Epiphone Thunderbird IV Bass Review

Another no nonsense product review of my first proper bass – the Epiphone Thunderbird. As ever, aimed at helping you folk make a buying decision rather than for outstanding musicianship or breath taking bass grooves. Oh, and apologies – it was only after I had watched it back did I realise that the toasted granola I had just eaten was still working its way out of my mouth!! Ah well, kinda gives it character…

To hear this bass played live, just check out some of the earlier videos of my band (Grounds for Divorce) also on this channel – you can hear it soloed on Sweet Emotion and Alright Now – and don’t forget to like our Facebook page if you enjoy it – www.facebook.com/GroundsforDivorceBand !!


Jose Antonio Tenreiro Sainz says:

dude I really enjoyed the review! Best one I’ve seen. Reallistic and funny! Hell.. I was listenning as I worked.. and everyone looked at me because I wwas laughing in the Case Part.
Thank You… I’m getting one.

4strngmenace says:

i own one of these basses,,,,active pick-ups…..beats the Gibson T- Bird in every way….at 1/3 the price!!!!!….i can tell youre a guitar player,,,,coz Marshall bass amps SUCK. go get yourself an AMPEG!

desvonbladet says:

You cracked and started playing just before the 15 minute mark! And I was convinced you were going to make it!

NG One Seven says:

It’s a mahogany body btw

Seth Kelly says:

Just bought this bass. Love it!!! I really appreciate the review. It was very informative. I just ordered that case today. Thanks man!

Lindsey Wylde says:

Thanks for the review.. Helped me make my final decision. I appreciate it.

James Lewis says:

That bass definately needs to be played with a pick.  The sound is indestinct with finger syle due to the deep sound from the mahogany/humbucker combo.  Btw the body is mahogany with maple top (which has been made to look like mahogany so what’s the point?).

And on the subject of the case, if I was going to fit Abba anywhere it would most likely be in the middle of the atlantic in an ice-berg.

Ron Leto III says:

I’m getting the “goth” version of this bass in trade tomorrow for some gear I no longer use. I play guitar mainly, but after seeing you review I’m actually a bit excited. Good job! Hopefully I wont become an accidental bassist…

Mgaga97 says:

Great video dude! 🙂 Hope i get some money soon so i can buy one as fast as possible… Only one problem – I live in Bulgaria and the only dealer who sells these is in the capital (sofia) and sooo its nearly impossible to get one (only through amazon or Ebay) I would like some advice on that 😀 Thanks again

W4RD1N8ER says:

Im sure I will like it. And even more so as it is not costing me a thing and I get that nice case with it as well I’m pretty stoked about that. I only paid three hundred Canadian for the BC Rich.

The Wandering Internet Wizard says:

Is this bass any good for finger picking?

Martin Nicolas Alvarez says:

just play the damn thing!!

Aussiesteveification says:

This is a great review ! Thank you .

Tommy Chiffon says:

Great review. Thanks for the time. Looking at buying my first bass and you helped me decide.

Sanbass87 says:

Tie you’re mother down sounds better on that bass then my own xD i guess i’d need to get one 😛

Pedro Catarino says:

Awsome review lad.

doomham100 says:

a proper review, thanks!

samuelg315 says:

Dude, I thought I was going to hate your review when it first started. But I actually LOVED it. Great job. I’m really considering getting one of these as my first bass.

Jeff Waters says:

LOOOL “You could get Abba in there” xD I’m dyin man, massive props xD

Merlin says:

Nice review! I’m looking for my 1st bass after playing guitar for 20+years! Looked on epiphone website and there’s a few models to choose from. Just wondering your views on the types of pickups! Would you go for active or passive and what are the Pros n cons for each type?

T Scott says:

I’ve got my eyes on one just don’t know if I should close the deal. MIK, 1998, 125GBP can people let me know if it’s a good idea. Thanks rich

Kekiscone says:

My stock strap button was one one of the screws on the neck plate thing.

Anthony O'Loughlin says:

Love your reviews, have a Jack Casady and a T-Bird pro. Just selling the T-bird as have got into Ibanez basses recently. Ibanez SR500 for £350 locally is a Big Bang for your Buck buy. But the T-Bird is a ROCK machine for under £200 used – fantastic value bass. Or “The Machete of The Bass World”: as you correctly stated.

Jadon Harper says:

1, this review is not proper, you mentioned that epiphone products are “Great value for musicians who are not good enough to make music their career”.
Complete and utter bs.
Epiphone equipment is just as good as any fender or schecter, ibanez etc.
Gibson is just the overpriced “novelty” version of an Epiphone. My point being,
a fool will spend 3 grand on a gibson les paul (With standard humbucker pickups). A sensible man will spend money on any guitar in the 300-800 dollar range, in order to purchase a better amp, (i.e tube screamer amp like a marshal).
Expensive is not always the best.

Ian Redfern says:

Thanks for the detailed review Top; just a couple of quick suggestions.  (1) Could you give a summary of the neck cross section, (2) PLEASE use the tone and volume controls to  give us an idea of the tone range THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE THERE FOR!  A common mistake with some reviewers is that they turn they turn the treble up and you don’t get the classic Gibson type nasal overtones – it is a bass guitar after all.  The body on these is mahogany by the way (well,a type of) and the neck is maple – not the other way around.  Good going.

Luke Randall says:

You could fit Abba in there and still have room for a tuna…  😉

Jason Ramirez says:

I have the TV silver version. Beautiful bass. Mahogany all the way;neck, body, top. The silver top hat knobs are a really nice touch. But I have seen this vintage burst which I almost ended up getting but the dark sound of all mahogany is very pleasing to me lol. (the regular one is alder body with maple neck I believe). And just like you said truly a tank of an instrument.

brightmanonfire says:


Nathan says:

“The machete of the bass world” you nailed it dude. I own one of these bad boys, not an easy bass to play, it’s heavy, hard to control, and the neck dive is a problem to be considered, (a problem which can be fixed to an acceptable degree if you mod it). Straplocks and a wide strap are a must for this bass. Factory setup was shit on mine (as most epiphones), so future thunderbird owners may need to send it to a luthier or guitar tech for a proper initial setup (and straplocks installation!). BUT on the other side, the sound you can get from this instrument is amazing, rock, blues,metal, jazz, whatever you want, the Thunderbird will provide. If you have a good EQ, then it’s even good for slap technique. From my experience, I play heavy metal (doom, thrash, black), punk, post punk and a little of blues, and the instrument has adapted very well to all those styles (orgasms when you run it through a big muff!). Not a bass for the shy player, if you are in a band playing with a thunderbird, you will be heard by the audience, even by those who can’t tell the difference between guitars and basses 😛 . And on top of it’s versatility, you get one of the most badass looking basses on market. I bought mine in 2010 and never looked back.

Ike Beelzebum says:

Everything is mahogany except the fret board. I got mine from guitar center for about $350 i think and I couldn’t be happier with it, sounds nearly if not just as good as a gibson and seems to be very versatile.

you can find all the specifications here

W4RD1N8ER says:

I just bought a BC Rich revenge bass and this thing was perfect except the neck was warped so I took it into a Long n mc quaid store here in Canada to fix the neck I ended up getting it back broken at the bottom of the main block this bass is discontinued now and there was too much damage so today Long n Mc quaid took care of me and ordered this Epiphone thunderbird instead as I asked I read the reviews on their sight from people all over Canada it had the most great reviews out of all their bass guitars in that price range and I keep hearing nothing but good stuff about this bass guitar ten or more people said has great range of tone and all out price I even get the case made for this bass guitar for free so I pay nothing and get this bass with that case for free and I got to keep the old case for my BC Rich that was damaged. Talk about customer service the guys at work were busting my balls about this choice because the revenge has a killer death metal look to it but it was a nasty bass to sit on your lap was frickin heavy and just had plain bdsm pickup not two but just one in my mind I think I’m am getting a better bass guitar as a replacement the store even gave me a loaner fender to keep me happy while I wait. how cool is that? Eh!

NG One Seven says:

I’m a guitarist but needed a bass for home recording. Just snagged one of these (2008 Chinese model) for £100 off a guy on Facebook! Has a few issues that I can fix (I run a repair shop). Only 2 minutes into your review and I like your no bullshit style 🙂

Arthur W says:

Very thorough and honest review. Thanks, I’ll be tuning in here frequently.

Andreas Falstad says:

Great review! It helped a lot. Thanks!

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