Gibson Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Warwick0239, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. I like the way the Gibson thunderbird looks but i heard Gibson basses were crap. anyone have one or played one?
  2. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Don't believe everything you hear. SOME Gibsons aren't that good (EB-0 for example), but the Thunderbird is a very good bass. I have a '76 T-bird that is a great bass. The Ripper and Grabber models were pretty good, too. Play one yourself and decide for yourself. A lot of the people who claim Gibson basses aren't good have never even played one, they are just repeating what they've heard others say.

    Here is a picture my T-bird:

  3. nivagues


    Jan 18, 2002
    One of the nicest looking/sounding axes you can get!!!!!

    (except for StingRays & J Basses of course) :p :p

  4. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I've never played one but see them every now and then on TV. Don't particularily like the body shape, but hey, that a matter of taste. Doesn't that shape make the bass neck heavy though?
  5. nivagues


    Jan 18, 2002
    You can get an extender for the upper strap button to prevent neck-dive.

    Cheers :cool:
  6. the only negative thing i heard about it was that the neck was a bit heavy.
    I think that the bassist of system of a down plays a T-bird!
  7. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    I will say that the neck dive is terrible on thunderbirds, but it's not irreconcilable -- I moved the front strap button down to the neck joint and now the bass balances very well. (I don't know why Gibson/Epiphone position the button where they do...seems kind of stupid to me)

    I picked up my Epiphone Thunderbird for about $200 and I'd definitely do it again, as it's a decent sounding/playing instrument. Especially now that I've moved the front strap button. As far as Gibson TBs go, I'd definitely play it before I bought it -- from my experience, Gibson instruments (guitars, too) are very hit-or-miss. Their quality control isn't the greatest... I'd suggest picking up a used Gibson TB if you decide you like them. I find them to be a very good bass for rock.
  8. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    system of a down use gibsons extensively in recording and shavo uses a tbird live too.

    thassal i know...i want a white t-bird like twiggys.
  9. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You must be kidding... you really think the Epiphone is a good bass, but the Gibsons aren't? Sorry to tell you, but the Gibsons are far superior to the Epiphones. In fact, the only thing the two have in common is the shape. They are two very different basses. The Epiphone has an alder body with a bolt on maple neck, while the Gibson has a 9 piece neck-through of mahogony and walnut, with mahogany body wings. The construction, materials, and workmanship on the Gibson are far superior to the Epiphone. I'll take a "bad" Gibson over a good Epi any day of the week.
  10. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    No, no, no -- I was never saying that Epiphones are better than Gibson!:eek:

    That's crazy talk...

    I guess the point was, Gibsons are significantly more expensive than Epiphones -- so I was just warning anyone interested in plopping down some serious cash for a Gibson TB to make sure they play it first. Epiphones, on the other hand, you can get dirt cheap -- so it's not as crucial that you really critique it as seriously. That's what I meant -- sorry for any confusion.
  11. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    I, like Showdown, have a Gibson Thunderbird 1976 and I am telling you, it`s one opf the greatest, if not, the best Bass I ever tried.

    The only thing is the headstock diving but you can get by after a while and you get used to it depending on the kind of strap you use, etc.

    The sound simply amazes me every day. It`s suchj a different tone. Perfect with a pick or fingerstyle. The Bass grwols by itself. No need to do any adjustment on EQ`s, effects, etc. The Bass really sings. But, I also think that the 1976 T-Bird were superior quality wise than maybe the new ones out there as I tried one recently and, even if they do growl, my 1976 is still superior.

    So, go ahead and do not be afraid to buy Gibson T-Bird. At least try one and decide whether you like it or not. Small picture of my Baby attached.
  12. I want a Nikki Sixx Blackbird so much. . . too bad they are ridiculously over priced and hard to find. They look awesome!!
  13. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    It's been awhile but I remember seeing a ton of 'em on ebay for very cheap ($700-$800). Keep your eye out, there are a lot more of them out there than you think. I used to own a 2001 Natural T-Bird but I sold it recently. I thought it sounded great and I liked the neck but I just couldn't get used to the body style. Of course, I was playing an SG-Z before that so that might be why... ;)
  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    TBirds are Gibson's best bass for my money. I've hung onto a near mint '79 for many years. That bass through my '70 SVT defines rock tone for me.[​IMG]
  15. AltIII


    Sep 3, 2002
    What about the EB-3? There's no Gibson alternative for the EB-3. Sure you've got the SGZ, but it's like the same difference as the Gibson and Epiphone Thunder bird. Same shape, different electronics. So if you like gibson so much, what should one do if he want's an EB-3 but doesn't want an evil epiphone?
  16. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I never said Epiphone is evil. As a matter of fact, I have an Epiphone EB-3. It is a decent bass for the money I paid for it ($150 used), but I'll take a vintage Gibson EB-3L anyday over the Epi.

    Here's mine:

  17. AltIII


    Sep 3, 2002
    Wow! $150? sure wish I could find an Eb-3 for that price, but the music stores in my area suck. One had a used eb-3 ONCE since I've been going there, but it was around $430 and I had just started saving money for a new bass. Few weeks later, it's gone and none have passed through since. The other music store had an Electra copy, but it was way too worn to be worth anything.
  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    The original Thunderbirds are about the only really accceptable Gibson basses of the period, as they didn't have those HORRIBLE "mudbucker" pickups.

    I have an original 1963 Thunderbird II that's a great, great bass, but - as is often the case with vintage basses - the G saddle doesn't have enough throw to intonate with modern, smaller-diameter strings.
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The RD Artist, Victory Artist and Les Paul signature did not have the mudbuckers, either. Nor did the G3, Grabber or Ripper.
  20. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I wasn't planning on buying a bass, but when I found the EB-3 for $150 I had to buy it. It was on consignment, and was very dirty, with beer (or something) spilled all over it, and with a few minor dings. I cleaned it up, put new strings on it, and set it up, and it is a nice bass. Kind of limited as far as sound, but if you want that Jack Bruce sound it will definately do it.