11/14/2015

1972 Gibson EB-0L Modded Electric Bass Guitar


My friend Heather bought this bass (is it an EB-0L or EB-4L -- who knows now?) as a carcass online and had me trick it back out into a working machine. It was missing tuners, pickup, pickup surround, bridge, had a big old control route on the face (non-original) and a satin refinish job that's well -- mojotastic -- in its way! The mission was to restore this on the cheap and overall the entire project put her out $400.57 in total. Not bad for a fun old bass!

I picked up replacement Korean-made parts from eBay seller BezDez including the unbranded "sidewinder" Epiphone bass pickup, Fender-style bridge, vintage-looking knobs, and funky lightweight tuners (more on those later). I scored the very-hard-to-find pickup surround on eBay while buying NOS Gibson acoustic bridges. A shop I was buying from just happened to have it, randomly, listed on their inventory. So lucky!



This bass is lucky, itself, to have survived relatively intact. The neck and its truss were both in good order despite everything else going wonky.


The tuners, I admit, are a bit of a hack-job install -- but they work (at minimal cost) and are lightweight to boot. The washers are actually resting on the lip of the old tuner-shaft ferrule cutout.


The frets were fine as-is when this came in.


That big old unbranded Epi pickup sounds good with this setup. I've never had an EB in for work with the longer 34 1/8" scale length and the long scale certainly cleans the tone up on these generally muddy/dark pickups. It's more like playing one of those 70s Fender Tele basses.


I know the Fender bridge is a bit of sacrilege -- but it's so convenient and so inexpensive. It can also always be swapped-out later on.



Here you can really see the refinishing funkification of the instrument...





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