NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

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veebass
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NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by veebass » 08 Feb 2018, 13:49

After deciding it may a very long time before we see these (or any more new Gibsons or Epis) in Australia, I brought a brand new one in from Japan. The forum reviews from overseas have been that good, even the general population on Talkbass was positive and they mostly hate anything that is Gibson..
4 days from Osaka to here! Unbelievable. Came in under the GST threshold, excl shipping, which was reasonable. Maybe a little more expensive than these would be if Gallin's ever import anything into Australia again.
All the way in a thinly padded Epi Gig Bag, with some cardboard reinforcing at each end and then bubble wrapped the lot. Amazingly neck is not broken!

Initial thoughts.
OMG what a long headstock (see the "family shot"). The bass feels enormously long and I am used to TBirds. On top of the long headstock, the neck appears to be be further "out of the body" by an inch or so compared to my 08 Gibson ie in about the same positions as my '90 Greco. My 77 Greco TB II has the neck in a similar position to the Gibson.
It WON'T fit in the Greco cases and only just goes in my Gibson case (they are truly huge).
3.9 Kilos or 8.5 lbs- so pretty light really.
Finish is superb for the price. Just excellent.
Neck is like a Gibson TBird ie Jazz width.
Very well put together.
Same construction as a Reverse Gibson TBird - neck through 7 (I think) ply mahogany & walnut centreboard/ neck with mahogany wings.
Frets excellent. No nasty ends like so many of the cheaper Fenders often have in my experience. No buzzing.
Bridge and tailpiece quite solid, doesn't look cheap at all.
The tail piece looks like Scott Daison's Badbird Tailpiece.
Tuned it to pitch (shipped detuned)- played like a dream all up and down the neck and the intonation is spot on. 1.5 mm action at the 12th, with capacity to go lower if I could be bothered.
The fretboard looks like rosewood but I reckon it is not as porous. Word is it is a Pine product called Blackwood Teck.
Pickups sound like they could be Chinabuckers (allowing for the newer and different strings on this, as opposed to the ones on my Gibson TBird with Chinabuckers).
Sounds nothing like the ceramic TB+s in Gibson TBirds- much better IMO
Full size pots etc and the pickups appear to have the same braided leads as the Chinabuckers.

Great bass! A real, new TBird at a reasonable price.

Shame we may not be getting them here.

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Happiness is .......a Telebass and 500W.

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RedVee
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by RedVee » 08 Feb 2018, 21:31

Great work Russ. First VP in Oz!

So the seller was ok with itemising the cost into bass & delivery rather than all inclusive ?
Ibanez AEB10-BK; Feider P Bass; Challenge Bass; T'Bird Goth; Gibson T’Bird
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rodl2005
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by rodl2005 » 08 Feb 2018, 22:16

Congrats. And thanx for the review.
They're reportedly great basses.

Glad you like it.
Mean & Surly

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veebass
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by veebass » 09 Feb 2018, 05:46

RedVee wrote:
08 Feb 2018, 21:31
Great work Russ. First VP in Oz!

So the seller was ok with itemising the cost into bass & delivery rather than all inclusive ?
Yes, it may well be, Geoff.
The seller broke the cost into item and shipping, which was good.
Happiness is .......a Telebass and 500W.

WestOfBen
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by WestOfBen » 09 Feb 2018, 12:08

Nice! Do they come in Pelham Blue?
Rickenbacker 4003JG, Epiphone Ripper, Marina P/J fretless, Tanglewood ABG, 1960s Rose Music Tempo SS semi-hollow bass, an acoustic guitar, GK 700RB-II, SWR Henry 8x8, some pedals
My band is called Ascribe!

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veebass
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by veebass » 09 Feb 2018, 12:55

WestOfBen wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 12:08
Nice! Do they come in Pelham Blue?
No just Black, White and Burst at this stage.

Hopefully some cool colours will come along further down the track along with a Gibson importer that actually imports stuff.
There is a new RD Artist with the Decola pickups and some fancy electronics out at the moment which would have been interesting t. We won't see it either.The big US shops wouldn't ship new stuff because nominally we still have a Gibson/ Epiphone importer.
Happiness is .......a Telebass and 500W.

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veebass
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by veebass » 19 Feb 2018, 12:40

Changed the standard issue, adequate but incongruous Wilkinson "70's Fender style" Tuners for a set of Gotoh GBR 640 Reverse Wind Nickel Finish Super Light Weight Resolites. Big improvement and looks the part- very nice!

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Happiness is .......a Telebass and 500W.

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aphekgreg
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by aphekgreg » 19 Feb 2018, 17:46

Looks great. Where are they making those Russell?
Greg

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http://www.aphekstudio.com.au

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veebass
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by veebass » 19 Feb 2018, 18:17

aphekgreg wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 17:46
Looks great. Where are they making those Russell?
Indonesia. I am blown away by the quality Greg.
Happiness is .......a Telebass and 500W.

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aphekgreg
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by aphekgreg » 19 Feb 2018, 18:55

veebass wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 18:17
aphekgreg wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 17:46
Looks great. Where are they making those Russell?
Indonesia. I am blown away by the quality Greg.
I can hear that. That's why I was wondering. My first thought was Japan, until you mentioned that it came in under the duty threshold, which ruled that out.

I don't know that anybody would have predicted how great Japanese workmanship would become, in the '60 or early '70s, so I'm not that surprised.
Greg

Ibanez Musician, MusicMan, Dingwall Z3, Rickenbacker, MIJ Fender Precision & Jazz, Warmoth/Musikraft P/J-bass, Danelectro Longhorn.
Traynor YBA300, MarkBass, GK1001RB2, Berg AE212, Hartke 4.5, '64 Fender Bassman
http://www.aphekstudio.com.au

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veebass
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by veebass » 19 Feb 2018, 19:10

aphekgreg wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 18:55
veebass wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 18:17
aphekgreg wrote:
19 Feb 2018, 17:46
Looks great. Where are they making those Russell?
Indonesia. I am blown away by the quality Greg.
I can hear that. That's why I was wondering. My first thought was Japan, until you mentioned that it came in under the duty threshold, which ruled that out.

I don't know that anybody would have predicted how great Japanese workmanship would become, in the '60 or early '70s, so I'm not that surprised.
That's right. I know CNC makes consistency a lot easier. But it is how well it is put together and finished that has surprised me. This is as well put together as my Gibson TBird. It was properly set up. The frets are good. The finish is flawless.
Happiness is .......a Telebass and 500W.

HealthyWays001
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by HealthyWays001 » 24 Feb 2018, 03:36

Sound great. Its good

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kat888
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by kat888 » 24 Feb 2018, 11:04

Well done Russ. There has been a bit of Bird action around here recently.
Thunderbirds are GO

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veebass
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by veebass » 24 Feb 2018, 11:26

kat888 wrote:
24 Feb 2018, 11:04
Well done Russ. There has been a bit of Bird action around here recently.
Congrats on your latest Bird too, Kat.
Happiness is .......a Telebass and 500W.

lostdoggy
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Re: NBD 2017 Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbird

Post by lostdoggy » 24 Feb 2018, 11:50

Looks like you've been picking up birds left, right and centre you sly devil.

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