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How "easy" is making a Fenderbird?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Din Of Win, Jan 23, 2012.


  1. This may be better suited for the luthier section... but whatevs...

    I have a birthday coming up. I'm not rich, by any means, but i wanna treat myself.


    I've been wanting a bass that will be my "picking bass". I play with my fingers most of the time, and i'm super finickey about a proper set-up. So, i would LOVE a bass that's always set up for pick playing. After lots of soundclips, and knowing the tone i want for what i play... i've decided the picked T-bird tone is what i want.

    I've had this allparts P bass neck for a while now.... if i find an Epi. T-bird body, will it be an easy drop in... or is this something better left to someone with actual wood-working ability?

    Also, i have a heads up on some pickups from an 80's Gibson T-bird. Are THOSE a direct drop-in, or do Epi T-bird pups have different dimensions that their big bros?


    Thanks!!
     
  2. 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
    I made one as a first project bass using an Epi body and a cheapie lefty J neck. The neck isn't going to drop in, you'll either have to rout the pocket, or as I did shave the sides and heel of the neck. it also needed a bit of shim in the pocket for proper relief.
    '80s Gibson pups won't fit to stock Epi rout ( too narrow) nor will they cop the classic Thunderbird tone, a set of Lulls or Thunderbuckers are your best choice here.


    Anyway here's mine
    thunderbirds022.
     
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  3. As always... beautiful T-bird!!! Candy Apple is my fave color, too.


    So, it looks like a bit more than i really feel like dealing with. :/


    I'll shop around for a decent;y priced luthier... but after all's said and done, I might be debating one of the T-Bird Pro IV models. I kind of dig the active-ness of them...
     
  4. That...is nice. Why do you make me jealous on a regular basis? :(
     
  5. There are a couple user names here on TB that i KNOW will just induce jealously whenever i see a thread by them.

    TBird1958 is totally one of them.
     
  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

    I did almost all of the work myself - the only power tool required was a dremel, the pup routs were a very easy detail. Using hand tools and working slowly made it east to continually check my work by test fitting. Looking back it was fun and quite rewarding, I'm planning on replacing the neck with an Allparts or ? bound and blocked neck in the future.
     
  7. 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
  8. NOVAX

    NOVAX

    Feb 7, 2009
    Kalifornia
    T-Bird have you ever tried Fralin Bassbuckers? Are Thunderbuckers a similar vibe?
    I have a Peavey G-bass neck and I'm looking for a cheap Epi bird body so I'm totally on
    board with you guys. Peaveybird!
     
  9. That's awesome!
     
  10. 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

    I had one of two RS Guitarworks Expibirds - it had a pair of those Fralins, frankly I didn't care for them much. Thunderbuckers and Lulls are exact recreations of the classic '60s era Gibson design - nothing at all like the many later variations offered. A maple neck, mahogany body and '60s pickups make a Fenderbird.
     
  11. NOVAX

    NOVAX

    Feb 7, 2009
    Kalifornia
    My Bird is going to be a Vulture :) Fralins sound pretty meaty in my Les Paul. I'm thinking Lulls in the Bird. I want Mike to make me a custom pimped up Ripper clone. How much do you estimate thats going to run me?
    Excuse please the momentary tangent.
     
  12. 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

    I don't know if he'd do it, my best advice would be to bring money, lots of it!
     
  13. NOVAX

    NOVAX

    Feb 7, 2009
    Kalifornia
    :smug:Right. Oh my vision is sweet though. He really should add it to the 'line' . I'm sure the pickups will be amazing.
     
  14. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Yep Mahogany body , Maple neck and 60's Thunderbird pups make a "real " Fenderbird. Cataldo bass makes a great product for a very good price. I have been building for years but I had Carlo make me one of his Fenderbirds while mine sits on the bench waiting to be finished. Between work and the band I have little time to build. I highly recommend Cataldo bass and Thunderbucker pickups.
     

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