Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil's

Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil's

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:38 pm

Been working on this off and on for years, keeping it mostly to myself, and now it's finally done!

I wanted a clone of Phil's custom modded and painted EB3:

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Five and a half years ago I found a genuine 1969 EB0 on ebay. It's identical to an EB3 except they gave the EB3 an extra pickup and two or three extra knobs. (both basses share the exact body dimensions of an SG, they are tiny by bass standards!) The 1969 EB0 was the most common of the Gibson EB-series basses and this example was enough of a basket case that I didn't have to feel at all bad about modifying it to suit my needs instead of giving it a proper restoration back to its original condition. Whatever this bass's previous story is, it's lost to the world now.

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Logos completely destroyed on the headstock:

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That was the first order of business for me. I sent it to Cliff at Shark Inlay and he did a fantastic job! After some debate we decided to do something a little more interesting than the stock "crown" logo in the center of the headstock, and I'm glad we did. Cliff's work is stunning! http://sharkinlay.com/headstocks.htm

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Then the bass was off to my dad, who did a full refinish and modified the bass to EB3 specs.

He started with the back of the headstock, filled in the tuner mounting holes since we'd be using the same Gotoh GB7 tuners that Phil had added to his:

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And added a mahogany veneer and even restamped the original serial number into it! It was tough to read with how thoroughly the bass had been sanded, but a few rubbings revealed most of the digits clearly enough to indicate it's a legit 1969.

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Next came grain filling and an absolutely perfect (and stunning!) cherry finish. I believe he used supplies from guitar reranch but it's been a few years and he lives in MN compared to my Boston. Might have been Stew Mac instead.

http://www.reranch.com/

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My mom has always been a great painter, so I knew she'd do a great job of recreating Bob Thomas's (most likely) original custom paint job. It came out even better than I expected!

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It really came alive when my dad added the clearcoat and built the pickguard from scratch. (you can't buy them anywhere it seems!)

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I tracked down a vintage bridge that was missing the incredibly narrow saddles, having been unable to find or build a suitable replacement. From there it needed a tailpiece, it was a horrible design when stock, nicknamed the "evertilt", since it would easily pitch forward under string tension. I had Jordan Giangreco (a fantastic keyboard player! Plays with The Breakfast and Viral Sound and Legion of Jerry and sometimes the Garcia Project and nails everything he does.) build some saddles for it and the tailpiece and it came out great! From there my friend Ben Sloan finished up the final assembly and setup, and wired it up passively. It's not quite the setup Phil had with emitter-followers added and all that custom stuff... maybe someday that can happen. For now I'm pretty happy with it as it sits.

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Next to an SG for comparison. I found a slightly roomy electric guitar case for it and it fits!

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I left the truss rod cover off to match Phil's bass for now although it might look nicer if I added it.

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To see the pics that got cut off due to screen size, they're all hosted here: http://imgur.com/a/ndszn
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby Searing75 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:55 pm

Awesome! Great job man!
All's well that sounds well.
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby lovetoboogie » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:07 pm

....that came out very cool!!! Great job!
"It all rolls into one..."
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby mgbills » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:19 pm

That is a wonderful & cool project!
Congratulations!

We can all see the happiness...
"Hi Ho...the Carrion Crow...FoldeRoldeRiddle"
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby TI4-1009 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Wow! Great job- concept AND execution ! Soooo..... how does it sound?
"Do not write so that you can be understood, write so that you cannot be misunderstood." -Epictetus

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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby Dozin » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:23 pm

That is so sweet
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby Staemius » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:28 pm

Love it! Congrats!
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby ccw3432 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:12 pm

Very cool!
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby tcsned » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:05 am

Sweet instrument! Your mom did an awesome paint job!
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby drewfx » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:20 am

Fantastic job! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:34 am

Thanks, all!

TI4-1009 wrote:Wow! Great job- concept AND execution ! Soooo..... how does it sound?


I'll post some examples tonight if I remember, Fennario gave it a real great debut show, we opened Set 2 with Live Dead in its entirety! My work browser doesn't support the Soundcloud site that they're hosted on.

Objective revew - real big and warm but a little easy to lose in a mix. It didn't help that the room is on the boomy side either, I'm curious to try it either outdoors or in a smaller or tighter room.

Super articulate and very personal when it's given some sonic space, plays nice fingerstyle or with thinner guitar picks, I had to go buy some Fender Heavies, my usual Adamas or Gator Grip 2.0mm's overwhelm the light and loose .40-.110 TI flatwound strings way too easily.

Despite spending a few years on a 30.5" Starfire, I still find myself "overshooting" the frets on this bass, just plain stretching too far given how much closer together the frets are than on a 34" bass. Still, when you get it right it plays like a dream! Super fast, and nice and light too. Which is funny because the 5 string my dad built for me a few years ago came in at 13 lbs! The Gibson feels like a toy in my hands, I figure that's what John Kahn must have felt like when he plays a Precision.
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby zambiland » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:33 pm

Looks great! I can't wait to hear it. It would be great to play it through a Showman and a couple of JBL 15s.

Maybe try some Pyramid Golds on it. I bet the tension would be better and the tone would be more on target.

I've got a hulk from the 60s in my basement waiting for a similar treatment. I have the bridge, tuners, pickups, etc., all waiting, I just have to strip it of the nasty paint job and heavy metal stickers.

Congrats! I'm just waiting for the Colorado tour!
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby moonliner » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:28 pm

Wow! That is fantastic! Congratulations on a job very well done. The paint job really makes the whole thing jump up many levels!
I bet it sounds great. Way to go!
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:58 am

I wasn't totally on this day since I'd played at and ran a 5k in the afternoon for charity, but we gave it a real nice debut! Love how Caroline got the TC sound and vibe on this:

https://soundcloud.com/fennario-new-england/dark-star

Terrapin on this bass was an adventure. (and anachronism but you can't be 100% fussy all the time) Somehow it plays way different than my Starfire.

https://soundcloud.com/fennario-new-england/terrapin
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Re: Here it is! 1969 Gibson EB modified into a clone of Phil

Postby ugly rumor » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:24 am

Just for a second, I felt envy here. Just for a second. Maybe a bit more than a second. Maybe a bit stronger than envy.
Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go, we just ride...
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