The Epiphone Eb 1 Bass, then known as the Electric Bass, was first marketed in 1953 in response to the runaway success of the Fender Precision Bass. Rather than using a body styled after an electric guitar, the EB-1 was shaped to resemble a double bass, and even had false f-holes painted onto the top of the body. Production of the EB-1 ended in 1958, when it was superseded by the EB-2 and the later EB-0. The Electric Bass was renamed as the EB-1 at this time.
The Epiphone Eb 1 Bass was reissued twice; once in 1968, and again in 1999. The 1968 reissue deleted the false f-holes. Other changes included standard right-angled tuning machines, and the addition of a chrome bridge cover. This reissue was discontinued in 1972. The 1999 reissue, by Epiphone (a subsidiary of Gibson), was manufactured in Korea. This version of the EB-1 uses a more cost-effective bolt-on neck construction.
Despite its relative unpopularity among players, the Epiphone Eb 1 Bass is prized among collectors for its historical value. It is not uncommon for original EB-1s to fetch prices of over $4000 US dollars.
The Epiphone Eb 1 Bass featured a solid mahogany body with raised pickguard, and featured a 30.5″ scale set neck rather than the 34″ scale of the Fender Precision Bass or the 41.5″ scale of the 3/4-sized upright bass, which was the scale favored by many upright bassists of the time. The pickup was mounted directly against the base of the neck, rather than the mid-body position used by the Precision Bass, giving the Epiphone Eb 1 Bass a deeper, but less defined tone than its rival. The EB-1 is fitted with planetary banjo tuners, rather than the right-angled tuners used by most other guitar and bass designs.
In order to appeal to upright bass players, the EB-1 featured a telescopic end pin that allowed bassists to play the EB-1 in both the upright and horizontal positions. False f-holes and purfling were painted onto the body in order to resemble the upright bass. The Epiphone Eb 1 Bass was only available finished with a brown stain.
This was the first electric bass from Gibson hence the name. However it was rechristened the Epiphone Eb 1 Bass after the introduction of the EB-0 in 1956. It was Gibson’s tradition of organising model numbers by their price that caused the EB-0 to undercut this designation because it was cheaper!
You’re welcome but again I caution you that the diagram I put together was by poking around the crammed wires with a pencil and pen light. I tried to trace the circuitry to the best of my ability but as I am not trained in electronics, I offer no guarantees. If the circuit fails to work get back to me and we can troubleshoot it.
As for a sound bite of the Gibson Eb 1 Bass – I currently don’t have coupler which can join my 1/4″ (6.5mm) guitar cord plug to the 1/8″ (3.5mm) computer jack. I’ll see what I can come up with sometime in the near future – record with audacity and convert to MP3 but I don’t think Blogger supports posting audio files.
I wish I could be of more help but if you read my introductory posting you’ll know that an injury has put me into a wheelchair and unfortunately those wheels remain strapped to my ass at this time. Limits what I can do.
The eb-1 gibson followed on the heels of the first “Les Paul” guitar, issued in 1952. It was marked by a distinctive violin-shaped body made of solid mahogany with printed f-holes and double purfling painted on. The mimicry of an acoustic double bass was carried to the extreme of including an adaptable extension pit that made it possible to stand the instrument on end. To complete the picture, the EB-1 had a one-piece mahogany neck with a 30-1/2″ scale (shorter than the Fender bass of the time), and was fitted with Kluson banjo-type tuning gears with handles extending out from the back of the headstock rather than the sides. The Gibson Eb 1 Bass was originally called simply the “Electric Bass.
There were just 65 Gibson Eb 1 Bass manufactured in 1956. This one has had a slight headstock crack repaired over 20 years ago. It has the original pickguard in the case that someone in the 1960’s painted a design on. A great playing and sounding bass that comes in the original Gibson brown hard shell case.
Serial number 614108 – Gibson Eb 1 Bass Violin bass, with large V shaped crack on top, in hardshell case. Stand up pole for bass is present. Large square covered “trap door” cutout in back. Original pickup has been removed but is present with original brown cover. There is a hand made pickup in the neck with unique tortoise shell pickup guard. Bare wire on front of bass. Together with a handwritten note reading in full, “Serial #614108 / This is one of the 1st Electric Bass Guitars / Gibson made. I was responsible for the violin / shape – and also my son Rusty L.P. Jr. / changed it from Hi to Lo Impedance. / Note – it all came about (the Electric Guitar Bass / from me playing my E string on the guitar as a / Bass using my thumb – this proved it could / replace a stand up Gibson Eb 1 Bass and Leo Fender & / Lots others picked up the idea – / Les.”