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Epiphone Thunderbird


ofir012345

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hey,

 

There are two different Thunderbird models , and the difference between them in price is almost half.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/epiphone_thunderbird_vintage_pro_ts.htm

https://www.thomann.de/gb/epiphone_thunderbird_iv_ebass.htm

Can anyone tell me what the differences are between them?

 

thank you

 

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I’m sure a T-Bird player with more info will be along soon with more to this, but at the very least the cheaper one is a bolt on neck with Epi pickups, crappy 3 point bridge etc, whereas the vintage pro has a thru-neck, probucker pickups and a far better bridge. Design wise, the vintage pro is a repro of (I think) a ‘63 T-Bird so has an oversized headstock etc. All in all a LOT more bass.

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18 minutes ago, mr4stringz said:

I’m sure a T-Bird player with more info will be along soon with more to this, but at the very least the cheaper one is a bolt on neck with Epi pickups, crappy 3 point bridge etc, whereas the vintage pro has a thru-neck, probucker pickups and a far better bridge. Design wise, the vintage pro is a repro of (I think) a ‘63 T-Bird so has an oversized headstock etc. All in all a LOT more bass.

thank you

 

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45 minutes ago, mr4stringz said:

I’m sure a T-Bird player with more info will be along soon with more to this, but at the very least the cheaper one is a bolt on neck with Epi pickups, crappy 3 point bridge etc, whereas the vintage pro has a thru-neck, probucker pickups and a far better bridge. Design wise, the vintage pro is a repro of (I think) a ‘63 T-Bird so has an oversized headstock etc. All in all a LOT more bass.

Pretty much that. If you keep an eye out you might pick up the older TBird Pro4 second hand for a reasonable amount. That has an even better bridge ( from memory it was a hipshot clone), active pickups and is neck through also - used to own one, also owned a Korean made epi Thunderbird same as the second one you listed - though they are made in China now not Korea. Out of the two you listed I would go for the Vintage pro.

 

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5 minutes ago, Nibody said:

Pretty much that. If you keep an eye out you might pick up the older TBird Pro4 second hand for a reasonable amount. That has an even better bridge ( from memory it was a hipshot clone), active pickups and is neck through also - used to own one, also owned a Korean made epi Thunderbird same as the second one you listed - though they are made in China now not Korea. Out of the two you listed I would go for the Vintage pro.

 

thank you,

I think it's passive pickups in both models, no ?

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Epiphone-Thunderbird-Pro-iv-4-Bass-Guitar-and-Hardcase/174717578351?hash=item28adfaac6f:g:zN4AAOSweN5gaFQj T

This is the old Pro 4 I was talking about. It may pay to have a good look second hand to see whats about (Epiphone did a few different models including a  model with gibson pickups too in the last few years). But if buying new definitely the Vintage Pro over the other one

 

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1 minute ago, Nibody said:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Epiphone-Thunderbird-Pro-iv-4-Bass-Guitar-and-Hardcase/174717578351?hash=item28adfaac6f:g:zN4AAOSweN5gaFQj T

This is the old Pro 4 I was talking about. It may pay to have a good look second hand to see whats about (Epiphone did a few different models including a  model with gibson pickups too in the last few years). But if buying new definitely the Vintage Pro over the other one

 

Got it, thanks a lot

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To be clear The Pro 4 had a preamp with passive pickups (There is a difference). But it did have a much better Bridge and was neck through. I also believe it had different pickups than the MIK / MIC model. I have owned all Models mentioned so far except the one with Gibson Pickups. I would agree that the Vintage PRO is the way to go out of what is available today. The other Active one was a decent bass in it's own right but there were some Issues with some of the Preamps and could end up just being converted to Passive instead of replacing the Pre.

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10 hours ago, Nighttrain1127 said:

To be clear The Pro 4 had a preamp with passive pickups (There is a difference). But it did have a much better Bridge and was neck through. I also believe it had different pickups than the MIK / MIC model. I have owned all Models mentioned so far except the one with Gibson Pickups. I would agree that the Vintage PRO is the way to go out of what is available today. The other Active one was a decent bass in it's own right but there were some Issues with some of the Preamps and could end up just being converted to Passive instead of replacing the Pre.

correct.. been a while since I had it (still regret selling it)

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On 05/04/2021 at 09:49, ofir012345 said:

hey,

 

There are two different Thunderbird models , and the difference between them in price is almost half.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/epiphone_thunderbird_vintage_pro_ts.htm

https://www.thomann.de/gb/epiphone_thunderbird_iv_ebass.htm

Can anyone tell me what the differences are between them?

 

thank you

 

Two very different basses. The only thing they have in common in the shape.

The cheaper bolt-on is a decent bass for the money, but it doesn't feel or sound much like a Thunderbird.

The Vintage Pro is a magnificent instrument.

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I have the Vintage Pro in white and I love it.  Got one a couple of years ago second hand for £350 and it has a lovely punchy, clear tone, a really comfortable, thin neck and is very nice to play.

If you're looking for a Thunderbird I'd definitely recommend it.  Especially as it's down from £600 to £450 new now.

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Are the bolt on ones (new or old) considered pretty shi*ty? The demos of the Vintage pro sound really good. Nice n punchy. Same with the older active 1. I've spotted a good few of the non bolt on active Epi for sale in Spain, but am wary of buying online these days.

They look like darn long instruments too!

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2 hours ago, barrycreed said:

Are the bolt on ones (new or old) considered pretty shi*ty? The demos of the Vintage pro sound really good. Nice n punchy. Same with the older active 1. I've spotted a good few of the non bolt on active Epi for sale in Spain, but am wary of buying online these days.

They look like darn long instruments too!

They are long. Considering how much the pro's go for, I can't think of a reason why you would pick the bolt on version.

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25 minutes ago, barrycreed said:

Does this look ok? Battery compartment seems to be not there v the sunburst ones or natural finish ones, of which there are several much cheaper than this on the same site.

There is no battery on a Thunderbird pro. 

It seems fine but I sold one for £200 and it took quite a time to sell it so that looks like crazy money. Anything over €300 would be way too much

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48 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

There is no battery on a Thunderbird pro. 

It seems fine but I sold one for £200 and it took quite a time to sell it so that looks like crazy money. Anything over €300 would be way too much

ah good to know. So the non bolt on active ones are the ones to watch (at a cheaper price!)?

Bridge on new Vintage pro looks a lot better though.

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14 hours ago, barrycreed said:

ah good to know. So the non bolt on active ones are the ones to watch (at a cheaper price!)?

Bridge on new Vintage pro looks a lot better though.

Thunderbirds are not like the average (passive) P or J bass where it doesn't really matter who makes it, the construction, hardware and electronics are all basically the same as the original Fender version. For a start not even the Gibson Thunderbirds have been consistent over the years. Take a modern Gibson and compare it with one from the 60s and the only rough shape of the instrument will be the same.

Which one is the right one for you, really depends on what you are after from this bass. You need to play them all, because they are all very different instruments. Personally I think the active Epiphone version is about the furthest removed from an original 60s Gibson, and if that's what you like, then you should probably also consider some of the Thunderbird inspired instruments from other manufacturers.

Edited by BigRedX
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I only own a Gibson one now but had two of the cheapy entry level Epiphones and a Pro-4 Epiphone too. I thought the entry ones were good fun. They didn't sound as good as my Gibson (obviously) and the bolt on neck really goes against what is the traditional T-bird design but a cheap second hand one of those is good fun to muck about on. The Pro-4 looked much cooler than my Gibson with all the chrome hardware. It was much closer to the 60s original. My particular Pro-4 weighed a tonne though, where as my Gibson and the two budget Epiphones were all surprisingly light.

It's been said before but a £1500 bass isn't ten times as good as a £150 bass, but is obviously much better. A lighter Pro-4 would be a great bass (& I have toured with professional players who have used them). I'd say get out and try a few, see what you like.

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Hiho, I have T-BIRD PRO IV in transparent black- the active one.

Fabulous bass and have no GAS for a Gibson .The maple and  walnut neck  doesn,t break unlike mahogany ones.Bridge easy peasy to adjust.Active ,yes with volume,blend,bass n treble.

Nice to play and a good slapper if that,s your thing.Sounds really good to me through an Orange terror 500 mk1 with either an OBC 115 or a SP 212.

In conclusion it looks good ,sounds good,plays good what more do you want.

Since my initial set up when I bought it new it has never needed an adjustment and apart from strings,cleaning and a battery every now and again just remember to unplug the jack when not playing and your good to go.

t bird.jpg

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