I had been on the “Want” list at Elderly Instruments for a Gibson EB-1 for a couple years. They called me saying they finally had one. When I saw this beauty, it had a hole carved out near the bridge where the former owner was planning on installing a Jazz pickup. (Thus-$200) I got it dirt cheap, finished the install with an EMG active Jazz pickup and it has been my main bass for 20 years. Felix Pappalardi made me aware of this unique instrument. He created a one of a kind tone that touched my heart. I named the Bass “Felix” in his honor. The bass features a medium/short scale. A detachable telescoping end peg for playing stand up. A thunderous Humbucker near the neck. In the case it weighs a ton, (Solid Mahogany) however the weight is distributed evenly and I’ve played many other basses that are heavier. The balance is perfect…(For Me) This model is a re-issue. I also have the recent Ephiphone EB-1 re-re-issue as a backup. I often get approached by bass players asking me if this is a copy of the Hofner. I explain that the hollow body Hofner is a knock off of the original EB-1, Gibsons first electric bass from the early 50’s.
Gibson EB-1 Model Solid Body ,epiphone eb-1 fretless bass Bass Guitar (1953), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, dark mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original brown tolex hard shell case.
Just about the coolest and most distinctive electric bass ever designed…and one of the most eccentric! The “Gibson Electric Bass” (The EB-1 name was not used until 1958, when the semi-hollow EB-2 debuted) was first issued in mid-1953 and is one of the earliest solidbody basses. The “fiddle-shaped” body design is unique and owes nothing but general concept to the slightly earlier (late 1951) Fender Precision-and was likely an inspiration to Hofner in Germany! The violin-body EB’s were produced in fairly small numbers from 1953 through ’58, when they were replaced by the simpler slab-bodied EB-0.
Generally these early EB-1’s are the clearest sounding of the 30″ scale Gibson basses…the large brown-covered pickup is actually a single coil (the huge coil is mounted on its side) and has more mid/high content than the 1958 and later humbucking versions. This particular bass is missing its inked-on serial number but the pots are dated to 1953, making it likely an early example.
Overall length is 44 1/2 in. (113 cm.), 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 30 in. (762 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.). This old Gibson bass presents very well and is an excellent player; it has had a well handled major restoration. The headstock is a very finely crafted exact replacement, joined to the neck at the first few frets with a scarf joint; this work is extremely high standard and you have to look closely to see the seam. The rest of the finish on the instrument is original, and the new finish on the head is very well executed and seamlessly blended to the original neck finish. The only obviously visible sign of the restoration is that the pearl “Gibson” logo is seated slightly higher on the headstock than it originally would have been. The rest of the instrument is quite well preserved; there is average light finish wear (more on the back than front) and much of the hardware is original as well.