Gibson SG Bass VS. Gibson Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Basstreble, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Basstreble


    Dec 28, 2012
    Hey guys! I'm looking to buy a new bass. I've been trying to decide between the SG Bass and Thunderbird bass. I like them both but it's hard for me to decide. I play anything from Rock, Funk, Indie, Alt, worship, and jazz. I'm not too tall and my fingers are a bit short but it doesn't affect me too much. Please give me your opinion on which one you like more, or if you don't like either of them. Thank you!
  2. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Kind of an apples and oranges thing going on with those 2 basses. Different pickups and scale lengths, wildly different sounds. Neither of those basses are well suited for funk or jazz, IMO.
  3. lolmont


    Jan 2, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    SG bass I think is good for Rock and Indie and for sure classic rock like 60s stuff.
  4. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    The t Bird is a long bass. It does have a unique growl. From the 4 Seasons to the Runaways and beyond.
  5. IronLung1986


    May 19, 2010
    Exeter, NH
    i think the thunderbird is a better all-purpose choice. they both have the neckdive issue so thankfully that's out of the discussion. the SG bass is really cool and i've always wanted one but i do feel like the t-bird is going to give you a more useful sound for modern and old-school styles.
  6. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Love the SG neck but hate the overall feel. However, it's been so long since I shouldered a Thunderbird (reverse) that I don't remember. So why am I even posting? Dunno.
  7. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    I know the T-Bird has it, but are you really sure the SG RI has neck dive? Not all Gibsons have that. My Gibson EB-0 doesn't have it at all. I'd actually like to know this info because I was thinking seriously of getting an SG RI.
  8. DrSpunkwater


    Sep 17, 2012
    The SG has neck dive, but not much. If you're looking to play a wide range of genres, and you're really committed to getting a Gibson bass, I'd probably go with a Thunderbird.
  9. rockscott


    Aug 28, 2010
    Both are nice basses, i do think the Thunderbird is more versatile! The epiphone pro 4 is active, this expands the tonel range substantially over passive birds.
  10. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I love the SG shape but I find the tone to be generally woolly and the short scale tends to throw me off.
  11. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    I'd vote for the Thunderbird. I have played both, and found the Thunderbird to be slightly less undefined and muddy than any EBO/3
  12. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I vote Thunderbird, but they are long basses!
  13. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    You want to stand out and with instant stage presence? Go with a Gibson Tbird.

  14. That's my SGRI in my av.
    I get fond looks from the moment I open the case. Point being, I think either bass will elicit the desired response ;)

    I use mine on everything from rock to ambient, psychedelic blues & pop. Last time we recorded, I used it in a blind taste test vs. a vintage P bass. Everyone preferred the SG.

    Slap some tapewounds on & you're good to go!
  15. The SG, neck-dive, does it?


    As you can see, I've relocated the strap lock from the back to the top horn - this seems to solve the problem.

    I owned an SG since before Christmas. It is like an pair of old comfortable slippers. At first the tonal range can appear limited, but I use a BOSS GEB-7 to shape the tone before the signal goes to the DI, this results in a huge range if tones, mainly by boosting at 4khz and cutting at 500hz.

    The SG is also the best bass that I've played with a pick. It retains its thundering lows but starts to growl in the mids - wonderful tone.

    The only downside to my mind, is if you are playing finger-style very close to the neck - things can get very cramped indeed.
  16. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    I have an Epiphone EB-3, which is different than the SG but close enough, and I must say that the difference in tone between pick-style and finger style is amazing. Much fuller with the pick. Tone change without touching a knob.
  17. Absolutely. Whereas with my P, J or Ray the tone hollows out with a pick (well with the Ray I boost the bass and cut treble) with the SG the tone looses none of its thickness and really thumps.
  18. mtdmind


    Apr 17, 2012
    are they 34" scale basses?
  19. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
  20. DrSpunkwater


    Sep 17, 2012
    Nice solution. I thought about doing the same thing. Does the strap button stay nice and tight in the horn like that?