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Rating and Reviews: Epiphone Thunderbird PRO

Harness the legendary Thunderbird tone and sustain with the Classic IV PRO. This bass features Gibson TB Plus humbuckers and a 7-piece mahogany/walnut neck.

User Ratings
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Ease of Use
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Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Epi-Bird" submitted February 17, 2013

By Mark V in Livingston, TX
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Musical Background: I play professionally. 100+ shows a year. Also play Fender P Bass.
Music Style: Rock & Roll
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Overall: Epiphone has knocked this one out of the park. As a professional musician, I usually don't give reviews until I have put a product through the ringer but this bass...WOW! It was amazing. Straight out of the box and to the stage. With very minimal set up (used a penny to adjust the floating bridge on the fly) and my style strings, I gigged all night with it. The bass is absolutely beautiful in design and sound. The neck was slim tapered & incredibly fast and the pickups are HOT like its much higher priced counterpart. Thunderbirds are heavy and it does hang like a dead elephant but this bass beats all my others hands down. I want 2 more of these in my rack.
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"Distinct style, distinct sound!" submitted January 19, 2014

By Dylan H in Mandan, ND
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Musical Background: Been playing drums for 9+ years, bass, guitar, piano, etc...
Music Style: Rock, metal, Jazz, Funk,
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Overall: Where to start? First off the TB looks killer. I ordered the vintage sunburst model and it's a real beauty. The finish was excellent and if maintained properly will stay that way a LONG time. The first complaint you usually hear from T-Bird naysayers is that it has horrible neck dive, well I can tell you from first hand experience the neck dive is non-existent. Older T-Bird's had the front strap button on the top horn of the guitar and that caused a good amount of the neck dive. In This model it was moved to the back of the neck and allows for comfortable and balanced played for extended amounts of time. The guitar sounds exactly how you'd expect a T-Bird to sound, like a rumbling thunder head when you play lows and a lightning crack when you slap and pop. The three knob design works just fine for delivered a plethora of tones. The T-Bird has sustain for days, partly due to the neck through design I'm sure. You can feel the low notes rumble through the body of the guitar; it's really something else. Overall Epiphone REALLY set the bar. Sleek and sexy T-Bird design AND sound (Thanks to actual Gibson TB Plus Humbuckers) at the perfect price. Everyone that's seen the guitar have expected a price tag of upwards of $800. They can't believe it's a $500 axe. If you're on the fence like I was (I didn't know if the extra $200 was really worth the difference between the base model and the Pro Classic model) I can tell you I'm 100% satisfied with my purchase. For an extra $200 you get a ton of bang for your buck. One thing to note is that the bottom of the guitar is slanted so it doesn't sit flush in a stand that doesn't support the guitar neck. I don't consider this a con at all, just a little helpful info for storing your new T-Bird from one player to another.
16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Buy this bass!" submitted April 25, 2014

By Joseph P in Ottawa, IL
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Musical Background: I've been playing 17 year both bads and guutar.
Music Style: Rock, grunge rock, metal.
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Sound: I have messed with the sounds on this bass and finally found my deep punchy tone I've been searching for. Feature: This bass plays fast and feels like an extention of your body. The neck width at the top is narrow, but I adjusted to it immediately, even with my large hands. It's light and there is almost no neck dive. Actually thinner than I thought it was too. Ease of Use: The action is low, there's no fret buzz, the neck is fast, its lightweight, dialing in tone is incredibly easy. What more is there to say? Quality: Ok now for quality. The bass itself has great sustain due to the neck through construction. The complete overall feel of the bass is perfect, but there are flaws in the paint job. Mostly on the headstock. I did also notice one other small spot that was tinted yellow by the bridge. Now I'm usually extremely picky about stuff like that, but I love this bass so much that I can completely overlook these. Value: I would say this is a steal at $500. So get it already. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed it. The Wow Factor: I haven't found another bass that feels and plays as good as this does for the price. Overall: I love this bass so much, I have played $3000 custom basses that didn't feel this nice. I tuned it, plugged it in, and it had all the deep bass tone I was looking for.
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"Epiphone changes the game with the Thunderbird Classic IV PRO" submitted October 16, 2014

By Jon G in Ruther Glen, VA
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Musical Background: 10 year casual player, bass guitar, drums, piano
Music Style: Metal, Rock, Dark Ambient, Folk, Blues, Country
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Overall: The Epiphone Thunderbird Classic IV PRO bass guitar is everything I was hoping for and much, much more! Before you even get into the smooth action and perfect factory setup, you have to stop and take some time to appreciate its visual appeal. This is, by far, one of the sexiest bass guitars I have ever had the pleasure of owning. I can’t go 1 minute in front of a crowd without someone making sure I know how absolutely gorgeous this bass is! I would have considered myself a casual player at best, before purchasing the Thunderbird Classic IV PRO. Since getting this beast in my hands, I have not been able to put it down! I am now a multi-hour daily player, and the amazing playability of my Thunderbird has inspired me to dive deeper into writing/recording, and has even influenced my exploration of the fret board. I have heard that neck dive is a big concern for this body style, but it is non-existent in the IV PRO. I can’t think of a single reason why a bass enthusiast wouldn’t want several of these in his/her arsenal. I know that I will be purchasing several more in the coming months. The Gibson pickups on this particular model leave me scratching my head, wondering why anyone would feel the need to bypass it for its Gibson counterpart. This thing is absolutely perfect!
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"Epiphone Thunderbird Classic IV PRO" submitted July 4, 2015

By Shaun M in Ottawa, ON
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Musical Background: I am teaching myself to play Bass, I've been playing guitar for 18years.
Music Style: Rock, Blues, Metal
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Overall: An amazing bass, almost exactly the same as the Gibson version, looks amazing, plays really well, feels good. My only complaint is that I had one ordered in expecting it to have the Vintage Sunburst finish and it came in the Cherry Burst finish, which I didn't see anywhere on the Epiphone site! Plus, our dollar sucks and I wasn't about to spend close to $3000 for a bass I could buy in the U.S. for $1699.99 plus tax just to get a Gibson with the right finish! Anyway, that aside... An amazing instrument! The tapered neck makes it so easy to play and the neck-through body vibrates like no other bass I've played before! Also, the sound from the Gibson pickups is so clear, I can't get enough of it! I haven't actually had to call the Epiphone support line, but I'm sure they're really good!
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"Great Product, Great Customer Service" submitted August 13, 2015

By Mark E in Pittsburgh, PA
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Musical Background: 20+ years of playing music, played almost every instrument in a live setting except drums.
Music Style: Metal, rock, southern rock.
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Sound: The sound of this bass is best described as "growly." It sounds as mean as it looks. I play a lot of stoner/sludge/doom metal, and this thing sounds great for that genre. I may switch out the roundwounds for a set of flats just to see how much more sludgy it can get. Feature: This guitar is 25% of the Gibson model, and it has the same 9 ply construction (although the description says 7). It also has the Gibson TB Plus pickups. The afficianado might be able to tell the difference between the two in a blind test, but that's about it. The only difference between the two appearance-wise is basically the name on the truss rod cover. Ease of Use: This is a T-bird. If you're looking for the easiest instrument to hold, this isn't it. But it doesn't really have the neck dive you'd think it would, probably due to the strap button being located behind the bass, right behind the neck. Quality: The bass appears to be well-made, with a few bits of polishing compound still left in the grooves where the wings meet the neck, but this was easily removed with a lint-free cloth. All the mechanicals seem to be solid. Set up right out of the box is very good. Value: I honestly don't think you'll find a better bass in this price range. The Wow Factor: You can't NOT look like a badass if you're rocking one of these bad boys on stage. It just looks mean. And it sounds even meaner. Love this thing. Overall: I bought one of these beauties and although it sounded and played great right out of the box, there was some sort of defect in the finish right where the top horn met the neck. zZounds offered a credit, but I couldn't get past the imperfection and sent it back. zZounds shipped the replacement the same day they got confirmation that I dropped the other one off at the shipping company. The other one arrived in awesome condition and played and sounded like a dream, just like the original.
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"Incredible bass " submitted December 18, 2013

By Billy N in Mankato, MN
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Musical Background: I've been playing bass for 27 years. I also play a little bit of guitar, keys, and harmonica.
Music Style: Classic Rock, Country, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
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Overall: I recently purchased this bass in Alpine White. Believe me when I say, this thing looks, feels, and sounds amazing. I've bought 11 basses in the past 7 years, and this one is easily my favorite. My only gripe is the same with most Gibson basses, and that is the awful 3 point bridge. I plan on replacing it with a Hipshot Super Tone bridge real soon. I love this bass so much that I'm now considering buying another in the vintage sunburst finish.
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"A great bass!" submitted May 17, 2015

By Alexander F in Tucson, AZ
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Musical Background: Guitar, Bass, Keys, Drums x 11 years. Music engineering/production x 5 years.
Music Style: Rock, indie, blues, electronic, bluegrass.
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Overall: As a home studio owner, I couldn't ask for a better bass guitar. It can produce thick chug for heavy songs and balance light tones for acoustic pieces. In the live setting it is hella light and has no neck tilt. I didn't have to do anything for setup out of the box. This was very surprising! The intonation is perfect. I just had to tune it and play. Super fast neck, and the action is low and smooth. I got the white version, and did not notice any problems. This thing looks hot and plays like a dream. Definitely, the best bang for your buck. Why spend another dollar more for a Gibson, unless, you must have the name?
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"MOST AMAZING BASS EVER" submitted August 23, 2013

By scott s in bay st louis, MS
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Musical Background: ive been playing music off and on for 10 years i play bass for the most part
Music Style: metal,indie,hardrock,classic rock
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Overall: When i was looking for a bass i wanted something with power and could play anything i was scared becasue the name EPIPHONE i have heard mixed things but i recevied this in the mail and almost cryed it puts out so much sound the gibison us pick ups are so hot the only problem is i dont own 3 of them
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"Sweet Bass!" submitted December 3, 2014

By Seth Kelly in Blythewood, SC
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Musical Background: 6 Years Experience
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, Metal, Punk, Blues, Alternative
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Overall: This bass is ready to play right out of the box. The feel is perfect and it sounds incredible! It sounds like a classic T-Bird should! The bass is WELL worth the price. This is NOTHING like the Epiphone T-Bird with the bolt on neck. Absolutely no neck dive and not too terribly heavy. Overall, this is an amazing bass. You will not find many other basses of this quality for this price. Customer service here is great. Someone even contacted me a few weeks after I made the purchase to see how I was liking it. Thanks zZounds!
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"Thunderbird Classic IV Pro" submitted September 29, 2014

By Chris Z in Brainerd, MN
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Musical Background: 27 years bassist
Music Style: Rock, alternative
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Overall: I'd been looking to purchase a bass for a while, when shopping around on-line I saw a competitor of zZounds selling the Thunderbird Classic in Alpine White for $429. I'd purchased guitars from zZounds before and knew they beat anybody's price and they are great to work with. I submitted the price request and they responded quickly with a price of $417! I purchased it right away with a case. I impatiently waited until it arrived and wow! What an instrument! I was leaning towards a sunburst but for the price of the alpine white I couldn't pass it up. It is gorgeous! Out of box it was ready to rock! Neck was straight, intonation was spot on. I've only owned Fender Jazzes. This bass with the Gibson humbuckers just growls! Roll back the volumes and you can get any tone needed. BUY IT! I would have shelled out a couple hundred more easily for this bass! Spend $2000 on a Gibson or buy this? Exact same specs and pick-ups! Gig ready, no upgrades needed. No brainer, I love it. BUY IT!
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"Beautiful!!!!" submitted November 1, 2014

By Larry K in Troy, IL
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Musical Background: Jam at home, guitar player , this is my first bass.
Music Style: Rock , country and metal
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Overall: I ordered this bass Thursday, it arrived Saturday and is stunning. I really expected some cosmetic flaws due to Epiphone producing these overseas BUT much to my pleasure that is not the case at all. I have an Epiphone Les Paul custom silver burst and while it is not a pos there were issues with the color, binding and filler in the fret board. I have inspected my new sunburst and so far I cannot identify any flaws. It plays better than I do, hopefully one day I can match the Bird. For $500 I don't think anyone would be disappointed if their theirs is as nice as mine.
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"Great soudding bass!" submitted August 3, 2014

By Charles B in South Miami, FL
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Musical Background: Been playing 51 yrs. Multi instrumentalist
Music Style: Classic rock,country,folk
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Overall: 3rd attempt at sending this review. Great looking and sounding bass.Thin neck/fingerboard.(hint !) Can Epiphone consider a Firebird version of this through neck construction??????
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"Great bass!!!!!!!!!!!! A "steal" at this price !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" submitted July 25, 2014

By Chuck B in South Miami, FL
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Musical Background: Been playing 51 years, play 6 /12 string guitar/bass/lap steel/mandolin, dobro/resenator
Music Style: rock, country,folk.
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Overall: Through neck/body construction at this price !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And w/ Gibson TB Plus pick ups !!!!!!!!!!!!!! V/S finish is great, but not as "brown" as my 1999 Epi bolt neck T-Bird, ( which is great also!). the through neck/body construction lends a lot to its sustain, Very thin fingerboard at the nut, also. Like "EpiBird" said in his review: "Epiphone has hit it out of the park" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now if they would look at puttting out a "neck/through body" version of its' six string cousin, the Firebird !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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"I LOVE this bass!" submitted September 6, 2015

By T-Bird L in new castle, PA
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Musical Background: 50 years of playing bass. Pro player, I was born to play just bass..
Music Style: Blues, Rock and Balinese reggaeton. :-)
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Overall: The bass is great. Every bit as good as my vintage Gibson T-Birds! Customer service was totally top shelf!
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"Great inapiration of a '60's classic !" submitted July 10, 2014

By Charles ( Chuck) B in South Miami, FL
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Musical Background: Been playing 51 yrs (electric/acoustic) guitar, mandolin, lap steel gutar, resonator,12 string banjo
Music Style: Classic rock, country,folk
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Overall: Great sounding bass !!!! Fast narrow neck, Doesn't "nose dive" on me w/ a 4"wide padded strap. headstock even has the "raised ridge" around the edge like the Gibson original !!! String thru helps. Wish Epiphone would consider a limited edition thru neck/body Firebird.
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"Awesome BASS" submitted January 8, 2015

By Jason Gordon in Effingham, IL
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Musical Background: Been playing for about 4 years
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: Very nice quality Bass Guitar. I am still relastively new at playing but this was playable right out of the Box. neck is a tad heavy but I got a 3.5" strap and it keeps it form nose diving. This thing sounds really nice with the Gibson Pickups
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"Epiphone Thunderbird IV Pro" submitted May 10, 2016

By Glenn H in Bradford, ME
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Musical Background: Play in a band
Music Style: rock, blues rock
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Overall: This is an incredible bass. Plays great and has some real punch. My only gripe is mine came with the neck not even close to adjustment and the intonation was way off. After needed setup I couldn't be happier. I got the Sunburst, the finish is acceptable some minor flaws here or there, but you have to really look for them. A great value for the money a great bass at any price!
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"Amazing bass" submitted September 20, 2016

By Mikey Bonehead
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Overall: I love this thing. It looks amazing and sounds great. Just got it today and not a damn thing wrong with it. It took a little longer I think to get here then just two days cause it took forever at FedEx but I love the bass.
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"Epi Thunderbird Clssic IV Pro" submitted April 4, 2016

By jamie davis
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Overall: It came boxed well and great shape. Bass was built very well Frets. paint overall build quality exceptional. I was Verry impressed. Thinking about buying a second one...
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"Epiphone Thunderbird Classic IV PRO" submitted June 7, 2015

By Johnny Rowland in Starke, FL
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Musical Background: 25 years, Play in different bands for money..
Music Style: Rock,blues folk country..
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Overall: This is an excellent bass! Right out of the box!
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"Solid instrument" submitted November 16, 2014

By Michael L in Clarksville, CA
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, jam bands
Music Style: Rock, metal, blues
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Overall: I'm going to base my review on other instruments within the price range. No, compared to a Mike Lull Tbird this bass wouldn't rate as high, but compared to other $500 basses... yeah. So anyway, this is a great bass. I'm going to start with the sound. You can really hear the difference between this one with its Gibson pickups vs the other Epi Tbirds. What really surprised me about this bass is that it is very versatile. Using the volume nobs I can get a variety of sounds and really fine tune them using the tone nob. I expected it to be a one trick pony, and it certainly isn't. You can get a pretty solid P sound as well as cop a nice J tone. My favorite tone with it is putting the neck p/u at about 80%, 100% on the other volume and 100% on tone and either pluck or pick above the bridge p/u. VERY growly, really great. I got mine in the white finish and it's very nice. The pickguard isn't cut exactly perfectly and there were some little material strands from said cutting that were sticking off, but nothing crazy. Otherwise, the fit and finish of this bass are immaculate. Everyone who sees it compliments it on the way it looks. The playability is superb. I've had thin, fast Ibanez basses and thick, chunky Warwicks, and this one is somewhere in between. It's very comfortable. The body shape suits playing with a pick better than any other bass I've owned. The way it flares where your forearm sits makes it a very nice place to rest while picking and makes it easier. Also, it balances on a strap better than anticipated. I use a 2.5" leather strap and I have zero neckdive. It's not a super heavy bass, but you know it's there. Overall, it's a really nice bass that I believe is a better value than other instruments in the price range.
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"Like taking a trip back in time" submitted August 26, 2015

By Christopher C in Charlotte, NC
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Musical Background: Play Professionally
Music Style: Rock/Country/Jazz
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Overall: Beautiful bass. Mine came in and once I unwrapped it from the protective cover it ships with I was just stuck staring at it...unable to move. Just the look of the dark vintage burst and the noticeably non-veneered grains front and back that were very well matched up...some Mahogany with swirls...breathtaking. Honestly looks like old wood from a bygone era. No joke. The finish is stunning. The electronics are good stuff, even appears to be a large orange 'chicklet' drop cap on the tone pot. 1 inch korean marked pots, alpha tone, a good barrel type jack that looks legit as hell (usually I go with a new switchcraft immediately, but I'm testing this new one out first. It looks to be a good reliable variant) Unbelievable Bass. For the price and 8 easy payments it's a Must have. And yes it's true of the 9 ply neck. Only shame really is the completely black headstock, no grain showing anywhere. "Getcha One Today!!"
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"Classic Thunderbird!....only one gripe..." submitted August 23, 2015

By C.M. Chandler in Charlotte, NC
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Musical Background: Play Professionally
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, Country
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Overall: This is one fabulous bass, as close to the real deal as it can get. But one glaring omission on the vintage sunburst model Is the headstock being painted completely black, even over the edges where the woodgrain is supposed to be. Well, there is THE ONLY GLARING DIFFERENCE between this bass and the $2100 Gibson. One star deducted for quality and wow factor, figure in bummer factor maybe...... it just shouldn't have been painted completely back, covering the woodgrain and the wlanut/maple lines through the headstock. Shames. Beyond that it is Perfect!!
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"Epiphone Thunderbird Classic IV Pro ROCKS!" submitted January 9, 2014

By Keith DiGiovanni in Lukachukai, AZ
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Started playing bass 2 yrs ago.
Music Style: Classic rock, country.
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Overall: Right out of the box, this bass plays fabulously. Remarkable sustain, deep tones made possible by the Gibson humbuckers, flawless Vintage Sunburst finish. I was leery at first because of all I've read about the "Thunderbird neck-dive" propensity. With a decent suede strap, there is no dive so do NOT let that keep you from this bass! The only possible way to improve on this bass would be to equip it with flat-wound strings from the factory. This bass is a PHENOMENAL value. The neck action is fast. Folks with larger hands might find the strings a bit close at the nut, as the neck width there is 1.5 inches, but even with my large hands it's not a problem for me.
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"An absolutely awesome bass" submitted January 23, 2014

By Keith D in Lukachukai, AZ
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Started playing bass at age 54, been playing for over a year.
Music Style: Classic rock, country, pop
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Overall: Right out of the box, this Thunderbird rocks. The Gibson humbuckers give it crispness and depth, and it has an absolutely awesome sustain. It does have the tendency to nosedive a bit, as it is neck-heavy, but using a suede strap takes care of that problem. The slim neck has fast action. Some folks with larger hands might find the strings a bit close together in frets 1-3 due to the 1.5 inch nut width. I have large hands, however, and quickly got very used to it. This bass is a wonderful instrument and an extremely good deal. Finish was excellent, no flaws anywhere.
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