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NBD: Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Pro

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nunovsky, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    I've wanted a Thunderbird for a long time. I think they are one of the sexiest basses on earth and they scream rock from every corner.
    When Epiphone released the Vintage Pro model in 2017, it immediately caught my atention by how good it looked and by having great specs for its price range. Obviously, all the praises and great reviews by the guys here at TB did nothing to calm down my GAS.
    So, when I got an extra money last month due to a 3 days Christmas show, I couldn´t resist to order me one. It was my last purchase of 2018 and my first aquisition of 2019. ;)
    Yesterday, I finally got my hands on this bass and let me tell you that it trully is a beauty!
    When I opened the box I fell in love with the looks of it. The sunburst on the mahogany body is flawless, and I love the chrome hardware, the gold knobs with the silver top. The glossy finish is quite good also. Nothing on it feels cheap, probably the nut is the only thing that may fall into that category, but the hardware looks really good, even the wilkinson tuners work great and stay in tune. I really like the neck, it's thinner than I'm used to but has a good feel in my hands, the fretboard looks great, full of shades and character, the sunburst on the neck gives it an awesome look.
    But this is no bass for the weak. It's big! Man, I'm a big guy with long arms and that G tuner is so far... and it's heavy as hell, but not T40 heavy like...
    I saw some complains about the ergonomics and playability of the bass, but I have nothing to say against it. It fits well with a strap, no neck dive whatsoever even with that long neck and big head. I rest my arm very confortably in that upper back part of the body. Feels great to play and I used it on rehearsal that took about 2 hours and I didn't feel tired at all.
    It came with a great setup by Thomann. It was tune & play and the playability was just right.
    And the sound is all you can ask of a T-bird. Meaty, fat, punchy. Loved every tone that I got from it. Didn't used any drive with it but I can't wait to do so. Used a pick, played with my fingers, even slaped a bit and it sounded great. We were playing with a new drummer and he may be used to some diferent kind of gear because he was amazed that I was playing an Epiphone and that it sounded so good.
    For the money that it cost, it totally rocks. Epiphone really nailed it with this one.

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. Congrats! I have one of these, as you can tell, and I love it! I have owned a few Gibson and Epiphone T Birds in my time, all great basses. But LOVE everything about this one and will not let go of it. It is the only T Bird I currently own, need or want.
    Bass V and Nunovsky like this.
  3. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Congrats I have one just like that also and I love it . I had one of the cheap ones and the neck dive was much worse and it did not have this sound.
    Bass V and Nunovsky like this.
  4. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I know some people have to have a Gibson, but if you ask me, these Epiphone’s are the way to go!
    Rob Martinez, Bass V and Nunovsky like this.
  5. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    Congrats, my T-Bird VP is Ebony. It's a great bass.

    Enjoy yours.

    Nunovsky likes this.
  6. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I bought two of these I love them so much! I've been playing 60s Thunderbirds since 77 and I believe these are the best Thunderbirds built since the 60's, in some ways better! Shes a beauty, enjoy your Thunderbird!
    Rob Martinez, netohugo, KPJ and 5 others like this.
  7. KB5


    Sep 28, 2012
    Epiphone just plain got it right with these basses.
  8. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    IMHO the authority on T-Birds. If he says they're great, they're great.
    godofthunder59, Bass V and Nunovsky like this.
  9. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    ok, that's it, even tho I'll rarely play it cos it's likely impossible for me to play seated I now have inked one onto my list. even an ugly 'bird looks cool and that burst Pro is an awesome beauty. lucky you!
    Gaolee and Nunovsky like this.
  10. This doesn't help to keep my promise of not buying anything I don't really need in 2019...

    Congrats!! It looks awesome and I'm sure it sounds even better.
    Nunovsky likes this.
  11. congratulations!!! that's a beautiful bass!!! i used to own the older epi version cause i'm a big fan of thunderbirds... sold it cause since then i bought a few other stuff ... when these vintage pro series was announced i had mixed feelings... i just wished it was a Gibson instead (i own two gibson basses and to be honest they are of a higher quality in comparison in every aspect) ... i convienced myself not to buy another thunderbird unless Gibson releases a bass just like the epi vintage pro, good job Epiphone, you kick ass, but what i want is a Gibson thunderbird re - issue just like those vintage pro series ... !!!
    Gaolee, godofthunder59 and Nunovsky like this.
  12. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I have been a USA vintage snob for years, I have owned many many basses over the years. In the past five years or so overseas manufacturing has really stepped up.Epiphone, Squier and others have really come into their own as professional grade instruments. I bought a Vintage Modified 77 Squier Jazz to keep at my night job, great bass right out of the box, fantastic neck, best playing Jazz I ever owned.
    I am proud to take my Epiphone birds out in public.
    I have talked to Gibson at length about a 60s spec reissue. In the past parts mainly pickups were a issue now obviously they are available in quantity ( I would be perfectly happy with the Epiphone 760 units in a USA bird). For Gibson to build it it would list at 5-6k (Gibsons number from a few years ago. ) Given Gibson's QC of late for that kind of money I probably would buy a real 60s Tbird ( with its inherent problems) or buy more Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbirds.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  13. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Actually, you would be keeping your promise. You do really need one, and sooner rather than alter. That's all.
    javi_bassist and Nunovsky like this.
  14. I'm proud too about epiphone!!! I'm Greek after all!!! I really admire and respect epiphone (a company with heritage and long history)

    I owned two epiphones ... an eb-0 and a thunderbird ...but when i open the hard case of my gibson SG i can really feel the difference as I said in every aspect of the 2 basses...

    What I really like about epiphone is that for the money they charge they offer far more for their costumer ... Respect!
    Nunovsky and Gaolee like this.
  15. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    No better endorsement! I'd love to see an Epiphone Vintage Pro Reverse TBird, as well.
  16. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    If there was such a thing, I can pretty much guarantee you he would have one. I think @godofthunder59 has the market on vintage Non-Reverse 'Birds cornered.
    biguglyman and Nunovsky like this.
  17. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    One of the best looking, sounding and playing basses of all time
    Nunovsky likes this.
  18. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    I have one in white, and I like it, but it doesn't get much play time (honestly, I bought it for when my pop band is wearing all white). I just pulled it off the wall, and maybe this post will fuel my interest in playing it. Thanks. I hope you enjoy yours!
    Gaolee and Nunovsky like this.
  19. Nunovsky


    Sep 4, 2004
    Man, I feel like I'm late to the game but all that's been said resumes well what I've been feeling about this bass.
    In a short sentence, like @thanos k has said above this bass offers so much more than the money it cost me.
    I'm trully loving it.
    Let me say that I've always wanted a Thunderbird but didn't have the money to afford a Gibson and I felt that something lacked the Epiphones that I tried before. But not in this bass. It sounds and looks like a Thunderbird should.
    But one thing that I've been noticing about Epiphone is that they've really stepped up their game in the recent years. Not only in basses (I've got a Jack Casady as well) but also in guitars. A friend of mine bought an Epiphone Les Paul last year and it's spot on in build quality and sound. And you can see the amount of signature models that Epiphone has released these recent years, so if an artist allows a model to have its name is because he recognizes the brand and the quality they offer.
    Squier has shown that also, specially with the VM and Classic Vibe models, but I fear that Fender has stepped down concerning the Squier models since last year when we witnessed a decrease in the variety of Squier models available. Hope this year brings something new, specially a new Squier Mustang Bass.
    EDIT: A Squier Mustang is just my wish, no special intel available here...
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Gaolee and thanos k like this.
  20. KB5


    Sep 28, 2012
    Gibson just needs to get rid of the three point bridge, put the pups in nickel covers, and swap the tuners. Making those changes would not add considerably to the price and would attract a lot of new buyers. If they paid any attention to the bass market they would get it. The problem is that it would take capacity away from guitar production that is keeping them afloat.
    Nunovsky and thanos k like this.

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