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Gibson's Reputation?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by =w=Bassist, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. =w=Bassist


    May 22, 2004
    I love the styling of Gibson's Thunderbird IV Bass but i've heard nothing but marginal things about their quality and tone, and i'm hesitating putting over $1500 into somtihn that will give me sub-par performance. None of my local shops have on in stock for me to play and they won't order one unless I am posative i'm buying it. Just would like any of your opinion's and/or experiences with gibson's bass products ( the Thunderbird IV specifically) from the newer age (i.e. 1990-present).

  2. Coutts_is_god

    Coutts_is_god Guest

    Dec 29, 2003
    Windsor, Ont, Canada
    I've played one. I was vary disapointed with it. I love the tone but couldn't stand the feel.

    My 2 cents

  3. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I played a Thunderbird at a store on one occasion, it just wasn't my cup o' tea. I've never been much of a Gibson fan to begin with though.
  4. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    I like the feel of the thunderbird. On the whole though, Gibsons are decent quality instruments. Odds are the wood isn't the best, and they will probably have little mistakes. To me really, Gibsons are too expensive, they are produced on a line like cars, tons of people and each one does a small task, and they just crank em out. I remember liking the tone of the thunderbird quite a bit, but back then I didn't know much about a quality bass. It's a tough situation because no one else makes a Thunderbird bass. You'd probably have to get a custom one made for it to be $1,500 because I don't think a Gibson Thunderbird is worth that much.
  5. metalbass101


    Jan 24, 2004
    It works for the Les Paul guitar but they way the make basses is just...ok.I use to be a big fan of them.I would put two EMG's in that sucker and then have a nice active electronics system put in.Then I would make the neck solid one peice graphite (make it particullary strong around the headstock) .I would also change the body to Ash.I swear, if they did that and made the corners on the body a little rounder and made the body a hint bigger,and made the neck a bit more "Ibanez'ish" they could stand a chance at wiping the floor with fender.
  6. 20one


    Jan 10, 2003
    Abilene, TX
    I think much of the price on Gibson instruments is due to the name... I've played their basses and didn't like any of them...

    Good guitars, POS basses. :)
  7. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    feel horrible, cant reach the higher up frets well, pups are ok, tone is...well.....ok...

    i really just cant stand the body feel, doesnt mold to the body well at all.

    and for 1500 id rather get a bolt on warwick or something like that.
  8. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Gibson's reputation stinks, dude. I was running a chain of music stores in New Orleans, and Gibson's sales were slipping badly, mostly due to the ever increasing prices and ever decreasing quality. I literally was pulling them right out of the box with buffing compound still left on the bodies, cracked fretboard binding, fretfile marks, and mismatched tops. For every 10 Les Pauls you check out, 9 will suck. You really have to dig to find a good one.

    Then they had the gall to come to us with a dealer requirement of $120,000 worth of Gibson products, and we didn't get a choice on what we got. Needless to say I told them to take a hike. So did Guitar Center for that matter. Gibson is much more concerned with being a huge enterprise than making guitars. Stay away. Far away.
  9. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    IMO you could find a lot better quality and looking basses for the money.
  10. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    personally i think they make some of the best guitars on the planet, the basses arent really anything special...i definately wouldnt buy it.
  11. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    exacly. i've always thought of gibsons to be extremely high in quality for guitars, but looking at most of their basses even makes me spit.
  12. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Well, same general sentiment here. Gibbie guitars are "not bad". I wouldn't spend even a nickel for any of their basses.
  13. For $1,500 I look at Ebay or Alembic's forum for a used Spoiler bass (at least I think it's a spoiler bass). it is their less complicated John Entwhistle bass, and that thing will have more mojo that 100 Gibsons! :eek:
  14. dont like em....they feel like 15 day old dried dog poo...i dont like the looks of them and you cant really play them sitting down.....plus the only people ive seen using them are pick bassists down near their knees :p ...

    and i just have to ask why on the V basses and Explorer basses, ugly and bad sounding, not to mention horrible feeling...especially the V's
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    OK, I'll chime in with another opinion.

    I really, really like the tone of the Thunderbird and I like the feel of the neck.

    But they are currently WAY overpriced and Gibson build quality is not up to the price tag. If you dig what it does, look for a used one.

    Tip: when looking at T-birds, the FIRST thing to look for is a repaired neck or headstock crack, which is very common and drops the resale value about 25% if it's a well done repair (more if it was botched).
  16. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    I'll chime in with one more!

    Look what Gibson did to Tobias and Trace Elliot: Flushed 'em down the toilet.

    That's how much Gibson cares about basses; they took two of the most respected names in bassdom, bought them, and trashed them.

    Their actions speak louder than their marketing machine.
  17. I own a Gib Les Paul 60s neck style guitar, and let me tell you , there is no better guitar out there. Especially with that beautiful desert burst color I have. But as for basses, I had a Gib Thunderbird for a few years.But the thing with that was I was in a Psychedelic band and used a lot of heavy distorted tones,for which the Tbird is excellent. I could get some great fuzz outta that sucker. But as i began to experiment more i sold the bird and bought a jazz bass. So i guess it really depends on what kinda music you like, id say great for heavy metal.
  18. frigo

    frigo burn in hell!

    Dec 8, 2003
    ok, i got a 2002 thunderbird IV...
    i admit, i bought it, because i always liked it since i was a kid. I got also three fenders(one from '78), a 83rick and few others (ibanez epiphone Hohner). The t.bird its the kind of bass you have to have the mood to play... it's not reaaly what you can call comfortable to play from the 15th fret, but i think it has a good neck, and a great tone (maybe i've been lucky listening to what Benjamin says) i can play rock (specially with a pick), soul, funk etc... great dynamics in my opinion. I wouldn't suggest it as a main bass, and i would be sure before buying a used one, to check the headstock (70% have been repaired)...
    Great with Bigmuff and Turborat
    Maybe it hasn't much highs compared to the others
    The finishes are quite approximative
    in the end: yes, 1680 Euros is not a fair price but is still a nice fascinating woman for me
  19. Kubicki, Now theres a comfortable bass that should be used as a main.....(im gonna get busted for spammin kubicki's one day :rolleyes: )
    Plus you can pick them up real cheap 2nd hand..there was a red post fender kubicki on ebay here that sold for $700us
  20. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Lets get him boys.


    You're right. You're getting borderline frightening. Start another topic and we'll exchange propoganda for hours. Oh wait, that's what PM's are for.