Gibson EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar (1962)

Gibson  EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar  (1962)

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Item # 8072
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Gibson EB-3 Model Electric Bass Guitar (1962), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 75159, cherry lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a very good player's example of an early EB-3, Gibson's first high-end bass, from the model's first full production year. The double pickup EB basses were not unpopular during the mid-1960s but are not often seen now, as most examples that surface are the later '60s and early '70s models, from a time when production was ramped up dramatically. These are good instruments in their own right, but have numerous differences from this first-generation model.

This bass was built in early 1962 and survives in well-played condition with one notable headstock repair; all original except the lever-action mute is missing. The two pickups are controlled by a 4-way selector, giving a much wider range of tone than the much more common EB-0. The C-profile neck is big and fat, unlike the very slim neck Gibson switched to in late 1965. The bass pickup by the neck still has the 1950s-style plastic cover, which was changed to a metal piece before the end of the year. All hardware is nickel-plated and the finish overall is a faded dark cherry.

Only 273 EB-3s were shipped in 1962, compared to over 800 of the single-pickup EB-0. While falling out of favor in the later '70s and '80s, this easy to play and very distinctive-sounding bass was used by a number of (mostly English) rock bassists in the 1960s and '70s, including Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser, Pete Quaife with the Kinks, Chris White with the Zombies, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman in the early '70s, Tom Evans of Badfinger, Glenn Cornick of Jethro Tull, Trevor Bolder, Jim Lea of Slade, and many others. The EB-3's distinctive growl is one of the most recognizable of all electric bass tones on record.

Of course Bruce is the most famous EB-3 user, and much of the classic Cream output and his early solo work features the sound of the Gibson at full throttle. While perhaps not to all players' taste, this is the only bass with the perfect sound and feel for "homemade Cream"!
 
Overall length is 40 7/8 in. (103.8 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm.) deep. Scale length is 30 1/2 in. (775 mm.).

This bass shows a decent amount of general wear and fade, with dings and scuffs overall but no large areas of finish loss. There is an old headstock repair in the typical spot running from the treble side to the D string tuner, sealed up long ago solidly but not especially cleanly, and the instrument is priced to reflect this. The neck/body joint is totally solid, with no movement or repair. There are two small screw holes in the face where the finger rest was moved to the bass side at one point. The black plastic bass pickup cover has lost nearly all of the chrome paint originally applied, and appears to additionally painted over in black later.

The neck and frets are in excellent condition (it appears to have been played with flatwound strings forever) and playability is excellent. While a bit worn-in, this is a superb gigging example of this rare early version of this classic Gibson bass; well-played but still original, with a great vibe. Complete in a fine period shaped HSC. Very Good + Condition.