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Gibson Basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jennings, Mar 10, 2008.


  1. Hansel

    Hansel

    Jan 20, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Which makes sense. It's possible Gibson saw that fender was becoming the 'norm' and took advantage of this by inserting the RD and TB into the bass world. But that doesn't explain why they failed later on;

    Although.. they don't make the RD anymore, do they?
     
  2. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Re reading this thread, its absolutely amazing to me the amount of misconceptions non owners of Gibson basses have.
    Ummm..... how is a Fender not a redrawn guitar? esp their current offerings that mix componenets from both?
    Comparing Epi and Gibson....no, they're only owned by the same company.
    All Gibson Basses set neck? No! Obviously you've never picked up a real Thunderbird.

    I really want some of the drugs that guy was on that said Gibson was only in it for the $$$! As if anybody was in the music instrument manufacturing industry for some altruistic reason.........
    Gibsons aren't Fenders.....they don't need to be. They are in fact at least innovative and have interesting idiosycrasies. Fender? Well, they have fine instruments - beyond any doubt, that said nothing much has really changed there, industry leader yes, innovation left when Leo did.
     
  3. Considering how long after fender had become the norm it took Gibson a long time to launch the RD.
    The Basses of the EB series were just jumping on the guitar band wagon boom, considering that in the UK they were priced around the same as Fenders is it any wonder they were only partialy successful. here
     
  4. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.


    it's a guild, ain't it?
     
  5. tomshepp

    tomshepp Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    Fender = apples. Gibson = oranges. The designs are there to do different things. When Gibson moved to maple necked instruments it was a business decision to gain some of the market that Fender had. Fender did some of the same when they made basses like the Coronado, that is to appeal to those in the Gibson market. Both Gibson and Fender basses have a lot to offer. But they are very different. A mahogany necked instrument with a neck through or set neck will feel sound and play differently from a maple necked bolt on. Not to be long winded, but I would love to add a Gibson to my bass stable. Probably a vintage Tbird.
     
  6. Dbassmon

    Dbassmon

    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Bassist vote with their wallets.

    The fact is that it's a matter of taste. Gibson was never able to attract bassists in large enough numbers to make any real market penetration. The taste of most bass players is for a Fender-esk sound.

    I personally can think of no great bass players that used Gibson. Certainly, Jack Bruce is the notable exception but I personally hate the sound he got on those cream records. Someone mentioned Niki Sixx, hardly a great bass player IMO, but fact is he played a Spector shaped like a Gibson.

    The design issues IMO are; Short Scale = no real attack on the notes, no solid low end, lots of bloated low end, no solid low end.

    Bad pickups= Muddy and lacking any distinctive character

    Unattractive body designs = totally dated and "Jetsons" looking.

    Mahogony bodies and necks on most models - Maybe not the best wood choice for bass

    These are my personal observations and opinions. I think the bass community has voted NO on Gibsons for that last 40 years for similar subjective opinions.
     
  7. Andy Fraser was a notable Bassist who used an EB3, considering his age when in Free some of his playing was mature beyond his years.
    What about neck dive on the EBs (not Ernie Balls), I started playing in 62, the only Gibsonish (new word) Bass that gained any popularity was the Epiphone Rivolli.
     
  8. Considering the time it was put on the market (disco), most bass players didn't have a clue at what to do with all of the tonal options. It was ahead of its time----like Studebakers, and other such radical, innovative designs for its time, people couldn't handle something so different. Appreciation comes when people's paradigms take on progressive characteristics. In this respect, during that time, Gibson was willing to push the envelope, wheras Fender continued to pump out what they had been doing for years without changes. This is merely an example of two companies making choices---economic-based or product advancement-based---obviously economics won. But Gibson showed they were not afraid to make innovations.
     
  9. Wasn't Entwistle using T'birds for a few years?

    Now as far as your list: the pickups are not muddy if one takes the time to use the "tone" knob. I get good definition out of my bassy sound on my '65 EB-0.

    The majority of Gibsons were NOT short-scaled. They were short in the beginning to attract the guitar player to the instrument, while Fender was attempting to attract the stand-up bassists. Neither guitar took off very quickly---it was difficult to get past stand-up bass paradigms resistant to change and innovation, a common human trait that stifles progress. By the way, Jack Bruces choice of Gibson was its high level of playability---he could do more guitar-like things on it than he could on long scale basses. Having owned a Jazz bassin 1969 and 1970 and a Gibson EB-2 from 1970 to 1973, I know exactly what he was talking about. The Gibsons were easier to play as a guitar and, hence, play a more innovative style of bass.

    Mahogany---purely a subjective choice, some like the warmth of mahogany over the sharpness and brittleness of maple. Personally, each has its perfect use.

    Unattractive body designs? ----yeah, well, I think Lamborghinis are ugly....
     
  10. nfgrufio

    nfgrufio

    Jan 22, 2005
    anyone who hasnt played a gibson ripper cannot say gibson does not make good basses. I own one and its a GREAT bass. wonderful tone that will kick you in the chest. end of story
     
  11. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Umm....

    John Entwisle? played for a band named The Who

    Martin Turner Wishbone Ash

    Overend Watts Mott the Hoople
     
  12. Young/new Bassists wanted the more in vogue and glamorous Bass guitars; existing Bassists took a little more time
    The problem in the early days (50s) wasn't the Basses but the amplifiers available or more to the point the poor power handling of the loudspeakers in those days, it was most Bassists dream to be able to downsize, initialy the only Bassists around were left over from the dance/Jazz band era; for a young muso starting out especialy in the UK transport was the major obstacle; with a bass Guitar and small amp you could and did travel by public transport, you could not do this with an Upright Bass.
     
  13. Yup--for those willing to innovate, but many in the beginning did not like the sound. And Gibson's approach was completely different---instead of trying to convert stand-up bassists, they were attempting to attract the guitarist by making the bass feel more like a guitar.
     
  14. Yes but when those early Basses are played through todays amplifiers it is a different story, my 65 Jazz sounded fantastic in recent years through Trace & Ashdown gear.
     
  15. Kemet09

    Kemet09

    Oct 29, 2004
    Chi-Ca-Go
    Endorsements: Sire Basses
    Wow, sounds a lot like Warwick!!! Ughh!!! I see very few Gibsons in places like GC & Sam Ashe. Mostly Epi's

    I totally agree with you on the RD Artist! That thing is a monster!!! I have 1 now. I had a Grabber years ago. It was a great quality axe, but It was really muddy most of the time. I would probably appreciate it more now than I did then. I now want a Ripper, but the prices have been driven up by those Grunge & Fake Punk dudes on TV... :spit:
     
  16. The new Thunderbirds are very high quality and worth every penny despite all the krap you'll read here and have a great versatile sound. I've never played a new SG bass but have an old EB-3 which is also a great bass. I think the majority of people here who put them down have probably never lived with one for any length of time. Gibsons are humbucker basses, when the crystal clear twangy Rotsound sound became popular during the early 70's Gibsons never really recovered. I'll do any kind of gig with my new T-Bird. I bought it through AMS incidentally and is top notch quality.
    I get get a clear sound with the EB-3 if I set the knobs right, in fact people like the sound of it, and this is with flatwound strings which I use on almost every bass I own.
     
  17. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Dbassmon;5457164]Bassist vote with their wallets.

    Yeah thats why Gibsons continually go up in value because no bass players want them, like Justin Medal Johnson, Mike Watt, Jack Bruce, Ralphe armstrong & Randy Jackson- They just don't know any better, you better contact them and tell them what kind of fools they are.

    The fact is that it's a matter of taste. Gibson was never able to attract bassists in large enough numbers to make any real market penetration. The taste of most bass players is for a Fender-esk sound.

    Agreed, can't argue with facts.

    I personally can think of no great bass players that used Gibson. Certainly, Jack Bruce is the notable exception but I personally hate the sound he got on those cream records. Someone mentioned Niki Sixx, hardly a great bass player IMO, but fact is he played a Spector shaped like a Gibson.

    Justin Medal Johnson, Entwistle, Chris Squire, Ralphe Armstrong, Steve Swallow, Mike Watt, Colin Molding, Jack Casady, M'shel- I'll take quality over quantity anyday.

    The design issues IMO are; Short Scale = no real attack on the notes, no solid low end, lots of bloated low end, no solid low end.

    Agreed

    Bad pickups= Muddy and lacking any distinctive character

    Every Gibson bass has different pickups, you can only say that of Mudbuckers that have not been made in over 30 years???????
    Ever play an RD, G-3, LP, Victory or a any Tbird- muddy???

    Unattractive body designs = totally dated and "Jetsons" looking.

    matter of taste

    Mahogony bodies and necks on most models - Maybe not the best wood choice for bass

    Agreed, but they do it their way.

    These are my personal observations and opinions. I think the bass community has voted NO on Gibsons for that last 40 years.

    Why are prices so high on the used market and why do they continue to go up?

    If bass players voted no then who the heck are buying them then??

    Just my opinion
     
  18. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    What I don't understand is how people can be so narrow minded and such haters.

    I don't hate any bass, I think almost all basses have something to offer someone. Also 90% is the player anyway, be it a Gibson Fender or a Ric, they still sound like themselves.

    There are other colors of crayons other than Red, Blue & Yellow you know?
    Maybe all you want to color with is one crayon?


    Gibson, Guild, Ric & other basses offer colors not in the Fender crayon box.
     
  19. Mofo-Kang

    Mofo-Kang

    Aug 26, 2006
    Modesto, CA

    I just have to laugh when someone overgeneralizes and says all Gibsons sound muddy, or muddiness is some sort of Gibson problem. They've apparently never seen an RD Artist.



    Yeah, that's a really muddy, cruddy tone he's getting there, isn't it?
     
  20. Hawaii Islander

    Hawaii Islander Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Rio Rico, AZ
    Love all those bands!

    I'm going to the car to retrieve my Mott the Hoople CD now! ;):D
     

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