The neck isn’t tiny, but it’s not a gigantic monster either. I suspect players with a wide variety of hand shapes and sizes will like it. Epiphone Eb-1 has a rounded profile, and it’s nice and thin from the fingerboard to the back of the neck (I measured .812″ at the first fret, .905″ at the 12th fret) and not too narrow or wide – the neck on the review unit is 1.650″ wide at the nut, and it widens out a bit as you move up the fretboard, measuring 2.185″ wide at the 12th fret according to my digital calipers. The satin nitro finish on the mildly-figured maple feels really good, and you can fly around this neck quite easily. Best of all, there were no noticeable dead spots to be found anywhere.
The neck of Epiphone Eb-1 violin bassfeatures a volute on the back where it meets the headstock. Volutes have been used on some Gibson models in the past (particularly from 1969 to 1981), and generally their purpose is to strengthen the headstock / neck joint to make it less likely to break. The headstock is angled back a few degrees, but it appears that there is no second piece of wood glued on to form the headstock; rather, it’s a continuation of the same single piece of maple that forms the rest of the neck. The face of the traditional Gibson “open book” shaped headstock is satin black, and adorned with a simple Gibson bell shaped truss rod cover and a gold Gibson logo.
The nut of Epiphone Eb-1 is Corian, and once again I must point out the excellent Plek assisted setup job on this instrument – it plays fantastic right out of the case, with great intonation, excellent buzz-free action, and no need for adjustments of any kind. Gibson’s set-up work on all of the instruments I’ve tried lately has been simply superb.The new EB Bass comes equipped with two humbucking pickups. There are two volume controls (one for each pickup) and a master tone control. No pickup switching is available; instead, the pickups can be used individually, or combined in various ratios by adjusting their individual volume controls.
The pickups in the Epiphone Eb-1 Bass, which were designed by Gibson luthier Jim DeCola, are really beefy humbuckers. They feature Alnico V rod magnets and have a thick, rich tone with great fundamental and lots of bottom; but there’s also great definition and brassiness to the mids and highs, and the rich bottom isn’t there at the expense of the rest of the sonic spectrum.