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Comments on a Epiphone EB-3

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Beammeup, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Beammeup


    Oct 7, 2002

    I'm thinking of buying a Epiphone EB-3 Bass, for some songs, we're doing on the forthcomming spring tour.

    Before I risk my money and start buying, I was wondering if you experts had some comments, that I should hear?

    I'm looking forward to your input.
  2. Haven't tried an Epi EB-3, but I'd let you know that on the Epiphone 58 V bass that I have, I had to put some packing under the pickups to raise them a hell of a lot nearer to the strings, as they have so little output volume compared to anything else I use.

    It may be that the EB-3 pickups are loud enough, but I'd be sure to do an A/B test with another bass in the shop against the volume of your main bass. Otherwise you may end up either changing the bass or hunting replacement pickups.

    Hope this helps :bassist:
  3. Beammeup


    Oct 7, 2002
    Hi 12stringbassist,

    Thanks for your input.

    I'll keep it in mind. I don't like replacing the whole bass :eek:

    Would you like to give me your opinion?
  4. Are you familiar with the EB-3 sound? It's a bit different than the "Fender" sound.
  5. Beammeup


    Oct 7, 2002
    Hi GB,
    I would like think that I am :crying: I would compare it to the Cream Sound (Jack Bruce)

    How would you describe it?
  6. I actually don't know how much Cream stuff was done with the EB-3, here's a decent guide to Jack's basses with Cream:

    Think "Sitting On Top Of The World," that's a good EB-3 sound.

    The stuff by Mountain (Felix Papalardi/ EB-1 & EB-0)or Free (Andy Fraser/ EB-3) have that huge, inarticulate sound- it's not bad, it's just not the traditional "Fender-y" sound. To me- the sound is a whole lot of low mids, and not much above there. I'm just saying you might want to try out an EB-3 before making the investment.
  7. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I had an Epi EB-3 for a few years and just sold it. The sound is kinda like the old Gibson equivalent but w/o the massive low-end. Very useable tones, thin neck, decent bridge, solid construction, decent electronics, good tuners.
    The only problem with these basses is they are long-scale. Normally not a problem, but the original body design is from a short-scale bass, and so by attaching a long-scale neck the bass is VERY neck heavy. Serious neck dive. A leather strap with a rough underside is a must, and does cure the problem.
  8. I've played an Epiphone EB-3, although it's been about three years now.

    The neck pickup sounded very deep, although not mushy at all. The bridge pup could get a sound similar to a Jazz bass' bridge pup, but again not exactly the same. The thing I liked was the varitone switch with the individual volume controls; with these you could really adjust the sound to your liking.

    Yes, it had major neck dive.

    Not a bad bass, IMHO.

  9. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Actually, while it DOES look like a Gibson Varitone(as on the Gibson EB-3), on the Epi EB-3* it's just a pickup selector.

    *If we are talking about the approx.$400 Epiphone EB-3(which I assume we are) and not the Epiphone EB-3 Elitest.
  10. By replacing the whole bass, I meant giving up and getting something else!

    A good couple of albums that show what an EB3 can sound like are 'Slayed' and 'Slade Alive!' on which Jim Lea gives his EB3 a damned good thrashing.

    It can also be heard on most of Slade's singles up to about 1976.


    Jim and his refinished white EB3:

  11. Beammeup


    Oct 7, 2002
    Hi Bassman,
    Yeah - it is the Epiphone EB-3, not Elitest
  12. Beammeup


    Oct 7, 2002
    Hi Everybody.

    I just wanna thank all of you, for your comments and input.

    I'm gonna go for it, as long as the price is fairly low.

    Thanks - and happy holidays
  13. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    I tried one at a music store, it was a decent bass really, better than I expected. Sound was pretty good (as the other dude said, definitley not a sea of mud) and played nice, I liked the neck shape sorta. Thin width but round profile. Neck divey though.
  14. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    When you go in to buy it try out some straps on the bass and find one that will stop the neck dive. Needs to be leather with that rough back. Those nylon web ones will only make things worse. Then tell 'em if they throw in the strap for free you'll buy the bass.
  15. Beammeup


    Oct 7, 2002
    Hi Bassman,
    Thanks for the advice ;)

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Get yours hands as many EB3's as possible Epiphone quality on these models can vary alot.
  17. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Just in case you take the Slade sound to be an actual EB-3, although that bass is a refinished Gibson of some kind, it certainly is not an EB-3 from the factory. Given the date of the picture, pre-1976, and the bar bridge, it is probably a pre-1968 EB-0 with the neck pickup replaced and moved down toward the bridge (pickguard replaced, too, to hide the holes), and some kind of pickup added near the bridge. So, though they could be Gibson pickups (don't look like it), probably no Gibson pickups involved, and in different locations at that. It is a custom bass built using a Gibson body, it looks like, and that's as close to an EB-3 as it is.

    And, the Epi does not sound the same as the old EB-3 anyway, from sources who have had both.
  18. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Kinda like a Ric neck? That's what i'd like. Plus, I hear the long scale makes it alot less muddy.
  19. JamesC


    Oct 7, 2007
    I have a Korean Epiphone EB-3. I guess sometime a few years ago they changed the factory where they made it or something like that.

    Anyways, here is my input. You can't just pick up this bass, like you would a fender, and expect it to sound or play great. The bass is really just odd and takes time to get used to. The long neck causes problems playing sitting down, so really you can only play it standing up. The neck dive causes some major problems when trying to play with good technique, though a 3+ strap can help balance it out. Also, where you play on the strings can really REALLY change how the bass sounds. I find that playing directly over the neck pickup gives the bass a muddled and ambiguous sound, while at the other pickup it sounds really thin. Right in the middle, in my opinion, sounds the best. This brings up another problem for those of us who are used to playing directly over the pickup, like on a standard jazz. You have to stretch your thumb from the edge the neck pickup, or just rest your thumb on the E, to get your hand in a good position.

    I guess all basses take a little bit of time to get used too, but this one takes quite a lot. It took me probably about 6 months to a year to get fully used to it. But once you get used to all its little quirks, it really can sing. Tonal variety is not as great as the jazz bass, but it's not bad at all.

    And it has an AWESOME bottom end.

    That's my two cents.
  20. He also went on to use a John Birch custom EB lookalike, so maybe it's an early Birch mod.

    The other key to the Jack Bruce/Jim Lea sound is to run it through a socking great valve amp cranked up all the way & then spank the a*se off it

    A bit like this really