Gibson has put a new spin on one of its most popular bass guitars.

Design

Gibson’s EB range has been around for quite some time now, and this new design shares the same kind of distinctive body styling as its earlier forms. The offset double-cutaway shape harbours influences from both Fender Precision and Gibson RD Artist camps yet looks highly individual. What we have here is a rosewood fingerboard, glued-in maple neck and a nitrocellulose lacquered ash body. Gibson have also included some more recent design innovations, like the PLEK cut Corian nut, Babicz bass bridge and Jim DeCola Alnico V pickups. A cool range of ‘grain-textured’ finishes is also available. Control-wise, the EB Bass features a master tone and independent volume controls, which are also push/pull selectors for switching between humbucker and single-coil mode. The recognisable Gibson headstock has a plain black fascia and is anointed with a set of Grover tuners. While it takes a little time to adjust to any new instrument, we found that the Gibson EB really grew on us over the course of a few days. This is a really likable bass.

Sounds

Gibson have pulled off a neat trick here, producing a good-looking bass that, while drawing on the past in terms of design, manages to maintain an individual style all of its own. This EB has a well-rounded, warm sound that’s suited to a host of playing styles from up-front funk to classic rock ’n’ roll. Individual volume controls allow you to select either pickup independently or carefully blend between the two. The tone control doesn’t have a huge effect on your sound, but coupled with the push/pull volume controls you can merge single-coil and humbucker modes to give some impressive sonic combinations. In single-coil mode the bass has a rounder, more retro tone, but in humbucker mode it really comes to life. Thanks to the excellent set-up and solid build, the neck is really workable. The strings have plenty of give, so you can attack notes, bending strings and digging in right across the 20 medium jumbo frets. This is a fine bass for the money and may well surprise you with its versatility.

Spec Points

 

Built in: USA

Scale length: 863mm (34 inches)

Frets: 20

Neck: Maple

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Body: Ash

Pickups: 2 x DeCola humbuckers

Controls: 2 x volume with push/pull single-coil/humbucker switches, 1 x tone

Machine heads: Grover

Bridge: Babicz

Finish: Natural satin