Old School: 1968 Gibson EB-2D Bass
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.
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?
Stock or customized? Give us all the specs!
This bass is stock, but it is missing the original bridge cover and pickguard.
- 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.
Thanks to Fly Guitars for some of the details for this Old School article.
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