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Gibson EB '70 era - slothead vs SG vs violin vs all others

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass V, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    being more than just about electronics, I'll avoid that primarily focused group and try here.
    I have access to a nice slothead EB3 circa '70 for under 1K and am curious what if any differences between models or preferences there are among the EB community for the slots and solid pegheads including the reissue of the original EB favored by Pappalardi, the number of frets, scale, electronics? does the slothead present any negative or structural issues, especially tone wise?
    as the story goes... when Felix convinced Gibson to remake the violin shape semi-solidbody the result included a hotter wiring and PU design for that era mudbucker, if so, did this transfer over to the other models of the time and how can you tell the differences?
    I want a vintage Gibby that will do Felix to the max but also get Andy Frasier's (occasional) singing upper range and harmonics. the example I have a rare hands-on shot at has potential to reach that range but cranking it pre-purchase for a true test run ain't gonna happen. not all mudbucked basses are the same, some EBs are more forgiving in their output, or the rawness is tamed, or are truly muddy, I want the brutality and clarity of the best examples. this is good natural grind and I've heard better;
    the walnut one I'm looking at is a nice bass on it's own, the strings are almost rubbery in a v cool way I don't come across often enuf with some twanginess but good resonance, and it's a comfortable bass with great sounds at lower volume if not ultimately what I'm after in extreme performance. but I'd like to avoid buyer's remorse if a better educated reconsideration is prudent, otoh, if I can get it for $800 that would be better than the going rate and a cheaper learning tool, at the least I'll have another cool useful ancient bass. but anything I buy in order to get that great old mudbucker grind (and still have some high end) will have to be incredible to merely match what I'm using currently using and getting quite acceptable results with in a modern setup for very little $$. but of course I want beyond what I have and I'm willing to gamble in going vintage Gibson if the payoff is worth the risk.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  2. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    The only downside to "slot heads" is the availability of replacement tuners, which were made by Schaller and are obsolete. They've also lost a fret when compared to two previous generations of EB-0/3 models.

    Other than that, they play and sound exactly like one would expect them to. Sidewinder aka Mudbucker will send just about any preamp on this planet into overdrive if the volume on the bass is set at 10. One can get nice clean sounds and not lose definition around 7 or 8. Do bear in mind that I only use roundwounds and that sound will differ greatly with flatwounds.

    Price-wise, a grand is somewhat on a high side for this generation of basses, but they don't come up for sale that often. For that type of money I'd expect very good to excellent condition and the original case included. And yes, I would try to haggle if at all possible, but that's just the way I am...:D

    The "upside" of "slotheads" is that they tend to suffer far less from headstock breaks, at least in my experience.

    My $0.02 only...

    Happy hunting.
    Bass V likes this.
  3. You may be about to get into an apples vs. oranges situation re that pickup. In addition to the video you put up, look at this one:

    and then compare videos for 1964/1965 EB-0s and Newports. The pickup on the 1961s is not a mudbucker; it is an earlier iteration and may even be a single-coil.

    If you want a vintage Gibson that is one thing. But if you just are after "that sound," there are other avenues. There are 1970s Japa-clones of slothead Gibson basses in both short- and long-scale configurations. One of these loaded with a DiMarzio model one pickup might be a better -- and cheaper -- fit for you.
    Bass V likes this.

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