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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rob Martinez, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Anyone out there have a chance to test drive the Gibson Thunderbird Studio Bass (4 string OR 5 stiring)? Curious, as I have not seen one here in my town! ANY feedback would be appreciated!!!
  2. This has to be the 5th or 6th thread about these basses. It seems that nobody has tried one EVER.:crying:
  3. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah! What's up with that? In fact, I've only seen it in a couple of Muscian's Friend catalogs; then even they stopped advertizing them. Gezz, I was really curious about these basses, especially the 5 string.

  4. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    me too.

  5. Hey Guys, I actually own the T-Bird 5......for tonight, the thing goes back tomorrow. And here are the reasons why. For the truly curious, here is what I ran it through: Eden WT-800, Eden 210XLT, SWR Big Ben, Monster Bass Cable. No lack of bottom ability from the rig :).

    1. Finish, finish finish. You keep hearing it, and it's still true, especially here in Canada. You think you've got finish issues in the States? Try coming to Canada, I work at L&M in Calgary and see every Gib that comes in, so sad.

    2. Does anyone at Gibson actually check out these instruments before they go out the door? My inspection card has a straight line through all the check boxes, no individual checks. This would indicate to me that one guy just looked at it, briefly, and ran his pen through it.

    I removed the pickups to try and fix a slant issue (bridge PU was leaning backwards), and lo and behold, the area where the adjustment screws go into the body was cracked in half, on both sides, on both pickups. Pre-drilling? Who knows if they even did it.

    The truss rod. What a nightmare. First of all, hard to adjust as it was so close to the headstock wood. Secondly, the truss rod when well adjusted rattles like a loose tuning head. So annoying, and not easily fixed. Again, no attention to the most basic elements of setup.

    3. Sound: I have to admit, G through E were nice and warm, if a bit muddy, which was also not helped by the inability to set the neck without truss rod rattle. The ceramic humbuckers are pretty nice, at least for those strings. The B, on the other hand, had the weakest sound I've heard in a while. The balance was completly out, and no matter what I tried I couldn't make it sound good.

    Here's an example: While playing a simple open B power chord (B,F#,B) I could hardly hear the low B, the E had great tone, as did the B. But what's the point of a 5 string? Low B of course.

    So, a bad example, or a bad bass in general? I don't really know, although with pickups being a problem it could easily be the whole line that has issues.

    I'm gonna try that BTB Prestige 1205 I passed up to get this bass. Hopefully that one will grab me and not let go.
  6. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Not surprising. Gibson basses have lagged behind the competition for years. And, like Fender, Gibson quality control in the sub $1500 category is questionable.

    That being said, I love Les Pauls and ES 335's and Flying V's and Explorers. My guitar player has a beautiful Explorer that sounds killer, but he had to to send it back shortly after he received it because the electronics and pickup selector switch were NOT SOLDERED PROPERLY and shorted out.

    If I pay $1000+ for an axe, the damn thing better be sweet right out of the box with no issues aside from tweaking it to my playing style.
  7. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    How sad to hear the New Studio T-Bird is a flop. Little reason why they suddenly appeared then just as abruptly disappeared. Oh well.

    Say BassJr, don't think you can go wrong with that BTB Prestige 1205 as long as you can handle the stretch (35" scale, wide fingerboard). Classy bass, no doubt.

  8. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    i played a standard gibson thunderbird yesterday, it was TERRIBLE considering it was a bass costing over 1k.

    the epiphone thunderbird actually looked nicer than the gibson did, and they sounded quite similar(and the epiphone was less muddy).

    the only 3 reasons i liked the gibson were because it had a strap button on the back(less neck dive), a side jack(looks better :D), and is set neck(makes it feel like a better bass:D)