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Rocking the Thunderbird live


Panamonte
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I bought a T-bird off farmer61 (cheers mate - sweet deal) a couple of weeks ago and gigged it for the first time last night - what a great experience!

My Precision has always been my 'go to' bass up till now and there's no doubt that it's smoother and easier to play than the Thunderbird, but there's something about the Gibson - the size, weight and shape - that just makes it easier to move and groove around on stage (despite what you may have heard, it's lighter than the P bass and there's absolutely no neck dive - true for the 2005 model anyway). And, according to experienced ears in the audience, it really drove through the mix - it certainly sounded very full and warm onstage.

I know there's a certain amount of scepticism about Gibson basses around these parts - and I had to swap the bridge for a Hipshot Supertone, because, really, what is that Gibson bridge about? - but as of last night I'm most certainly a convert.

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The Hipshot bridge is great - well worth getting. I'm not convinced by the claims that are made for its effect on tone, sustain etc. but it's just very handy to be able to adjust individual string height which is the major design flaw in the stock Gibson/Epiphone bridge IMO.

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Ive never understood the "Gibsons arent great basses" sentiment... My Les Paul has an enormous sound. Every drummer ive played with prefers to hear that to my Ricks or Precision. Not sure what hat means though!

I think there is a perception that Gibbos just make a woolly thudding sound... Probably because of *that* switch position for Deep Bass on the EB3? Personally i think its a nice sound anyway, depends on the music you are playing i guess.

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[quote name='Stag' timestamp='1322393953' post='1450178']
I think there is a perception that Gibbos just make a woolly thudding sound... Probably because of *that* switch position for Deep Bass on the EB3? Personally i think its a nice sound anyway, depends on the music you are playing i guess.
[/quote]

Well, exactly - to my ears it's warm rather than woolly. I play with two guitarists and a violinist so the low-mids are very much my territory and the Thunderbird fills that out brilliantly.

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I bought a Gibson Thunderbird not really expecting to like it as much after owning a Epi T Bird and not getting on with that but I love it now, They do get classed as muddy but I think they can adapt to any style much like a P bass and the shape is just up my street and very lightweight even after a few hours.

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[quote name='LiamPodmore' timestamp='1322420370' post='1450682']
I'm planning on eventually buying probably an Epi Pro IV, sending it off to SIMS Custom Shop for a nice refinish in Metalflake Green or Metalflake Pink, with matching fretboard LED's and new hardware and pickups, when i can afford it......

Liam
[/quote]

Pink! Go for it!

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Never quite summoned up the balls to use my '76 Bicentennial Thunderbird IV live, but did recently want something that sounded old skool, ballsy, and fat for the studio.....The ol' 'bird didn't dissappoint. Maybe one day I'll play it at a gig, but have to be honest, I'm mostly worried about it getting pinched :) It's quite leight weight, and really easy to play, with a seriously skinny neck. Don't find the so called neck dive an issue, although the 76 is definately more weighty at the headstock end than the 09 I used to have.


+1 for the Les Paul bass as well. My '91 flat top, with Bart's is great to play, and really thumps through.

Good to see some positive comments about T'birds :)

Edited by retroman
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[quote name='billyapple' timestamp='1322421443' post='1450695']
Pink! Go for it!
[/quote]

Saw Overend Watts playing a pink T-bird when Mott The Hoople got back together at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2009 - looked as cool as f***. One of the most awesome gigs I've been to - men of pensionable age rocking out with the exuberance and energy of teenagers :)

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Surely one of the most iconic basses ever. I think the assumption people have about Gibson basses not being "good" basses comes from the fact that their basses often have a very identifiable tone, and sometimes aren't that tonally flexible, but what they do I think they do very well indeed!

And they look cool as...and when you're rocking out on stage, well that is kind of important isn't it? :)

I knew someone who had one, and he gaffer taped a large spanner to the back to combat the balancing issue - not sure what that did to the finish in the long term though!

Edited by bencooper
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[quote name='Panamonte' timestamp='1322400232' post='1450310']
In the words of Rod, you wear it well :)
[/quote]

Why thank you. I cured the neck dive on mine completely with Hipshot Ultralites, a Hipshot Supertone, and shifting the strap button. Not an option on that gorgeous 76, obviously, but it works elsewhere. Now all I need are some chrome pickup covers and rings, and I'm done.

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I bought a Yamaha RBX4something to use instead of my Epiphone TBird mainly because it is lighter but the first gigs that I did I was looking over my shoulder at the TBird and eventually just stopped taking the Yam with me.
The looks and the tone of the TBird I love, can't help myself.
I bought the Epiphone with money left when my old man died and am looking for another one to take to gigs. The master plan is next year when I leave the army I will treat myself to a Gibsonl, until then I am happy with the Epiphone.

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[quote name='Panamonte' timestamp='1322390513' post='1450118']
I bought a T-bird off farmer61 (cheers mate - sweet deal) a couple of weeks ago and gigged it for the first time last night - what a great experience!

[/quote]

Here's the very same bass in action (probably only one string mind you)

Edited by farmer61
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