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The EB-3 is a real classic sixties bass. From it's introduction at the Summer NAMM show of 1961, until the very last few instruments shipped in 1979. Jack Bruce, the bass player with Cream is famous for his EB3 bass playing in the mid to late 1960s, and it was also used by his friend Felix Papilardi of Mountain, Chris White of the Zombies, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones and Andy Fraser of Free. Peak production years were 1969-1971, with around 2000 guitars shipped in each of those years. It really was a flagship model throughout the 18 years of its production.
|Cream - from left to right, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Eric Clapton|
The sixties basses were solid mahogany with one piece necks. This design evolved, going to a three piece neck with split headstock and finally a three piece maple neck, but still with a one piece mahogany body. This was the big-brother to the single pickup EB0; the extra bridge pickup on the EB3 granted greater tonal possibilities, and consequently this bass found favour with many late sixties and early seventies musicians.
Like most vintage Gibson basses, the sound is characterised by the deep mellow tones of set mahogany necks, short scale (30½ inch) and the very heavily-wound Gibson EB neck humbucker. More about the Gibson EB bass pickup and Gibson bass pickups in general.
Thanks to Fly Guitars.com for the following clips. Files are approximately 150kb, and each clip features the introductory 4 bars of rescue me (Fontella Bass) played on the EB3, and recorded directly into a computer sound card. My favourite is the last; listen to that rumble!
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