Moved Back To Gibson
After a long hiatus, I've decided that I really like Gibson Basses again. Back in the 70's I had an EB3, a few years ago I had a Les Paul Money Bass and now I have a SG Reissue short Scale and a 2013 Midtown.
I'm still playing my Jazz Bass for Blues, but I really like the Gibson tone for everything.
Thunderous low end and lots of growl.
A few weeks ago I traded my Jazz for a Gibson SG, I already had a Gibson flying V and had played jazz clones for 20 years before I got my first Fender. I do not regret my decision at all. I still own a PJ clone (Martin Stinger) but I think that I am just a Gibson guy (maybe a short scale guy too).
Had an EB3L (long scale) some years back, it was pretty beat up had the G string dead spot real bad, and the Varitone switch was a little funky, but I loved that bass. Super easy to play, had the gorgeous Walnut finish, and I dug the tone, it really wasn't as muddy as most people think it is. If I could get another like that one (without the dead spot), I would be very happy indeed.
Don't know if anyone will enjoy this story or not, but here goes....
In my rather (ahem) formative years, I had an EBO which I bought from a gent in Indiana, which was probably my first high quality bass, unless you consider a Kalamazoo bass with a body made from toilet seat material first class. The bass was truly a wreck, chipped, dinged, stickers and decals everywhere - basically a hot mess. I got it for a song and a dance. My dad - an automotive body shop guy - took it out in the garage and stripped it, sanded it, filled the chips and dings and painted it a pretty cool gloss black for me. A local bass player, Craig Schertz, who went on to work with Showco and mixed FOH for such luminaries as Genesis, ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon and even the Carpenters, modded it for me. He put a momentary switch on the body and wired in a capacitor which somehow kept that amazing almost muddy low end growl, but added a smooth natural mid range. It was close but no cigar. I experimented a lot and found that using eq just wasn't cutting it - it only made certain notes stick out, not the overall timbre. Eventually I wired in a CryBaby wah wah pedal and kept it in the ON - locked and down position. For the late sixties - it was a pretty special sound, I must say. Warm deep and major growl, but with just enough mids and top to slice through. The wah wah gave it a slight brightness across the entire bass that I just couldn't get with EQ.
I gotta tell you, when the Fender Mustangs arrived (sorry, I was a short scale guy at the time) big time in the Mid West in the late '60's I played a few, comparing them to the EB-0. I realized that - although they were so much brighter bass to bass, I couldn't get anywhere near the growly tone of my modded EBO and ended up passing on the Fenders. No comparison to my modded EB-0! When I A-B'd them with my rig it was simply no contest. You have try everything you can and squeeze every drop out of every bass you own to maximize the potential of the instrument.
Fast forward - I have gone on to currently own seven medium scale Fender basses and not a single Gibson. The reason? Gibson rarely, if ever, has made a medium scale bass.
Would still love to own a Gibson bass - anyone know of a medium scale? Especially love the LP basses.
I played my Midtown tonight at practice. I love the tone. I put a Hipshot Supertone bridge on it. Big difference. I already have a Hipshot bridge on my SG Bass. Sure beats the tri mount standard bridge. Highly recommended.
Medium scale LPB
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