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Old School: 1968 Gibson EB-2D Bass

1968 Gibson EB-2D Bass (body front)Bassist Tod Ellsworth got his hands on this 1968 Gibson EB-2D bass about a year ago, expanding his gear and his sound with this unique instrument.

The EB2D was first introduced by Gibson in 1966, at a time when electric basses were rising in popularity. The “EB-2D” designates the pickup configurations for this bass: an EB2 neck humbucker from the original EB2 bass, and the EB mini-humbucker placed at the bridge. The bass matches up pretty much with all the other EB’s, including the two-point “tune-o-matic” bridge with chrome cover, an under-bridge mute, plus Kluson 538 “elephant ear” tuners.

The EB-2D was Gibson’s top of the line bass during this time, at a retail price of $470.00. There were 700 EB-2D basses shipped in 1968, including 461 with the Sunburst finish on Tod’s bass, and the other 239 offered in a Cherry finish.

Make/Model/Year?

1968 Gibson EB-2D. This bass has a Sunburst finish (only 461 made with that finish were produced in 1968).

How long have you owned it?

A little over a year now.

How did you come across it?

Online search.

Stock or customized? Give us all the specs!

This bass is stock, but it is missing the original bridge cover and pickguard.

Specs:

  • Body: Maple top, back and sides
  • Neck: Set one-piece mahogany
  • Pickups: Two Gibson humbucking pickups, including the powerful Gibson neck humbucker, and a smaller mini-humbucker at the bridge
  • 30 1/2 inch scale

1968 Gibson EB-2D Bass Photo Gallery

 

Any special characteristics?

This bass has the “mud” button. When engaged, this boost switch transforms the bass in to a tub of low-end bass goo. This setting is perfect for reggae, vintage electric blues and roots rock.

What’s your favorite story about the gear?

I haven’t had it long enough, but I’m sure there will be one in the future.

Any notable bassists (other than yourself, of course) play the same instrument/use the same gear?

Chas Chandler of The Animals and Paul Samwell-Smith of The Yardbirds are two that come to mind.

Do you use it on gigs?

Occasionally, because it has such a specific sound and function. I use my Fender Jazz on most of my gigs, plus I used it on a session earlier this year and it really delivered a warm, flatwound sound the songs were calling for.

What else do you want to share about your gear?

Each piece I own serves a specific purpose and allows me the choice to dial up a variety of tones.

Any other vintage gear?

  • Late 19th century German (unknown origin) carved upright
  • 1952 Kay C-1 plywood upright (gut strings)
  • Modified 1977 Fender Jazz
  • A mid-1990’s 1958 reissue Fender Precision (not necessarily vintage, but it has the same specs as the original)

Tell us a little about yourself.

I started with trumpet in elementary school, then played tuba in middle school because the concert band had too many trumpet players. By high school, I started playing electric bass in garage bands.

I attended B.I.T.’s summer program in 1987, and I graduated in 1992 with broadcast major/music minor degrees from Virginia Tech. I lived in Nashville after college, where I played freelance on bass and played on a number of demos and album projects. I worked at the Green Hill record label for 13 years where I was involved in sales, marketing, product development and producing. I had the fortune of working and/or jamming with Rufus Thomas, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Phil Keaggy, Richard Marx, John Fogerty and others. I’m currently living in Richmond, Virginia where I am working professionally in a variety of groups, producing records and am a minority partner in EllerSoul Records, an upstart label specializing in blues, soul and roots music.

Sites:

Thanks to Fly Guitars for some of the details for this Old School article.