A piece of bass history has been listed on Reverb

Jack Bruce
(Image credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Jack Bruce was one of the most accomplished bass players ever to walk the Earth, and although he later played a Gibson EB-3 and his own signature Warwick Thumb, he made his bones with a Gibson EB-1. Now, an all-original EB-1, which proved to be a worthy competitor to Höfner’s Violin bass, has been listed for sale on Reverb.com.

According to the seller, Retrofret Vintage Guitars in Brooklyn, this particular EB-1 has a serial number that dates it to early 1954, which marks it as one of the first of this model issued. Gibson only made these basses for around five years and in fairly small numbers, which makes it something of a rarity. 

1954 Gibson EB-1

(Image credit: Reverb)

Built at Gibson's original headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this early model is a fine example and comes complete with a telescopic end-pin for stand-up playing and the original pink-lined hard case.

You could easily miss this at first glance, but the solid mahogany body has painted-on f-holes, a Royalite pickguard and a Royalite-covered single-coil pickup. The fingerboard is rosewood and the tuners are ‘banjo-style’ Kluson tuners with plastic buttons.

The EB-1 was Gibson’s first bass guitar (the ‘EB’ stands for Electric Bass), and was heralded as ‘a revelation in rhythm’ by Gibson's sales department when it was first launched back in 1953. Although it hardly offered the tonal range that Bruce or its other users later preferred, it did have a ‘middy’ sound that cut through the guitars if you turned it up loud enough. 

There have been many variants over the years; Gibson’s original was redesignated the EB-1 in 1958 when the semi-acoustic EB-2 was launched. Then came 1959’s curious-looking EB-0, which resembled a Les Paul with two cutaways and a pickup jammed up against the neck. To complicate matters further, following the transformation of their Les Paul guitar into the SG, Gibson created a sister bass model, the EB-3. The EB-0F with inbuilt fuzz tone also appeared in 1962, lasting until 1965.

Given its association with Jack Bruce and one of the biggest rock reunion performances of all time (remember, Bruce played an EB-1 for the Cream reunion shows back in 2005) this EB-1 has been listed for $7,250.

Visit the full listing to make an offer on this piece of Gibson history.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.