Cool and classic basses: Gibson Thunderbird IV Bass - Non-Reverse

Introduced in 1963 as the bass version of the Firebird guitar, the original Thunderbird bass featured an outrageous 'reverse body' design. It was met with a degree of trepidation and its reception was at best luke warm.

In an attempt to reinvent what was actually a fine bass the non-reverse design was introduced in the 1965 Gibson catalogue although instrument production began in earnest in 1966. The neck through body construction was abandoned so the raised centre section as seen on the original Thunderbird Bass disappeared thus allowing for the big distinctive scratchplate.

Before the Thunderbirds all Gibson basses were short scale but these were full scale and were offered with one (Thunderbird II) or two (Thunderbird IV) pickups. The headstock was set back at an angle for secure string slotting into the nut.

Read our full Gibson Thunderbird IV profile here.

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