Gibson EB0 to EB3 Repair and Conversion 2022

 

(mellow music) (guitar music) – This bass was purchased from a friend who had had it in storage
for about 20 years after the headstock was
accidentally broken off. Apparently the bass was
leaning against an amp, got knocked over, landed on the headstock and it snapped it completely off. A common break for the 1969
to 1971 EBO and EB3 models with the slotted headstock
and the rear facing tuners. This design made for a
headstock heavy instrument with a one-piece mahogany neck, which resulted in a short grain run out where the headstock angles back.

 

Even a mild impact would
usually result in a break. In this case, the break was very clean. Other problems included missing parts, a broken ring on the truss rod cover and the output jack had a plastic plate curved to the body contour,
which had a broken screw hole. The typical cherry stain over mahogany showed normal crazing. Although the back finish was fairly clean, there were scratches on
the front upper body bout and worn finish on the
underside of the neck. The volume and tone controls were worn. The electronics were all original and in perfect working order, including no audible
scratchiness to the pots. At 52 years old and with the damage and unavailable missing parts, this bass would have
no real vintage value. A replacement for the
screw and nylon saddle were not readily available
and a vintage one was out of the price range considering
the original bridge was not designed well
and would tilt forward after extended use, hindering intonation. A replacement bridge designed to use the existing post holes was ordered. It would sit flush to the body and offered a massive improvement
in intonation adjustments.

 

The original chipboard case
was too far gone to be used. A newer standard base case wouldn’t fit it as there wasn’t enough
room in the headstock area for the rear facing tuners. And an original 1970s case, if one could be found in good shape, wouldn’t provide very good protection and it would be cost prohibitive. Okay, let’s talk to the guitar tech, Dave Treude of The Treude Guitar Shop. – Some of the negatives that
we found with the Gibson when it was brought to me
was a broken headstock. My favorite story about
that is the fact that the guitar came to me
in three or four pieces, mostly headstock and
then a neck and a body. So we found the headstock
break was very clean in every direction and all the pieces fit back together perfectly.

 

We found upon a little
bit of investigation that the truss rod nut,
when it was tightening up was actually sinking into
the wood of the neck. A little tiny washer took
care of all that problem. Well, one of the things that
we notice with older guitars, like this is just a natural
finish crazing after years and years of just being in and out of hot and cold temperatures. And we polished it up the best we could. The single Gibson humbucker
worked great, almost too well.

 

I almost blew up my
amplifier with that thing. – The headstock repair and
touch up were impeccable. Thanks to Dave’s experience
and his expertise. His work on the truss rod,
trust rod cover, the new nut and the new bridge brought
the base back to life. The Gibson EBO model had one pickup, a very powerful humbucker that because of it’s dark
trebleless tone was dubbed the Mudbucker and it
lived up to it’s nickname. The placement at the end of
the fingerboard, didn’t help. And the muddy sound of the pickup, although revered in the 1960s
in the hands of stars like Jack Bruce of Cream, was
really unusable for me. Oh, and about the case, I modified a standard acoustic guitar case to fit the bass snugly and
protect it for the road. After gigging with the EBO, I made the decision to convert the bass from an EBO model to an EB3 model.

 

This meant adding a second
pickup at the bridge position, the associated pots, caps and wiring, and a blend pot instead of
the typical EB3 rotary switch. And now on to the conversion. I ordered a new bridge
position mini humbucker with a pickup ring, four
new volume and tone pots, two orange cap tone capacitors, four new control knobs, a period correct chicken head knob, a four position switch plate and a blend pot. Obviously the shield pan for
an EB3 was used on both models. This not only helped with
the placement of the holes for the new pots drilled through the body, but also for the blend pot. The bass went back to Dave
Treude for a pickup rout.

 

The new bridge pickup sounded crisp and gave the instrument the
treble response it needed, and then some. The blend pot was a vast
improvement over the rotary switch in terms of dialing in just the
right amount of both pickups to get the desired tone. – After a while the neck started to bow under the tension of the strings. So I put it on a heat rack for eight hours to straighten it back out. – After more gigging, the
neck body joint began to fail. – The neck joint finally gave up. The glue wasn’t holding
the neck in the pocket and it was taking some of the
wood off the body with it. – Dave removed the neck
and found two types of glue in the pocket. A clear indication the
neck had been removed and improperly re-glued
at some point in the past. He painstakingly cleaned the pocket, created a new neck angle
and re-glued it properly. – This was a very challenging
project but in the end we won. I’m very proud of this bass. – Bringing this bass back to life was a challenging but fun project and I appreciate Dave for
all of his great work.

 

(guitar music).

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