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1973 Gibson EB3L (I think)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassgenius, Mar 15, 2014.


  1. Ok, so I'm about to purchase this pretty beat up EB3. I don't have pictures, but let's just say it's got more bare wood than actual finish left... Like a lot more. The guy told me the thing had been sitting in a shed for ten years in harsh Saskatchewan (Canada) climate with no case. Such a shame since the back and neck have decent finish left, but the front (likely getting a lot of sunlight) is pretty bare. The bridge is bent forward so the action is super high (suggestions? Fix or replace?). Needs new tuners, pots need major cleaning or possibly replacing (I would lean towards the latter). That said, the frets are in not too bad of shape, and the original pickups are gnarly as hell. I plugged the thing in and it sounds downright nasty (you know, the good kind if nasty)! He told me he was looking to get $600, but would give it to me for $500. Is it worth it for a beat up 73? Any suggestions for restoring /mods welcome.
     
  2. That's a tough one man. If a spit polish will do then take it. A full rebuild/refinish? I'd pass.
     
  3. car_man65

    car_man65

    Nov 14, 2013

    If you can live with the look and just do repairs that make it more playable, go for it! The beat up finishes tell such a story. It probably wouldnt be worth it to restore.
     
  4. I don't think I would refinish it. But I would probably replace just about everything that isn't glued down (except the pickups). So I would probably end up dumping another $300 - $500 into the already $500 bass. So is this polished turd (albeit gnarly sounding turd) worth $1000 after I put that stuff in?
     
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  6. It's actually surprisingly playable, pretty dang straight neck for what it's been through. Although the action was just too high to attempt anything much past first position. I'd probably put a 3 point hipshot or maybe a babicz on it.
     
  7. You're looking at retail price on a used early 70's EB from what I've seen in shops an online. If he'd take 300 for the bass, it would be reasonable. Heck, it's been treated like garbage for long enough.
     
  8. I've got a custom USA Conklin, and an Adamovic fretless. So this gibson doesn't even come close to my basses. I just want something I can grab a pick and rock out on. I don't really want to get one off eBay without being able to try it out. But seeing one in decent shape selling for $800 I will likely try to negotiate the price down.
    One other thing though, it's the 34" scale version which they apparently only made 1,000 of? (I have yet to confirm this) not sure if that affects it's worth.
     
  9. car_man65

    car_man65

    Nov 14, 2013
    You really can not beat the 50s through early 80s basses. they just have an awesome vibe and the old growth wood makes such a difference tonality wise and has much more sustain. But every bass is different, but this gibson like every other, the cheaper you get it, the better.
     
  10. Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you didn't have any nice basses. My point was, if you are after an older production bass, there are so many available that if you take time and search you can usually find one at a very reasonable price. Personally, I wouldn't pay the price for the one in your op, but that's me.
     
  11. braud357

    braud357 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Sorrento, LA USA
    as the old adage states - "just because something is old, it does not make it valuable." Obviously, the seller did not give a damn about this old Gibson, and now he wants to get premium dollar for, at best - a "project" bass. In my opinion - it is not worth over $200 !
     
  12. No worries, I was just giving insight to my situation.
     
  13. Thanks a lot for your input guys! I recently got ripped off to the extreme on a vintage Jazz bass, so I thought I'd come on here and get some opinions first. If I strike a deal with this guy I'll be sure to post pics on here.
     
  14. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Godofthunder bassist for Knight Patrol Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    This sounds like a parts bass to me, if you can bring it back great, I love to do this crap myself. Big issuies are if the truss rod is working and the frets are serviceable, if not the bass isn't worth saving.The bass is only worth the sum of the parts, pickups, tuners bridge, wiring harness etc. If it is all there and working you have at least $500 worth of parts. If it were me to buy the whole bass I'd give $200-$300. Pictures sure would help.
     
  15. I'm thinking I would offer max $300. If he installed a supertone bridge so it could be set up properly, I would consider a higher price than that. Assuming it plays well in all positions.
     
  16. The 300's have it! No more, way less if you can.

    Did you buy it?
     
  17. Not yet. I'm gonna take it for another spin this week sometime.
     
  18. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    One note: if this is an EB-3L, the last production year would have been 1972. If, on the other hand, this is an EB-4L (long scale, single mudbucker PU in middle position), then you could well have a 1973 production model. I had a cherry EB-3L from 1972 and was told by several appraisers that '72 was the last run year for that model, though certainly they continued to appear in stores for a time after until the inventory was sold out.
     
  19. Backwoodsman

    Backwoodsman

    Mar 17, 2014
    Definitely grab it!
    The people who would pay only $2-300 obviously don't value fine vintage instruments - they might prefer a shiny new Beaver Creek or some other cheap import ... each to their own. These same people have no idea what the parts are worth. Just check ebay you's see that one can buy a neck pickup alone for over $300.
    Good luck, hope you take the bass.