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Question about the Epiphone Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lukc, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Lukc


    Nov 10, 2012
    So I am a beginning bassist (been playing since February) and I was thinking about what my second bass would be. The Epiphone Thunderbird's sound and awesome design really got to me. So I looked it up on a shopping site and they classified it as a "heavy" bass. Does this mean it's prepared to play heavy metal? I play blues/rock as my main genre and play a little hard rock. So would it be a good bass to buy? And why is it considered a "heavy" bass by Thomman?
  2. I don't find the thunderbird to be really heavy. About the same as a Fender. They have a bit of a long reach to the first fret, but I find that comfortable, some do not. Check out the new Epi Thunderbird classic 4. Its neck through construction and has Gibson pickups for about 500.00! If you have the cash that might be the way to go. If not, the standard Epi is pretty nice. I played mine at church with no problem. Play what your comfortable with and don't worry too much about what style of music a certain bass is made for. Enjoy!
  3. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    With being heavy, they talk about a bass' it's weight. It's not top heavy, but the T-birds have a terrible neckdive.. But besides that, very cool basses :)
  4. DethByDoom


    Sep 23, 2012
    The old epi tbirds are bolt on. The new one is neck thru. Get the new one. You'll see them on stage with all genres of bands. Check out the other tbird threads.

    They're around 9 pounds so… they're not light but if you're young and like the look and sound… get a wide strap and suck it up. After a while you'll get used to it.
  5. nubs


    Mar 1, 2005
    correction! not all old ones are bolt on and not all new ones are neck thru.....

    AWESOM avator by the way!!
  6. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Diff a try before buy bass. Due to long reach to the nut and very neck divey.
  7. DethByDoom


    Sep 23, 2012
    I played a new classic 4 pro at a local shop. Feels and sounds way better than the old Epiphone tbird. Very nicely up graded. Reserved the next one they get in. Wanted sunburst, they had the white.

    Pups seem like Seymour Duncans. My friend got the SD drop in replacements and… yeah. 90% sure. Moved the jack to the side. New strap pin placement really helps with neck dive. Necks a skoatch slimmer. Woodier and a little darker sounding, but still has that growl. Tone pot seems more responsive/usable.

    Was saving for a Gibson but literally being able to do a side by side… **** that. Only discernible difference is the finish and hardware not quite as nice but not by much. Supposedly it's not as high grade of a mahogany. And 2x more ply in the neck. I can't see paying 3x the price for the minor upgrades the Gibson has.

    The shop (certified Gibson/Epiphone dealer and luthier) explained the models like this: the bolt on classic tbird is going out of production. The neck through is replacing it. The eb3 has been neck thru for a while now. It's a first step in making their bass line better, smaller, and more competitive. Everyone at the store thinks Gibson tbirds are gonna be a lot harder to sell. They're thinking the new pups are Seymour Duncan most likely or maybe bartolini. They predict the ebo will be redone as a neck though as well and the goth will basically become a classic pro color option.

    So… you can buy a "new" bolt on, but not for much longer. Besides I wouldn't think you'd want to.

    Review I'd already posted… lazy.

    And thanks… i stole it myself.
  8. LowNotes1


    Jun 8, 2008
    I have an Epi T-bird bolt-on, and it's not particularly heavy, but the neck dive is certainly there. My playing style enables me to rest my right elbow on the body while I play, which helps offset the dive a bit, but YMMV.

    I have never owned a Gibson T-bird, but the Epi seems to be pretty close to the Gibby tones I've heard on recordings, at least close enough for my ears considering the difference in price. The nut just spontaneously cracked on mine but I was able to replace it easily. I still think its a good deal for a sub-$300 bass if you want that T-bird tone.
  9. Mark4


    Oct 21, 2007
    The more recent bolt-ons are less likely to neck dive, as the strap button is now located on the neck plate. This helps with balance. Mine balances nicely, weighs about 8.5 lbs. and sounds pretty good if a bit dark.That said, Thunderbirds do have long necks. The scale length is the same as a P or a J, but it's shifted further out. It doesn't bother me, but your miles may vary. Also, the neck is quite wide at the nut. Think early P-bass wide. I definitely recommend trying one out first. Thunderbirds are a kind of "love it or hate it" bass, and the bolt-on Epis are different in their own right. If they're a good fit for you, then I recommend getting one, but they're not for everybody.
  10. nubs


    Mar 1, 2005
    with the correct strap neck dive can become NON EXISTANT...
  11. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I tried an Epi yesterday in the store, and it was a very reasonable, average weight, without a lot of neck dive. With a strap that didn't slip on your shoulder easily, it wouldn't be bad to play at all. I didn't like the neck shape though...narrow and clunky feeling.