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Gibson vs. Epiphone. Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Akamatzu, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Akamatzu


    Feb 20, 2009
    So I was looking that these 2 basses and I was wondering why they are such a big price difference between them?

  2. BruceofBruce


    Feb 28, 2008
    Boston MAss!
    well the Epi is a bolt on neck and the Gibson is a Through neck design.
    that means the neck goes from the head stock all the way through the body,gives it it's particular sound and sustain.
    the new Epi Pro Thunderbird has a through neck design but cheaper hardware so that's where the price difference comes in.
  3. well,idk if this is why it's cheaper,but i found that the gibson has a thiner neck and body,so it was way less heavy than the epi.also,the wood and pickups are much nicer on the gibson.the neck is narrow like a J bass neck,where the epi's neck is probably as thick,if not thicker than the neck of a P bass.and the fretboard and neck on the gibson are twice as fast as the epi's.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Build quality, electronics, pickups, neck thru, and the Gibson logo.
  5. Yep, all true but I've still been tempted to buy an Epi T-bird because they're actually still pretty nice basses and for $299 you can't complain.
  6. TBird1958

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

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    At $299 the Epi is a pretty good bass, certainly you can get out and play shows etc with it - I've owned 2, one I sold and another that got made into a Fenderbird, and it was a good platform for that. Gibsons are just completely different and I'd echo the comments already made about playability, construction and neck size, a sincere comparison between the two reveals that they are alike only in shape - you just have to deal with Gibson's often spotty QC and figure you're taking it to your favorite luthier for a set up first thing :)
  7. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    In case you haven't seen it. Epiphone has the Thunderbird Pro now! Check it out.

    Looks very cool to me!
  8. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

    Verrrrrry cool!
  9. Thunderitter

    Thunderitter Bass - the final frontier! Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    +1 - as well as the wood alder versus mahogany
  10. Akamatzu


    Feb 20, 2009
    Ok another question. If It came down to either one, Which would be the better buy or would you buy? List some of the factors that determine for answer thanks
  11. MetroBass


    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    If you have the money Gibson, if you don't Epi. Simple as that. Don't give us anymore homework - it's the weekend!
  12. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Yep...owned an Epi. Now I own a Gibson. Really...just two TOTALLY different basses with totally different tones, feel, playability...etc. There really is no comparing them. The Epi isn't bad for the money but it's nothing like the Gibson.
  13. When I bought my Gibson T-bird, the store also had an Epi-bird, so I compared them side by side through a small bass amp. The Gibson has more of a piano tone, yet DEEP and bright, while the Epi just sounded darker. I prefer the Gibson, that's the one I bought.
  14. I own the Gibson. Used to own the Epiphone and traded-up. Yes, the Gibson is a neck through and has hot pickups and sounds great but for $300 or less the Epi can't be beat. I'd try 'em both and decide what YOU like better and go for it. The Epi seemed like a more durable bass. If you drop it, bump into something with it, etc. it can handle the abuse. You gotta be careful with the Gibson. I only play mine at gigs where there is plenty of room and a stage to create a barrier between the band and the drunks. Also, the connection at the jack was a bit loose on my brand new Gibson and will need to be fixed eventually. It causes a little bit of a crackling sound if I move around a lot. The Epi had no such quality control issues whatsoever. So much for made in America.
  15. gonzilla


    Jan 26, 2009
    My biggest fear is that, when the five string Epi Pro comes out, the neck will be huge. I played the Epiphone Thunderbird and, while the tone was killer, the neck felt like two baseball bats tied together.

    I guess that's what I get for learning on a thin Jazz neck...

    Oddly enough, when I played guitar, I found Les Pauls wayyyyy more comfortable than Strats.

  16. ...don't forget American (vs Chinese) labor costs.

    If you think there is a large difference on the Tbirds, try looking at the difference between ES335 guitars: 399 vs 2000+++...

    I think my Gibson Tbird is a great bass; probably the best sounding passive pickups I've heard. But, due to the fragile nature of these instruments, I'm hesitant to take it to the bars for gigging. When the Epi Tbird Pro finally gets to CG, i will check one out; might just have to add bass #11...
  17. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009
    do you guys think i should pay 200$ for a mint t bird? it is mint and i do like it tahts a fair price right?
  18. Shy Guy

    Shy Guy

    Sep 23, 2008
    Templeton, MA
    Honestly, just save up for a real, used t-bird. What will happen is you'll buy the epi, remember how the real thing is, and cave in to GAS within the year.
  19. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009
    I have never even played a real t bird , actual never seen a real one in person kinda hard to come by at my guitar center
  20. This is why I've not pulled the trigger on an Epi T-bird despite being tempted many times by the price after playing one at a GC. Unfortunately they never carry real Gibsons to compare.

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