Gibson EB2 Bass

A beautiful, big hollow beast from Gibson’s Norlin era.

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t have much to do with Gibson basses. To me, Fender made the best basses and Gibson just made Les Pauls, SG’s & Flying V’s. It took me a while to realise that the fact that Gibson basses didn’t sound and play like Fender’s was a good thing. They are their own animal and have a sound all their own. My 70’s Gibson Les Paul Triumph Bass is a fantastic instrument and gave me a new respect for Gibson’s big four string banjos.

What we have here is a 70’s Gibson EB2 Bass owned by my friend Ben, who also owns the beautiful ’57 Steve York P-Bass & the hot rod SG Bass. Ben is a bass nut and his collection of basses shows he has very good taste. He’d been looking for one of these in the walnut finish for a while and one finally came up for sale, so he snagged it.

This bass is known for one thing… mud. The sound is gets from it’s single massive pickup is not exactly known for it’s clarity. Ben says it has more of a double bass type sound, so if you’re after a ‘Jesus Lizard’ type bass cable snapping noise, you’re not gonna get it with this thing.

Sound aside, the bass itself is a beautiful piece of work. I think that’s why I appreciate Gibson basses. They’re just beautiful examples of craftsmanship. The neck is nice & narrow, which is typical of Gibson’s 70’s necks, and probably why I like 70’s Gibson’s so much. Unlike the SG Bass I talked about in a previous story, the headstock is the more usual Gibson size.

The body itself is huge… I’d look like a dwarf playing this thing (which I sort of already do, I guess). Luckily Ben is pretty tall, so it’s the right size. As I mentioned, the work is beautiful, and the finish has crazed nicely. This is a great looking bass.

The bridge is the typical Gibson unit, but Ben isn’t exactly sure what the lone switch does as it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.

So, from what Ben has told me about the basses sound, I don’t see myself getting one of these in the near future. But I really love hollow basses… maybe a Guild/Dearmond Bass plus some Darkstar pickups is in the cards…