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Epiphone Silver Burst Thunderbird IV
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Epiphone Silver Burst Thunderbird IV

4-string bass guitar from Epiphone belonging to the Thunderbird series.

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MGR/Phil Grimwade MGR/Phil Grimwade

« Epiphone Thunderbird IV »

Publié le 05/22/03 à 15:00
Bought from Academy of Sound, Nottingham, UK for about £300.

The T-bird has to be the classic rock bass. It's unusual looking, it's HUGE and looks awesome on stage.

It's neck heavy...well, it's a T-bird, that's how they are. Just don't let go of the thing.

The Epiphone Thunderbird has a bolt-on neck and is made of two pieces of wood joined in the middle with the raised centre sections fitted over the top. That's really the compromise you have to make for not paying out over a grand for the real thing. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't affect the playability or tonal qualities of the guitar to any great extent.
The pickups are twin humbuckers with independant volume controls. They have a full, fat sound and for a passive bass the output is pretty high. The controls themselves are good quality and allow a fair amount of diversity - take out the bridge pickup and you're almost in P-bass territory. There's no crackle from the pots and the jack is solid as well. The black tuners keep the thing in tune whatever you do to it and the bridge is a solid, chunky piece of kit. The only finish is vintage sunburst with a white scratchplate but it looks good, is well finished and you'd never know it was a two piece body. The fingerboard is rosewood, some I have seen have quite badly pitted fingerboards but mine is okay, oiling it is a good idea. The frets are well fitted, although the shape of the body makes it tricky to play the top frets, especially if it's slung low (and it should be...)

Okay, it isn't a Gibbo, but you'd have to look hard to notice. For a rock bassist it's a great instrument if you can't afford the real thing, fatter sounding than any passive bass I've ever played. That said, I wouldn't recommend the bass to a beginner as it's off-balance, has a very long scale length and the thing is so bloody big (long arms are a must).
The look of the guitar limits interest to certain genres of music which is a pity, it's versatile enough to play all sorts of styles on. Really, this is an ideal piece of kit for an accomplished bassist on a budget.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com