epiphone thunderbird 5 string?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by borisdig, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Anybody know anything about this Epiphone 5 string thunderbird bass that I have. I can't seem to find anything on the web. the pegs are on the right side of the headstock unlike the usual left side. It's made in korea. must have been a while ago. Original price? just wondering. I have pics I can email.

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  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    .. The neck and bridge posisbly look aftermarket. And the string spacing is wicked tight. Could it have been converted?
  3. the headstock doesn't show signs of conversion, i.e. filled in holes to make room for the 5 config. But the pickups are not t-bird. this is a strange "bird" for sure.
  4. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2002
    Chandler, Arizona
    Some years ago Epiphone started selling non-reverse T-Birds that look like yours in sea foam green or sunburst. The basses had P-J pickups instead of soapbars. They turn up on Ebay semi-regularly. They also had a model that was named something like "EBM" that were available in 4 or 5 string models that had T-Bird looking necks. Maybe this was their attempt at a combining the 2? I don't remember them selling a 5 string, but I'm by no means an expert.
  5. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    The non-reverse Epi T-Birds of the early to mid 90's were available in both 4 string and 5 string version and had the P-J pickups along with a bolt on neck. Yours looks all stock to me. The EBM that was metioned by Tender Prey did have a similar looking headstock, but it had a 24 fret neck, gold hardware, and had active pickups along with an active preamp...and a horrible pickup and preamp combination it was. The passive T-Bird probably sounds much better.

    Steve aka SMG
  6. I had one of those... When attempting to turn it into an Entwistle-style Fenderbird, I noticed that the width of the neck pocket fit my Precision style neck. Guess that explains the tight spacing. :rolleyes:

    B string was flabby as hell. AND the bridge pickup hardly read the A string at all, Guy in the shop told me that it was a 4-string pickup and perfectly normal. I was young and had already fallen for the bass, so I took it. :rollno:

    That's the bald guy from the Bass Cellar on Denmark St. Evil man! Once threw me out for asking to try a bass out. :mad:
  7. firelighters


    Sep 14, 2007
    hey fellows,

    i got a similar bass, too, 5 strings coloured in this strange sea foam green, i call it statue of liberty green, cause i bought it in nyc for 300 $

    i googled it and found out, that a fellow from the uk sell it for 500 pounds, about 750 euros and 1000 dollars i guess... so im confused...

    i heard about, that they are very rare, epiphone exported about 750 ones to the uk. i hope for getting some more facts by emailing around to some magazines and that stuff...
  8. firelighters


    Sep 14, 2007
    got an official answer from gibson ^^
  9. Ramstien


    Aug 19, 2007
    Holy hell, a non-reverse T-bird? I so want one of them!
  10. Silas Martinez

    Silas Martinez

    Jan 17, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Weird. The body looks kind of like a Jag, too .... I never noticed that about tbirds before.
  11. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Non reverse t birds were made originally from 66 - 69

    They were set neck slab bodied, with all mahogany construction. Many think the Non Reverse Tbird II is the best sounding T bird from the 60's

    They are pretty rare. the Epi one was not great, It was more of a bolt on Fender type that only looked like a Gibson. It would serve you better to change the pickups. I know some who did that and said it made a big improvement.





  12. Barkless Dog, you are what's great about TB. :D
  13. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007

    here are some more




    not many people realized Squire used one for a time
  14. big_mike


    Sep 22, 2008
    I bought one from a shop in West Virginia in 2004 for $450. The only other place I ever saw one was on the Gov't Mule "Live With a Little Help From Our Friends" Collector's Edition CD. There are two pics of Allan Woody playing one. The Wandering Child page and the Thorazine Shuffle page. Since he was known to be an avid collector and player of Epiphone basses, I assume this one was in his collection. Other than that, like you, I've never seen one.
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I got a 5 string epi t-bird from GC ... the neck was stamped factory 2nd. I decided that this bass would make a good 5 string fenderbird ...



    The sad thing is I sold it ...
  16. gibsonbassist45


    Jul 13, 2008
    the non reverse ones more yeah. as amatter of fact, i think the gibson bass website said that fender put a lawsuit against gibson cause it looked so much like the jaguar.
  17. gibsonbassist45


    Jul 13, 2008
    anyways, wow thats quite a bass. first of all, its an EPIPHONE thunderbird, thats non reverse? and a five string?? it sounds interesting. and very rare to find nowadays.id hold on to that thing my friend.i dont even like 5 string basses, but still i would hold on to that if i got it somehow.
  18. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    I had that exact bass a few years back,I traded it towards a jazz but was told it got a premium on the trade because it was older???I know its the same because of the pegs and the P and J pickups.I wish I kept it as up till now mine is the only one Ive ever seen
  19. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    P.S oh yeh got rid of it cause it weighs 3400 lbs ,oh wait thats my car.It is very heavy maybe the heaviest bass Ive owned
  20. Nic.


    Aug 28, 2009
    Whoooo! Reviving a zombie thread! Well I couldn't find much on these non reverse PJ 5string thunderbirds so I figure I should just ask here on the thread since most of the info would be consolidated here.

    I'm picking up one of these 2nd hand some time this week for about US$240. It's a sunburst finish.

    Always wanted a bird and I don't have a P at the moment anyway.

    How valuable would you say these are? I mainly play fretless and I want to defret, epoxy the neck and string it with bright roundwounds and solo the P pup. And in fact, I want to refinish the body too.

    Intending to use this as my "backup" bass.

    Should I go ahead with these "mods", or should I leave it as it is for the resale value?