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Epiphone thunderbird hipshot bridge replacement

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sahe_Bassist, May 11, 2011.

  1. i've been meaning to put this up for awhile,

    hipshot direct replacement for epi/gib tbirds...and its a wonderful thing. makes a world of difference.

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  2. and one more

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  3. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Looks nice.
  4. Nice! I just got my old Epiphone Blackbird back and have been considering putting that bridge on it. It looks good- would you say it's made a difference in playability or tone at all?
  5. it makes it more comfotable IMO for sure. gives the bass alot more sustain, sustain you can FEEL through the body as well as hear b/c it connects to the body instead of just 3 little bolts on stilts...i set my action low on the tbird and this made that really easy to do.

    as for the actual tone it doesnt change much, the pups do more for the tone than the bridge. but it makes string changing, adjustments and such alot easier. i like having the ability to changing the string spacing right on the bridge.

    its also alot heavier than the original bridge which slightly helps with the neck dive...but i have my knob moved to the back of the body and a nice fat non-slip strap and that probably does more.

    i recomend doing the swap, i also recommend looking for these on ebay becuase they are WAY cheaper than buying direct from hipshot.

    i have seen that EMG as well as Bart have t-bird style pups for sale, i havent heard anything about either of them but its nice to know they are there if needed.
  6. ^ Sounds good, I'll probably end up getting one. I actually put EMGs in my Blackbird and it sounds sweet! I definitely like the simplicity of just two pickups full on with an on/off switch and that's it. I'll be putting the bridge on this bass:

  7. nice, how do they sound? are they passive or active? i was thinking if i do end up changing the pups on mine i would do a master vol, tone and a kill switch...
  8. The EMG's are high output and growly. I have a 35P and a 35J- so kind of a P and J type pickup in soapbar form. They're hi-fi and I like the tone of them. They are active pickups and thus require a 9 volt to power them.
  9. growly...i like that lol.
    do they have alot of noise to them? like hum? i have a jackson with a PJ passive config and i imagine these would be alot like those just hotter...i play in a blues/rock/metal band so i imagine they would sit nicely in that mix.
    do you have the emg pre-amp also? ...or not bc all you have is the kill switch...idk how that works...

    and if you dont mind..how much did those cost?

    sorry for all the questions, but there arent alot of tbirds that have electronic mods around here that i have seen...really curious...and i think i really want to do it to mine lol.
  10. Nah, they're pretty quiet and hum cancelling as far as I can tell. I haven't soloed either pickup since both are full on all the time, but I think EMG's in general are pretty quiet. No EMG pre-amp. The electronics in that bass are just the pickups, the switch, a battery, and the output jack- that's it.

    I got them used awhile ago so I forget how much I paid but brand new each pickup would be 90-100 bucks.
  11. so was looking around the EMG site and im guessing you have these pups-
    P(neck) - Electric Guitar Pickups & Accessories - EMG Pickups | 35P4
    J(bridge) - Electric Guitar Pickups & Accessories - EMG Pickups | 35J
    and those fit without modification (like routing ect?) to the tbird cavities?

    they also have these tbird specific pups, i think they are a new series
    Electric Guitar Pickups & Accessories - EMG Pickups | TB-HZ
    the ones in the link are passive but it says in the description that they also make several active versions of the same pup, but idk how they sound...

    i really like the idea of changing the pups in mine to the PJ set like you have, and then putting a master vol, master tone, and kill switch. sheild all the cavities, and maybe even some hipshot ultra-light tuners.

    it doesnt show in the pics above, but i changed the input jack to a strat style angled jack thats chrome ,changed the knobs for chrome metal ones, and black strap locks with the neck knob moved to the back of the guitar. the reason for the change of input jacks was that i was rockin out one day and didnt wrap the cord on the back knob...and then stepped on the cord and ripped it and the jack right out of the body lol.

    think i could get a pic of the back cavity to see the wiring?
  12. Yep, I have the 35P4 in the neck and the 35 J in the bridge. I did not have to modify the cavities at all but I did have to drill new holes for the pickup height/mounting screws.

    I'll see what I can do about a picture. Likely it's going to pretty simple. For what you want to do, it's probably going to be different
  13. Music Scholar

    Music Scholar

    Dec 12, 2012
    Purchased this Epiphone Blackbird used off of Ebay for $200.00 icluding it's original case. The previous owner had the bass hot rodded with an EMG 35CS in the neck position and a EMG 35DC in the bridge position. The bass also had the kill switch removed and replaced with the traditional Thunderbird 2 Volume and 1 Tone black metal knobs. I spray painted the truss rod cover flat black and installed black Schaller strap locks.

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