"Problem" with my new Gibson Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sourtulip, Jun 30, 2012.


  1. Sourtulip

    Sourtulip

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Hey.

    I just found this forum and it looks like just the place for me to be, so you just might hear from me again ;)

    Well, the reason for me to create this thread is that I think I might have a problem with my new Gibson Thunderbird IV, or to be more specific, the pickups.

    I just got the bass today (mail order) and one of the first things that I noticed was that the pickups, especially the one closest to the bridge, was very loose. The worst of them would create a 5 mm gap from the top of the screw to the start of the pickup then pressing down the pickup. Its a little hard to explain with my poor english skills, but I found a video there the problem is pretty clear, please check it out:



    (this video is not made by me)

    The problem with my Thunderbird is the same as shown in the video, but not as bad, as i cant see whats under the pickups. I was woundering if the bass is just made this way or if its a mistake made by the Gibson company.

    Also, has anyone else had the same experience as me with the Thunderbird?



    Hope someone out there knows about this and if I should just screw the screws down or what :)
  2. UBU

    UBU

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    I'm not sure I understand the issue. Can you not just screw the pickup into place? Is there something underneath the pickup making that impossible, or is the pickup route itself the problem?
  3. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    Doesn't anyone outside the U.S. know how to use a screwdriver?
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Take the dumb springs out and use some foam. You may need longer screws.
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  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Apparently not. They also don't realize that things get lose in shipping.
  7. Sourtulip

    Sourtulip

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I think that I can do that.

    The reason I havent done it yet is that im a noob, but that dosent mean that I have to make noob mistakes - which it sure would be if i screwed the pickups down then they really have to be loose to create that special Thunderbird sound (this thought accured to me because I find it a little hard to believe that Gibson would deliver an instrument in that price range with loose pickups if it wasent the way it was meant to be - would be very unproffesional)
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Pickups should never be lose. That doesn't give any special sound. Gibson's QC is very poor these days, but I'm sure the pickup was not lose when it left the factory.

    Also from what I have heard those pickups will not sound like a real T-Bird. They tend to be on the dark side.

    If screwing the pickups down makes them too far from the strings, then replace the springs with foam, and get longer screws if you need them.

    Another thing, every new bass should be brought to a qualified tech for a setup. They don't have time to do proper setups on factory basses, so they often leave something to be desired.
  9. fingerbun

    fingerbun

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Gotta admit, if the pickups on a bass got loose in shipping I'd wonder if the bass was defective.
  10. UBU

    UBU

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    lol. ok then. smh.
  11. darren1970

    darren1970

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Durham, United Kingdom
    I had a 'similar' issue with the springs on the bridge pickup being far too sort, but sorted it out by replacing them with foam, as it's been said in earlier posts.
  12. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    That's why I never buy an instrument through mail order. No way.
  13. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Location:
    Earth
    Jeez, guys...have to be so hard on him? OP, if you aren't comfortable making the adjustments yourself, bring it to a qualified tech. Many basses need a setup fresh from the factory and as another poster said, things tend to shift in transit. After taking care of your pickup 'problem', do yourself a favor and watch some videos on how to 'set up' your bass. This is one of the most valuable lessons you can learn, especially if you live in an area where it is hard to find a tech.
  14. 4dog

    4dog

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    All pretty good advice i would just ratchet down the harshness,, go easy he said he was a newb
  15. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Very good advice. If you do get a professional set-up done, take measurements of the fret height and also note how the truss rod has been adjusted (how much relief is in the neck). There's plenty of sites to tell the proper way to measure for a set-up, and if you have that information, you'll have a good starting point if have to set it up in the future (or another bass). Set-ups are very simple once you know how to do them, and it's a skill every bass or guitar player should know.

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