Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Vs Classic Pro

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tyohars, May 13, 2021.

  1. Vintage Pro

    32 vote(s)
  2. Classic Pro

    7 vote(s)
  1. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    So, I'm going to buy an Epiphone for my next purchase. It's going to be a Jack Casady, or Thunderbird. I already researching about JC. So now, I need an information about the Thunderbirds. I know the vintage pro have a vintage looks and other. But the classic pro have a Gibson pickup and still use rosewood. From financial PoV, the vintage pro is the best purchase, or it has a flaw so they're cheaper (oh, there's still a NOS here for vintage pro).
  2. RayWithFlats


    Mar 22, 2020
    on the 1
    You’ll get all the information you need if you ask in this thread...

    Thunderbird Club

    ... I think a few members have both so they’d be able to do a direct comparison for you. Good luck with the search!
    Goatrope, Border and KaraQ like this.
  3. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O)))) Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd take the VP over even a current Gibson. Really it depends on what sound you're going for. The Classic Pro, with the ceramic pickups like the post-88 Gibson Thunderbirds, is much darker, throatier, and more modern sounding than the VP and older Thunderbirds with Alnico humbuckers. Some people really like the sound of the ceramic pickups, and it certainly has its place. I have both a Gibson and the VP, and I'm going to reach for the VP 9 out of 10 times, as I like the wider tonal range and clarity in the highs and upper mids of the Alnico humbuckers, and use the Gibson only if asked or going for something different. I like the Gibson and the ceramics, don't get me wrong, it's just not usually the sound I'm going for, and I find the VP far more useful.
    lowdownthump, MCF, Instagator and 3 others like this.
  4. KaraQ


    Apr 19, 2020
    Sacramento, CA
    I have both also, and they definitely have a different sound.
    The Classic Pro, being darker, I run with the neck p/u only, to make it even more so. The Vintage Pro is...brighter? I guess, sounds like the '60s Thunderbirds.

    As for physically, and the way they play, they're nearly identical.

  5. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    If I'm already use active JBass, so which one compliment it better?
  6. KaraQ


    Apr 19, 2020
    Sacramento, CA
    Well, I'm no expert on J-basses, but I would think the Classic Pro would be more different, tonally.

    But I'm sure someone with more J-bass experience will stop by to help out :)
    Goatrope likes this.
  7. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    I’ve got a 2018 Gibson. The first thing I did to it was install Alnico pickups, and they’re definitely clearer, with more crisp highs, without losing the mid bark. Definitely more usable for me. So this would equate to the V Pro.

    In terms of complimenting a Jazz Bass, either could do that for you, depending on how much contrast you’d prefer. Classic would be a greater contrast. Is that the “compliment” you seek? Darker sound? If you’re looking for a closer sound to the Jazz, the Vintage will take you closer, but never identical.

    Before my Thunderbird, I’d switch between a Jazz and a PBass all night. Now I play the Thunderbird all night. It’s got enough flexibility to do it all.

    As a side note, I find it harder and harder to play my Jazz with the band anymore. It just can’t achieve the same sonic coverage as the TBird. YMMV.
    KaraQ, MCF and superdick2112 like this.
  8. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    Yes by compliment I mean darker sound. I'm thorn between those two . So, did the VP worth almost $200 more?
  9. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Classic will be darker sounding, like my Gibson was before I put the Lollars in it.

    I don’t know pricing, but if the VP is indeed $200 more, it would be worth it to me, since I wouldn’t need to spend the $200 replacing the pups.
    BeyondFiredUp likes this.
  10. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    Yeah, its north of $200 price difference. Almost 250ish tbh here. I read bad things about ceramic pickup, is that really bad?
    MCF likes this.
  11. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I've had both.
    Really liked the Classic Pro but the Vintage Pro is in a class all its own.
    Nicest T-bird neck I've ever played, rolled fret edges feel great, and very versatile tone.
    Got mine new for $100 off.
    No need for a Gibson with this one.
    Other than that, my VP has a rosewood fretboard.
    Have they changed recently?
  12. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Not bad, different. Maybe if someone is expecting clear crisp highs, they’d be disappointed. Otherwise, it’s a totally usable tone, favored by many over the years.
    MCF likes this.
  13. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    Yeah, they changed to indian laurel recently. That's what make me unsure.

    How'd they stand for pop band?
    jd56hawk likes this.
  14. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Didn't know that.
    Mine sat in the store for a year or more...I was lucky.
    They changed the name, too...Thunderbird 60s Bass.
    MCF likes this.
  15. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    My Vintage Pro has become my new #1, covering duties previously handled by my 2 Precisions, 4 Jazz Basses and my Spector USA NS-4.
    Very close to a vintage '60s era Gibson T-Bird, but at a fraction of the price. They have outstanding playability & build quality.
    Mine needed a full setup when it arrived, but so has practically every bass I've ever owned.
    Johnny Crab, Goatrope and MCF like this.
  16. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    The Gibson Tbird+ pickups in a CP are great, but different. As for “bad things” about ceramic pickups, hogwash. That may be true of a cheap $20 set off EBay, but quality ceramic pickups are used by Pros all over the world who prefer the sound from them. It’s a matter of preference.
    Goatrope, KaraQ and jd56hawk like this.
  17. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Decided to take mine out of the case and play it today.
    Wow, still surprised at how nice it is!
  18. butterfingers1


    Apr 22, 2019
    Not on your list, but the Epiphone Embassy has the same Probucker pickups, fewer ergonomic issues, and less expensive.
    BillMason and Lowbgalaxy777 like this.
  19. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    Vintage Pro.
    I've a Fender P and Fender Geddy. One or the other gets taken out with the Epi Vintage Pro and they both do the gig work they fit(with the band).
    IEM setup 2018.jpg
    lowdownthump and Border like this.
  20. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    I'm leaning on the CP more now I guess...
    Yeah, but I'm looking for looker lol. I've got all I need from my Sire V7, so an embassy is a big no
    thank you for your input!
    Engle likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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