Epiphone has partnered with Rex Brown to release a more affordable version of the Pantera bassist’s Thunderbird signature bass guitar.
Notably, the latest addition to Brown's humble line of signature guitars is also his debut Epiphone offering, and arrives nearly two years after the flagship Gibson Thunderbird iteration debuted in 2022.
Cosmetically near-identical to its $2,799 four-string sibling, the Epiphone variant of the flagship Brown bass retains the muted-yet-classy gold-on-black aesthetic, though drafts in a few functional appointments that help bring the overall price down.
This time out, Epiphone has opted for a slightly different body composition: rather than utilizing a mahogany body, a nine-ply neck-through-body mahogany and walnut neck combination – which is finished with a C-shape profile – is favored.
Some more unsurprising spec sheet inclusions include a standard 34” scale length and mahogany body wings, as well as an 20-fret Indian laurel fingerboard, which in turn relegates the Gibson model's rosewood alternative.
Some tonal sacrifices have been made, and as such the RexBucker pickups found on the Gibson template have been swapped out for a set of standard Epiphone ProBucker 760 bass pickups.
Accordingly, the control circuit has been suitably simplified: gone is the push/pull active/passive switch of the Gibson, and in its place are standard passive electronics – two volume controls and a master tone knob, to be precise.
The bridge has also been changed, altered slightly from a Hipshot bass bridge model to a Babicz FCH 3-Point alternative.
Finishing touches include all gold hardware – including the Thunderbird logo-embossed gold pickguard and Mini Clover tuning buttons – a reproduction of Brown’s signature and a doodle of the Pantera legend's logo on the rear control cover.
“Rex Brown, renowned for his electrifying stage presence and transformative impact on rock and metal with bands like Pantera and Down and his hard-rocking solo album, is a rhythmic powerhouse fueled by an unwavering passion for the bass,” Epiphone wrote in a statement.
“Rex forged his career anchoring the rhythm section of one of the most iconic bands in history, and now he is thundering his way into the Epiphone core lineup.”
Now the moment you've all been waiting for: the price. Well, as expected, it's comfortably more affordable than the Gibson version, weighing in at $1,299. And, as an added bonus, it also comes with a Rex Brown signature hardcase.
Head over to Epiphone to find out more.