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Gibson Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kingurth, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. I'm considering getting a new bass soon. This'll be my first "real" bass (the only one I have now is a cheap P-bass ripoff made by SX). So far I like the Gibson basses the best, namely the Les Paul and Thunderbird IV. But since the Gibsons are expensive, I'd probably go with Epiphone instead.

    But now on to my question...does anyone own any of these basses? Or any Gibson bass at all? And can anyone recommend which one would be better, or give me any reason why I shouldn't buy any of these, or perhaps suggest a better bass?

    I want a good bass that's NOT the Fender P-bass, because frankly I'm not a big fan of it.
  2. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    I was at a shop yesterday playing a Peavey Cirrus. Gosh, that's a nice bass!

    I had to go office and was heading out the door when a double-cutaway Gibson LesPaul in the Cherryburst stopped me in my tracks. I wish I had time to play it because that bass was really pretty looking. Nut width looks to be about the same as a (sorry) Fender Precision.

    Being the owner of a MIA Precision I'm of the opinion that every bassist could have a use for one in his arsenal. They don't do a lot, but what they do, they do very well. YMMV

    It's funny, I've always had a bias against the Gibsons because of my band days when the bassist used an EB-3 "mud" bass.

    A more versatile axe is the Jazz, or maybe a Lakland Skyline 44-01.
  3. Go tho the store try stuff out judge by the feel of the bass if you like the tone, playability, look then go for it. All the copies tend to be hit or miss if you like the real thing the copy may disappoint you then again sometimes the copies can be better.

    anyway ive said this to say it takes time to find the right bass for you or any other gear for that matter take your time and enjoy whatever you end up getting.
  4. +1! Always get out there and try basses out. Then you'll get a better idea of sound and feel. Hard to do that with just written descriptions, although it's good to ask opinions, too. I had a G-3 way back when, and loved it. Lots of punch. A friend of mine has a "Ripper" and it's got REAL punch to it!
    What's your price range and music style?
  5. I don't really have a specific price range. Of course I don't want to spend a whole lot, but I also want a good, solid bass that I like and that'll last me a long time.

    As for my music style, I mostly play rock of all sorts, but recently I started dabbling around in jazz and blues.
  6. A Gibson Thunderbird can be had used for $1200-1400, if your lucky less than $1000. They are great basses, dont be fooled by the Gibson stereotype.
  7. What's this "Gibson stereotype" you speak of?
  8. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I think its basically the stereotype that their basses suck.

    Man, I love the Tbird body shape...
  9. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I love my T-bird. One of the best basses I own. I'd suggest saving your pennies & getting a 'real' Gibson if that's the direction you're leaning in. Epi's arent bad, but I feel that it'll just leave you wanting.

    But be warned - Gibson's QC sucks. I had to do almost $200 of work to my T-bird when it arrived from the Gibson factory. Sad indeed, but it is a great bass.
  10. Personally, I have no experience with Gibson basses. I do own an Epiphone Flying V bass. This bass kicks ass. It is slightly neck heavy, but that is okay considering the look and the playability.

    The only complaint I had with this bass was with the bridge. Gibson uses a 3-point bridge that screws into the body and allows the bridge to float over the bass. Kinda cool, but if it comes loose from the body, then it sucks. But, not too difficult to fix. Cost me $15 to have my shop fix it (Gibson's authorized repair shop was 2 hours from where I live, that would've cost me more in gas then it would've been worth to have it fixed for free!).

    Definitely play before you buy.
  11. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    i think one for the stereo types that they are know for is how muddy they can be, i mean really muddy. i almost sold my epiphone viola (yesterday actually) cuz no one ever wants me to play it due to how muddy it sounds.

    how ever i have always liked the gibson t-bird. it just looks so cool. my bro wants to get the epiphone version.
    for me the gibson is a bit to expencive for my taste tho. same goes for their guitars:meh: the gibson is 3X as much as the epiphone counter part.

    can't go wrong with a fender P or J bass :D
  12. Gotta admit; that's the problem I had with the G-3, but I was younger and didn't understand the nuances of the proper amplification and settings and stuff. I wish I still had it now and I could try it out with newer gear that's a lot cleaner!
  13. One thing to note about the T-Bird, is that it tends to be neck heavy. This is a general problem with reverse body styles and the long headstock does not help. This may bother some players more than others but it is one reason why it is good to try instruments both sitting and standing and also to take your time when trying them out. Sometimes a bass that feels great at first does not feel so good after a while. I have learned this the hard way once or twice over the years.

  14. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    That stereotype comes from the old EB series basses with the "mudbucker" at the neck. Gibson has made many basses over the years that are anything but muddy. Thunderbirds for one.

    I have two '76 Tbirds and an '87 "IV", which is a Fender shaped instrument, but mahogany set neck with TB Plus pickups. The IV is basically a Tbird shaped something like a Fender. They are all great sounding and playing instruments.

    The neck dive on a Tbird can be eliminated by moving the strap button from the upper horn to the back of the neck heel.

    My advice is to look for a used Gibson instead of a new Epiphone. I would avoid a new Gibson unless you can inspect it first. I've heard too many stories of bad QC from people who bought online. Older ones seem to have better QC.
  15. the gibson les paul bass is one hell of a sexy bass
  16. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    The 1985 Gibson Explorer at a local GC is awesome.

    That's about it for me complimenting Gibson basses, though, but I haven't played too many to flat out diss them.

    The Epi basses suck though... explorer & V.

    at least for me.
  17. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    you can pick up a Les Paul for 600-700 or so (sometimes less) on ebay. they're great sounding basses, they play well and they look cool, too. I bought one for my son so he could have his own Gibson and it's become one of my favorites to play. it has a wide range of tone, too. not muddy at all.
  18. marwady

    marwady Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Northern Michigan
    If you can find a good used Ripper, go for it. I have a '73 and it is a monster. Here's one on the 'bay:

  19. I have the Epiphone Flying V and Explorer basses, and they are really total opposites of each other. The Flying V has a shorter scale neck which I just can't get used to while the Explorer feels like it is about six feet long! Both look great, sound good, but play only OK (of the two, I prefer the Explorer). In the end, I find myself sticking with my Rick and Fender at gig time, but the V and Explorer do provide a great visual effect.

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