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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ChildoftheKorn, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    hmm now i found myself here in a fix. I just got my Epiphone thunderbird IV reverse...and i dont like the tone at all ( i know some of you are silently slaping me before i played it) The tone seems all muddy and compared to my growling attack of my cheap carlo robelli 4 string im very disapointed. i was thinking about lowering the pickups and raising the string height, or maybe i should get a refund and try another bass...
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Making a purchase based on cosmetics is good lesson many of us have, sadly, learned early on.

    Making a purchase because "so-&-so" [insert famous bassist's name here] plays one is another good lesson..........after we learn "so-&-so's" bass is modded and hot-rodded by a custom luthier to the hilt.

    "Try before you buy" (or at least return it for full price) is no joke.
  3. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    But then again...

    Don't be so quick to judge! (Of course, you may have a time limit regarding returns.) But if you have the luxury of time, it might make sense to keep playing it, see what it has to offer. It might not be what you expected, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Try different pickup settings, different amp settings, different playing techniques, etc.

    Also, a good setup for the bass - not necessarily a setup attempting to achieve a tone that you want but that the bass can't provide - is always a good thing. If it's REALLY NOT the bass for you, then by all means return it. But my personal recommendation is to live with it for a while. (But remember the time limit if you want to return it!)

    PERSONAL ANECDOTE: a couple of years ago when I found myself back in the market for basses, I foolishly passed on a vintage 60s two-pickup Gibson EB-3 (SG-shaped, like Jack Bruce). After that, I impulsively bought a single-pickup 60s EB-2 (hollowbody). With only the one pickup, it is incredibly muddy - in fact, it's less than muddy, there's no treble at all, it's more like EARTH. But I stuck with it, and now I adore it. Of course, I'm not going to be slapping on it or trying to copy Billy Sheehan or Jaco solos on it. But for what it does, it is the absolute best. Even used it in the studio when it was the only bass I had on the East coast (moved all the rest out West), and was overjoyed with the results (used a Fulltone Bassdrive for distorted sound, the EB-2 pushed that thing amazingly, the fuzz provided more than enough high end).

    JUST HAD A THOUGHT - could be the stings!!! have you tried putting on a new set? (hopefully similar guage and tension so as not to affect the action, etc. too much)
  4. All good advice so far. I would advise against the adjustment you've described for the reasons you've stated. It will only make your signal to the amp much less strong, and the bass more difficult to play because of the higher action.

    IF you finally decide that the bass is usable but you still want to sharpen the tone, I would try some of the following:

    - Change the pot values for your tone control
    - Change the capacitor value on the tone control
    - Try finding a higher tension string.
    - Use roundwound strings
    - Raise the REAR pup as close as you can to the strings without affecting playability.
    - Use an external active tone device like a stompbox preamp or a passive EQ. Especially look for one that can cut as well as boost the different signal ranges

    Hope this helps.
  5. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    thanks for all the advice guys

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