1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Thunderbird usage

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by jbiscuti, Mar 13, 2013.


  1. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Dec 22, 2007
    NYC / LA
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    Hey Justin! I'm thinking about pulling the trigger locally on an early 90's Orville T-Bird (MIJ). I got to play it - it needs a truss rod tweak but it is really neat, just oozes cool. Sounds real big too - a little on the dark side, but I go for a thumpy, flatwound tone anyway.

    I typically bring a pair of Fender Precisions on all gigs; they're both light, don't suffer from neck dive, and sound huge (Vintage DiMarzio Model P pickups in both).

    I'm thinking about getting into this Thunderbird knowing full-well that it's going to be far more clunky than what I typically play, with a longer reach to the first fret, neck-dive, and all other associated issues.

    That being said, it seems like it would be a fantastic pick bass, and great for the rock stuff my band does (cover band doing ridiculously disparate genres). It also just looks cool as hell and we need all the help we can get on stage.

    I was wondering - how do you use your T-Bird(s)? Would you feel comfy, say, doing a whole Beck gig with it, or a whole NIN gig with it? Is it only good for picking? Rounds or flats?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    I use them for surprising things. For me, they are the perfect blend of guttural, dark, and also very subtly ringy underneath. For Beck, I didn't use one on the last tour, I mostly used a P-Bass, Starfire, Mustang, and an RD Artist. But on the next outings, I'll probably have it out. I like it for anything rocking with rounds...I've never put flats on, but who knows - that could be great.
     
  3. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Ankh-Morpork
    I have an Orville. I'm very happy with it. The pickups in those things are much better than what they were putting in Epiphones or Gibsons (at least, for a while...dunno if they've improved)

    It's also good for some monstrous reggae sounds..... one of the things I like most about it is that no matter how you jack up the treble, the low end never disappears.
     
  4. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Dec 22, 2007
    NYC / LA
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    Thanks dudes! I went ahead and pulled the trigger today. Here are my initial impressions, but first, let's start with NBD justification: Had some store credit to burn. Never owned one. Had to satisfy my curiosity. YOLO. :D

    I brought a strap with me to try it out today - a thin, particularly slick one is all I had on hand at the moment, so as you can imagine, the neck dive was quite pronounced. Not unplayably so, but enough to be irksome. The first thing I'm gonna do is drop in a set of Hipshot Ultralites I have on hand, which will certainly make SOME difference. Will it be enough? We shall see...

    It sounds great - like a more burly, wooly P, but with a bridge pickup there if I want to go into a more muscly Jaco territory (not a fan of that tone usually, but its nice having it on hand...I'm sure I'll be on the neck pickup 99% of the time).

    The case is heavy and humongous. If I decide to keep it, I won't be bringing this on every gig, that's for sure. It's just impractical - especially considering I usually just put two seven-pound Precisions in a double gig bag strapped to my back.

    Despite the obvious Crue & glam associations, I find something quite classy and refined about it (kinda like me :mrgreen:). More chrome than you can shake a stick at!

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Justin - I need to stretch out a bit more and this will be a good start. :)

    1B276D52-E40E-4A9E-9B27-F04EC7C981A1-4078-000004BB0B9A2869_zpsaca115e6.
     
  5. Dan Bozek

    Dan Bozek

    Aug 3, 2011
    Outside Pittsburgh, PA
    Endorsing Artist, D'addario Strings
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1363292782.847796.

    This is what I did to help with neck dive on my Epiphone Franken-Birdy. I'm not sure if your's is a bolt-on or not, but this helped me A TON.

    And what a great looking bass!! Congrats!!
     
  6. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Dec 22, 2007
    NYC / LA
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    Mine is a set-neck, but it looks like someone already drilled a hole at the heel - I'll try moving the strap button there. Thanks!
     
  7. Dan Bozek

    Dan Bozek

    Aug 3, 2011
    Outside Pittsburgh, PA
    Endorsing Artist, D'addario Strings
    Most (if not all? I can’t remember, actually) of the Gibsons that I’ve played have the button on the back. That’s where I got the idea.
     
  8. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Dec 22, 2007
    NYC / LA
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
  9. Dan Bozek

    Dan Bozek

    Aug 3, 2011
    Outside Pittsburgh, PA
    Endorsing Artist, D'addario Strings
    Awesome!! Your blog made me smile because it is just spot on. I used mine for a few numbers this past weekend too after it had been neglected for at least a year in favor of my favorite Fenders ('63 P with flats that haven't been changed in years, 60s-reissue P with rounds tuned BEAD, and a Jaguar bass) that basically alway travel with me at this point, and I loved the T-Bird tone and feel. It is so NOT-Fender in a way that welcoming.

    "If you can't make it happen with a Precision into an Ampeg, you're doing it wrong," but variety is the spice of bass life!!
     
  10. Doing this doesnt screw with the setup of the bass?
     

Share This Page