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A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #75904  by tigerstrat
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:47 am
Wasn't Phil's Gibson bass actually an EB-0 to which he added a bridge pickup? EB-3's seem to have had the Varitone tone cap selector (similar to the ES-345)
 #75911  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:53 am
tigerstrat wrote:Wasn't Phil's Gibson bass actually an EB-0 to which he added a bridge pickup? EB-3's seem to have had the Varitone tone cap selector (similar to the ES-345)
Interesting theory... I haven't heard it before. The Gear page book quotes him as saying that he originally had an EB1, which was more likely an EB0, but the EB3 in question I believe was likely not the same bass.

I've pouring over every minute detail about EB0/3 like a fiend at http://www.flyguitars.com/gibson/bass/ for days now and I think it's more likely that the bass I'm replicating started life as a 1969ish EB3.

He went through a number of different basses between the original undocumented original Gibson and the arrival of the bass in question. He's not the type who would have hung onto a bass just in case he needed it later.

The Varitone and the extra Vol/Tone knob holes were drilled in exactly the right places for a 1969ish EB3. If Bearlembic had drilled them they'd probably be spaced a lot different and not be real SG knobs. Earlier EB3s had the upper knobs much closer to the strings as shown in a 1966 catalogue, so we know it's not an earlier EB3. http://www.vintageguitars.org.uk/gib63p14.php The varitone itself seems to have been replaced by a knob of uknown function.

The EB3s had a 5 ply pickguard vs. a 3 ply for the EB0. I have evidence that strongly suggests that Phil's is a 5 ply.

The price difference was pretty minimal, especially by GD standards: $410 for an EB3 vs. $350 for an EB0.

Sorry, I'm Obsessed!



A thought just occurred to me... the Hagstrom pickups in Phil's bass are exactly what came in the Guild Starfire II that eventually became the Godfather. I wonder if they bought the EB3 just to stick the Hagstroms into while they worked out the electronics on the Godfather?
 #75914  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:05 am
broesau wrote:I had no idea Gibson was making a six string bass back then. Was anybody else?
I didn't either, but they definitely weren't the only ones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bass_VI
 #75917  by tcsned
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:19 am
Rusty the Scoob wrote:
broesau wrote:I had no idea Gibson was making a six string bass back then. Was anybody else?
I didn't either, but they definitely weren't the only ones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bass_VI
I had a buddy that had one of those Bass VI's - very short scale from what I remember and an octave down version of a guitar not the modern 6-string bass tuning. I guess they hadn't worked out those particulars yet.
 #75918  by tigerstrat
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:29 am
tcsned wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:
broesau wrote:I had no idea Gibson was making a six string bass back then. Was anybody else?
I didn't either, but they definitely weren't the only ones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bass_VI
I had a buddy that had one of those Bass VI's - very short scale from what I remember and an octave down version of a guitar not the modern 6-string bass tuning. I guess they hadn't worked out those particulars yet.
Those are also known as baritone guitars
 #75920  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:48 am
tcsned wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:
broesau wrote:I had no idea Gibson was making a six string bass back then. Was anybody else?
I didn't either, but they definitely weren't the only ones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bass_VI
I had a buddy that had one of those Bass VI's - very short scale from what I remember and an octave down version of a guitar not the modern 6-string bass tuning. I guess they hadn't worked out those particulars yet.
A 32 hz or so low B would have sounded like total crap with the underpowered amps and PAs they had at the time. It takes some decent power and speaker design to properly reproduce the sound even now, plus a good stiff neck to make it playable.
 #75922  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:08 am
tcsned wrote:I thought baritone guitars were tuned to B or C not an octave down.
I imagine that either the Bass VI or the Gibson version could be set up either way, only depding on string choice and possible nut filing.

Personally I'd be pretty annoyed if I was playing with a guy with a baritone guitar. it's bad enough that you guys can already get down to an octave to an octave-and-a-half of my lowest note (depeding on if I'm playing four or five strings.) :lol: :wink:
 #75923  by tcsned
 Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:15 am
Rusty the Scoob wrote:
tcsned wrote:I thought baritone guitars were tuned to B or C not an octave down.
I imagine that either the Bass VI or the Gibson version could be set up either way, only depding on string choice and possible nut filing.

Personally I'd be pretty annoyed if I was playing with a guy with a baritone guitar. it's bad enough that you guys can already get down to an octave to an octave-and-a-half of my lowest note (depeding on if I'm playing four or five strings.) :lol: :wink:
with the octave divider or a harmonizer we can have all of your frequency range :twisted:
 #81190  by Rusty the Scoob
 Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:59 am
Definitely! It's a guitar-player's dream bass... tiny little thing with only four strings, that fits into a regular SG case. Hopefully it'll be playable at least with half-done electronics by mid-summer.
 #84466  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:24 am
Ok, my mid-summer goal went past, but no worries... I'm not in a rush, and my new Starfire is a great distraction. Some progress anyway.

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My dad veneered over the factory tuner routes and restamped the serial number... it's kind of a vintage-gibson sacrilege but it sure does look nicer.

before:

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after:

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And a full-body shot with the back superimposed for knob placement purposes - it's the best shot I have showing the installed pickups and the pickguard that he made from scratch:

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Here's the full photo album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danfcrea/s ... 140553831/