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Advice needed. Sell my Thunderbird? Guild/Rick?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KINGMUNSON, Nov 30, 2017.



    Dec 31, 2011
    I've got a 2006 Gibson Thunderbird. I know general consensus on these is "they are huge/they sound muddy". I'm looking for a sound in between a Rick/p bass/Gibson Eb3. I know I can buy multiples but I'm trying to be gear minimal trimming down to 2 guitars and 2 basses. My first bass is an Fender American vintage pj hot rod 70's Jazz. I'm fine with it. I wanted my second bass to be something with a more woody full sound. Been considering the rickenbacker 4003. Guild b302 mostly. Also considered a custom build. Maybe a Jag body(or maybe a bolt on Ric clone build).

    Rickenbackers are so iffy about neck sizes. Tone from year to year. My favorite Ric color(unless im missing something)is the natural with rosewood. I'd love a walnut with rosewood but that doesn't seem to exist. I'm def digging the Guild b302 but finding one thats not junk isn't an easy task.

    I've been looking at pickup upgrades for my Thunderbird. I don't mind spending the cash but none seem to definitively be the sound I'm after.. only saw a few options pickup wise.

    I'm 5' 10" with meaty but not large hands so that first through 3rd fret position on the T bird is slightly awkward akd its huge in general but I'm halfway used to it.

    Oh and I'm running acoustic 371 rig and a acoustic 320 with 2x15. So I'm not after the scooped mids or a modern tone and I don't really want active pickups and vintage styling is a must.

    What say you?

    Attached Files:

    Gaolee likes this.
  2. Woody and full are not what comes to my mind when I'm thinking Ric. Not saying it can't be done but I don't think that's a Ric's inherent and/or signature tone. Which T-Bird pickups have you heard? The folks in the Thunderbird club could probably steer you in the right direction.
  3. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    I think that the varying Ric neck sizes was only specific to the 4001's from the 70's. The 4003 has a more consistent neck size, especially the more recent models from the 90's on are far more consistent. Try a few 4003's out, maybe even try the 4004 as well.

    The Guild is a great bass, definitely "something different". Always loved them.

    If you like the T'bird, then definitely look at a pickup upgrade, maybe even think about how you hold it when you're playing to ease access to the lower frets (move the body over your right hip for example?).

    Good luck in finding something.
    RedVee likes this.
  4. I'd say: Guild Starfire II Bass. Ticks all the boxes you want in terms of sonic palette (but it's not a light instrument, don't let the F-holes deceive you). They may look nothing like you'd pick up spontaneous, but I urge you to do it.


    Attached Files:

  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The Ric Cheyenne or Laredo 4004 basses might fit the bill, rounded body contours, humbuckers, more similar to a P sound, but capable of Ric clank on demand. Better bridge, simple controls. A 4003 is a versatile bass, but it’s not going to sound like a P.
  6. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Woody tone?
    Vintage styling?

  7. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I would never call a 'Bird through an Acoustic Control rig anything but massive. Have you tried putting flats or tape wounds on the 'Bird and then rolling off the bridge pickup? I play modern 'Birds through a 360 and get all kinds of sounds out of that combination. It's just a thought. If that doesn't work, then a semi-hollow may get you the warm thump you are looking for.
    RedVee likes this.

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