said it was a neck position pickup from an original Thunderbird, but I don't remember Thunderbird pup's looking like this. To me it looks like a Grabber sliding pickup, which is completely fine by me because I love the way my Grabber sounds.

    I just want to see if anyone here could help identify the pickup for me. If it seems like it is from a Grabber, I'd like to put it in the bridge position of my Ripper reissue since that's where I keep my Grabber sliding pup, but if it might be a Thunderbird pup, maybe I should I keep in the neck position since that's what it was originally intended for.

    I don't know too much about pup's, so I don't know if it would be advisable to put a neck pickup in the bridge. If anyone can help out that would be great. Attached are 2 photos of the pickup.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bassvirtuoso

    bassvirtuoso My God, it's full of chrome! Supporting Member

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    Those pickups were used a lot in the 80's Gibson basses (back when they didn't produce the Thunderbird for a while). The Q-80, the 20/20, the Victory basses, etc. You'd want to measure the output of the pickup and determine if it's got enough output for the bridge position (assuming of course you want a high output pickup back there).

    Either way: not a Thunderbird pickup, just a typical 80's Gibson pickup.
     
  3. biggestriff666

    biggestriff666

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    Nov 10, 2009
    Thanks for your help, Dave.

    Would be able to suggest a good number output for a bridge pickup?
     
  4. Asomodai

    Asomodai

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    Looks the same as both my Grabber pickups front and back.

    Output should be around about 6K.
     
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  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    Designed by Bill Lawrence when he was working at Gibson. He also designed the Grabber, Ripper, etc.
     
  7. biggestriff666

    biggestriff666

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    Thanks everybody. I was pretty sure it looked exactly like my Grabber's pickup. Once I get it I'm going to have it tested by my luthier and hope it's around 6k, so I can just drop it in at the bridge position.
     
  8. biggestriff666

    biggestriff666

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    So the measured resistance of the pickup is 2.032 ohms. Any suggestions on which position I should put that in? That number seems really low.
     
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    If that's the actual reading, then you have one of the low impedance pickup from the Les Paul Signature bass, which is now known as the Epiphone Jack Casady model. That makes sense since it has the Gibson logo on it. The LPS pickup was also designed by Bill Lawrence.

    The bad news is that pickup will not work very well without either a preamp or a impedance matching transformer.
     
  10. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman

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    But once you set it up with either of those... Boom! Gooey bass goodness:bassist:
     
  11. bassvirtuoso

    bassvirtuoso My God, it's full of chrome! Supporting Member

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    Weren't those all in cream covers though?
     
  12. biggestriff666

    biggestriff666

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    Okay, this where I start to look like a technical idiot.

    So what type of preamp are we talking about? Like an onboard, in the bass' electronics? Or that I would have to buy an actual preamp to plug into my head?
     
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    All the ones I ever saw where cream. This also looks a little bigger. But unless this pickup has a sort, or he's reading it wrong, that's about the right reading for the low Z pickup.

    Another thing about this being a Grabber pickup is they didn't use pickup rings. So it must be from something else. The question is what bass was it from?
     
  14. biggestriff666

    biggestriff666

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    The guy selling it on Ebay said it was a neck pickup from a an original Thunderbird set. I got it because I figured if worse case scenario, I can re-sell pretty easily since it's a vintage pickup. Without the pickup rings it looks like a Grabber pickup, but I've since seen a lot of Gibsons from the 80's with these pickups.

    So maybe there's a short in the pickup? I hope that's something fixable...
     
  15. MPU

    MPU

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    Plastic cover and cast with some sort of plastic. I'd say it may be doable but not easily.
     
  16. biggestriff666

    biggestriff666

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    It turns out it was a typo. It was actually giving out a reading of 7.032 resistance, not 2.032. Thankfully.

    So I'm going to have the guy at the shop estimate the position it would be on Grabber when the pickup was slid all the way towards the bridge, cut a new pickguard, take out all unnecessary electronics, and have my backup for my Grabber.
     
  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    7k is a Grabber pickup.
     

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