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The EB1

 
The violin shaped "Electric Bass", as Gibsons first electric bass guitar was known, was first produced in 1953 as a response to the Fender Precision Bass. Only an average of 91 EBs were produced each year untill 1958 when, with the launch of the hollow-body EB2 the EB was renamed the EB1, a name which has now been attributed to the whole production run of this model.
 
The violin shaped body was carved out of solid mahogony and fitted with a large, brown, pickup at the base of the neck, with the poles situated along the lower, bridge, end. The head was fitted with banjo-style tuners, as were all basses in the 1950's, and the end of the body was fitted with a socket to take a screw-in telescopic end-pin which allowed the bass to be played as an upright.
 
Production ceased at the end of 1958, with a total 546 produced, making this an extremely rare model.
 

Click on a photo to see a larger picture

A 1953 EB1- the first year of production
 
Said to have been acquired by Chas Chandler only a few days before he died in 1996
 
NOTE: The bridge pick-up is a Gibson factory fitted addition.

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1970s Re-Issue

There was a nostalgia-driven resurgence of this model in the late 1960's, leading Gibson to re-issue the model in 1970-72 when they produced 473 re-issues with a metal covered Humbucker, the then prevalent intonable bridge and conventional right-angle tuners.
 
The most famous player of an EB1 was Felix Pappalardi, the Producer of the Cream and later the Bassist for Mountain, who played a 1970's re-issue. Jack Bruce also played an EB1 in memory of Felix, during the Cream reunion at the Albert Hall in 2005.

Felix Pappalardi in Mountain

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Shipping Figure for the 1950s EB1

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

105

125

127

65

79

45

Shipping figures for the 1970's EB1 Re-Issue

1970

1971

1972

1973

404

65

2

2

Click on a photo to see a larger picture
 
  A 1953 EB 1 
 with the telescopic pin in its case
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EB1-2.jpg
Gibsons 1958 Brochure with the EB1 and the new EB2
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See more Gibson Basses, available for sale, at www.gibsonbassstore.com

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