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Epihone Advice: Embassy or Thundebird

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Hello you lot, 

I'm in a pickle. I've decided i need a long-scale bass for one of my bands. I've narrowed it down to the Epi Thunderbird Vintage Pro and the Embassy Pro.

For those interested, here's why i feel i need the long scale:

Tuning: We play in drop D, but half a step down. Not my choice, but it is what it is and its easier for me to match the tuning of the guitarists. My shorties do a passable job of this with heavier strings, but needless to say a low c# can be floppier than Donald Trump in a tax investigation. 

I dont have this problem with downtuning on long scale basses, but i dont currently own one.

Harmonics: I use harmonics quite a bit and i notice on my shorties, they dont ring out as well on the 9th Fret. This is pretty important to one of our songs so i'd like it to get it to where i want it to be, again not an issue on long scale basses. 

I prefer short scale basses ergonimically coz i'm short and prefer jazz-width necks.

So, I'm trying to figure out whats best for me. 

 

TB Classic Pro and Embassy have the same pickups and the same scale length so they will both give me the sound i want (ive checked rather alot of demos and dont think theres enough in it to feel they are different sonically).

They are both 34" scale. 

 

PRO Embassy Pro

I can get an Embassy significantly cheaper than a TB VP, with the Embassy being affordable for me, where the TB would be a little stretch (but not too detrimental) 

The embassy looks cool but not as cool as the TB, yes the looks matter to me, if i think it looks good, i will feel better when playing it.

The Embassy has a upper horn that extends to round the 12th fret, meaning that my reach would be easier, i believe. As i mentioned, im pretty short and dont want to be struggling for reach, I've had a few TBs in the past and felt it clunky, neck dive and chunky neck, but looking back, it was a Tokai TB which actually has a thicker nut width so i dont really know how much of a problem it would be with the EPI TB.

The TB headstock is massive, along with the body shape, i wonder whether i am going to be looking like a child playing daddy's bass. 

I'm a little scared that if that TB headstock took a knock, it will snap right off. I'm careful with my stuff, but accidents happen and with the size of it, im worried its more likely to happen.

The Embassy appears to be discontinued. This should help its resale value, the price i have seen for it, i consider good if it is delivered as advertised. 

 

PRO TB VP

I LOVE the TB shape and look. I always have. I think it would fit in with the vibe of the band well, much better than the Embassy. Its a rock machine and wouldnt look out of place playing heavier stuff either.

The TB has a thinner width at the nut. a la Jazz bass. The Embassy is more precision-like. Its not the end of the world but i've got small hands and it makes a difference to me. 

There doesnt seem to have been much love for the Embassy and when the eventual time comes for resale I dont know how quick it would be to shift, but theres always a market for a decent thunderbird. 

I can get a good price on the TB (compared to its new price everywhere else), its cheaper than ive seen it anywhere else, but its still £130 more expensive than the Embassy. 

 

Obviously, we're not doing much playing at the moment but i've getting bonus on payday larger than i likely will in other months, so i feel like its now or never. 

 

Alternatively, ive got some .110 strings coming from Newtone for my Mustang. Its not ideal but it does work. 

 

 

What would you do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Go Thunderbird - the neck through laminate construction costs more to make than the set neck of the embassy.

Wonder if there are any for sale used?

Also - the classic IV (predecessor to vintage ones) is a nice bass too.

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I really fancy the Embassy Pro, but the T Bird is a fine instrument. 

Best bet; find a red Embassy at really good price, then buy a Thunderbird and send me a link to the Embassy so I can get it. 

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Just now, stewblack said:

I really fancy the Embassy Pro, but the T Bird is a fine instrument. 

Best bet; find a red Embassy at really good price, then buy a Thunderbird and send me a link to the Embassy so I can get it. 

So a chappie is knocking out the red embassy pro for £319 on ebay, thats the one im looking at. Apparently its new. I mean, for £319, that seems like a great price. 

Reidys have an TBVP for £450. To me, that is a significant difference but still a great price for the TB.  

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7 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

Go Thunderbird - the neck through laminate construction costs more to make than the set neck of the embassy.

Wonder if there are any for sale used?

Also - the classic IV (predecessor to vintage ones) is a nice bass too.

Theres a used sunburst one just popped up on ebay for £375 with collection from Reading (not the end of the world but it'll probably gost me £20 in petrol). I have my heart set on the Ebony though, which i can get from Reidy's for £450

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Can't comment on the embassy, but I've bought the vintage pro New a few months ago and like it a lot. It really is a well built bass that sounds great, just like I expected from reading all the positive reviews. Action can be set really low without trouble.

I have also played the thunderbird standard, and this one feels a fair few steps up. 

And yes the headstock is huge... 

Mine was discounted when I bought it, apparently because they were replacing it with a revised version (I think the fretboard wood changed from rosewood to indian laurel). 

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Hiho, Have you thought about an Epiphone t-bird pro iv.

The neck through one which is active and has the schaller 3D type bridge.

Discontinued now so might get a deal S/H.

I have a transpaImage result for epiphone t-bird pro bassrent black one had it for years,great bass with plenty thunder.

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Just now, bassmachine2112 said:

Hiho, Have you thought about an Epiphone t-bird pro iv.

The neck through one which is active and has the schaller 3D type bridge.

Discontinued now so might get a deal S/H.

I have a transparent black one had it for years,great bass with plenty thunder.

I lusted after these when they came out. However i'm strictly looking for a passive bass (impedance reasons with some of my effects) and i have to say that i'm in love with the new TB pickups that are in the embassy and TBVP

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The Vintage Classics are awesome basses - I've got one of the early white ones. I think it might have been the first one in the country! 

But I digress.

Awesome basses, but they are MASSIVE - the whole thing hangs further to the left thanks to the strap button placement, so it's a longer reach to get to the lower notes. I'm 6ft 3 so it doesn't bother me but if you're used to short scale basses it might be uncomfortable.

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I have a sunburst thunderbird vintage pro and a white one. They are fantastic basses well worth the money. They are big but I swap from my mustangs to my thunderbirds with no problem.

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Okay, so everyone is leaning towards the Tbird so far and so am I. 

A wild and slightly battered Fender Modern Player Dimension just slid into my Reverb feed so I may end up on Fender digression before coming full circle and going with the Tbird. 

 

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I'm the same height and had a T-Bird Classic Pro. The 1st fret is a bit more of a reach than I'm used to but it wasn't a struggle. Running the strap over the front of the lower bout completely eliminates the neck dive and tilt issues, making it way easier to play. I recommend every T-Bird player try this, it's a revelation - I found it unmanageable on a strap without doing so!

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I had a T-bird, one of the PRO-IV models

It sounded great but I found the ergonomics to be so much of an issue that I sold it. I couldn't cope with the neck dive or the distance to the 1st fret, and the overall lack of balance made it a sod to play.

I know I'm in a minority as lots of folks cope with or get round the balance in various ways, but I just couldn't. It was a shame because it sounded really good and I really wanted to get on with it.

I'm 5'8" and slightly built, if that's of interest.

Edited by ahpook
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Try before you buy. A TBird can feel very different on the strap imo. The first fret can feel a bit far away and if you’re already used to (and prefer?) short scale it might be a consideration. 

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On 23/07/2020 at 17:46, ahpook said:

I had a T-bird, one of the PRO-IV models

It sounded great but I found the ergonomics to be so much of an issue that I sold it. I couldn't cope with the neck dive or the distance to the 1st fret, and the overall lack of balance made it a sod to play.

I know I'm in a minority as lots of folks cope with or get round the balance in various ways, but I just couldn't. It was a shame because it sounded really good and I really wanted to get on with it.

I'm 5'8" and slightly built, if that's of interest.

Did you ever try the trick of running the strap over the front of the bass? It totally solves the neckdive, if anything the neck goes up a bit when you let go! Neckfly?!

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22 minutes ago, dannybuoy said:

Did you ever try the trick of running the strap over the front of the bass? It totally solves the neckdive, if anything the neck goes up a bit when you let go! Neckfly?!

Yes, it didn't solve it for me...it still felt very unbalanced.

Edited by ahpook

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On 23/07/2020 at 11:56, bassmachine2112 said:

Hiho, Have you thought about an Epiphone t-bird pro iv.

The neck through one which is active and has the schaller 3D type bridge.

Discontinued now so might get a deal S/H.

I have a transpaImage result for epiphone t-bird pro bassrent black one had it for years,great bass with plenty thunder.

I had one in the same colour and miss it dearly. Different sound to the standard passive TBird, but if anything it was better! 

Edited by Bankai

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I should point out that mine doesn't neck nive, so they're not all cursed (although it seems that most are!).

Admittedly I did replace the tuners with Hipshots, but only for the look - it didn't neck dive with the stock tuners either. 

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I'd go for the Vintage Pro. I have both a '64 t-bird and '64 Embassy Deluxe. The Vintage Pro is really 90% of the way there to the 60's t-bird and the best Gibson/Epi bird since the 60's IMO. Great bass for the money.

Edited by Kazan
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Also with the t-bird being neck-through and the Embassy being set-neck, I'd imagine the t-bird may be better suited to downtuning (though not entirely certain).

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On the neck dive issue, I use a 4"wide leather strap with suede backing and strap button relocated to the heel of the neck. Of course it still does feel different than a Fender type bass but does stay in place hands free (and that's with the bigger headstock of the '64 (replicated on the Vintage Pro) and the heavier original Kluson tuning machines (as shown in my profile photo).

It is a compromise but not a big one and well worth it IMO.

Edited by Kazan

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Reviving this thread, as I'm curious which one you chose? 

I recently bought the Embassy Pro & I'm surprised at how playable it is.. long scale that feels short, easy neck, cool vintage look &  seemingly, TB kinda pups... at £319... Can't grumble at all!.🙂

 

 

POP_EMBPROBASS-DC~3.jpg

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