Sell a vintage reissue '58 Precision to buy a Gibson Thunderbird?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gyver, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. I am considering selling my Fender AVRI '58 Precision to buy a Gibson Thunderbird. I have always liked the look of the TBird but until last week had never played one (it was a 2014, I believe). I really liked it, the sound, the playability, everything. Now the '58 is an excellent bass, and I love everything about it - except for the large, baseball bat sized neck. If it had a smaller neck I would not consider selling it. I also own two other basses, a Fender 50th Anniversary Jazz and Fender Tony Franklin fretless P/J.

    On the plus side I feel the TBird would add variety to the Jazz and P/J. On the down side the '58 really is a killer bass. Anyway just curious what y'all think - thanks!
    Tbone76, gjohnson441496 and physics like this.
  2. Nah, just buy a T-Bird, I have almost always regretted selling a bass.
  3. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

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  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Twice on a Sunday
    gjohnson441496 likes this.
  5. JIO

    JIO Scott Lives Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I was for many years a T-bird (only) player - now, along with my ('64) T-bird I have a few J's and only one ('66) P. All are worth owning/playing, not one or the other.
    TN WOODMAN, Andre678 and bobyoung53 like this.
  6. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    Sure, sell whatever you want to buy whatever you want.
    Helix, BurnOut, smithcreek and 4 others like this.
  7. tat2clod

    tat2clod Guest

    Nov 19, 2011
    Bloomington IN
    It’s tough when the GAS pains hit for all of us. I would wait and buy a Thunderbird when the funds allow but YMMV.
  8. The 58 is a killer bass, but you don't like the neck. You have a couple of other fenders, so yeah, sell and get the t bird for some variety.
  9. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Gyver :)

    You don' t like the neck? Sell her to someone who does!

    You like everything about her? :D

    Catch that bird!!! :hyper::hyper::hyper:


    and have fun!!!

    may the bass be with you

  10. Kevan Campbell

    Kevan Campbell Bergantino Artist, Vibe9 IEM Artist Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Unless the '58 P has some
    Sentimental connection or just slays it in the studio, I vote for selling it.

    I had a somewhat similar situation myself a couple months ago. I had owned a Fender '62 AVRI P (maybe a 2004 or so...not vintage anyway). It was an awesome bass to record with as I'd set it up with Sadowsky Black Label flat sounds but I hated the thick neck and sold it off to help purchase a Mike Lull T5 (Mike's updated version of the Gibson Thunderbird) that I'd been lusting after for years. No regrets as the Lull is quickly becoming my favorite stage bass in my stable, it's great to have a bass with humbuckers to complement my Sadowsky Jazz, and the guy who bought my Fender adores it.

    One thing about the Gibson Thunderbirds is that they're definitely NOT all keepers straight off the wall! Unless you have a reason for wanting the three-point bridge, I'd suggest finding a 2015 or newer one as I believe that these were when Gibson started using the Babicz bridge (which is much more adjustable than the three-point bridge). Also, don't discount used Thunderbirds as they can generally be had for under $1k if you keep your eyes open...and of course try before you buy or make sure the seller has a good return policy (the Gibson Thunderbird I had was a 2014 and while it resonated like crazy it had just a bit of a case of neck dive and some things like the tuners and hardware were actually installed a bit crooked).

    Also, don't be afraid to pop into the Thunderbird Club here on TB. We're generally friendly and chill folk over there.
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  11. Wait a bit, and go for the new Epiphone Vintage model. True T-bird (with the 2-piece bridge, chrome pickups,...),...

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  12. It is your call. Both are good basses. I have a Gibson Thunderbird and also a 63 AVRI Precision. I prefer the tone of the Fender but love the look of the bird. Fenders are a bit standard where a bird will stand out
    TheBear, Gyver and Spidey2112 like this.
  13. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    Keep the P.
    Buy a new Epi T-Bird Classic that has real pickups in it. Why would I suggest this?
    Played '64 T-Birds for over a decade(1970's to 1980's), bought a 2006 Gibson later and sold it because it did not produce.
    Got a new Epi Embassy and the pickups are alleged to be repro's of the '64 pickups..... they come VERY close and slay the black plastic pickups in Gibsons. Liked it so much a red one and black one live here. Now we're waiting for the T-Birds to arrive. Buy it on FlexPay, makes it much easier to afford.
    THIS is what Gibson should've done but never did.
    Epiphone Thunderbird Vintage Pro Bass Guitar
  14. I am in the process of retro-fitting my 2013 Gibson bird with thunderbuckers and a badbridge 2 because i also am not a huge fan of the modern gibson tone. I hope the new hardware makes it more to my liking.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  15. SonnyBassPlayer


    Nov 29, 2013
    There's no time to play uncomfortable instruments... Get the T-Bird if it fits you more.
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  16. Tough call. I had a '58 AVRI, and really liked it. But the neck eventually became an issue due to the 1.75" nut width. I've also had many T-birds. The best being one I owned in the early 90's. I don't know if I changed, or the T-bird pickups did, but I've not liked the tone of any I've owned in the last 10 years. At the time I sold the '58, I owned several other P basses. But I don't believe I would ever sell my last P bass to buy a T-bird.
  17. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Take your 58 P-Bass to a good guitar tech, and have it shaved down to a neck size you like.
  18. mesaplayer83


    Jun 27, 2017
    This is how I see it, too - love the look of my T-bird, but I prefer the sound of my Fenders by a large margin...
    Mantis Tobaggan likes this.
  19. SonnyBassPlayer


    Nov 29, 2013
    I would personally never do that... better getting a new neck and keep the original stock in a case you want to sell it... shaving the neck will kill its value IMHO

    Yeah @Gyver did you think about a neck change? If the sound is so good a Jazz or 42mm C shape P neck could make a big difference in playability!
    bobyoung53, woodyng2 and TN WOODMAN like this.
  20. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I have a P and Thunderbirds. The 'Birds are what I play. If you can find a 2015 Thunderbird, the electronics in that one are versatile enough that you can get an approximation of a P sound out of it, but then with a little switching, go full thunderous if you want. Thunderbirds are their own thing. They choose you, not so much the other way around. If one has chosen you, then that's the way to go.
    Tbone76, Sartori, mikewalker and 3 others like this.