Ibanez ICB200 Iceman vs. Epiphone Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by beam, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. beam


    Dec 29, 2002
    Ok, Ive given that new Iceman model a go, and I was really impressed with its style and tone. I'd really like to pull the trigger on one, but I would really like to plan an Epi T-bird first to see which of the two I like better.

    Now, I haven't been able to find one I can try anywhere around here though :( And I'd rather not do the "order both and return one" deal.

    Im just curious if anyone has tried both, how do you think they compare? Tone and Playability are the big things. I dig the type of smaller nut width you find on J-basses(unlike the Iceman, but still didnt have much trouble playing one.)

    How would you compare the neck on an Epi T-bird to a Jazz bass? Thinner from front to back, or thicker? More like the Geddy Lee or completly different?

    I know, they may seem like strange questions...but I figure most of you gotta be used to that :p
  2. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    picked an Iceman up at GC yesterday. Been a while since I picked up an Epi Tbird. The Iceman felt much more solid than the Tbird if I remember correctly. Better tone as well. This is all subjective....try to find and play both if you can.
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Ive played the Iceman, felt good.
  4. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    I would go with the Iceman rather than the Epi TB.......if you want a TB get a Gibson.

    Those Iceman look realy nice.
  5. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I played the Iceman at GC the other day and darn near came home with it. It seemed pretty solid for the price. T-Birds are. . . . T-Birds. What more can you say?
  6. beam


    Dec 29, 2002
  7. I sure do like the look of that bass! I'm going to have to try one out next time I get the chance. I really like that look.
  8. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    I posted a review of my new Epi tbird awhile back. Ought to find it if you just search the bass forum
  9. Im bringing this thread back as these are the 2 basses i have my eye on currently.

    The iceman looks very appealing.

    Ive read reviews of low ouput on the E-string and that it doesnt sit suitably to play with the way the strap buttons are set.

    I mianly play alot of low E stuff. We tune to C in our band. We have 2 guitarists, so i provide the low end. We are tuned low and heavy and anythign i can do to go lower (aside a 5er with a B) is what i do. They go Hi, I go low.

    That beign said, if the E doesnt provide much output, is ti feasable to chanee the pickups?

    ive read that there are no replacment pick-ups aside from getting it modified.

    I need a bass NOW so waitign around for a ninties iceman with soa abrs isnt optional right now.

    Ive seen favorable reviews on the iceman ICB200 as well. But the concensus seems to be as stated above: low output on the E string and bad strabutton placement.

    The Epi T-Bird seems to be a better option. Gibson (err sorta) quaility at a decent price. Of coruse a gibson T bird would be a better option. Btu if i had that cash id fork it over for a G&L or a Rick.

    That being said. Isthe Epi T-Bird of bad quality? It does not seem to have the issues that the iceman has with the low output on the E and I could easily change the pickups.

    No store here has either of the models. I liek to set my self apart a bit. These dotn look like a P-Bass.
  10. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    I think I personally would go with the Epi, but that's just a style thing- from all I've heard, and my own experiences, the Ibanez is a marginally better bass.

    Although it's been a few years since I played an Iceman.
  11. I tried both recently at GC, and liked the Iceman better. The tone was better, it was easier to play, etc. and, the one I played had a good e-string output. I would recomend the Iceman for any genre(except punk and emo, how could you do an evil thing with such a perfect bass?)
  12. I'd go with a Thunderbird solely on the fact that I really don't like Icemans. Now this isn't a very fair judgement, so don't go on it, but on two occasions where I've heard an Iceman (one a guitar and one bass), they both had the WORST tone ever to reach my ears. The bass was really trebley, and the guitar just sounded like crap.

    Again, I'm being biased, but I'd try out both.
  13. I love my Epi Tbird. I demoed the 2 at a GC one day, and walked home with the Tbird. The Iceman just didn't feel right, and didn't have the great tone I was looking for.

    Though tone is subjective.
  14. I called guitar center up shortly after i posted this to see if they had either of the basses.

    They had a used thunderbird for $50 that he quoted over the phone and had 2 Iceman's. One used and one new.

    I cant really contest the t-bird over the iceman being i didnt see the t-bird..anywhere.

    But i was able to pit iceman versus iceman.

    The used one played fine. It looks like it took a bit of a beating. Dents and scratches on it and had some marks that looked like soem sort of schrapnel from afar or something hit it? Dont know. Anyways, i tried it first.

    The E sounded fine to me. Whoever owned it previously had changed the strings on it. The action was raised a bit.
    It sounded fine and had a nice growl that Im lookign for. i tuned to dropped D for some good old thrash metal (SOD, Slayer) and tuned to C for the stuff i play now.

    Agian the action was adjsuted a little high, but the E output problem ive read about in reviews was not there.

    They only wanted $250, but id like to put my own battle wounds on the gear.

    The new one. The stock strings were awfully twangy and very tinney. The E output problem was not present either. The action on this was alot lower and was fun to play.

    Im used to playing low-end Deans and Squire Affinty's. The neck was quicker and the instrument overall, was really light compared to my current Dean or a Squire.

    I will say abot teh E string thatm it seemed to be a bit weird in justifying the notes on the 1st through 3rd fret's. It just seemed to be real thumpy, almost pluck/finger style like (I play and was playing with a pick.) The used one did not have this problem.

    The amp i was playing through was an SWR workign man combo 1X15. It has gain and master volume. I adjsuted the gain and turned down the master. Down the treble and down with the bass, boosted the mids and adjsuted the mid-scoop.

    Not so thumpy now teh amp is adjsuted, but still lsightly present. I would imagine it is due to the stock strings they include with it.

    Another bass I played while I was up there was a Dean ML. The neck was really thick and the action was higher then the Dean i currently have. I did not like it at all and would reccomend a Squire Affinity over it. They are about the same weight.

    I will purchase the iceman and a new set of DR strings to go with it. I can alwasy get a T-bird later.