The Gibson thunderbird...

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music_is_my_life
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The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by music_is_my_life » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:49 pm

For while ive been wanting to buy a gibson thunderbird from my rockshop and have been trying to find out more about them lately. Whats the deal with them? are they a good bass? what should i know? also its going at about $1000 which i thought would be pretty good. is it? been playing bass for about 1 year and 9 months and would really like to buy a good bass because i currently have an unknown mannix brand which is pretty good but really not adequate. do you think this is a good buy?

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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by Pstewart » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:53 pm

Whatever your into man, it's all style stuff! But try heaps of them to make sure you like the feel of how it plays and the sound.
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by music_is_my_life » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:19 pm

Its more about the price. im not sure wether its expensive or cheap. im thinking cheap atm unless i read wrong
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by model.citizen » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:02 am

at that price it'll be an Epiphone, not a Gibson. tho i dunno whether $1k is good or bad...probably best to compare prices with those current in the USA.

good basses, but neck heavy - try out and make sure it's comfortable for ya, and that ya dig the tone they put out.
i like rickenbackers. and fridges.

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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by music_is_my_life » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:30 pm

I am pretty sure it is a gibson ill have to doule check
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by ryanmaiden » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:22 pm

Dude, if it's a real Gibson, it's an absolute steal, even if it is second hand.
2nd hand ones sell for about 2 grand on trade me, so if it is the genuine article, snap it up!

If you can't tell from the headstock for some reason, just ask the rockshop staff, they are obliged to tell you exactly what it is. If for some reason they are not particulary helpful, flip it over and check whether the neck is bolted on or not. A real gibson is neck-through, the epiphones and other copies are usually bolt on, although I believe the Tokai copies are set-neck (glued), but this should be pretty obvious as well, you'll be able to see where the neck joins the body. The only joins on a real gibson are where the wings of the body attach to the raised centre bit. Also look for the "made in U.S.A" stamp and serial number on the back of the headstock. I'm pretty sure you can check the serial number on the web to see if it is for real.

As far as whether they are a good bass, it's very dependant on the style of music you play. They have a reputation of being an absolute rock monster, but also a one-trick pony. You wouldn't want to try and bust out the funk on one of these, if you get my drift. But if you are playing good ol' solid rock, and you team the thunderbird up with a big dirty tube amp, you'll be unstoppable.
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timi
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by timi » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:23 pm

Cool bass, but not for everyone. I find the shape a bit uncomfortable but my friend loves his one. I found it online for him, exchange rate was better at the time but all up he landed a used white one for $1400 (Gibson not Epiphone).

Soundwise they have lots of lows, but don't expect much of that top end "zing" that a Jazz bass or a Stingray would have for example.

Make sure you play it for a while at the shop, and make sure you try it standing up with a strap.

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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by chinwig_bass » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:35 pm

Yay!!

I have a Gibson Thunderbird and I absolutely love it! I dont have a problem with neck dive as the strap button is set behind the neck. If you are unsure of whether or not its a genuine Gibson, look at the jack position as genuine ones have the jack on the under side NOT on the front of the guitar.

Also if it is a genuine Gisbon and it does appear cheap.. have a very good look at the headstock where it meets the neck. It is a very common problem for the headstock to snap off. Some are sold as damaged / repaired.

In the UK there is a massive difference in price between Gibson and Epi's, by about £600!!
My advice? If you're serious about your bass go for the most you can afford..Don't skimp on cheap guitars, It'll pay off in the long run!!
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by Jake » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:01 pm

hey i was thinking of buying a Tokai thunderbird. I can get one for about $600 newish (the model is TB-48) anything anyone can tell me about these? also is that a good price for one?
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by pins » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:01 pm

you need to hopefully ? try before you buy,as always best advice then if like it, its worth the money :wink:

i know little about them,its a look that doesnt appeal to me personally,but having said that,never played one either :)

this owner had nothing but goodness to add.

http://www.activebass.com/v7738--Tokai-Thunderbird-TB48

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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by Jake » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:27 pm

Thanx for that. Won't be able to try it in near future as it's in Auckland and I'm not heading up there soon :( next time I go up there I'll arrange a meeting and give it a go
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by Fenderfan » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:28 pm

I've been GAS'n for a thunderbird lately, haven't played one at all, cos I'm nowhere near affording one! Much of a difference in the gibson vs epiphone? Cos there definately is in the price!! Apart from the obvious of course.
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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by model.citizen » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:51 pm

the difference between an Epi and a Gibson is kinda like the difference between a "real" Jazz and a copy (or really near any copy vs original). sometimes it's subtle, sometimes it's glaring.

choice of wood, construction method, electronics and overall build care the main areas. sometimes you find a copy/cheaper version feels and plays better, sometimes not. *generally* the non-copy will have the edge in every area, which summed up makes it a more enjoyable instrument to play. with vintage originals, there's just a natural, lived-in, comfortable vibe.

but it really always comes down to, "do you like playing it, and does it give the sound you're after?". many people diss anything that isn't the "real deal" just coz it isn't, well, the "real deal"...too much w@nk in people's preferences IMO. at the end of the day it's a tool; an extension of your fingers and soul.

i've played Rickenbacker copies that were just as good as the real McCoy...and i've played P and J copies that were probably better suited as a canoe paddle.
i like rickenbackers. and fridges.

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Re: The Gibson thunderbird...

Post by Fishin4bass » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:15 pm

music_is_my_life wrote:For while ive been wanting to buy a gibson thunderbird from my rockshop and have been trying to find out more about them lately. Whats the deal with them? are they a good bass? what should i know? also its going at about $1000 which i thought would be pretty good. is it? been playing bass for about 1 year and 9 months and would really like to buy a good bass because i currently have an unknown mannix brand which is pretty good but really not adequate. do you think this is a good buy?
Re. the Mannix brand bass: A very able, multi-musician, friend of mine bought a Mannix bass. Hitherto that I'd thought them probably junk. But I've played it through a Fender Rumble 100 and it works well, sounds good, for a passive bass. The intonation was spot on! though he'd had it set up by Weta Guitars. I play short scale; but I really liked the action and was surprised by the sustain of the Mannix instrument --- yes Weta, of course. Tone-wise, much - but, of course, by no means all - of which is a matter of the amp, was pretty darn good; and the bass seemed to be well-shielded. Good construction ... And it was well-balanced. It maybe that it was just a good one. But for around $130 from Somusic on Trade Me, it's not to be snuffed at. I've bought other budget music gear from that supplier and it has been VERY good for the money. My only worry is what the relevant labour costs indicate concerning the remuneration of those who make such instruments. But where are a good many name-known instruments made, and by whom, these days? It may be that my sniffing at "Mannix" was just a case of the snobbery big-name marketing engenders. If bang for buck matters more than what someone can read up close on the headstock, then the sound of that Mannix was certainly OK for me.

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