Gibson Thunderbird IV

1963 Gibson promotional sheet

Like the Thunderbird II, the Thunderbird IV was part of Gibson's answer to Fender's bass models. It had a long (34 1/2") scale, and unlike previous Gibson basses, pickups situated way back from the neck, for extra tonal brightness and clarity. In July-August 1963, the Thunderbird IV was listed at $335 for a bass in standard Sunburst finish - or at $350 in any of the following colors: Cardinal Red, Heather poly, Inverness Green poly, Ember Red, Polaris White, Pelham Blue poly, Frost Blue, Kerry Green, Silver Mist poly and Gold Mist poly. This was Gibson's most expensive bass to date.

The Thunderbird IV was listed in price lists from July 1963, yet Thunderbird shipping figures suggest basses were not shipped until 1964. It is not clear whether this was the case, or an ommission in published data.


Gibson Thunderbird IV specifications

Thunderbird IV specifications (1963) were as follows: Honduras mahogany body, through neck, unbound Brazillian rosewood fretboard with pearloid dot inlays. Nickel plated hardware, dual humbuckers. The sheet suggests separate volume and tone controls for each pickup, and a pickup selector toggle. This is of course incorrect - the Thunderbird IV had no pickup selector switch, just a volume control for each pickup and a master tone control. Sunburst nitrocellulose finish. 34 1/2" scale. 20 frets. BR750N bridge and TP750N tailpiece. Kluson MH-546 elephant ear tuning keys. 'Gibson' celluloid truss rod cover. Like the Firebird III, V and VII, the Thunderbird models came with a leather neck strap.

Other Firebird / Thunderbird promo sheets in this series

Similar sheets were also produced for the other guitars and basses in the Firebird / Thunderbird series

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