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The not-so popular Gibson EB-3!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassVibes, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. It strikes me that one of the most prominent basses of the 60s/70s , the Gibson Eb-3 seems to be a bit of an unloved bass given its previous popularity.

    Put a vintage Ric, Fender, Tbird, or MM on sale and usually they shift pretty fast. But I found this is not the case with the Eb-3.

    It seems to hang around for months on end on the various websites that sell vintage guitars. Case in point, I thought I would have sold my '69 pretty quickly but its turned out to a bit of a slow mover - and I've sold quite of few vintage guitars over time.

    Considering some of the bass greats who have played these basses, Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser, Trevor Bolder, it seems to have fallen from grace in a big way - more so than any other popular bass of its day.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    How much are you selling it for?
  3. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    That's a very important aspect of the story. Also, certain years are deemed to be more desirable than the others. Condition matters, big time.

    Around here, a properly priced EB-3 will not be on offer for a long time, be it by GC/Sam Ash or by a private seller on Reverb. I fully understand that UK is a different market altogether (used to live there in the 80s when you couldn't give an EB-3 away...;) ) and that CITES concern may be affecting international sales quite severely, but I really don't see that these basses have tumbled in value over the last few years.
    Paragon3 and bobyoung53 like this.
  4. Plake

    Plake Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    Few factors for EB’s is the majority are short scale so you have already eliminated lots of customets. Many have headstock repairs which is a huge unknown as to the quality of the repair. The neck certainly isn’t for everyone, quite chunky for a shortie. That said if you dig them they can be had for a decent price. I”ve owned a few and still have a 61 EBO.
  5. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    not everybody plays or is influenced by rock -- id say, unlike guitar, there are huge populations of bass players influenced by styles that feature bass in the forefront, such as funk.....Even the original slap technique (not double thumping) puts the thumb and pop right where the mudbucker is which would make for unwanted pickup strike noise so, by the 1980s, consensus optimal pickup positioning for bassists of those styles and genres was better established

    Edit: I own a Sekova EB3 copy from 1970...I like it a lot and it gets quite a bit of hired studiotime
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
    JeffJ2112 likes this.
  6. I for one love EBs. I have a Epi EB0 but a Gibson EB is on my GAS list.
    SlimS, Paragon3, SirMjac28 and 2 others like this.
  7. This thread is about the EB-3 which is full scale.

    Edit: I've now learnt that not all EB-3s are full scale.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    Paragon3, Morrighan, pcake and 2 others like this.
  8. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I love a good EB3! I have had many over the years, nothing quite like them. Get the mini bucker in the mix with that big old mudbucker and you big fat cutting tone. At the moment I have a 72-75 IMG_20181227_112738_025.
  9. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    No. The majority of Gibson EB-3 models are short scale. The Epiphone EB-3 is long scale, though.
    franvarin, hintz, coreyfyfe and 10 others like this.
  10. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    No, the EB-3L is full scale. The EB-3 was a shortie, like the EB-0
  11. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    ????????? 60s EB3s are short scale, the first long scale were the early 70s slot heads and during the 70s Gibson made both short and long scale EB3s with the traditional solid headstock.
    Epiphone EB3s have been available in both long and short scale.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  12. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Even Jack Bruce evolved and got a better bass when it became available.
    Paragon3, getbent, gepettus and 8 others like this.
  13. I have one and unlike a Fender it takes some getting used to and takes some experimentation to get a good sound out of them. I for one like the big necks on the old ones, you can put just about any string on them. Old ones in nice shape are going for a lot of money at least on ebay. I've seen really nice condition 60's EB-3's selling anywhere from 3000 up to 6000.00 not sure if they sell at that price though. I have a 65 but it has the obligatory headstock break and someone took the finish off but it plays and sounds good so I'm happy. I paid 1000.00 for it a few years ago.
  14. He never sounded anywhere near as good with any other bass as with his EB-3.

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  15. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Cream was a special band in a different time. Bands used what was available at the time.
    I saw JB twice, once with Ginger Baker.
    I stood bellied up to the stage, 6 feet from his amp. He sounded like Jack Bruce on a
    Fretless Warwick. Super punchy though not at all like Cream.
    He could have used a Gibson but chose otherwise.
    Sixgunn, jd56hawk and DJ Bebop like this.
  16. At the Cream reunion he used an EB-1 for half the set which he had owned for a long time but it still didn't sound as good as his EB-3, I still stand by my statement that he sounded much better with his EB-3. They are not inferior basses they are just different.
    dmt, john m, GreaserMatt and 2 others like this.
  17. Yep, that's the one I would be choosing - with the mid placed and rear pickups. Bet it sounds awesome at volume!
    Paragon3 and DJ Bebop like this.
  18. 7bridges

    7bridges Supporting Member

    May 3, 2015
    SW FL
    That's me and an EB3 in my avatar, pic taken in early 1972. It was a 1967 or 1968 model and in pristine condition. I wish I still had it!

    GIbson Bass.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
    SlimS, Bass V, cemunk and 27 others like this.
  19. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    EB-3's haven't shot up in value mainly because they have a pretty limited sound. I owned a late 60's EB-3 with a slotted headstock, and I liked it. But that bass could only do one thing well, which is get that thick, boomy tone those basses are known for. That's not a tone most people want these days. Couple that with the fact that they're not rare, and you have your answer.
    PDGood, wmmj and packhowitzer like this.
  20. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Personally, I became aware of these guys in about 1965 or '66. In '66 I had just purchased a Fender 1965 Jazz and was in love with the sound of it. Prior to that I had purchased a used Japanese-made Piece o' crap for $40. I was amazed the first time I heard a Gibson "SG bass" (that's what we called them at the time). I couldn't figure out how such and expensive bass could sound so much like the Japanese one that I started on - all sustain and no tone.

    I was in high school at the time and there were a lot of high school bands playing high school dances in town. The acknowledged "best bass player in town" played an EB3 and it just made no sense to me. It was what I considered great technique and lousy tone. He'd been playing for a number of years, so I presumed he knew how to get the best sound out of his instrument and I thought his sound stunk. Lots of folks have played EB3's since then and were able to get decent sound out of them, so maybe this guy didn't know how to set it up anyway. But I've had prejudice against them ever since. They just don't interest me.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    DJ Bebop and PennyroyalWe like this.

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