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I think all bassists should try a vintage Gibson bass at some stage in their playing career. In my opinion they are unfairly maligned, in a market vastly dominated by Fender Precision and Jazz basses and their countless clones. My favourite gigging basses over the years have included the EB-3 (especially the rare slotted-headstock versions such as this one), the G-3 and the Thunderbird Bass.

Of course, the EB-3 certainly has made its stamp on the sound of Rock music, with Cream's Jack Bruce and Andy Fraser from Free being two high-profile users of this 30" scale bass.

I personally love the power of the 'mudbucker' neck humbucker, and likewise the detained sounds available from the smaller bridge humbucker, and the 4-position switch gives a great range of tones. These basses are a LOT of fun, and sound extremely good through any good bass amp, whether you want the classic overdriven valve sound or the punchier solid-state sound.

Serial number on this beautiful instrument is 917567, but Gibson serial numbers during the early 1970s are notoriously useless for dating purposes. The slotted headstock came in during the 1969/70 period, and was phased out in late 1971. However, I have dated this bass to 1970; firstly by the lack of a 'Made in USA' stamp on the back of the headstock (this was phased in early in 1970), and secondly by a date stamp on one of the pots which dates it to 1970 (I can't tell the week, but 137 - CTS - and 70 - 1970 - are clearly visible.

Another nice touch is the original case with the Harry Landis sticker still on it, with a 6-digit Sydney phone number! I think in 1971 the 6 digit numbers were replaced by 8-digit numbers. I'm sure many of you will remember fondly looking through the magnificent Harry Landis store in Sydney! It was one of my favourite haunts.

So, the bass was sold new in Sydney, and has always been an Aussie bass, not a recent import. It has been well kept in its more than 40 years, and although the frets show some wear in the lower positions it plays fantastically as-is. The Rosewood on the fretboard is particularly dark and gorgeous. Weight is a nice 3.9 kilos, or 8.6 pounds. This bass really sounds great, and plays well with its slender neck - just 38mm or 1.5 inches at the nut - and 30" scale.

The case shows some wear, but all latches work, and it's the original case that came with it way back when it left Harry Landis' Sydney shop with its doubtless excited first owner! Check out the 'more pictures' link below.

I just received (20th May 2011) an email from the original owner, who saw this bass for sale on Grouse Guitars! He wrote;

"Hi there - I just want to advise that the Gibson EB3 was bought brand new by me round 71 from Harry Landis - I sold it round 75 - 76 I think to a young girl (17 or 18 maybe) who wanted to play the bass.

All the best

Ray"

Sold to Pete


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