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Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar

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The Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar debuted in 1963 with the original Firebird guitar series. The most highly respected of all Gibson...Click To Read More About This Product

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Big, bold, bass from a stunning classic.

The Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar debuted in 1963 with the original Firebird guitar series. The most highly respected of all Gibson basses, it was reissued in 1987 with original reverse body styling and TB Plus ceramic magnet humbuckers. Its thunderous bass output is enhanced by a 9-ply mahogany-and-walnut neck that extends through the body. Mahogany wings, a rosewood fretboard, and black chrome hardware provide stunning dark looks. 34" scale, black top-hat knobs with inserts, Schaller tuners, and 3-way adjustable tailpiece. Gibson includes their own hardshell case with the Thunderbird IV. Includes case.

FEATURES
9-ply mahogany and walnut neck
Through-body neck
Mahogany wings
Rosewood fretboard
Black chrome hardware
34" scale
TB Plus ceramic magnet humbuckers
Black top-hat knobs with inserts
Schaller tuners
3-way adjustable tailpiece
Hardshell case

Order today for that big Gibson sound from an axe that's earned its stripes.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Gibson2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar
 
4.7

(based on 63 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (52)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

What Took Me So Long?

Despite the less-than-classically aesthetic looks and reversed body, this bass is really ergonomic. At least it fits me. A whole lot better than an Alembic "Exploiter" 4-string I...Read complete review

Despite the less-than-classically aesthetic looks and reversed body, this bass is really ergonomic. At least it fits me. A whole lot better than an Alembic "Exploiter" 4-string I owned a few years back. And did I mention it is super-playable? Nice deep bass and balanced highs give it a good range. No reason to ever lust for a Jazz if you chose this bass. 'Have been using active electronics for so long now I actually forgot how much I enjoy genuine bass tone until recently. I'm not one to go in for hyperbole and have completely avoided use of word "awesome" throughout it's long abused run. "There is no real perfection". Give it an 8.
Hard to beleive that I've made it so far as a bassist and never owned a Gibson Thunderbird. That is to say I've owned or played just about everything elses at one time or another. And the funny thing is it reminds me most of the first good bass I ever owned: A '66 Gibson (Kalamazoo, MI) built Epiphone Newport. Great, fast 34" scale neck. Ugly headstock. Simple controls get you mostly where you want to be. If you like bass that is. It's meat-and-potaoes device. The few control knobs are under-sized and perhaps I'll get used to that and their near-proximity to the strings.
I expect the quality is more-than-adequate. Despite the use of plenty of laminate and the large plastic thingy on the headstock. It arrived with some "buzzing" on the 1st and 2nd strings but a little tightening of the tuning machines (Schallers) took care of that.
Value is in The Eye of The Beholder. I mean people are paying thousands of dollars for "vintage" Fender Mustangs. They were nothing special when introduced and 45 years of aging hasn't made them any better. I've paid more than twice-as-much for basses that were no better. I don't think Gibson has any real love or understanding of basses but they've got lucky on a few.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

epiphone VS Gibson TB

I got the chance to play a gibson TB recently at a portland Guitar shop. The same shop also had the Epiphone version. The Gibson gets 'hats off' for their design but I...Read complete review

I got the chance to play a gibson TB recently at a portland Guitar shop. The same shop also had the Epiphone version. The Gibson gets 'hats off' for their design but I gotta say that the Epiphone copy felt better; looked better finish-wise and no way could I see the price on the Gibson warranted based on playability and build quality. I realise that is based on only two examples I got my hands on...but hands on is where the bass lives or dies. I was so curious to come look up both online. I would be a bit embarassed if I was Gibson these days. Especially given the price difference. I love the TB design...always have. But I would not drop a that kind of money on a Gibson just for the name. Seems better to get the EP and tweak it as I choose. Probably still have lots of cash left when done! My brother swears by Gibsons...but I don't know why anymore, really.

Reviewed by 63 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

What Took Me So Long?

By teecolley

from Indianapolis

See all my reviews

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

Despite the less-than-classically aesthetic looks and reversed body, this bass is really ergonomic. At least it fits me. A whole lot better than an Alembic "Exploiter" 4-string I owned a few years back. And did I mention it is super-playable? Nice deep bass and balanced highs give it a good range. No reason to ever lust for a Jazz if you chose this bass. 'Have been using active electronics for so long now I actually forgot how much I enjoy genuine bass tone until recently. I'm not one to go in for hyperbole and have completely avoided use of word "awesome" throughout it's long abused run. "There is no real perfection". Give it an 8.
Hard to beleive that I've made it so far as a bassist and never owned a Gibson Thunderbird. That is to say I've owned or played just about everything elses at one time or another. And the funny thing is it reminds me most of the first good bass I ever owned: A '66 Gibson (Kalamazoo, MI) built Epiphone Newport. Great, fast 34" scale neck. Ugly headstock. Simple controls get you mostly where you want to be. If you like bass that is. It's meat-and-potaoes device. The few control knobs are under-sized and perhaps I'll get used to that and their near-proximity to the strings.
I expect the quality is more-than-adequate. Despite the use of plenty of laminate and the large plastic thingy on the headstock. It arrived with some "buzzing" on the 1st and 2nd strings but a little tightening of the tuning machines (Schallers) took care of that.
Value is in The Eye of The Beholder. I mean people are paying thousands of dollars for "vintage" Fender Mustangs. They were nothing special when introduced and 45 years of aging hasn't made them any better. I've paid more than twice-as-much for basses that were no better. I don't think Gibson has any real love or understanding of basses but they've got lucky on a few.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

epiphone VS Gibson TB

By BassDad-WuS3R

from portland Oregon

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I got the chance to play a gibson TB recently at a portland Guitar shop. The same shop also had the Epiphone version. The Gibson gets 'hats off' for their design but I gotta say that the Epiphone copy felt better; looked better finish-wise and no way could I see the price on the Gibson warranted based on playability and build quality. I realise that is based on only two examples I got my hands on...but hands on is where the bass lives or dies. I was so curious to come look up both online. I would be a bit embarassed if I was Gibson these days. Especially given the price difference. I love the TB design...always have. But I would not drop a that kind of money on a Gibson just for the name. Seems better to get the EP and tweak it as I choose. Probably still have lots of cash left when done! My brother swears by Gibsons...but I don't know why anymore, really.

(2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Outshines Rickenbacer By a Mile

By Love My Bird

from Arazona

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I've had one of these for several years and I can't say enough good things about it.Played Ricenbacker 4001 & 4003 basses and they don't come anywhere nere the quality, tone, or playability of the Gibson Thunderbird.Plus the Gibson's neck is much more stable than the Rickenbacker's.Buy a Gibson Thunderbird and stay clear of the Rickenbacker 4001 & 4003. You won't be dissApointed.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Legend - For A Reason

By Don

from Chicagoland

See all my reviews

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I've had my T-Bird IV for since the 90's. While I do not think I could have this as my only bass (I also own several Fenders, a Rick, Spector, Tobias, etc.) when I'm in the mood to play this bad-boy it never disappoints. Mine's completely stock, but the electronics are every bit the equal of the EMG's in the Spector, the Bartolini's in the Tobias, and anything else in any bass I've heard. There's a reason the T-Bird is a legend among basses - it's earned that status; this bass is timeless.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best bass in Bassdom.

By KeeperOfTheLowEnd420

from Deleon, TX

See all my reviews

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

This is honestly the best bass i have ever touched my hands too, Zakk has his 'holy grail', a 70's bulls eye les paul, well this Gibson Thunderbird is my 'holy grail'. The attack i can get with the tone wide open is very gritty and very very punchy. You can also roll it back and takeoff some of the 'highs' and get a more round and thumpy sound.Some people complain about weight issues and neck diving but when i bought the bass i also bought a good 2.5 inch leather strap which solves both of these common problems. Mine is pretty light for a Thunderbird, far less than a typical les paul standard, which helps a lot too. This thing pared with a good Ampeg amp and some Ernie balls gives miles and miles of low end thundering growl mainly due too the pickups and mahogany body and also the neck through construction.The only two reasons I didn't give it all 5 stars is because first I didn't receive the same case as pictured, mine lacks the lock and the leather handle but construction wise its still a solid case too let this beast rest in.The other reason is on mine it came with a bridge that has Epiphone stamped under it which makes me think its an Epiphone bride witch really seems cheap on Gibson too put an Epiphone on such a killer bass, but some where down the line i going to replace it with a drop in Hipshot replacement which will hopefully increase sustain and bring out some more of that killer thundering tone!!All in all a really killer bass all that it lacks is a proper bridge but i will soon take care of that. Keep on thumpin' good people!!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Gison! Where's the Quality Control

By Six Gun 66

from Kunkletown,PA

See all my reviews

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I bought the "T-Bird" earlier this year to add to my Guitar Collection. Got the Ebony and when I opened the packing It looked outstanding, but when I started checking things over my Wonderment started faded quickly.The back of the body had irregular shine and flat texture, So I plugged it into a Half-Stack and let it Rip,The neck is fast and very accomodating but the sound was muddy and buzzing.The Set-up was way off and I could not correct it, I have been setting up Guitars since I was a Kid and 35 years later I still know how to do it. From what I have read since buying a Gibson it sounds to me that Qual/Control is becoming a problem.Man I own and play 12 Guitars and 4 Basses,A Rik,Fenders including a new Mustang,And An Epiphone "T-Bird".If the Epi had a set neck and good Pick-Ups it would out shine the Gibson and I would have payed 6 Bills for it.So fellow Thumpers out there it seems to be a pockand hope for the Gibson "T-Bird IV",Sorry.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good bass overall

By Vhorhees

from Beijing, China

See all my reviews

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I have had this bass for about a year now and it is pretty good overall. It is incredibly durable, makes a nice, warm, bass-y sound, and is very very sleek. But here comes the bad. It is VERY heavy, and when not holding the neck, it dives under. The strap holder doesn't do its job, so the strap sometimes fails. But despite all of these it is still a good bass to have and it has never failed me yet (except in the strap part).

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

questionable

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

in all honesty ive played the gibson and the epiphone version side by side and ive gotta say im dissapointed in the gibson version. It sounds the same as the epiphone (i used the same amp when trying the basses) and for the money of the gibson you can buy a used rickenbacker or a new jazz bass and both of them are better quality intruments. I feel that you're just paying a bunch of money because it says "gibson" on the headstock, but thats just my personal opinion. Anyway it is indeed a very cool looking bass and it does sounds awesome, but for the money its not for me

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Real Deal...

By Clint Stiles-VtQaH

from Thomson IL

See all my reviews

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

This is the real deal. I should have bought one of these years ago. I recently bought the Vintage Sunburst, and had previously owned the Nikki Sixx Blackbird. Both basses are bad and rock, but the sunburst has an incredible depth thanks to the nitro finish. Gibsons are hand crafted instruments, so a few minor finish "characteristics" are noticeable, but thats the way real guitars and basses made by hand SHOULD look like - as opposed to cookie cutter clones from Korea. The tone of this bass is incredibley deep - I use DR black Beauty strings and run through Ampeg SVT's. I moved the strap buttons to get a more "vertical" feel out of the bass - but thats just me. Don't even consider the Epiphone - hold out for this bass - you'll be glad you did.

 
5.0

Big, awesome bass with a great sound!

By Shadowjammr

from Santa Barbara, CA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Slight Fragility Issues
  • Weight distribution

Best Uses

  • Performing

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I got this bass as an early Christmas present. Before this, I had dreamed for awhile of getting myself one of these, but never got around to it. Now that I finally have one, it is everything I could have asked for and more. With some slight adjustment of the volume knobs and the tone knob, it was ready to play with an awesome, gnarly hard rock/metal tone. I got the bass in limited edition cherry finish, and the instrument looks stunning. Whenever I play shows with this bass, people talk to me how gnarly the tone is. It's a very versatile bass, though. I mainly play with a pick to get an awesome, early Tool song from it, but it sounds great played finger style or even slapped! The only problem I have with it so far is its upper-fret accessibility. But take it from me: you'll want to sling this bass low and rock out. But as with ALL instruments, play before you buy.

 
5.0

Best Bass EVER!!!!

By Erik-Wgq.v

from Chicago, IL

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

This bass is the best bass i have ever played on. its not neck heavy, it has a fine finish, the neck is thin so its easy to move up and down. the humbugers are great.it looks great. It also gives the best sound i have ever played on wether you play rock or jazz. I WOULD WITHOUT A DOUBT BUY THIS BASE IT IS WORTH THE MONEY!

 
5.0

Sweet Man.....

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I got a Black Thenderbird for christmas and to tell you the truth...its the best bass ive ever played. It's a must buy. If you dont have the money I recommend the epiphone version bass. I would recommend this bass for more serious and masculine players because the neck weighs you down. Other than that it's a fantastic bass.

 
5.0

Dude! GImme a Gibson Thunderbird!

By Ghost-.3K_5

from Cedar Rapids,Iowa

See all my reviews

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I don't get bothered by those that sway me away from owning a Gibson Iv thunderbird man. It is a legend and i can't comprehend why a fellow bass player would'nt take part in it's legacy.

 
5.0

The best in feel, tone n' design.

By 5bj7TWCUH

from Undisclosed

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

THE BEST FOR ORIG DESIGN,TONE AND FEEL. A wicked bass with a nice big warm/mid cut.

 
5.0

Wow!

By GibsonRox-M.ylR

from Wisconsin

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I had the great honor to play one of these basses and let me say... best bass ever! The design is to die for, and the finish makes it sinister and amazing. I will, no question, buy this bass guitar. The weight was no problem for me, and I own an epiphone les paul and it seems like an amateur bass now that I played the offical Gibson Thunderbird! I would love to have one of these ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING basses. My band played Jump-Van Halen- and this bass made me do David Lee Roth jumps all over I felt so empowered...&#983&#983I love this bass&#983&#983

 
4.0

Slaps good, decent bottom-end, great top-end

By porboy

from Seattle

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

Fit and finish are not all that good. Plays good, feels good, sounds great, looks cool! Kinda neck heavy.

 
5.0

Gibson USA,classic

By Brian-p12R2

from Waukee,Ia

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

Upon taking delivery,the factory stock strings seem to have oxidized due to the curing of the nitrocellose finish.I replaced them with a medium gage set.The neck plays some what of a jazz bass,body cavities are well finshed.Pickups could be better shielded being humbuckers.Best results for cleaning sticky grim,use martin guitar polish follow by gibson pump polish (orange label).Use only cotton flannel cloth.A time-proven piece"Gibson,USA".

 
5.0

Great

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

The Gibson Thunderbird bass is one of the finest instruments I've ever played. Between the craftsmanship and resale value of the Gibson name, I can't see why it isn't more popular or well known. The versatility and playability is incredible, with great sustain and deep bottom end. It is probably the best musical investment I've made. The price tag, at twice that of a Fender, is the only drawback I've seen. Once you've played one a while though, you forget the price tag and enjoy the music.

 
5.0

Nice, But Expensive

By Arya

from Tehran, Iran

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

I bought this bass a month ago. It's a classic white. The sound is very good and punchy. The sustain and tone are great! But the action is so high and it's Hard to work with the bridge. The neck is Lightweight but it's difficult to reach beyond the 16th Fret on lower strings. This bass is made for picking. Fingers will work fine but you will get tired so soon. For Slapping This Is NOT a good bass don't buy it if your style is slapping. Another Thing is it's so expensive. You Can Buy Musicman Basses For a lot less. But this is also very good. It just needs some adjusting and you can enjoy the great sound of the pickups for hours.

 
5.0

Growl and more growl...

By T-Bird61

from Canada

Comments about Gibson 2013 Thunderbird IV Electric Bass Guitar:

The Gibson Thunderbird IV Bass is well known for its great tone and growl. Awesome, fast neck (not unlike the feel and dimensions of a Fender Jazz Bass?only better!). A rocker?s choice! It has a great classic vintage design with the features and tone that are unequaled. Solid construction, nice weight (not too heavy). Stock pick-ups are VERY hot (loud)! A great bass!

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