Epiphone EB-3

grausch

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Hi there,

This weekend I went to my local guitar store to have one of my guitars set up and noticed a new Epiphone EB-3 for sale for €200. Spoke to the salesperson and he said it is being discounted to clear old stock. I am a rhythm guitarist and have never really played bass, although lately I think it could be nice instrument to learn. I tend to gravitate towards bass lines when I listen to music and since the bass guitar fulfils a different role, I reckon it could add some flavour to my guitar playing as well.

Since my experience with bass guitars is non-existent, what should I watch out for when properly inspecting this bass?
 

Raiyn

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Hi there,

This weekend I went to my local guitar store to have one of my guitars set up and noticed a new Epiphone EB-3 for sale for €200. Spoke to the salesperson and he said it is being discounted to clear old stock. I am a rhythm guitarist and have never really played bass, although lately I think it could be nice instrument to learn. I tend to gravitate towards bass lines when I listen to music and since the bass guitar fulfils a different role, I reckon it could add some flavour to my guitar playing as well.

Since my experience with bass guitars is non-existent, what should I watch out for when properly inspecting this bass?
I'm gonna draw the attention of @eS.G. and @Dave Johnson over here for you as they'd know far better than I would.
 

Dave Johnson

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Hi there,

This weekend I went to my local guitar store to have one of my guitars set up and noticed a new Epiphone EB-3 for sale for €200. Spoke to the salesperson and he said it is being discounted to clear old stock. I am a rhythm guitarist and have never really played bass, although lately I think it could be nice instrument to learn. I tend to gravitate towards bass lines when I listen to music and since the bass guitar fulfils a different role, I reckon it could add some flavour to my guitar playing as well.

Since my experience with bass guitars is non-existent, what should I watch out for when properly inspecting this bass?
The same thing you would look for in an electric guitar.
Fit & finish, cracks at headstock & where neck meets the body, playability & action, plug it in and see how it sounds, see how it feels, check all controls.
Do your homework pricewise, and good luck to you and your venture into the deep end.
 

DrBGood

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I'd say the same as you would with a 6 string electric.

Headstock integrity, no crack from the nut at base of fretboard.
Straightness of the neck, to twist.
Tone ...

But this is a new bass so, general feel as you play it, does it talk to you.

EDIT ... writing this, as Mr. Johnson was writing his answer.
 

grausch

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Thanks for the information. I will definitely check for cracks at both the headstock and the neck joint.

I have played it unplugged and there was some fret buzz, but I am not sure how much of it was due to my technique or if the action needs to be raised. Not sure how low the action on a bass should be, but I can compare it to some of the more expensive Ibanezes or Fenders they have in store.

Haven't plugged it in yet, but online reviews state that it's neck pickup should be able to remove plaster from walls! :naughty:

One concern I have is that it is neck-heavy and I may need to get a proper strap for this to avoid neck dive. The shop has the Gibson Montana, Modern Vintage and Austin Premium straps and some cheaper nylon or leather straps. Would any of those work with a bass? Since this is what the shop has in store, that is most likely to be recommended...
 

Dave Johnson

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You get what you pay for.
Don't expect a $10 nylon strap to feel and work like a nice quality leather strap.
I use a Levys classic padded leather strap.
Had it close to 15 years now.
 

grausch

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I was actually looking at the Montana since it seems like it could "grip" the shirt better and eliminate nose dive. Wasn't sure if a bass would use wider straps, but if you use the Levys then any of the Gibsons would work.

Thank you.
 

DrBGood

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Yes, wider will be better. I had made my own out of thick canvas and sheep skin for my Gibson Melody Maker SG bass, and it held good, no neck dive. Have to say that was in the early 70's. :)
 

ScottMarlowe

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The neck heavy aspect of the eb3 is made worse by it being long scale. but long scale, imho, is to be preferred for basses. As for the strap, if it has a nice raw suede type finish, that's the best. You can also put a pound or so of leaf spot in a bag and safety pin that to the strap where it connects to the bottom end of the body.

I'd say that at $200 you can't really go wrong.
 

SG standard

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Am I right in thinking the Epiphone EB-3 is a long scale? If so, I'd expect some serious neck dive from it!

I only recently got into bass playing, picking up an Ibanez SR, then grabbing a Gibson SG Bass on a clearance deal, so my experience is limited, but might be some help.

I found the Ibanez to have incredible balance; even with a thin strap with no grip at all, it'll balance perfectly - you can even move the neck up or down a bit, let go, and it just stays there. Your left hand doesn't need to give it any support at all, which makes a big difference to me. With the Gibson, that strap is unusable! However, with a thick sueded-backed strap it's manageable - but it's a short scale, which probably helps too. Another thing I've found is that by using my fingers to pluck, the right hand & arm don't need to move, and can 'clamp' the bass to my side - but I still appreciate the Ibanez's balance every time I pick it up.

The Gibson does have a great tone, but it's also limited - the active electronics on the Ibanez are way more versatile, but have less character (as you'd expect from a much cheaper pickup). I guess there's a reason that active electronics are so popular on basses...

With a deal on the Epiphone, I expect it'll make a great introduction to the bass, but it might be worth trying out a couple of other instruments to see how they feel; Ibanez SR300 or 370 are probably good low cost examples. (But the EB/SG is WAY better looking, of course!)

[EDIT: Ah, Scott, thanks for confirming it's a long scale.]
 

eS.G.

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YOu will want a good strap as stated the EB-3 tends to be a bit neck heavy --- more so than a regular SG its a full scale bass not a short scale so that BIG gorgeous HEadstock with those GIANT chrome 2x2 tunning gears (which can be used as weapons) are WAY out there.

That said the EB-3 is an AWESOME first bass. damn fine quality Perfect Jack Bruce CREAM tone at the flip of a switch and they look good to.


now I wish I still had mine
 

grausch

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I'm glad, thank you...my wallet may be slightly less so...

At least the wife is still understanding.
 

Raiyn

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I'm glad, thank you...my wallet may be slightly less so...

At least the wife is still understanding.
That's the important part. I'm still working on mine to see if I can score an amp upgrade.
 

grausch

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I got a little side-tracked and picked up a used PRS Standard 24 which is the closest to an SG in the PRS stable and due to that budgetary setback purchase of the bass was delayed.

However, went to the guitar shop today and picked up this beauty.

Kkny0Z2.jpg


Being a showroom model, someone was kind enough to pre-ding it for me and due to that the bass sold for 200€. Someone should inform Fender that while having a guitar pre-dinged is great for someone's peace of mind, i.e. not worrying about dinging the damn thing, there is no way it should make the guitar more expensive. However, all the dings are minor and not really noticeable.

The bass neck-dives like crazy, weighs a lot more than my guitars, has strings like train tracks, bushings are pulling out of the body (this increased since I started playing), but it sounds like a monster. Wish I had bought this before I got the PRS.
 

SG standard

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Excellent! Glad to hear you got it in the end, sure to be a lot of fun. :)

I've just put another strap button on my white SG to cure the neck dive & it works perfectly. I doubt I'll be doing it to the bass any time soon, as I'd need to be sure it's a keeper before doing that, due to it's value. But I probably wouldn't think twice on a €200 bass - it makes such a difference to have a well balanced bass.
 

bea

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The bass neck-dives like crazy, weighs a lot more than my guitars, has strings like train tracks, bushings are pulling out of the body (this increased since I started playing), but it sounds like a monster.

The bushings go out even with the Gibsons when the bridge is not adjusted correctly. The cental screw must be higher than the two outside screws. But before doing that You need a tad of epoxy to glue them in again.

The neck heaviness can be reduced by setting the strap lock pin into the neck heel and use a wide and rough leather strap. This is sufficient with my short scale EB-3s. For the long version i would suggest setting the bottom strap lock about 4 in to the left. Then the center of mass will be below the strap lock and hence reduce the neck heaviness. I did that successfully on my RD-like bass which is even more problematic than the SGs.

You might consider to modify the sidewinder according to my description earlier in this forum. That mod will turn the monster into a monster with teeth of 5 inches...
 

WallaceWinston

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What Bea said. When I play my eb, I keep the strap high, play right over the neck pickup, and keep it still with my forearm.
 

grausch

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Hey everyone,

Thanks for the tips regarding the neck heaviness. Currently I am using both hands to keep the neck in position, and while it works, I would prefer adjusting the straps to fix the problem. Still deciding on whether to move the strap buttons or just install two additional ones.

@bea,

I have read several of your posts now and notice that you installed the Hipshot bridges in all of your SG basses. Do the Hipshot bridges use the same bushings as the Epiphone, i.e. will I run into issues later if I glue the bushings in now? Thank you for the advice regarding the bridge screws. The inner one is indeed lower than the two outer ones.

I could not find the post regarding the Sidewinder mods, but I have not yet gone that far back in searching your posts. Do you have a link or a rough indication of when you posted that?

@SG standard,

I played an Ibanez SR-370, a SR-300 and I think a GSR200. All of them were very nice, balanced superbly and had slightly lower action, but none of them were a SG ;)! Have been playing quite a bit these last two days and managed to get blisters on my right hand fingertips. Guess I have girly fingers, but I am having a blast.
 


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