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1964 Gibson Thunderbird II Reverse Body Vintage Bass Pelham Blue w/ Case


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Out Of Stock
Up for sale, a 1964 Gibson Thunderbird II, 100% original save for a nitro lacquer refinish in lightly greened Pelham Blue. As Gibson's first long scale bass and a companion to the Firebird line of instruments, this Thunderbird mirrors its Firebird brethren in both its exceedingly short late 1963-mid 1965 production run and particularly small production totals. With a radical body shape and visually impactful appointments, the Thunderbird was designed by Ray Dietrich, a Detroit auto designer who was coaxed out of retirement by Gibson's Ted McCarty to invigorate Gibson's design team with a bold, new look.

With its neck through body construction, impressive visual footprint and single humbucking pickup, this Thunderbird II is always big-sounding and never apologetic. The mahogany/walnut neck through construction yields plenty of deep low end power and thickness, with a nice growl when played closer to the bridge. When plucked closer to the neck, the tone is pillowy yet authoritative. This Thunderbird is a soulful and inspiring example, lightweight at 8lbs 4oz and professionally setup roundwound 45-100 strings and comfortable action.

The neck has a slender C shape at the nut, gaining more shoulder and roundness up the dark Brazilian rosewood fretboard, while still achieving an overall fast-feeling shape that doesn’t get too chunky in any register. The profile measures .785" deep at the 1st fret, filling out to .900" at the 12th. The original medium jumbo fretwire is intact with good meat, showing light, uniform wear (primarily beneath the A and D strings) on frets 1-6, with sparingly little wear further up the fretboard. The scale length is a full 34" and the nut measures 1 1/2" in width. The serial number is still visible, and the original nickel plated tuning machines are intact and function as intended.

The original CTS pots date to 1964, and the pickup meters at a healthy 7.95k ohms. Nickel-plated hardware includes the bridge and tailpiece, and stock plastics comprise the pickguard and pair of reflector cap knobs. The original wooden finger rest is also present.

The nitro lacquer Pelham Blue refinish exhibits simulated aging in the vein of a heavy relic (presumably executed long ago), with faux wear down to the bare mahogany particularly on the body edges and neck profile carve. The bass has no breaks or repairs.

The original hardshell case is included, retaining functional latches and the original handle.