Gibson Thunderbird Bass – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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gibson thunderbird bass review

If you’re wondering whether Gibson Thunderbird is a good bass guitar or not, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that iconic model. Surely, it’s quite popular among the professional bassists, but is it actually good?

The truth is that Gibson Thunderbird offers an amazing value for the money. This guitar has everything that you need from a high quality bass – the look, the sound and the feel. It’s expensive, but it’s totally worth it.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the Thunderbird so good and so popular among the guitarists all around the world. Firstly, we’ll start with a quick overview of the specifications of that guitar. Additionally, we’ll investigate the biggest pros and cons of that model. Of course, there will be a few sound demos included as well!

Specs & Pricing

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Gibson Thunderbird is a high quality 4-string bass designed for the most demanding bassists out there. This is a truly iconic model, so it’s not surprising that so many guitarists decide to choose it.

What makes it so cool? Well, the guitar features a solid mahogany body, a 9-ply mahogany/walnut neck with the rounded ’60s profile and an easy-playing rosewood fingerboard. The neck is a big advantage of that bass, because it allows you to practice for several hours without getting tired.

Additionally, the manufacturer equipped that model with of really good humbuckers – Rhythm T-Bird (neck) and Lead T-Bird (bridge) – which offer a lot of versatility when it comes to tone. The sound of the Thunderbird can be classified as punchy, clear, versatile and vintage.

It is also worth mentioning that the Thunderbird has a nitrocellulose lacquer finish which significantly improves the overall resonance and look of that model.

What’s important, the guitar usually comes with an included case, so you can be sure that it will be protected from all the outside damage. This is a big advantage, because it will save you a lot of time! Finding the right case for a guitar with that shape isn’t that easy.

When it comes to pricing, just like any other Gibson guitar, it’s not that cheap. However, considering how legendary and great sounding it is, it’s pretty clear that it’s worth that amount of money. In my opinion, it’s not overpriced at all.

Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out below.

Who Is It For?

Gibson Thunderbird is suitable for guitarists of all levels. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re an advanced musician or not – you will definitely notice and appreciate the uniqueness of that model.

However, since it’s a pretty expensive model, it’s mostly used by passionate and intermediate bass players.

It is also worth mentioning that this is a really versatile instrument that can be used in a lot of different styles of music. Although most of the time it’s associated with rock and metal music, it’s also a really good choice for blues, country and indie.

What’s important, Gibson Thunderbird is also a perfect choice for live performances and studio sessions. It cuts through the mix really easy, so you can be sure that you’ll be heard with that axe in your hands.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of guitar players will really enjoy using that legendary model. In my opinion, it exceeds all the expectations and it’s definitely worth every cent.

Pros & Cons

Just like any other bass guitar available on the market, Gibson Thunderbird has its own advantages and disadvantages. That’s totally normal! Still, I think that it’s pretty clear that this model has far more pros rather than cons.


  • Great Tone
  • Iconic Look
  • Comfortable Neck
  • Highly Versatile
  • Case Included


  • High Price

As you can see, there are lot of things that can be considered as major advantages of that bass. It looks, sounds and feels absolutely fantastic. On top of that, it’s perfect for professional guitarists and it comes with an included case. Who needs anything else?

The main disadvantage of Gibson Thunderbird is the undeniably high price. I think that’s the biggest obstacle that you may face if you’re thinking about adding it to your own collection. Surely, not everyone will be able to afford it straight away without saving up.

But apart from that, there’s just not too much to complain about. I’m sure that a lot of you will agree with me that it’s one of these models that you just have to try, considering how iconic it is!

Gibson Thunderbird vs Epiphone Thunderbird

A lot of guitarists who are thinking about getting the Thunderbird bass often can’t decide whether they should choose a high-end Gibson or a bit more affordable Epiphone guitar. Which one of them is actually better?

Well, the truth is that it’s not that easy to answer that question! Both of these guitars are really good, although there’s a few things that differentiate them.

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In my opinion, Gibson Thunderbird is a better guitar than Epiphone Thunderbird. However, the Epiphone sounds pretty close to the Gibson model, so it’s still a fantastic option for guitarists with a lower budget.

No matter which one you decide to choose, I’m sure that you will be really satisfied with your choice.

Here’s a really good video that compares both of these guitars – feel free to check it out below if that interests you.

Thunderbird vs Jazz Bass vs Precision Bass

Additionally, a lot of bassists often wonder whether they should choose the Gibson Thunderbird or a bass made by Fender (such as Precision Bass or Jazz Bass).

Again, it’s really difficult to clearly determine whether you should choose the bass by Gibson or Fender. These guitars just sound and feel different, so it’s all up to your own preferences.

I think that if you’re into funk and slapping, choosing one of the Fender guitars will be a better choice. The Jazz Bass and Precision Bass guitars seem to be a bit more versatile than the Thunderbird.

On the other hand, Gibson Thunderbird is absolutely iconic and it has a very characteristic, punchy tone.

So as you can see, it’s all up to you! Here’s a really good video that compares a Jazz Bass guitar with the Thunderbird – hopefully it will help you understand the sound differences between these guitars.


Where is Gibson Thunderbird manufactured?

Gibson Thunderbird is manufactured in the United States.

Is Gibson Thunderbird good for beginners?

Yes, Gibson Thunderbird is a great guitar for beginners! However, since it’s pretty expensive, choosing a more affordable Epiphone may also be a good choice.

Where can I find out more about Gibson guitars?

If you want to find out more about Gibson guitars, make sure to visit the official website of Gibson.


As you can see, Gibson Thunderbird is an absolutely amazing guitar. I have no hesitation in recommending this bass to all guitar players who are looking for an affordable and great sounding bass. It’s quite expensive, but there’s a really high chance that you’re going to immediately fall in love with it.

What do you think of the famous Thunderbird? Would you get it for yourself or do you think that it’s overrated? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful and you found what you were hoping to find. If you’re searching for more bass recommendations, you may also like: