Battle for the bass: the story of Fender and Gibson's fight for low-end supremacy

(Image credit: Olly Curtis, Neil Godwin & Jesse Wild)

The post-war period of the early 50s was a time of great innovation. Following major advancements in instrument design after the war, radical developments at Fender saw the release of both the seminal Esquire and Broadcaster by 1950 (renamed the Telecaster in 1951).

In 1952, Gibson’s Les Paul Model similarly heralded the beginning of a new era in guitar building. As creativity flowed between musicians and guitar builders alike, popular culture and music technology moved forward in tandem and a new style of instrument began to take shape, beginning with Fender’s Precision Bass in 1951, followed by the Gibson Electric Bass or EB-1 in 1953. 

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.