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  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    Brooklyn, NY, USA, Earth
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    Guitar/Bass bags

    I know this has been brought up before, but I feel the need to bring it up again since my band is back in high gear. I play a Gibson Thunderbird in NYC. This is a beautiful bass, but the poor thing has no bag to be easily transported around the subway and such. Every time it's taken out in the piece of crap Ritter bag I have, it says, "Help me Tom Bihn; you're my only hope." My Synapse simply isn't large enough to accommodate it. Most people would say, "You're crazy to take a Thunderbird out in a gig bag. I'd only ever take it in its hardshell case." I know Tom can prove them wrong.
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  2. #2
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    Nov 2012
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    Calgary Alberta Canada
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    While I would love a Tom Bihn gig bag, I'm not sure if I would trust it with the thunderbird's headstock.

  3. #3
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    While the headstock on the older Thunderbirds was a big weak point, the more modern ones are a lot more sturdy. I think the headstock is smaller maybe. I forget, but I know that that's not much of an issue anymore.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2013
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    247
    Hmmmm,
    In the meantime could you use a brain bag with the larger Lighting Kit Quiver on the headstock?
    Keep in mind that the brain bag has those straps on the side to cinch it tight.
    And, I'm not sure of the total length - but the quiver has an annex clip at the top end which may clip onto the inside webbing of the brain bag to make it a "combined fit"
    :-/

  5. #5
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    Nov 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken.w View Post
    While the headstock on the older Thunderbirds was a big weak point, the more modern ones are a lot more sturdy. I think the headstock is smaller maybe. I forget, but I know that that's not much of an issue anymore.
    They have tried multiple things over the years to fix the issue including the angle of the headstock from 17 to closer to 11 and in certain years added a volute behind the headstock to compensate for the wood removed for the truss rod and truss rod access slot. The most recent ones have a laminated walnut/mahogany or walnut/maple necks and some have had bolt on maple necks instead of the "neck through" mahogany type. One of the reasons they had such a bad reputation was the cases Gibson furnished with them and the firebird guitar had the headstock resting on the back of a somewhat flexible case made of luan plywood with minimal foam padding. Ironically the flatter, sturdier Fender necks were created that way because it required less wood and therefor cheaper to manufacture although it caused the strings to have an inadequate break angle over the nut which meant they had to use the "string trees" to compensate.

    If Tom was to create a gig bag one of the best things he could do would be to have a neck guide like so:
    Name:  image.jpg
Views: 271
Size:  336.3 KB

    And yes I do have a zebra lined guitar case....

  6. #6
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    Nov 2012
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    Calgary Alberta Canada
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    304
    Quote Originally Posted by ken.w View Post
    While the headstock on the older Thunderbirds was a big weak point, the more modern ones are a lot more sturdy. I think the headstock is smaller maybe. I forget, but I know that that's not much of an issue anymore.
    They have tried multiple things over the years to fix the issue including the angle of the headstock from 17 to closer to 11 and in certain years added a volute behind the headstock to compensate for the wood removed for the truss rod and truss rod access slot. The most recent ones have a laminated walnut/mahogany or walnut/maple necks and some have had bolt on maple necks instead of the "neck through" mahogany type. One of the reasons they had such a bad reputation was the cases Gibson furnished with them and the firebird guitar had the headstock resting on the back of a somewhat flexible case made of luan plywood with minimal foam padding. Ironically the flatter, sturdier Fender necks were created that way because it required less wood and therefor cheaper to manufacture although it caused the strings to have an inadequate break angle over the nut which meant they had to use the "string trees" to compensate.

    If Tom was to create a gig bag one of the best things he could do would be to have a neck guide like so:
    Name:  image.jpg
Views: 271
Size:  336.3 KB

    And yes I do have a zebra lined guitar case....

  7. #7
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    Apr 2012
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    Brooklyn, NY, USA, Earth
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    Nice zebra. :) Mine, a 2013 (or maybe 2012), is the mahogany/walnut neck-through. I think only the Epiphones have/had bolt-on, no? Late 2012 was the first time they ever made left-handed Thunderbirds so I had to jump on it since I figured it wouldn't last long. The Fenders will fit in almost any case (I have a Jazz Bass), but the Thunderbird is too long for any of the good ones. I was able to force it into a MONO M80, which is really nice, but it was TOO tight and made me uncomfortable.

    A Tom Bihn take on a gig bag (yes, with neck support), would be fantastic I bet. Modular for cables/pedals/strap, etc. Excellent backpack straps.

  8. #8
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    Brooklyn, NY, USA, Earth
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    According to the Gibson web site, the Thunderbird's headstock is at a 14˚ angle.


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