Launched in 1963, the Thunderbird Bass Players has long been a favourite of bass players looking for something a little bit different thanks to its outlandish shape and through-neck build. The likes of Nikki Sixx, Duff McKagan and Krist Novoselic have all favoured the bassy beast over the years, and in recognition of its mighty low-end prowess, Gibson’s 50th Anniversary model is finished in Bullion Gold.
As the fierce four-string partner to the Firebird guitar line introduced in 1963, the Thunderbird bass has long been a stylish alternative—both onstage and in the studio—for adventurous bassists, Now Gibson USA celebrates the Golden Anniversary of this raging tone monster with a stunning tribute to the breed: the 50th Anniversary Thunderbird Bass.
Thunderbird style, “through-neck” construction, a pair of mighty T-Bird Bass pickups and a rock-solid Thunderbird three-point bridge make the 50th Anniversary Thunderbird Bass the most playable and best-sounding bass on the scene. This commemorative bass wears a gorgeous Bullion Gold finish in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer, and a pick guard that’s hot-stamped with a gold T-Bird logo and “50th Anniversary 1963-2013.” Add it up, and it’s both a fitting tribute to a special anniversary, and a thunderous way to lay down the rumble in any style of music.
The core of this exceptional bass lies in its “through neck” construction, with the neck and body core crafted from the same rugged multi-ply mahogany tone wood blank for unparalleled strength and sustain. It takes more work to build a bass this way, but the effort pays off in every aspect of the instrument’s feel and response. Two solid mahogany body wings complete the iconic Thunderbird package, which cuts a figure recognized on stages the world over. The neck is carved to a comfortably rounded profile that measures 0.790″ at the 1st fret and 0.930″ at the 12th. It is topped with a 20-fret fingerboard made from Grade-A rosewood, inlaid with pearlod dot position markers.
The firm sonic foundation of the 50th Anniversary Thunderbird Bass is cranked through a pair of extremely versatile contemporary T-Bird Bass pickups, with ceramic magnets for enhanced punch and clarity. Individual volume controls and a master tone control let you blend pickups as desired for a wide range of sounds.
Strings are anchored at the body end by a rock-solid three-point Thunderbird bridge with individually adjustable saddles, and high-quality Grover tuners at the headstock—all gold-plated to match the commemorative look of the 50th Anniversary Thunderbird Bass. Its black plastic pickguard is hot-stamped in gold with the Thunderbird image and anniversary years.