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Thunderbird Neck Dive Problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Basspolizei, Jun 4, 2012.


  1. Basspolizei

    Basspolizei Pseudo bass player/collector

    Jun 23, 2004
    US
    Buy basses and lots of guns before it's too late! You have been warned.
    A couple years back I purchased an Epi Nikki Sixx Blackbird. Everything about the bass was killer for the money except one major design flaw. The bass is light, evil, loud, simple and has about the best action of any of my basses. The Deep Sixx pickups have incredibly deep, low tones. Fatastic bass for the price. I play Warwick, Jackson and a Steve Harris Signature Precision. However the neck dive on the Blackbird was so bad and embarrassing that I gave the bass to my daughter. Heck Nikki even had to add a bracket to hook his pinky in to hold the bass up to make it playable. Mine was just unplayable in my view. Today she needed cash so I bought the bass from her. I was told at guitar Center that to make the Thunderbirds work all you needed to do was place the stap button in the northeast screw hole on the neck plate. After drilling out a perfectly good Ernie ball strap lock to accomidate the larger screw I tried that. BS man the bass still has the neck dive and at best rides level. Level won't work for me! So I just took the original strap button screw and button and took a chance on another placement - no science here. I placed it in the lower horn pocket curve below the neck at an angle so that the screw was headed toward the neck pocket. Holy Sh** man this is now a workable and completely perfect playable instrument. Why in the world Gibson and Epi have not thought of this improved location before and made their players do surgery on the instruments is beyond me. I have just played this for two hours and it is now my favorite axe. Wow a simple strap button placement has transformed this into a great player. Hope this helps some of you. :hyper::hyper:
     
  2. bassman64

    bassman64

    Jan 19, 2001
    NY
    I loved everything about my Tbird except the neck dive as well.

    thought the Epiphone Niki Sixx bass was even better but...I never found a good spot like you did

    enjoy...
     
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    For my LeCompte VB5, I just bought a fairly wide, suede-backed strap. It has plenty of grip and eliminated the neck dive.
     
  4. nubs

    nubs

    Mar 1, 2005
    Wisconsin
    the right strap, and placement of the strap pegs will take care of ALL neck dive issues i dont care what anyone says, its the truth! anyone else who claims differently either simply doesnt know, hasnt did it correctly or... is simply a hater! i have 5 birds, two epis, a cataldo REV52, and a JAEbird, and NONE of them after setting them up correctly neck dive!
     
  5. I have three Thunderbirds, an Epi 4, an Epi Pro V and a Gibson Studio 5 String and have no issue with neck dive. A nice 3 or 4 inch wide strap that is suede or unfinished leather on the back side is all I found was required.
     
  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005

    Yup - I *thought* neck dive was going to be an issue with my recently aquired Gibby T-bird, but it hasn't been an issue at all... I wear my basses fairly low, and use custom made 3" leather straps with an unfinished inside - and I never have neck dive issues with any of my basses... The T-bird slightly falls away from my body due to the strap post being on the heel of the neck, but even that's been really easy to deal with... I think you can see the stock locations here:

    IMAG0677.jpg

    IMAG0676.jpg

    IMAG0675.jpg


    - georgestrings
     

  7. LOVE your bird!!!:hyper:
     
  8. 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
    Put it on ze heel Klink! :D
     
  9. Jawol Herr Field Marshall
     
  10. Mark4

    Mark4

    Oct 21, 2007
    Glad to hear you found something that works for you. Along with the old strap button location, some of the Korean Epi IVs must have heavier necks than the current Chinese models. Mine was built with the strap button on the neck plate, and it doesn't neck dive.
     
  11. Basspolizei

    Basspolizei Pseudo bass player/collector

    Jun 23, 2004
    US
    Buy basses and lots of guns before it's too late! You have been warned.
    Good to know all you have had success. I failed to mention I also use the Levies Bullet strap which is rough on the underside and grips the shoulder well. This helps as well. But if you get tired of holding your neck up try what I did and you will eliminate that issue. Happy jamming. :D:D
     
  12. Basspolizei

    Basspolizei Pseudo bass player/collector

    Jun 23, 2004
    US
    Buy basses and lots of guns before it's too late! You have been warned.
    Well my attempt at adding a pic didn't work. I forgot to mention one thing about the heavy Levi's Bullet Strap . I took it to a boot shop and had the back strap extended 8" or it would have been be far too short for this bass if you like your straps hung low. Also the mention of the Ernie Ball strap lock - once I drilled it out to accomadate the large neck plate screw it would no longer accept the strap lock because the screw was then in the way of the post on the lock. The stock strap button screw is less than half the diameter of the neck screw. So just another point to be made is that if you place the strap button on the neck plate don't plan on using an Ernie Ball type strap lock.

    Remember to "slappa the bass maaan" and enjoy - no matter what you play..........
     

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