To upgrade pickups or new bass, Epiphone Thunderbird ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eedwards7891, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Eedwards7891


    Dec 11, 2017
    Hey TB'ers!
    I have a Epiphone Thunderbird , I've had it 5 years . The pickups or wiring are sounding suspect, as I can hear pops and clicks while playing occssioonally, and sometimes I will lose a lot of volume randomly. I'm using new cables and patch cables, with new pedals, so I doubt they are the issues. I am going to look at the electronics later today .

    I am thinking about upgrading the p ups on the thunderbird. I am looking at Seymour Duncan's Basslines SSB-4 set , because of their price point and how they are reviewed. I love this bass, regardless of it's bad reviews , haha. I use this bass specifically to play only down tuned stoner metal.

    I am at the point of considering getting the p ups upgrade, or getting a new bass . I would much rather get some good p ups and clean up the electronics than get a new bass, but I am open to the possibility. If I went with a new bass, id like to stay under $500.

    I'm just open to input . Thank you all!
  2. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Bring it to a tech (most instrument retailers have a guitar tech on staff) and have him go over the electronics, or even just have him straight out upgrade all the electronics (CTS pots, orange drop caps, Switchcraft input Jack) and wire it all up for you.

    If you have a friend who’s successfully had tech work done on his guitar or bass locally, you might go to the same tech he used.

    If you’re using any pedals, the problem might lie in the pedals, patch cables or power supply (if any). I had a devilish time trouble shooting an issue like yours last fall and, after a lot of money and frustration spent trying to get things right, the problem finally turned out to be with the power supply...
    Eedwards7891 likes this.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    See if you can get a set of pickups that Mike Lull is using in his T-Bird basses.
    Eedwards7891 likes this.
  4. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Lulls are awesome, but they would cost about as much as the $500 new bass purchase mentioned!

    OP- do you like the feel of the bass a lot? If so, maybe new pickups would be a great idea
    Eedwards7891 likes this.
  5. Crusher47

    Crusher47 Tattoo'ed Freak

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fort Worth, TX
    It might be something as easy as a loose or dirty output jack. Check the easy stuff first. If you love how the bass feels and plays, I would keep it and upgrade pickups if you still want to go that route.
    Jon Pomplin and Eedwards7891 like this.
  6. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Eedwards7891 :)

    Looks like you found your "keeper".

    So investing in a mod is probably better,

    than to buy a new bass, that you may not like.

    dukeorock, jonlimo and Eedwards7891 like this.
  7. Jon Pomplin

    Jon Pomplin

    Mar 23, 2001
    It's amazing what a little cleaning will do. I used a little DeoxIT on my Rick-o-sound output on the 1980 4001 (never used it before) and it fixed it just fine. Same with a Mackie PA board. Cheaper than mod
    dukeorock and Eedwards7891 like this.
  8. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    I just fixed a similar problem yesterday in one of my main players that just came back from the plek machine. Turned out to be a bad solder (ground wire on the tone pot) which must have loosened up when the pickguard was off. Easy fix.
    dukeorock and Eedwards7891 like this.