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8-string semi-hollow tbird?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wolf C Red, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Wolf C Red

    Wolf C Red

    Dec 8, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Hi all,

    Lurking for years but only just signed up! Big question on my mind which i'm hoping to get some opinion on...

    I'm considering getting an 8-string thunderbird put together at a custom shop but there are some design issues i need to decide on first and i'm hoping your collective experience could help me out.

    First up, non-reverse or reverse?! I like both but prefer the contemporary, reverse style body. I have had three of them myself and when the button is in the right place i dont experience the famous neck-dive that these basses supposedly have.

    HOWEVER, since this will be an 8 string with a bit more weight at the headstock; do you think it will become too neck heavy? My google-fu has shown me at least one guy who has done this, though the other two 8er Tbirds have been Non-Reverse body, which seems to reduce dive.

    Another thing, is that i'm considering having it semi-acoustic since i already own a big solid-bodied 12er so i'm hoping to get a bit more tonal variety. How will this affect the dive chances (adversely i imagine :().. And finally, is a semi-hollow thunderbird just plain weird?? I've only ever seen.... two.

    Semi-hollow/not semi hollow? Reverse body/non-reverse body?? Advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.
  2. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I think that the combination of more weight at the headstock (more tuners), along with less weight in the body (chambered body) is a perfect recipe for severe neck dive, especially in a reverse T-bird.
    And like you, the non-reverse just doesn't do the same thing for me aesthetically.

    If I was going custom and really wanted a reverse tbird with 8 strings and a chambered body, I'd consider either going headless or at least putting half of the tuning keys down below the bridge.
  3. Wolf C Red

    Wolf C Red

    Dec 8, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Thanks Kesslari!

    I think i'm going to have to give up the semi-hollow nature of it. Not exactly a big deal, just thought it'd be a cool feature.

    What kind of suggestions could you make about pickups? On my 12 string i've currently got an EMG 35HZ and an EMG707HZ (7 string guitar pickup). Would you say an 8er would be able to take full advantage of a guitar pickup in there to get the octave strings? Or stick with two bass pickups? At that point, i'm considering a DiMarzio Split P at this stage. Reckon i should keep it more thunderbirdy and have an EMG soapbar in there or go brighter with the P and a guitar pup? I'm looking at set neck or neckthrough too so will i not be synergising the effect if i go for something as bright as a P?

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