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Thunder bass guitars - confusing to an initiate?

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Post by PaulS Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:31 pm

Hi all.

I wonder if anyone could help clear the mist with regard to the different models of Thunder basses? I sort of understand some things - the A is active, the I has a single pickup, II and III have two pickups, sometimes in a p/j type configuration, and a through neck. Thunder Jet seems to look like a cool I. But that is just from looking at pictures and reading the texts - what are they actually like? And are there any jewels in the crown? Were they all Matsumoku?
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Post by corsair Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:20 pm

Ah.... asking anyone in here for an opinion like that is like opening Pandoras Box!! Thunder bass guitars - confusing to an initiate? Icon_lol But the Thunders do seem very well regarded indeed both in 4 and in 6 string versions; you've got a good 'un!!
As for a 'special' one, well, for a 6 string, I'd have said a Thunder III, mark 3 would be right up there; I've seen one on eBay in 5 years....
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Post by Warrn Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:30 pm

If the split pickups in the Thunders are anything like the split pickups in my Electra Phoenix, the Thunder basses will shake a whole house at volume level 1 (through my amp anyway, I usually have to keep it set to about 0.5!). My Phoenix has two split pups, and it is one of the nicest sounding configurations I've experienced.
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Post by PaulS Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:49 am

Not many bass players here, evidently!

Thanks anyway.
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Post by grogg Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:09 pm

Youre right with your assessment of the differences as far as i can tell. Ive got a T1A bass and, as Ive said a few times, I dont rate the active bit but the guitar itself is good. I would love to have one of the through neck models tho.
The through necks also have a longer reach as I recall ie more frets so you need a long left arm.
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Post by Warrn Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:23 pm

I'm a bass player, Paul. I'm not fortunate enough to own a Thunder, but I own several other Matsumoku basses and I would assume the Thunders do sound very close to the Electra Phoenix models, as they likely shared pickups.
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Post by Guest Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:43 pm

Thunder I - a good quality reliable workhorse bass, good range of sounds
Thunder IA - as above but a larger range of sounds.
Thunder II (First version) very high quality, huge range, full 24 fret fingerboard.
Thunder II (Passive version) - shorter scale, passive, good if you like funk
Thunder III - a sawn-off active Thunder II
Thunder Jet - Thunder I lite, range of sounds not as good.

The Thunder Jet is probably the cheapest, £50-£60 on ebay (UK) I think the most versatile one is the early version of the Thunder II (Beats me why Thunder IIIs usually sell for more money), the only real problem with them is they weigh a ton.

They're not all Matsumoku - most are, but some later Thunder IAs and IIs were Korean made (After Feb 1987)
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Post by PaulS Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:40 pm

Sorry for the delay - been plant hunting in Mexico for the last couple of weeks.

Thanks a billion - exactly what I was looking for. I'll keep my eyes peeled on eBay and see what pops up.

Cheers

Paul
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