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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pontz, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Does anyone here play a Gibson Bass? I'm thinking about buying a reissue Gibson that I saw in a recent Bass Player Mag. It looks like their SG guitar. I think BP said it is a short scale with a real fast neck. But it wasn't a review so they didn't copmment on how it sound and I've never seen one in a store. I'm ready for a new bass though, and I love the way it looks.

    Your thougts are appreciated...
  2. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I have a '66 EB-2, and have had several other Gibbies over the years. A Gibson has a totally different sound than other basses, very bassy, low on definition. Your typical Gibson is not made for slappers; short-scale, not much high-end. I'm assuming you're talking about the new "SG Bass", a semi-reissue of the old EB-3. I want one of those myself. Listen to old Cream(except their first album which was recorded with a Fender bassVI)and you'll hear THE sound most people think of when they think of Gibson basses. An EB-3 overdriving the pre-amp, great tone! Don't confuse this bass with a Gibson Thunderbird's tone, way different bass.
  3. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    You're looking at a reissue of the EB-0, or, if two pickups,

    These are fine if you like a muddy, indistinct tone.

    Gibson has not made many good bass guitars.
  4. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
  5. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    I respectfully disagree. not all Gibson basses have a 'muddy, indistinct tone'. the Les Pauls are nothing like the EB-0 (the muddiest of all). neither are the Ripper/Grabber/G3's. same for T-birds. I get plenty of tone from my Gibsons, even my EB-3; they just don't sound like a Fender. Gibson has made many good bass guitars, just not many popular bass guitars, imho. of course, ymmv.
  6. I had a G-3 back when they first came out and wish that I had more experience under my belt when I was playing it so I could get a more defined tone, but I was into the "bass" sound back then and the treble knob on the amp didn't get used very much. I liked the bass a lot, though.

    I would ask for more input about the short scale neck. I had a Fender short neck for a while and IMHO, I didn't think it had as much overall punch as a longer scale neck. Could have been my rig, too, but I've liked the longer scale better. IMO. ;)
  7. Pontz, have you ever played a short-scale bass?

    You may or may not like it. I, myself have never liked the way the E string felt on any short-scale bass I've played, but then again I haven't played that many. Personal taste.

    That being said, I am a fan of Gibson basses; always have been.

    I've owned a late 70s G-3, which had a sound different than any other Gibson I've heard and most Fenders.

    Right now I own an Epiphone Jack Casady bass, which is very Gibson-like in feel, but closer to a Fender in tone, though it doesn't sound exactly like a Fender.

    You might like this bass: http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=108&CollectionID=12 It's got a 34" scale, and sells for about $450. I played one a couple of times a few years ago, and liked the tone a lot. The big humbucker at the neck will give you some very deep tones, which you can, "muddy-up," by rolling off the treble and playing over the end of the neck, otherwise it sounds pretty good. It also has that mini-humbucker by the bridge, which will give you a tone something like a Jass bass tone and balances nicely with the neck pup.

    I still can't believe that I've never played a Thinderbird, but the few that I heard live had a very nice tone.

    IIRC, Tony Bacon, author of, "The Ultimate Guitar Book," said something to the effect that the 3 things which mostly contributed to the Gibson sound being described as muddy were:

    1.) The Gibson short-scale
    2.) The early humbuckers (not known for their high-end response)
    3.) Flatwound strings.

    So, if you change one or more of the above, mud should never be a problem. :) Plus, many bass amps of the 60s and 70s used 15" speakers which would allow mud to fester. :D

    I also think that today's modern amps have so much more tone shaping capability that it's actually harder than not to make a bass sound muddy.

    Good luck in your Gibby quest.

    Let us know what you buy.

    Mike ;)
  9. You had a G-3 too? :cool:

    Very nice bass. I should have never sold it, but was young and wanted to get something else.

    Sigh. :(

    Mike :D
  10. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    T-Birds are tone monsters. Gibson's QC department is seemingly run by Helen Keller, but my Thunderbird is a great, well rounded bass.
  11. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    I didn't say all Gibsons have muddy, indistinct tone. I said the EB-0 does (to which you agree). And I don't dislike all Gibson basses. I'd like to have a LP bass. And, I'd like to try a Thunderbird, but I'm not sure I could get past the look of it...
  12. Hey, i've got a Thunderbird, And nothing comes close to the intense growl I get from mine. I have A 91', And I love it. I'd probably never sell it or trade it, Unless someone is willing to do a trade for a 76', Or a newer one in black.(Mine is the sunburst finish). I also get very good highs from it, Dont get me wrong. Gibsons definitly have a very different sound from other basses. Ive also tried a early 90's Les Paul bass and my second bass was a Ripper. I thought the Ripper was sort of Pbass-ish imo, But i could also get some un pbass like tones out of it. The reason I dont have it, Is because I traded that to get the Thunderbird I have now. And I dont regret the trade. Im not a fan of the short scale EB0 and EB3, But I would like to try the Epiphone long scale EB3 they have out now.
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I had a 76 T-bird for a while. Great rockin' Entwhistle kinda sound. Real skinny neck that wasn't for me, personally. Huge neck dive problem.
    I had a one pickup short scale EB-sumptin that made me want to barf both in terms of tone, and short scale-a bad experiment for me.
    I currently have an Epiphone Jack Casady Sig that's actually very nice, and a keeper at least in the seeable short term....
  14. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    yes, the EB-0 makes a little mud :) but I don't consider them to have an indistinct tone. I get very positive comments on my Gibsons and their sound more often than not. having said that, I do take some ribbing for being 'the bass player that likes Gibson' :D from the guys that I jam with but they still let me come back, so it can't be that bad. :cool:

    pontz, check the SG out and decide for yourself. the only thing that matters is if it works for you. Michael made some very good points about shorties. they are different but you will get used to it. good luck and let us know how it turns out.
  15. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I really like the Gibson basses I have:

    '73 EB-3, '96 LP, '02 TBird and last week scored a '78 TBird. Had a '75 G-3, sold it only because I didn't play it much. Really nice tone though. Maybe I'll get one again down the line.

    With the right amp an EB-3 sounds excellent, particularly outdoors where the bass frequencies have somewhere to go. Fat and clear with the right EQ.
    The LP is similar to the '02 TBird (Gibson says it's the same pickup in a different housing). Mine retains the Bart pre that came with it - I pulled the Bart pickups and added a set of chrome TBPlus. This is a great combination IMO - the sound is very organic with a real nice midrange.
    The '02 TBird is one of my favorite R&R basses. Those pickups run passive are great in any rig, the neck is slick as hell and it looks killer (mine's white).
    The '78 TBird - what can I say. A classic. Quite different in tone from the '02, darker and dirtier. In an SVT it's awesome. Also a great player.

    There is a new crop of basses form Gibson and I'm very curious to hear some feedback regarding them. They should be shipping any minute, if not already. Gibson could never match Fender in popularity, but their stuff has an avid following. Myself included.
  16. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    Here are my TBirds.
  17. I like Gibson threads when they come along; there's a kind of camaraderie you can feel amongst Gibby lovers, I think. :cool:

    I remember at block parties in my neighborhood during the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies it seemed that most bass players in the bands had Gibsons. Mostly EB-1s (violin shape) and EB-3s. Maybe that's why I have a soft spot for them.

    Also, if anyone's interested (wait until you hear the price) there's a G-3 in the Guitar Center here in Manhattan on 14th St. between 5th & 6th Avenues in absolutely mint condition with the original hardshell case for only $1,895 !!! :eek:

    The odd thing is that its pups are black; all the others I've seen, including the one I owned were clear with blade magnets. :confused:

    More Gibby talk, please. :D

    Mike ;)
  18. I personally love gibsons. Oh, the new SG bass has completely different pickups than the original EB-O and EB-3. They arent a "sidewinder" design even though they look like it. They are the TB plus pickups. The same ones used in the thunderbird. So they arent nearly as muddy as the originals. I havent had first hand expirence with them, but this is what people have said.
  19. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
  20. Yeah! It was my very first REAL bass purchase! Can you imagine going from a "Sears Special" Fender copy, to a G-3??? What a difference! I kept it and eventually got a Fender short scale to use alternately, but finally traded the G-3 and the Fender, (plus a few $$$), for a Ric 4001 at a little guitar shop in Oregon one summer while gigging out of town. I always think back with a twinge wishing I could have kept it, too. Cool bass. Maybe someday, I'll come across one when I have a few $$ to spare... (Fat chance!) Thanks for the memorys!