Pickup screws on Thunderbird bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JD Ronson, May 1, 2019.

  1. Brand new thunderbird owner here. I just bought the new Vintage Pro from Epiphone and notice the pickup screw is in a precarious position. I have a fairly well cut up index finger now due to the way I play. Any of you have advice for the pickup adjuster screw to avoid cutting your plucking finger to bits? I know Epiphones are known to use different screws than Gibby thunderbirds, and I suppose I’m open to any and all thoughts and advice! Thanks!

    Attached Files:

    BurtMacklinFBI likes this.
  2. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Is it the screws on the PUs or on the PU rings that are the issue?
  3. Specifically the pickup adjuster screw. On the neck pickup. Sitting just above the E-string, waiting to strike like a viper.
  4. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    It looks like this?


  5. That’s the one
  6. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Short term, I'd use gaffer's tape or electrical tape (although short term is subjective, I had tape on my Jazz bass for 5 years)...

    Long term, different screws probably, although you're not going to find much smaller... Or, possibly, different pickups 'may' offer some variance in hardware and placement... Thunderbuckers are well regarded from what I hear.

    Perhaps @Dadagoboi or @godofthunder59 could offer some guidance here...
  7. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Hmm. As someone interested in getting an Epi Vintage Pro in the near future I'd like to learn more about this.

    How do you like it otherwise?
  8. It’s a heavy bird. Headstock is bigger, tuners are heavy. It’s vintage in dimension and electronics, so all the years of “improvements” were disregarded. That said it’s got a lot of neck dive. Resolved for the most part with a thick strap, but I intend to add some adhesive wheel weights to the electronics cavity. There’s plenty of room. They did place the jack on the side instead of the front. The details that separate it from a true vintage bird are the chrome covers over the bridge and neck pickup, the removed finger rest, and the side placement of the jack - all of which are perfect and I agree should have been updated.

    That and the pickup screws are my only negs.

    The quality is impeccable. The sustain rings forever. I feel it resonate in my gut and can hear it very audibly when not plugged in.

    My other bass is a boutique fretless, so it’s really hard to compare the two. I love the perfect balance and playability of my fretless but wanted something fretted and with style that screams vintage rock.

    I took it to the boys down at my local pro shop and had it setup. They were drooling. A tweak on the nut, the rod, a set of D’Addario flats, and it was done. Really got a ton of praises from them on the quality and finish. It’s the one to have.

    My only upgrades will probably be ultra lite tuners, different pickup screws (the Thunderbuckers are amazing), a drop tuner on the E string, and some straplocks. And possibly a custom pickguard flourish. I’m thinking punisher skull. =)

    I’m going to perform with it this weekend. Nothing like an easy praise set to put it through its paces.
    ModuMan and TBird1958 like this.
  9. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    I have no clue what the issue is. I Have a VP. Never noticed any screws or felt them
  10. Basvarken

    Basvarken Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2010
    Velp Rockcity
    Hobby Luthier / Gibson Bass Book
    Nothing a piece of sandpaper can't fix.
    Just sand off the burr and you're all set.
    LowActionHero likes this.
  11. Stewie

    Stewie Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Steal an emery board from your wife. Better control than a piece of sand paper.
    emery board.jpg
    jackn1202 and LowActionHero like this.
  12. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    rocknrollmouse likes this.
  13. These will work on the Epiphones? I heard rumors that the Indonesian made guitars were differently tapped.
  14. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    I think you could fill the screw head slots with something easily removeable, like wax or mastic, or tape over it, for a low-tech solution. You could replace the screw with a stove head hex socket (less sharp edges) screw as a higher tech solution. You need to know the length, diameter and thread pitch (number per inch) and what material you need. Here's some more info Bolt Depot - How Fastener Measurements are Notated. Once you know all the specs you need, you can look around the hardware stores (probably won't have exactly what you want) or fastener stores (might have exactly what you want, but could certainly order it), or order it yourself from the internet (which has everything). Hope this helps!


    mikewalker likes this.
  15. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Quite a few members of the Thunderbird club own these and they're held in pretty high regard for a number of reasons, notably the pickups, it's not a shy, well mannered bass! I suggest rolling off the bridge pickup and a .73 Tortex pick. You're more than welcome on the club thread, we encourage questions and always enjoy hearing a new 'Bird owners thought.
    JD Ronson likes this.
  16. Basvarken

    Basvarken Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2010
    Velp Rockcity
    Hobby Luthier / Gibson Bass Book
    Who cares? They screw directly into the wood if I'm not mistaken.
    JD Ronson likes this.
  17. It's now become an opportunity to experiment. Thanks!!
  18. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Find some button head socket screws.
  19. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    couple o' drops of clear nail polish?
  20. Update : BCR Music & Sound hooked me up with a quick fix. All advice given was extremely helpful. In the end I may still put in a lower profile screw, but polishing it up on the machine sure took a miniscule amount of time and effort. Many thanks, gang!
    TBird1958 likes this.