EB-3 Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 04/15/2009 category: Bass Guitars
Gibson: EB-3
Electronics included two pickups. Controls consisted of a 4-way Switch and associated volume and tone knobs for each pickup.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 5.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
EB-3 Reviewed by: dandhjohn, on march 16, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: 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" // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 7
EB-3 Reviewed by: RickDanko, on april 15, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 800

Features: Gibson EB-3. Short scale bass (30.5 I think? ) two pick-ups, four control knobs and four-way selector Switch. Couldn't tell you what year mine is exacly due to the fact this guitar was refinished before I got a hold of it and the serial number was sanded off. The pots have been changed (They date 1975) but the features and layout of the bass says it's about 1966-69. Non-slotted headstock. Bridge has been changed to a leo quan badass? Holes still exist for original 2 point bridge and string mute. Bridge cover was still on it, but the only purpose it serves is to cover up the ugly ghetto bridge on it now. I'm comparing this bass to the Epiphone EB-0 and EB-3, both of which I own, and briefly played the Gibson Reissue unamplified so I can only compare the playability. // 8

Sound: I play guitar and bass, and while I limit myself to blues rock o the guitar, I open myself up to anything on the bass, but I still tend to stick to cream/60's rock with this bass. The mudbucker neck pick-up is great for assaulting the ears with as much bottom end as your amp can put out, however it seriously lacks punch. The string volume is fairly even across the bottom three, until you throw the E into the mix. It justdoesn't seem to have the thump you would expect it to have. Compared to the new stuff, the pick-up is pretty acurate, however, I think it may be that I need a new wiring job, it seems the volume goes down a bit when I Switch from turning OFF the tone choke (going from position 1 straight to 4). The bridge pick-up is where the real money is on this bass. It is so much more full of bass and punch. The Epi was simply thin thin thin, even compared to the bridge pick-up on a jazz bass (the humbucker was thinner sounding than the single coil? How?). However, the Epi EB-0 is short scale, but does not have a bridge pick-up. The Epi EB-3 has that pick-up, but it is long scale. I run this bass through a Peavey Mark 6 solid state, with a Peavey black widow cab (two 10' speakers, one 18') and an unknown cab with two 15's. The horn is disabled. EH Big Muff for jack bruce tone. When turned up, this bass growls just like a thunderbird (have an Epi, great alternative to a Fender) and can move the drumset if you set out to do so. Great for classic rock, blues, but I think you can set any bass up for anything if you've got half decent amp. I could play jazz on this bass convincingly if I didn't dig the upright tone so much. However, I do recomend staying away from funk styles because this bass simply is not make to slap, between the mellow pick-ups and the nickle frets. On this bass // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: No clue about the original finish or set up. Bought it twice-used. I'm running a set of Chrome Flats on it, good tension making this bass easy for dexteritious playing and digging in without too much trouble. The string spacing at the bridge end takes a little getting used to, as you reach down and you've got all 4 strings in the palm of your hand without realizing it. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This bass is at least 40 years old (I'm 19, kinda scares me sometimes). All things considered, being the third in line to own this, I'd say it's in good condtion, however, it's very finicky. Again, this is simply my particular bass. At present time, no, I would not gig without a back-up, because of it's age, anything could go wrong until I get it looked at properly. Once this has been done, I'm certain I could gig without a back-up, partly because I baby this f--king thing to death. // 3

Overall Impression: I've tried to review this bass respectfully and unbiased, beause this really is, simply put, my ultimate dream guitar. When pleading with my father to let it into the house (it's guitar #13 of mine) I told him if money was no issue, I'd take this bass over an original 1959 les paul. I've been playing guitar for 5 years and bass for 4, and I would say I know enough that this bass will cover all my blues/rock needs for the rest of my life, provided it lives that long. I cannot lose this, and it's just not going to get stolen unless it's on someone else's watch. I would try to buy another one, but I'd be prepared to pay a bit of money for it, as I got a really good deal on this one. I simply love this bass, because I need more variety than the Epi EB-0 offers, I need the short scale that the Epi EB-3 lacks, and I need the original control layout that the reissue neglects (I really don't want to mod the body of a Gibson, and at the price you pay for one, you really shouldn't f*cking need to, it should be done to the point where it doesn't need anything). At this point I decided it was time to stop drooling and just get one andget it over with. Now I only need to remove the maroon paintjob, go back to cherry red and reinstall the origial bridge and string mute. Anyone know where I can get one without pay rediculious money on ebay for it? (200 bucks for a Vintage bridge cover, come on!) // 9

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