I have two Gibson Thunderbird 5 string Studio basses. The first one I bought is ebony, serial number tells me it was made in 2000. The second one is cherry red, serial number tells me it was made in 2001. While I understand that even within the same identical (seemingly) bass there are very slight variations in tone, I find there is quite a difference in tone between the two of them. The guitars are exactly the same (seemingly) in every way. The pickups are identical, the electronics, weight, and from what I can see, the only difference between the two of them is the colour. I thought I was a little crazy at first, but a fellow TB'er is selling his ebony Thunderbird 5 string Studio in favour of his cherry red Thunderbird 5'er Studio because the sound of the red one is warmer and beefier, where the ebony one is a little more mid frequency shaped, so I don't think this is a coincidence. I have a hard time believing that the colour of the paint would make that much of a difference.. my intention for owning the two thunderbirds was to have two stage guitars where I wouldn't have to dial in a completely different sound if I have to change from one guitar to another for any reason (string breakage, electronics problem etc.). I know there are some amazingly bright folks in Talkbass land, any input would be valuable and appreciated greatly as this has been puzzling me for a while now. I thank you all in advance.