The Thunderbird IV and EB-3 Basses are about as deserving of being labeled “classics” as any type of bass guitars in visibility. Both were introduced virtually 50 years earlier by Gibboy. Both are distinctive in design, and also both have sustained the test of time. Generation after generation of bassists have actually found them to be wonderful tools.

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Gibchild, of course, developed the original deindicators and still makes the Thunderbird and also a variation of the SG-based EB to this particular day. It is the Epiphone versions of these two deindications that are the focus of this Hands-On Review. Due to the fact that I freshly had actually the possibility to review the Gibchild models, I was specifically interested to view exactly how the Epiphone versions compared them. All-in-all, I was pleased to uncover that the Epiphone basses meacertain up extremely well to their Gibchild counterparts, specifically considering their a lot even more available prices.

It is bit wonder that Epiphone basses exhilittle a consistently high level of high quality. They have actually the merged guitar-building experience and also knowledge of both Gibkid and Epiphone to assistance them. Both suppliers have actually proud backgrounds getting to ago well over 100 years and have actually been working as a team currently for 50 years. That adds up to a level of guitar-making know-exactly how unrivaled by any other company.

In more current years and via complete Gibchild support, Epiphone has been relocating to reinsurance claim the guitar-craft supremacy of its glory years. Its Masterbilt Acoustic line, Elitist Electric guitars, a number of high-profile artist signature models, and also a basic press for as a whole guitar quality have won Epiphone widespcheck out respect from players. Both the Thunderbird IV and the EB-3 are proof that this respect is warranted.

The word on the Bird

The Thunderbird via its unique reversed body shape and also distinctive headstock is past a doubt one of the coolest basses ever. It was a “different”-looking bass in 1963, for certain, and has ongoing to have an alternate vibe to this particular day. What has actually made it a timeless, however, is not so a lot the look as the method it plays. The Gibchild version—with its thru-body, laminated neck, and also expansive walnut wings—is a tone machine of the first order. The resonance and also quality of its smooth, clean low-end beats the socks off around any kind of bass you have the right to put against it.

The Epiphone Thunderbird meets the high standard set by the Gibboy design pleasingly well. It’s a fine bass in its very own appropriate. It is considerably lighter than the Gibkid by virtue of a mahogany kind of body and maple neck, a feature that most players will take into consideration a positive. It looks like the neck-thru design of the Gibson bereason the body is thicker through the center, yet this thickness is more than just imitative cosmetics. The thickness under the strings and bridge contributes to the instrument’s resonance and depth of tone, while the thinner wing portions contribute to diminished weight and also in its entirety balance.

Feelin’ it

Playing the Epiphone Thunderbird IV is a lucrative suffer, comparable to that provided by the Gibboy. The neck and also fretboard are obviously shaped to the exact same specs so they have a really comparable feel. It’s a thin neck that plays fast and straightforward. Even if it’s various than what you’re offered to, it gets very comfortable in a short amount of time.

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Anvarious other function collection that contributes to this bass’s tonal excellence is the quality of its pickups. They are high-quality Gibson-designed humbuckers, with extensive alnico magnets, and they’re double waxed to dampen microphonics. Their placing, too, is crucial. The rear pickup is put fairly close to the bridge, which offers you plenty of treble edge for rock-style grind and also snap for funk. The forward pickup is reasonably focused between neck and bridge giving you a solid round tone that doesn’t obtain mushy. I additionally favor that they are soapbar-style and also give you two solid positions to anchor your thumb.

The EB-3

The EB-3 is one more classical of the ’60s, initially boosted to symbol standing by Jack Bruce that played it in the time of his Cream days. Actually, it was first presented in 1959 as the EB Series bass (EB for Electric Bass). With its compact and aggressive SG body form, it caught on immediately through the rockers simply as the guitar did. Through the beforehand ’60s the EB underwent a series of changes: short scale, long scale; one pickup, 2 pickups; 3 knobs, 4 knobs. Gibkid even gave one version a fuzz tone circuit and briefly offered a six-string version.


Today, Epiphone renders 2 versions of the EB, the original, short-range EBO, and the EB-3, which has a 34" range neck, 2 pickups (a mini-humbucker at the bridge and a large sidewinder humbucker at the neck). It also features 2 volume knobs, two tone knobs, and a 3-method, knob-style pickup switch.

It is the long-range neck that makes this the prefered EB for many type of players. While the short-range neck has its charms (speed and basic fretting), it requires a lighter touch bereason of softer string stress. Also, the dual pickups offer you a lot even more tonal selection than you gain through the EBO. It has the fat, round, mellow, almost-acoustic sound from the neck pickup, and also the bridge pickup adds in edgy cut.

It’s really the SG vibe that sets this bass apart and also renders it fun to play. The neck is very thin and also quick playing, and also the combination of a mahogany body and also collection neck give it even more than ample sustain. It’s a rocker that can play as smooth as butter once the music calls for it.

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Quality axes, affordably priced

The beauty of both basses is that they are true in style to the originals, use high quality woods and components, are finely crafted and comprehensive, and also for all this are amazingly priced. These are basses that normal musicians can both afford and appreciate over the long run.

Features & Specs

Epiphone Thunderbird IV:

Standard reversed body design Mahogany kind of body through thick facility Bolt-on maple neck Roselumber fingerboard Dual humbucking pickups Volume, volume, tone controls Black hardware Limited life time warranty

Epiphone EB-3:

Mahogany kind of SG-style body Set mahogany type of neck 34" scale Rosetimber fretboard Trapezoid fretboard inlays 1.65" nut width Mini-humbucker bridge pickup Sidewinder humbucker neck pickup 2 volume, 2 tone controls 3-means pickup switching Chrome hardware Limited life time warranty

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