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Poll to resolve an argument - ESP stream similar to thunderbird or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tracegun, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Yes, they are similar

    25 vote(s)
  2. No, both are distinguishable

    27 vote(s)
  1. Tracegun


    Jan 29, 2014
  2. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member


    The ESP looks like what would happen if you made a Thunderbird out of jelly beans and then left it out in the sun and it melted.
  3. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    The ESP is unquestionably a spinoff of the Thunderbird. There are noticeable differences, though.
  4. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014
    Inspired by the Thunderbird, but clearly not a Thunderbird.

    The old Phoenix looks more like a Thunderbird,

    Nephilymbass likes this.
  5. They are distinguishable, but share design similarities. You are both part right, and part wrong.
  6. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    Pretty much any bass with a raised center block is Thunderbird-inspired. Having said that, the new ESP is a pretty big departure from the traditional Thunderbird.

    Not worth a heated argument, regardless.
  7. JonDark


    May 21, 2013
    Detroit MI
    Playing Devil's Advocate here.

    "He said the ESP stream looks similar to a Gibson thunderbird"

    "I said it does not and both are distinguishable"

    Consider it correct on both accounts and call it even :D
  8. Tracegun


    Jan 29, 2014
    Should've clarified, which one do you feel more strongly about.

    EDIT- My friend said they look similar because of the offset. I reckon they don't because of the single cutaway.
    BTW we argue for fun
  9. It's the Salvador Dali Thunderbird. It's been melted like his clocks.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I voted with your friend. While I agree with you, I just think he'll enjoy the victory more since you started the poll. ;)
  11. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    Have an anime artist draw a picture of a Thunderbird. I bet they'll draw a Stream.
  12. thunderbird66


    Sep 30, 2012
    west Texas
    Thunderbird and RD by way of Iceman.
  13. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    More like an Ibanez Iceman, which is like the Thunderbird.

    But I would never get the Thunderbird and Stream confused, at any distance I could actually see.


    Attached Files:

  14. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    If two things resemble one another they are similar. If two things cannot be distinguished from each other, then they are identical. The Stream and the Phoenix clearly are both similar to the Thunderbird. There are many points at which each resembles the others. But it is easy to tell one from the other so they are similar but not identical. I think you and your friend disagree on the definition of "similar" and your friend is right! Your poll is meaningless since people who believe they are similar could answer either way. To really get to the answer the second choice should be "No, they do not resemble each other at all." If those were the only two choices then I suspect even you would have to vote yes.
  15. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Ok, let's break it down...
    Headstock shape similar - nope
    Tuner layout similar - nope
    Fret markers similar - nope
    Number of frets the same - nope
    Upper horn similar - yes
    Upper bout similar - nope
    Lower bout similar - nope
    Lower horn similar - nope
    Pick guard similar - nope
    Control layout similar look - nope
    Raised center section similar - nope
    Pickups similar look - yes
    Any chance of Gibson winning a lawsuit over this - nope

    Thus my vote is - clearly a Gibson Thunderbird wannabe but not even close enough for a cigar.

    There are a lot of basses out there that look much closer to the Gibson Thunderbird (Epiphone, Cataldo, Lull...). Heck I think my Spector Rex5 looks closer to a thunderbird than the ESP.
  16. xAzure


    Jan 29, 2014
    I am the friend who said they were similar to clarify, this is part of our conversation:

    Me: "it looks like a firebird" (I meant the thunderbird bass, mistake on my part but we were talking about body shape so theyre technically the same)
    Tracegun: "the stream looks nothing like a firebird"
    Me: "its just more rounded and has a bottom cutaway"
    Tracegun: "iunno man they pretty distinguishable"

    later on in the conversation:
    Tracegun: "the argument from the start was that the esp stream does not look like a firebird"

    Then the conversation went places I'm sure my friend would prefer me not mention.
    I think Tracegun might have meant distinguishable as in the are completely different styles.
  17. Meyatch

    Meyatch Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    They are similar and distinguishable, but I voted similar, because if I saw the ESP bass, I'd say it was a rip off of a Thunderbird.

    The word distinguishable is really ruining this poll. There's no way any person wouldn't be able to tell them apart, even if that person was blind.
  18. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    Would I be confused as to which I was looking at? No. Is the one clearly influenced by the other? Yes, just as the ESP Viper is clearly influenced by the Gibson SG.
  19. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    Thunderbird is sexy. The ESP looks like a shrinky dink after-burn. Someone decided to try and emulate and possibly 'fix' some TB playability (boo I can't solo with it). But TB's are best for aggressive quarter note pick peddling. It isn't a jazz choice. Getting into the middle offends the classic. I noticed immediately I would notice in a dark room. One is really sad looking while the other is pure biker face punch. I do like the ESP LTD that was posted. Just freakin' straight rip it off to pull it off. Works for Gibsons and Fenders.
  20. Tracegun


    Jan 29, 2014
    Alright, lets put it this way. The Telecaster and Stratocaster, two of the most iconic guitars in the past century as we now know today are not similar. You look at one you can tell whether which one is which. They are similar in the aspect of the lower body of the guitar (put vertically) and lower horn. You can see some resemblance between the strat and tele body but thats where it stops.
    My friend says the stream "looks like a firebird(thunderbird)" which to me is like saying a strat looks like a tele. There are some design elements in the body but the similarities stop at the left side of the body.
    Keywords here is "looks like a firebird" that's why I said they are distinguishable.