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Gibson-made Epiphone B4 and B5 basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Steve Swan, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    Today I had a chance to examine and play the first Gibson-made B4 Epiphone that I have seen. Compared to the wonderful Brooklyn-made Epiphone basses that I have experienced in the past, this bass was a disappointment. The serial number was in the high 500 range, so my guess on a manufacture date would be 1960, plus or minus.

    The top was not very responsive. It had kind of clunky heaviness that I haven't experienced in playing an Epiphone before. The finish coloring and clarity had the same kind of 2 dimensional flatness that the guitars had that era. The fingerboard seemed pretty thin. Do the Gibson-made Epiphones always come that way?

    All that said, I would still choose this bass over most Kay basses that I have ever played. The larger, more conventional neck profile and the 42" string length both help to make a larger sound than Kay basses.

    Have others had a similar experience with one of these late period Epiphone basses?