roscoe beck bass or thunderbird??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by aggiefender12, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. so i'm in a rock band similar to the likes of Anberlin/30 Seconds to Mars and am looking to get another bass. i play a fender geddy lee signature right now and love it but i'm looking for another bass to either do everything the geddy lee does and more or at least be an axe i can switch to when i want to push and drive more. i love fender so i'm considering the fender roscoe beck IV for its versatility but i also like the gibson thunderbird for its strong reputation in rock. thoughts???

  2. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    The Roscoe Beck has a great sound and flexibility. More of the same as your Geddy Lee but with more options. I had a Bicentennial Thunderbird in the 70s and I was thoroughly underwhelmed by it. I'd maybe investigate getting an Epiphone Thunderbird rather than sinking serious Gibson level money into a T-Bird and also adding a P Bass or Highway 1 PJ to get that roundwounds with a pick grind if you'd like. YMMV
  3. thanks i'll look into that!
  4. TBird1958

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

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Not dissin' on Epi's but none of their Thunderbirds are gonna sound like a Gibson, they share no common parts, and the "standard" model is a bolt neck instrument. The Pro model will definately sound better, but it's not a Gibson. Post '88 Gibsons are nice basses, but won't eq like your Geddy...........They do however, sound great with a pick for rock.
  5. I own a Roscoe Beck 5'er and it's a great bass. Lots of tones (classic fender tones and more) and passive which I prefer.
    I've owned a fair number of nice axes and the RB5 is the one I've kept over all the others for it's versatility and playability.
    The pickup switching system takes a while to get used to but I doubt you'll be disappointed if you try one.
    Never played a Thunderbird so I can't help you there.
    Another suggestion would be getting a nice precision since you already have a jazz (but the Roscoe Beck with the neck pickup in series will get you close enough to that tone as well). Good luck in your search.
  6. gaffster787


    Aug 22, 2009
    Exactly +1 what Tbird1958 wrote however the goth epi's are a cut above the standard epi tbirds if you are strapped for cash. same body wood as the gibbys, better pickups than standard epi, and really cool dark fretboards. I paid $160 used. When I have to leave a bass in my car, I leave the gibbys home and use the goth... I'm thinking of refinishing it in alpine white.
    BTW, almost all t-birds I have tried are setup badly from the factory. I spent hours tweaking pickup hieght, bridge screws, truss rod. They seem to like Medium strings, the lighter ones get floppy. Nothing rocks like a gibby bird..or looks sooo cooool !!!!
  7. Luckie


    Jan 1, 2010
    Northfield MN
    As a Roscoe Beck V owner, I recommend the IV most highly.
    Extremely versatile, excellent quality build, and flat sexy to boot.
    I've played t-birds, Gibson and otherwise, but I prefer the feel of the Roscoe.
    Moral of the story, get the Roscoe.
  8. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    To me, it's a no the Roscoe Beck. They are now out of production and getting harder and harder to find beccause of their reputation for fabulous tone. You can always get a T-bird....anytime.

  9. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Definatly the Roscoe Beck.
  10. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Another vote for the RB-IV. I wouldn't casually dismiss the Gibson T-bird, they do have a great driving rock tone. But, they won't be "everything your Geddy is and more". They have their own vibe and not everyone digs them. The RB-IV will be "everything your Geddy is and more", just a fantastic bass that can a huge variety of tone, all of which are good. No debate here.