I just got myself a brand-new Epiphone Thunderbird bass. I tried to get some new strings along with it, but was told it needs special (extra-length) strings due to its fairly big headstock.

That seems a bit odd to me, as whenever I restring my P-Bass with normal-length (long scale) Ernie Ball strings I have plenty of leftover string and the length difference is maybe an inch, so maybe the clerk was just misinformed.

Does any fellow Thunderbird owner have insight and experience with this?

For clarity, both the Thunderbird and the P-Bass are regular long scale.

EDIT: I have now restringed the Bird and can confirm that a set of Ernie Ball strings (Regular Slinky Bass, Product Number 2832) do work, with maybe an inch to spare on the G-string. I assume all other regular length Ernie Ball strings will also work. If I end up trying another brand I will update this post.

  • 1
    Possibly G and D, but other two should be o.k. I reckon all should be standard.
    – Tim
    Jul 23, 2020 at 17:31
  • Eyeballing it, I'm 90% sure all of them will work but I'd like to be 100% sure before cracking open a €23 pack of strings.
    – user70370
    Jul 23, 2020 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Some of the long scale basses can be restrung with medium strings, but the final string length varies by manufacturer so it depends on what brand you use. Long scale string sets shouldn't be uncommon, and I'm pretty sure Long Scale basses are the most common type sold currently. You shouldn't need the super longs for the Thunderbird.

I remember one case where I had to use mediums in a pinch and the string winding didn't make it past the thinning end, leaving the transition over the head stock. Seemed to work anyway.

Whenever a Thunderbird comes through the shop we always restring with the long scale sets. It's easier to cut them short than to lengthen a short string...

Sweet water has a guide that lists the scale lengths: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/bass-guitar-string-buying-guide/

  • For clarity - I am not talking about using medium strings, that idea never even crossed my heads, but the clerk implied i'd need to use extra / super longs. Of course they carry long-scale strings. Thanks for the info, I'm going to assume the clerk just misremembered something, which is understandable as the Bird isn't exactly the most common kind of bass.
    – user70370
    Jul 23, 2020 at 19:29

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