Gibson 2021 Non Reverse Thunderbird - A short review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TBird1958, Aug 20, 2021.

  1. TBird1958

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

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Long awaited by some, the new Gibson Non Reverse Thunderbird is now out and available, and I have to say it does not disappoint! These basses feature a set neck neck construction, new Hipshot clover tuners, new pickups and chrome hardware throughout. My example came from the folks at Sweetwater, it was nicely set up with low action and was ready to play afetr being tuned up. Some notable differences would be the neck, it's quite a bit beefier than a standard Reverse Thunderbird, with the thickness of the wood increased to 11/16th at the headstock. Post '88 Reverse Birds are 9/16ths and '76s just a shade over 1/2". I have yet to take this bass apart to look at the pickups, they do not sound like any of the previous (5) versions of pickups Gibson has used in Thunderbirds since 1988, they're warm and growly with a nice punch to them, soloing the neck pup is bliss!
    Gibson gets slagged for QC often but I've found this bass to be really well done, with nice attention to detail in the finish, especially around the base of the neck, but overall as well. The fret ends are very neatly done with no sprout at all, it's just a good, solid player. It uses a 3 point bridge which some folks don't like....Yada, yada... it works really well on this bass, it's shallow neck pitch and the bridge get along quite well and as I mentioned the action is quite low, and aesthetically it looks like it belongs on the bass.
    Anyway, its a very solid and well made bass, so far I'm really enjoying playing it and its tone, a keeper for sure!

    Here's a few pics.


    A down on of the headstock, quite a bit thicker here.


    Nicely finished overall.



    A properly set up 3 Point, not all that hard as long as you're at least as smart as the thing you're working on!

    A bit of Youtube, please excuse my rather pedestrian playing! If you FF to 3:45 I do talk about it some more.

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
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  2. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Not sure how my post landed in this thread, it’s been moved to the Thunderbird club where it belongs.

    BTW - love that new NR bird and all three colors it comes in!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
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  3. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Great looking bass and nice review!
    leftybass54, petch and TBird1958 like this.
  4. Great review ( and a lovely looking bass )
    leftybass54 and TBird1958 like this.
  5. Is there any neck dive when playing with a strap?
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  6. TBird1958

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

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Nope, it hangs about like an FSO. I actually meant to post a shot of me standing with the bass - will do so later today!
    leftybass54, MCF, Iristone and 3 others like this.
  7. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Sharp bass. Love the color. Glad Gibson seemed to get this one right!
  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    That looks badass. I was just staring at the Pelham one the other day.
    I like that they don't forget to paint the headstock like some brands.
    Rock it!
  9. Planespotter


    Oct 11, 2015
    Looks like Gibson hit it out of the park here. I love the color too. Congratulations on the new axe!!
    leftybass54, Iristone and TBird1958 like this.
  10. ERMAL


    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    Awesome bird and review. Plus, you can’t go wrong (with my personal favorite), The Smithereens, to show off the bass. Great playing! Keep on rocking’!
  11. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass.

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Great review! Both you and the bass sound great!
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  12. bigcupholder


    Aug 17, 2020
    It's weird that the bridge is so far from the end of the body. Does it balance worse than the usual thunderbird?
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Sweetwater shows no reverse Gibson Thunderbirds, although Gibson's web page still has them.
    TBird1958 likes this.
  14. Barton Lee

    Barton Lee Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2018
    Sweetwater has them but they're pre-order for later delivery, same with CME.
    Gaolee likes this.
  15. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    Wow, that T-Bird is stunning! Thank you for posting a vid. There aren't a ton of recent Gibson bass uploads on YT these days. I hope it brings you many years of happiness!
    leftybass54, Gaolee, RedVee and 3 others like this.
  16. Nico_RD


    Apr 9, 2021
    Thanks for the review. Such a nice finish for the bass and neat playing. Thank you for sharing!
    TBird1958 likes this.
  17. littlebun


    Nov 16, 2004
    I've been looking at that bass for a while. It's an interesting bass. I like the look.
    TBird1958 likes this.
  18. NoSlapForYou


    Jan 9, 2019
    Durham, NC
    11/16th is probably too thick a neck for me (though that can depend on the neck profile as well). But it certainly does look beautiful.
    leftybass54 likes this.
  19. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    I think 11/16" refers to the thickness of the headstock itself. I'm curious on the depth of the neck at the 1st fret. I like a good bit 'o chunk in that area myself.
  20. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    The previous NR reissue (2012?) had a much more pronounce volute. I wonder why they went back to the "almost none" volute? From the photos, it look like maybe the fit-and-finish is improved over the earlier reissues as well.
    Goatrope and TBird1958 like this.