Recently I had the chance to trade my '58 Reissue Fender Precision for a 2008 Gibson Thunderbird and I must admit I was nervous about the idea based on the negative comments I've read online. People seem to either love or hate Thunderbirds, and the internet is full of comments about how awful they are (other than how they look). Plus my Precision was an excellent bass other than the too-large (for me) neck which is the only reason I considered trading it. But after trying the Gibson in person I decided to go for it, and below is my take on some of the negative opinions often expressed about the TBird. -Neck Dive. Mine has no neck dive at all. In fact my '58 Precision, with its light body and large neck, had more neck dive than the TBird. -Neck size. Small/thin/narrow, feels even slightly smaller than my Fender Jazz. Similar in size to a MusicMan Sterling Classic I used to own, but the TBird neck feels much more stable than the MM neck did. -Upper fret access. Yes, this is a problem, but not as bad as I had expected. No issues up to 18 frets, but 19 and 20 do take a bit of acrobatics to play effectively. If you noodle in the upper register a lot you might not like this bass. -Action. The action was low when I got it and it played beautifully. No fret buzz whatsoever. No dead spots either. You could set the action as low as you wanted on this bass with no issues. -Bridge. I found many negative comments online about the 3-point bridge. I changed the strings and set the intonation after getting the bass and I found the bridge easy to work with. Just make sure the bass is lying flat when you change the strings. I also read about poor sustain with the 3-point bridge, but my TBird sustains wonderfully. The set radius is simpler to work with than individual saddles (Fender and fender-style bridges), although it does limit the variety of adjustment you can do. -Weight. Mine is very light, I'm guessing around 8 pounds. -Long reach to lower frets. Due to the lack of an upper horn and the resulting strap button placement on the neck heel it is a longer reach to the lower frets. The reach on my MusicMan Sterling was similar and it did/does not bother me, but I could see it being a bother for some. -Body "Tilt." Because of the placement of the strap button on the neck heel the top of the bass does tend to tilt away from your body a bit. If you like/need to see the fretboard when you play this could be a problem, but if you only need to see the fret markers it is not an issue. To be honest I do not notice it. -Comfort/Playability. I was worried about this one, but surprisingly I find the TBird to be as comfortable to play as my Fender Jazz and Precision basses. It does feel different, but not uncomfortable. My right arm rests perfectly on the top of the TBird "tail" and the balance and light weight make it easy to play for extended periods of time. Once you get used to the fretboard being shifted a bit to the left you are good to go. The lack of easy access to the 19th/20th frets is the only drawback I see in the TBird's playability from an ergonomic perspective. One thing I would add is that this is not a slapper's bass. It can be done, but other basses I have owned (Jazz, Precision, MusicMan, Ken Smith Burner) do much better for that style. -Sound. One of the most common online comments is about the TBird being a one-dimensional, rock-only, pick-style bass. People also complain about it being "muddy" or "boomy." When I initially tried the bass through my GK 700RBII it did sound bass heavy and somewhat undefined, enough so that I thought I had made a mistake with the trade. But once I figured out that the sweet spot for fingerstyle is above the bridge pickup the resulting sound was growly and defined with a perfect amount of bass. Using a pick up by the fretboard with both pickups full on produces an excellent Phil Lesh sort of sound. Rolling the neck pickup off slightly produces a jaco-ish tone and rolling the bridge pickup off slightly produces a P-ish tone. Volume balance between strings and upper/lower registers is excellent, and after recording several sound samples between the TBird and my Jazz I must admit I like the TBird sound better. It will not do the Carole Kaye palm mute w/ a pick thing as well as a Precision, but it will do it. I find the range of available sounds similar to my Jazz except that the TBird humbuckers are "meatier" if that makes any sense. One surprise is how good it sounds with flats. I had a set of TI Jazz Flats lying around so I put them on and it absolutely kills! IMO the TBird sounds better with the TIs than either my Jazz or Precision, I was very surprised and do not see myself going back to rounds on this bass anytime soon. Quality Control. Mine is an absolute beauty with no QC issues whatsoever. Excellent attention to detail throughout. Anyway sorry for what has become quite a long message, but hopefully this will help anyone considering a TBird with their decision. Honestly I was worried about trading a tried and true bass for one that is a bit more unusual, but I am happy I did. The truth is the TBird is definitely a different creature than a P or J, but it is worth considering for anyone looking for something unique/different. I think most people who have not tried one would be pleasantly surprised, I know I was!