First Week with a Thunderbird - A FSO Fan's Review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eon Sky, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. Eon Sky

    Eon Sky Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Pacific Northwest
    Last week I picked up this extremely gently used 2008 Gibson Thunderbird.

    They were always on my "radar" but toward the bottom of it, for a number of reasons that I wanted to talk about. I thought about posting this in the Thunderbird club, but I'm sure the kind folks over there already know what I now know, and I wanted to talk about it from the perspective of someone who initially had a little more negative bias toward something that isn't a Fender shaped object.

    Most of my impressions of these basses before trying one were based off of my own Gibson bass guitar experience. My first bass was a 1970's EB-3 that I bought from a friend's dad in 1997 when I was learning how to play. I still have it, but it hasn't seen very much playing time at all because in my mind it occupies the space of being a "neck-diving, unwieldy boat anchor of a fart machine". It colored my opinion of Gibson basses and it definitely colored my opinion of short scale basses. I liked it for what it was (and because I didn't know any better) and hated it for not being a Fender Jazz bass.

    But what I didn't really ever stop to consider until recently is that I was also 16 when I bought it. Well...when my parents bought it and I slowly paid them back. I was at my daughter's high school spring concert a few weeks ago and the jazz band had a bass player around 15 or 16 playing a Fender Jazz bass. And it sounded like an unwieldy "fart machine". So you learning how to play maybe don't bring out the best tone in an instrument (he played very well, by the way. Gymnasium acoustics are friends to no musician). So I bought the T-Bird, despite my past experiences telling me it was going to be more of everything I didn't like.

    Neck dive: Nonexistent. The bass balances extremely well.

    Boat anchor: Nah. Maybe 9 pounds tops and feels extremely comfortable on the shoulder.

    Unwieldy: The top strap button on the back of the bass versus the upper horn took all of five minutes to get used to. Not an issue. Also? The neck has way more in common with a Jazz bass neck than I thought it would. I was shocked at how narrow it is, in a good way.

    "Fart machine": Not likely. Wide range of tones, many many compliments from the rest of the guys in my band.

    Bottom line: Sorry, Gibson. I was unfair to you. I should probably pull that EB-3 out of the case and see how it sounds now that I have 23 years of experience instead of 2-3 months.
    Qlanq, blacktocomm, Corigan and 3 others like this.
  2. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph Supporting Member

    Very Nice !!!
    If you want, post it here (if not done yet) and come over to the dark side.... we don't have cookies, but we have lots of thunderbirds !!

    Thunderbird Club
    Eon Sky likes this.
  3. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Reading your thoughts makes me smile, even though it's stuff I've known for a long time it always pleases me to read about someone's pleasant discovery, congratulations on your new Thunderbird!
    Eon Sky likes this.
  4. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka Yes, I act just like this in person. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019

    welcome to the club..


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
    blacktocomm and Eon Sky like this.
  5. 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.

    Jul 26, 2021

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