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Vintage Vibes: 1958 Natural Gibson EB-2 Bass
Our Used & Vintage Buyer Mike Larsen runs down this rare 1958 Natural Gibson EB-2, one of six natural EB-2s made in 1958 and complete with original specs like the round neck, large neck humbucker, and banjo tuners which were installed on all EB-2s until 1961. With a little help from our Drum & Percussion Product Manager and resident Blue Man, Mike Hussa, other Mike demonstrates the EB-2’s unique Varitone switch through an Ampeg PF-20T Portoflex head and Ampeg PF-115HE cab.
The term “rare” gets thrown around a lot when you’re talking about vintage instruments. It signifies the unusual, the limited and different, and it whets the appetite for something special. Well, as one of only six Natural EB-2s to leave the Gibson factory in 1958, this "big, beautiful piece of bass history", as our Used & Vintage Buyer Mike Larsen puts it, is a real special one.
This ‘58 EB-2 is complete with original factory specs and shows minimal signs of modification. The large humbucking pickup on the neck dates back to ‘56 and is one of the first iterations of this design. It’s also one of the earliest we’ve seen paired with a Varitone control. Essentially a choke switch, the Varitone control enables circuitry installed underneath the bridge to eliminate all highs and mids from your signal, leaving only rich, round bass with a softened attack.
The late-fifties neck is fat and round but plays fast and easy with medium-high or high action. The banjo tuners, installed by Gibson on all EB-2s until 1961, are intact and function perfectly. Alternate tuners were installed at one point and are included in the hardshell.
Pickup Measurements: 19.4 k ohms
Hardware: Original -- There is an alternate set of tuning machines included within the hard shell Instrument Weight: 8 Lbs 11.6 oz
Modifications/Repairs: Alternate tuning machines were installed at one time. The foot prints can be seen on the headstock face. -- There are open screw holes on the top of the body from a bridge cover
Case Details: Original Hard Shell Case
Cosmetic Condition: This bass shows moderate play wear throughout. Nicks, dings, finish chips, and checking exist.
Serial Number: A28865
Comments: Currently, set up with 45-100 gauge flat wound strings and medium-high to high action. The bridge is as low as it can be set. The frets are wide and low showing only light play wear. -- The electronics date from 1956. The serial number and FON (T6524 11) date from 1958.
Finish Details: Original
Top Material: Maple Top
Body Details: Laminated maple top, back, and sides
Neck Material: Mahogany Neck
Fingerboard Material: Brazilian Rosewood
Neck Profile: C-Shape
Neck Thickness (in): 1st fret: .89", 12th: .99"
Fingerboard Radius: 10.00
Nut Width: 1-11/16 in
Neck Details: One-piece set mahogany neck with a Brazilian rosewood board, center dot pearloid inlays, truss adjustment at the headstock
Electronics: Large Humbucker pickup, volume control, tone control, push button baritone switch -- Original showing no signs of modification or repair. The volume pot code dates from 1956.