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Epiphone Thunderbird / Explorer comparison

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stondis, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Stondis


    Feb 12, 2005
    Dear all,
    I wonder if anyone who has played both of these basses can explain the differences (other than the pointy bits) between the two?
    I have a Thunderbird which I love dearly and was thinking of getting an Explorer. I'm thinking they might be quite similar tonaly and playing-wise (which is good for me!) I will have to journey to London to try out an Explorer which I won't be able to do for a while, so could anybody describe the differences between the necks, pickups etc? Also what's with the pickup selecter on the Explorer and how is it different to adjusting the pots on a normal bass? (Sorry if that last bit is a dumb-ass question!) :help:
  2. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    Well, the Epi Explorer bass is a short-scale (30") so it's going to be more tubby and thuddy. Only you can decide if you like a shortscale - I've played ones I've loved and ones I've hated. Don't know about the pickup and knob differences as the only Tbird I've ever had was a Blackbird which has no controls whatsoever.
  3. Stondis


    Feb 12, 2005
    Cheers Jammadave! That's intriguing information, didn't know it was a shortscale. I've never played one, could be a bit of a shock going from a T-Bird behemoth neck! Hope I can get to grips with one soon.:bassist:

    EDIT: I just looked at some online shops and they all seem to say the Explorer is 34" same as the Thunderbird, I think the Flying V is 30" though.

  4. 311fan


    Jul 20, 2004
    Salt Lake City
    No, its 34 scale. Compared to the thunderbird, it feels alot like it. They have the same neck and pickups. The explorer is a little warmer sounding due to the pickups being in different places. I would say there is enough differences between them to justify buying both.
  5. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    I would say that the pickup placement on the Explorer isnt as good as the bird, since the neck pickup is right at the end of the neck, its harder to pop on it
  6. Stondis


    Feb 12, 2005
    Thanks for the info dudes. I think I need two basses to take to gigs in case of emergencies, so it's good if they play kind of similar for me and cool to have two different shapes to rock out with (no slapping here!)
  7. Billy-Bob


    Nov 4, 2005
    So Cal
    311Fan is right about the 34" scale; I had a Korina Explorer not too long ago. One heck of a reach down the neck--you better have long arms! The Gibson Explorer's were 32" scale, which makes a lot of sense--less reach, not as neck heavy. Don't know about the T-Bird, but the Explorer is very neck heavy, but a good wide rough strap helps some. It sounded fabulous, and was constructed very well, no complaints there.


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