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Old 04-03-2010, 03:15 PM   #1
Spaz91
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BOTM: Spaz91's 'Diamond in the Rough' Epiphone EB3

Allow me to being with a short lecture/rant/drunken ramble. A lot of shit-talking goes on on this board (and this website and pretty much the whole internet) about guitars and basses that are commonly believed to be rubbish and this is probably 90% based on assumptions (like that figure) that cheaper is worse, Chinese made is worse and Epiphone is worse. As my review will later show, basses can be lucky dip; obviously if you're buying online you can feel safer buying an MIA Fender or some boutique bass but you shouldn't use this as an excuse to dismiss cheaper guitars. My main bass is an ATK300 and (in my opinion) it has kicked the shit out of all the competition but it's made in Korea and cost me only 340. This EB3 cost me 195 but in the same shop on the same amp I played basses worth 4 times as much.

tl;dr - Go to guitar shop and try out basses, you may be surprised (pleasantly or otherwise).

RIGHT onto the review.

The Epiphone EB3, mahogany body & set neck. 34" scale. Rosewood board. Sidewinder (mudbucker) and Mini-humbucker each with separate volume and tone with a 3-way selector switch. Gibson 3 point bridge. Classic style tuners.





This is by no means a perfect bass so I'll get the crap out of the way first. The mudbucker is useless, it goes beyond muddy and into inaudible. In fact its so boomy that my Lomenzo Hyperdrive has difficulty tracking. The three point bridge...



...is just damn ******ed. Its not attached properly, (it relies on tension from the strings to stay in place, which themselves are kept in place my their own tension) its very low mass, top loading and its only contact is with the 3 bolts it hooks onto, essentially its on stilts. Feel free to start clapping very slowly.

The electronics are also a bit odd, the tone pots' tone changing abilities aren't exactly consistent. Not sure how to word that in a way that human's will understand.

Yes it neckdives horribly as the body is small and light and the headstock is massive. This is solved by having a good, wide strap.

However, these things are irrelevant to me as I solo the bridge pup and I plan to replace the Gibson bridge with a Hipshot Supertone (which will also solve the balance.)

Onto the good bits. Regardless of being made in some sort of sweaty sweatshop in the far east the QC on this is superb. Everything is solid, nothing rattles, nothing wobbles, the tuners are brilliant and the general craftsmanship is better than many costlier basses I've played.

I love the neck, I generally dislike gloss finishes but this one doesn't feel sticky at all and within a few weeks I'll have worn it down to something more satin-like anyway. It feels like something between a precision and a jazz neck.

The mini-humbucker is the reason I bought this bass. I love the sound it makes, loads of high mids, plenty of growl. A little lacking on the low lows but that's easily solved with a little EQing. There's very little tinny highs (a good thing in my opinion, dunno about you) which is surprising as its placed right next to the bridge. Overall its a great sound for anything but metal. This must be a disappointment for the thousands of route-note playing mids-scoopers who looked at it and when "OOH! POINTY!"

Once I wiped off a few months worth of said people's greasy fingermarks (its been in the shop a while) I saw a gorgeous glossy finish which really compliments the straight grain of the mahogany. I didn't buy this based on looks but that doesn't mean it isn't gorgeous, it's rekindled my fetish for SGs (caused by listening to nothing but Black Sabbath for 2 years).

I give it 8/10, would I use it without a backup? No, it IS the backup. If stolen, would I buy it again? If I found one made to the same quality then yes, but I wouldn't so no.

I wouldn't ask you to buy this based on my advice but I will say give the cheaper basses a chance. No I'm off to go drink the money I saved by not buying that shitty Fleabass.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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Just thought I'd ask for a few opinions/ideas.

Other than the bridge, what other upgrades could I add? Is there a replacement pickup I could use instead of the flat-as-a-fart mudbucker?
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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Does the Eb-3 have the baritone switch like the rivoli? If not you could consider looking into a electronics mod to add the baritone switch.....the rivoli has the mudbucker but when you turn on the baritone switch you get a wicked balanced tone.


otherwise, you could look into putting a darkstar pickup into that spot......they're expensive but awesome.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
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No baritone switch and I thought those pickups were for semi-acoustics?

For anyone interested, I'll be making a video at some point so you can hear it. I'll post it here when I'm done.
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:57 PM   #5
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Dimarzio makes a drop-in replacement for the mudbucker, but I have no idea how it sounds.

Congrats on the new bass! While I generally don't like Epiphones, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments in that once in a while, a fantastic bass can come randomly out of a cheap line.

Hmmm, after your review I'm considering buying an EB for modding purposes. It would look quite scrumptious in white
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:32 PM   #6
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A Bass of the Monh?!?!?! It's been ages!

I've always been a fan the SG body, and it does look quite fit. I think a Precision pickup in the middle position woul be ballin'.
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:42 PM   #7
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billy sheehan uses a dimarzio in his yamaha's and his sound isnt muddy. maybe try one of them.

x

edit: shit i was beaten to it... oh well its called the model 1 anyways if you are interested.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:16 PM   #8
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I like the look of the EBs just not the playability of one. Always thought Jack Bruce looked smart playing his.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:20 PM   #9
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I think it's great that you like it, but to me you've pointed out way too many things wrong on the bass within, what? a couple days of owning it?

Whatevs, the cartoon made me giggle.
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
I think it's great that you like it, but to me you've pointed out way too many things wrong on the bass within, what? a couple days of owning it?


But like I said, these flaws either don't affect me or are easily fixed.
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
I think it's great that you like it, but to me you've pointed out way too many things wrong on the bass within, what? a couple days of owning it?

Whatevs, the cartoon made me giggle.


I think it's rather refreshing as opposed to the "straight 10" reviews.
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:15 AM   #12
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You could look at it that way I suppose. I, however, choose to look at the worst in life.
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:35 AM   #13
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^ Expect the worst but make the most.
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:04 AM   #14
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Nope, expect the worst and get the worst. And then wallow in self piteous liquor over the string of regrets that is your life.
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:59 AM   #15
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Have a kitten and cheer the **** up
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:18 PM   #16
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Epiphone design some rather sexy basses, all they need to do is adress some problems mainly the pups and bridges and it would make a world of diffrence.

My t-bird is like a tank compared to some basses i have tried and i like the feel of the neck overall the guitar is finished excellently but the downer is that the pups are rather weak and muddy and neck dive (easily fixed) kinda bring down the overall design.

Its refreshing to see a bass like this,maybe thats cause some of the guys i know from college are fender *****s

Overall about 60% of Epi's i have tried have felt well built its just some of their design choices really bring them down.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:23 PM   #17
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"Im here standing on her bed shets, shes my diamond in the rough"

Quite nice by the way, Good gloss finish.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:39 PM   #18
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I prefer Airbourne's "I can't get enough of your diamond in the rough."
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:14 PM   #19
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That is indeed, a nice looking EB. Congrats.

I've had a serious hankering for a Jack Casady Epi for a while now - I wonder if the pup and vari-tone circuitry from that could be shoehorned into your EB? Mind you, it strikes me that the neck pup is about the same size as a Ricky one. I wonder if that would go?
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:29 PM   #20
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i have an EB3 and its great... except for the backache it gives me after playing two songs... hence i havent used it live for three years =[
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