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Epiphone Thunderbird Pro-IV neck profile

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Corythosaurus, Nov 1, 2013.


  1. Corythosaurus

    Corythosaurus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 18, 2012
    New York City
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    So I'm gassing pretty hard for an Epiphone Thunderbird Pro-IV. Somehow I didn't even realize it existed until recently. Unfortunately, none of the stores near me have that particular bass in stock.

    Those of you who own or who have played one, what is the neck shape like? Online specs say 1.5" nut width and "SlimTaper" profile. So I'm thinking it's like a flatter Jazz bass profile, perhaps? How does it compare to more common basses?
     
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    I believe you will find it similar to a jazz bass profile. One of the reasons Entwistle had the fenderbirds made is the thunderbird neck was too skinny for him so he had a p-bass neck put i\on the t-bird body.

    But if you are like Geddy and prefer the slimmer neck then you will be happy.
     
  3. Corythosaurus

    Corythosaurus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 18, 2012
    New York City
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    Cool, thanks! I'm definitely into the slimmer Jazz nut width.

    Is it slimmer in depth as well? Would it be described as D-shape, C-shape, or a slim C-shape for a Fender nerd?
     
  4. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    It's not only skinny at the nut like a Jazz, it's even skinnier up the neck than a Jazz. Upper-register playing is a breeze.
     
  5. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Toronto
    Hammersmith Music
    Yeah - it's 1.5" at the nut and 2.25" at the heel - a full 1/4" slimmer where it meets the body.
     
  6. Corythosaurus

    Corythosaurus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 18, 2012
    New York City
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    Interesting. Thanks for the great info guys.

    I'm also wondering what the neck depth is (is that what you would call it?). Does the neck feel flat/rounded/normal when compared to a jazz?
     
  7. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    Too bad you're not in Chicago, I'd let you borrow mine. Narrow at the nut, similar to a Jazz, but MarkoYYZ is right. It tapers very little from nut to body. It's the most unique feeling of any of my basses. Plays well, sounds very good. Looks like a solid rockin bass. I just have too many favorites already. I traded a Dean Edge fretless for it and feel like I got the better end of the bargain...


    I do think my neck is closer to a C than a D shape, but since it's so narrow anyway, it;'s not chunky at all. for such a big bass, the neck feels small, almost dainty. To me it doesnt match what I imagined a TBird neck would be.

    Hope you can find one.

    My neck and bridge were easy to adjust. Well, the goofy three point bridge/tailpiece actually pulled one of the anchors out of the body when I was setting it up initially... but I put a few drops of superglue in and pressed it back into the body. No problem since.
     
  8. Andy Sivyer

    Andy Sivyer

    Sep 11, 2013
    kent england
    The pro iv is a great bass but its being replaced with the classic pro which has the 3 point bridge and original Gibson pickups the pro iv is active so is more versatile in tonal range than the other tbirds and has a sort of badass type bridge lots easier for resting on when pick playing. I have a trans black one. Its neck is very slim width and depth wise much easier than any other bass i've had. So easy for upper register access and very fast. Go for it and get one can be picked second hand for a good price I paid £150 with shipping for mine.
     
  9. Scottkarch

    Scottkarch

    Sep 11, 2012
    Chicago
    Yeah... Look secondhand. They don't seem to move fast out here. You may get a really great deal on one.
     
  10. Corythosaurus

    Corythosaurus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 18, 2012
    New York City
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    Wow! That's a pretty sweet deal.

    I'm indeed looking at the "Pro-IV" with active EQ, as opposed to the "Classic-IV Pro." That versatility you mentioned, Andy, is exactly why. I also might put in an active/passive switch if possible, to get more old-school Tbird tones, too. The modern bridge is also a huge plus.

    It seems that the "Pro-IV" and "Classic-IV Pro" even have different neck tapers on the Epi website. They're both listed at 1.5" nut width, but one has a "SlimTaper" profile and the other has a "1960s rounded bass profile" - so much for standardization!

    I did not realize they were getting replaced - maybe the Thunderbird market wasn't looking for a modern-sounding bass?

    I'm lurking eBay for this... still trying to decide between the Natural and Sunburst finishes. Apparently SB has a gloss finish and Natural has satin... another odd product line difference!
     
  11. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    The neck on mine is rounder than a Fender. I like it better for that reason. I didn't like the way the active electronics worked, so I yanked them and installed Alumatone bass bars, and oddly enough, the sound hasn't changed much. It still sounds scooped and modern, but I think I can control it a bit better. (Placebo? Probably.) I like the neck very much, especially since the frets got yanked. It's very easy to play as a fretless, since everything is so easy to reach. It makes intonation far easier.
     
  12. Corythosaurus

    Corythosaurus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 18, 2012
    New York City
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    Sounds like a cool instrument, Gaolee. What electronics did you end up putting in, a different active preamp, or just passive controls?

    What finish do you have? I'm trying to get a feel for what the "natural oil" neck would be like.
     
  13. bassmachine2112

    bassmachine2112

    Mar 23, 2008
    Pro 1V is a great bass now if they had put the gibson pups in and an active/passive switch then it would be perfect.
    Still very happy with my pro1V though the classic sounds good to.
    Deal breaker is the bridge and they don,t do black
     
  14. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I was asleep! I went all passive. It is in about the third iteration of controls, since I'm avoiding putting any switches in it. The wiring will probably end up like a stack-knob Jazz, but I haven't had much time to do the rewire. The shop is semi-demolished right now, so I haven't had a place to work on it, either. It will probably get done next month sometime.

    It is whatever they call the dark tobacco burst finish. It's clearly thick poly. The finish is chipped in a couple places, and you can see how thick it is. I took some Scotchbrite to the back of the neck to knock down the gloss, but the front stays good and shiny. The one detail I haven't figured out is pickup rings.
     
  15. rockscott

    rockscott

    Aug 28, 2010
    massachusetts
    I have a 2010 pro 4, up for sale. Natural oil,tusq nut, pro fret dressing, epiphone case. Short money for a very nice bass!
     
  16. Andy Sivyer

    Andy Sivyer

    Sep 11, 2013
    kent england
    The trans black ones are nice and the sunburst looks great want one of them.I don't get on with natural finishes .there is a black one in a case for sale in the states on eBay over here for about £200 plus quite a few others try one somehow promise you will want it so bad there is room for a switch in the cavity as is routed for top jack output and 3 pot layout as well 5 rounds show with back plate off and has a seperate battery compartment looked at a classic pro iv a day or two ago and neck is deeper and didn't feel as fast want a sunburst pro iv while can still get them. There's a picture of mine in the thunderbird club thread last couple of pages. Have a look
     
  17. Corythosaurus

    Corythosaurus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 18, 2012
    New York City
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    I'm considering the same (pending the actual purchase!). Thanks a ton for the info. I wonder if the wood mix is ultimately responsible for that scooped tone.

    Sounds cool! I replied to you over on that thread.

    I think the natural vs. sunburst decision for me is going to come down to however I get the best deal. I love seeing the wood grain on basses. It's definitely odd that they released two basses in the same model that would have such a difference in neck feel, though.
     
  18. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Masybe it does, but I'm not convinced. The poly is good and thick. I hadn't used Bass Bars on anything else, so I didn't know what to expect for tone from them. It may be partly due to where the pickups are, too. A Jazz sounds naturally more scooped than a Precision, so there might be some of that going on. I still have the stock pickups. I understand that they work just fine as passive pickups, but I never tried it. When the battery died, the bass made no noise. That's one of the reasons I yanked out the active circuit, aside from liking passive controls better.
     

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