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Thunderbird Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TBird1958, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    During a foray into the San Fernando Valley today, I stopped into one of that other national music chain stores to see what they had. I’m not much of a fan of that company, but anyway. They had three, count ‘em three Rics. Otherwise fairly pedestrian offerings, except for a Tobacco Burst VP. I finally got to try one in the flesh.

    Setup was awful. String height has to be 8/64, about twice what I like. Bridge pickup is too high. After getting it reasonably in tune, and playing for just a minute, I thought “oh man, sustains as well as my Gibson.” Fret end finish work is first rate, and frets seem level. The finish looks great and the wood is gorgeous. But the gloss poly on the back of the neck made moving up and down harder than it needs to be. And it has what may be the dullest, most anemic looking fretboard I’ve ever seen. It can’t be rosewood.

    Anyway, I still want an ebony or alpine white one. So here are my questions:

    Has anyone had an issue with the poly on the neck, and if so, what did you do about it? Sand it? Scotch Brite pad? Some other trick?

    Just how adjustable is the bridge for intonation and string height? Any issues?

    What do you think about the tuners? The seem pretty nice to me. Have they held up for you who’ve had one for awhile now?

    Oh, and that store has a used ESP Thunderbird looking bass with a set of EMG PJ PUPs. $599.00. Not my cup of tea, just tossing it out there.
  2. GonePlaid

    GonePlaid "It needs a bridge cover" Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2016
    Southeast FL
  3. GonePlaid

    GonePlaid "It needs a bridge cover" Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2016
    Southeast FL
    My bitter half used to have a used book biz. I'd drive her around the state looking for books to complete an order and while she'd look at books, I'd check out local-and chain-music stores and pawn shops. Ya never know what ya might stumble across.
    ToddOfThunder, Gaolee, MCF and 3 others like this.
  4. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Decided to try something I hadn't done yet.
    I plugged this...

    Into this...

    And played along with this...

    At ear bleed volumes! OMG that 2015 has serious balls!
  5. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    MCF - I have the Ebony VP, I bought it in 2017. One of my favorite Thunderbirds, both in how it plays and looks.

    I haven't had any grippy problems with the neck yet and I'm very partial to satin or unfinished necks. This one doesn't seem stickey or slow even when my hands sweat. But I too have been leery about the high gloss poly. If it starts to become a problem I'll just hit it with some scotch brite.

    The VP bridge has all the intonation and height adjustment you'll ever need to set the bass up for any reasonable action. I normally like about 1/16" to 3/32" clearance at the 12th fret and was able to obtain that in a matter of minutes. I find this bridge and the 3 point bridge super easy to quickly adjust. My 2015 TBird has the Babicz bridge, and although it has significantly more adjustment capability I found it took me hours to get it where I wanted it, which ended up being right about where my 3 point bridges are set. Go figure. Of the bunch, I like the VP bridge the best.

    My tuners are working great and have had a real workout with all the string testing I've done on this bass. Note that the early model VP like mine has slightly different tuners than the current model. Not sure if the new ones are better, worse or functionally the same as the originals.

    If it's of any help to you, I live near Simi Valley. Feel free to swing by the house and try a VP along side a 2015 Gibson bird and a 2012 Anniversary Bird as well as a modded Eppi Goth. You can run them into a Tube, Solid State or Hybrid head with Bergantino cabs or a GK Combo. A nice little space to noodle around if you want.
    dagrev, Gaolee, GonePlaid and 8 others like this.
  6. What else would you do with a dead horse?
  7. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal Abuser of Thunderbird Shaped Objects. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2002
    Chandler, Arizona
    Off on a long vacation!!! Will be interesting to see how many pages this thread has jumped when I log in again. Cheers!!
  8. RedVee


    Dec 24, 2014
    I was expecting some R40 love from you GP
    GonePlaid, JJR58, Miles_ONeal and 2 others like this.
  9. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    Safe travels!
  10. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Well guys I turn 60 at the end of the month, I'm not sure I am ready for it lol. I made some changes in my life related to my health a little over a year and a half ago and this picture was a revelation for me, my wife tells me I look 15 years younger. This picture was taken this past weekend at a local music festival and I was shocked at the difference. I'm ready to Rock to the finish line, I'm in three bands and doing sub work and looking for more!
    Nocturnal, dagrev, dieselman and 20 others like this.
  11. So, how did your shoe sound?:D
  12. Looking good!

    When you are under 25, you treat your body as if you don't expect to live to 40. Then you get to 40 and suddenly things hurt and/or don't work properly. A few small changes can have big effects of how you feel (and look). It isn't so much the changes that make the improvements, it is that you start paying attention to all these things.

    You Rock @godofthunder59 !
  13. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    I'm feeling that, man. I'm 58 in a month and @PillO is right, getting past 30 was a revelation- that I didn't get til I was 40. Now those little, noticeable lacks in "rubber-bandiness" I once had are the wake up call. I'm answering...
    Yeah you look like you're paying attention, way to be Scot!
    RedVee, GonePlaid, MCF and 5 others like this.
  14. Funny, some of these things I regret, others I don't. Arthritic hands and bad shoulders is probably the result of rugby, but I don't regret playing. Knees are probably the result of running with a 40lb pack; kind of wish I had done less of that (but not omitted entirely). Really wish I had taken hearing protection more seriously (making sure hearing protection fit properly and provided full protection) around things that go bang.
  15. The poly on the neck doesn’t bother me. It bothers me a bit on my JC somehow.

    The bridge adjusts just fine. I’ve used RS66s and Cobalt flats.

    The tuners work, but aren’t very smooth. They hold just fine or I would have replaced them by now. I’ve had my VP more than a year and play it a fair bit.
  16. Rock on, bro! I nearly died (literally[1]) of diabetes in my 40s from horrible lifestyle choices. I drastically changed things up and within under two years was outlasting the teens at summer camp. I felt better than I had in two decades!
    I’m going for at least 120, so 63 doesn’t feel old.
    Keep it up! And happy almost birthday!!! You look great.

    1. Literally literally, not modern literally that doesn’t mean anything. Doctors and nurses came from all over the hospital to look at my chart and then at me. I’m still in better shape than a lot of 40 year olds I know.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  17. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    We should schedule some kind of group chant or ssomething. All of us on five continents at the same time willing them into existence. Pelham Blue for me, but Inverness Green...I would have to buy two.
  18. Chucky Stiletti

    Chucky Stiletti Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2017
    Santa Cruz, CA
    nice rig, what's that cab rated at?
    GonePlaid and PillO like this.
  19. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    Happy early birthday! You do look good. My wife turns 60 tomorrow. My brother in a few weeks. I’m 61. Hard to believe. We’re a tough generation.
  20. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
    Kudos to you Scott!

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