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The 1978 Gibson Thunderbird IV reverse body Bass featured the neck through body design and two pickup configuration. In 1978 the pickguard omitted it's "76" number and the knobs changed from silver top/gold hat shaped including volume/tone words to gold speed knobs with numbers.

Other 1978 Thunderbird IV characteristics: White Gibson logo with "i" dot disconnected from "G" on black plastic truss rod cover, Kluson no-name riveted clover reverse tuners with phillips head screws, headstock divets hidden underneath the tuning machines to accommodate the tuner protrusions, unbound rosewood 20 fret board with pearloid dot fret markers, two chrome pickups each with three phillips head height adjustment screws, chrome pickup cover with (1) plastic shim, white/black/white vinyl pickguard with with red, white and blue nine star bird logo, body route underneath pickguard, chrome bridge cover with (2) plastic shims, 3 pole bridge, CTS potentiometers, capacitor, input jack on body front, strapholder on body back, four screw plastic controls access cover on body back, often a date stamp in controls cavity, mahogany body and neck, rectangular black tolex case with Gibson name and blue or crimson interior.

Gibson continued the eight digit serial number headstock dating scheme in 1978. Ex: YDDDYPPP- The first and fifth letter indicate year of production. The second, third and fourth letters indicate the day of production within the year. The sixth, seventh and eighth letters indicate the manufacturing plant: 001 to 499 shows production rank at the Kalamazoo factory and 500 to 999 shows production rank at the Nashville factory. Gibson records show a total of only 12 Ebony and 9 White Thunderbird IV's were shipped in 1978. However we beleieve we've seen a Sunburst 1978 Tbird.