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1960 Gibson EB6 01059

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Published on Dec 7, 2009

http://www.frettedamericana.com/gibso... of only 34 guitars made in 1960, this amazingly rare 6 string bass weighs just 8.30 lbs. Single-bound double-cutaway thinline body (a la ES-335) with a one-piece laminated 'birds-eye' maple top, one-piece laminated maple back and sides. One-piece mahogany neck with a nice medium-to-thick profile, a fat nut width of just over 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 30 1/2 inches. Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 20 jumbo frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and pearl crown inlay.

Two-layer (black on white) plastic truss-rod cover with two screws. Individual Kluson Deluxe 'Single-Line' Tuners with single ring Keystone plastic buttons with "D-169400 / Patent No." stamped on the underside. Orange oval label inside the bass f-hole with the style "EB-6") written in black ink and the serial number "A 33385") printed in black. FON (factory order number) "R4516 31" stamped in black inside the treble f-hole.

Single "Double-Black" PAF humbucking pickup with "Patent Applied For" rectangular black label on underside and with black plastic surround. Five-layer (black/white/black/white/black) plastic pickguard. Two controls (one volume, one tone) plus 'push-button' baritone switch, all on lower treble bout. Gold plastic bell-shaped "Bell" knobs. Combination Bar-Bridge "Stud" with two intonation adjustment screws. All hardware nickel-plated.

Complete with original Gibson double-folding hang-tag with "EB6" and matching serial number "A33385" written in blue ink. Housed in the original Gibson brown hardshell case with pink plush lining (9.25).

This is an absolutely mint, "as new" example.

"A True Bass Guitar...Unique Sounds...
{Has] A Special Place in the History of American Stringed Instruments"
The Exact One Seen In Vintage Guitar Magazine!


This guitar has been 'under the bed' for just under fifty years, its only prior venture into the outside world as the subject of a feature article in Vintage Guitar's June 2007 issue, "A True Bass Guitar" (page 60).

In the late 1950s a trend for six-string basses was beginning to develop amongst guitarists who wanted to also play bass but not in the same manner as a standard bass player or with special effects. And so in 1960, Gibson issued, as a compliment to the EB-2 in the semi-solid series, a second bass model, with six strings, designated the EB-6.

Only sixty-seven were made and this is amongst the very earliest, certainly the earliest example we have ever seen.

"The ledgers indicate that earlier EB-6s were not registered; an entry for May 13, 1960, lists number A33444 through number A33447" (VG). This example, then, is amongst the earliest to surface, bearing serial number A33385, March 1960.

"Call it a six string bass, a bass guitar, or tune it in-between and call it a baritone guitar. Whatever the label, rarities such as as Gibson's EB-6 offer unique sounds and have a special place in the history of American stringed instruments" (Vintage Guitar. Our emphasis).

A six-string bass is tuned one octave below a normal guitar and employs the same tuning (EADGBE).The EB-6 was widely inspired from the four-string EB-2 with the same scale length (that is 30 1/2 inches), a twenty fret unbound fingerboard and a neck-to-body junction at the 18th fret. The combination bridge/tailpiece was based on the same principal as the unit on the EB-2, with no adjustment string-by-string for intonation. The EB-6 only had one special Humbucking bass pick-up similar in appearance to a normal guitar Humbucker. Like the EB-2, it had a volume and a tone control with a bass/baritone switch in order to broaden the tonal possibilities.

The EB-6 resembled a standard guitar more than a bass, but it was possible to differentiate the EB-6 by it's neck which was slightly longer. Otherwise the tuning machines and the overall appearance were similar to a standard, one pick-up guitar. The semi-solid EB-6 was only offered from 1960 up to about 1962, when the name was applied to a new "solid body" SG-type model with two Humbucker pick-ups. The EB-6 was only available in "Sunburst" and in May 1960, it sold for $325, compared to $285 for an EB-2.

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