Sound — 10
With the four way control Switch in position 1, this bass puts out a lower sound than I've ever heard from a bass before. Switch position 1 uses just the neck pickup with a tone choke and puts out the muddiest bass sound you'll ever hear. Switch position 2 uses just the bridge pickup, Position 3 uses both pickups, and position 4 uses just the neck pickup without the tone choke used on position 1. Jack Bruce used this bass in Cream and I've always been impressed with the sound he was able to achieve out of this bass to compliment Eric Clapton's guitar work and Ginger Baker's drumming.
Overall Impression — 10
I like this bass better than a lot of other basses I've tried, including Fender P basses. The shorter neck makes playing the bass much easier to Switch between bass and guitar and the performance of the EB-3 means I don't have to give up any performance for that capability. Several of my band mates tried to buy it from me when I moved as they were losing me, but didn't want to loose the sound of my bass as well. This is my go-to instrument when called on to play bass for any occasion.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I played weekly in a bar band through my college years. I've also used it playing in various praise bands in the different churches I've attended over the last 30 years and had no major problems with it. The hardest piece to keep in working order is the 4-way Switch as it has broken wires several times over the years, easy to repair, but an annoyance. The guitar has aged well, with only a few nicks in the finish from use.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
While rehearsing for a gig in the band I was in at the time, I left my bass on top of my bass speaker. Someone else plugged into my amp and started wailing away vibrating my bass to the floor shattering the area around the controls. To say I was crushed would be an understatement. I received a recommendation where to take it to get it repaired. The repairman did a wonderful job restoring the wood, but the color was terrible, being much redder than the original mahogany it started as. I told HIM I really didn't like the finish and he asked me what I'd like since he couldn't match the original finish. I really liked the tobacco finish I'd seen on several other guitars and asked for one similar, and that's what I got. The bass is an SG style, solid mahogany set-neck construction with a gloss Tobacco Sunburst finish, Rosewood fingerboard with simple dot markings, blackface headstock with the Gibson logo and mother-of-pearl inlay. The action has always been quite good. When I had trouble with the 4-way Switch, I took it in to the local repair shop. The tech there gave it a good going over, reset the action and fixed the 4-way Switch. It now plays like it did when I first bought it.
Features — 10
I purchased this bass used from a friend in Southern California around 1975. According to the Gibson website, it was produced in 1969 at the Kalamazoo, Michigan factory. I had been playing a cheap Kay bass at the time and jumped at the chance to get a Real bass guitar. I traded an Aria copy of an ES-33 for it along with some cash, how much I really don't remember. Electronics included two pickups (one large humbucking pickup in the neck position and one mini-humbucker pickup in the bridge position). Controls consisted of a 4-way Switch and associated volume and tone knobs for each pickup. The guitar came in a Gibson hard shell factory case. Width at nut: 1 3/4" Body width: 12 15/16" Scale Length: 30.5"