“Gene Simmons is breaking ground again”: Gibson unveils second signature bass guitar for the Kiss icon – and it’s the brand’s first 30.5” scale custom shop model

Gibson Gene Simmons EB-0
(Image credit: Gibson)

Last year, Gibson and Gene Simmons teamed up for the G² Thunderbird bass guitar – the Kiss icon’s first signature guitar with Gibson, following the announcement of the pair’s multi-year partnership in 2021.

At the time of the announcement, it was revealed Simmons and Gibson would collaborate on an entire range of G² models, which would span multiple Gibson Brands, including Epiphone and Kramer.

Well, the two parties have now reignited their partnership for another signature four-string – but this time, it isn’t a G².

Instead, Simmons’ second signature model is a limited-edition EB-0 variant, which doubles as the Gibson custom shop’s first 30.5”-scale bass guitar.

Now, this arguably sounds like a bigger deal than it actually is. After all, many of Gibson's standard-run bass models already come equipped with a 30.5" scale length. That includes the SG Standard Bass and Les Paul Junior Tribute DC Bass, the latter of which shares many similarities with this EB-0.

Still, it's new for a custom shop model, so worth shouting about. Plus, as well as offering up an unorthodox custom shop spec on the functional front, the EB-0 is also a throwback model, taking inspiration from the instrument that the Kiss maestro played throughout the 1970s.

That particular model was a heavily modded example from 1959, which looks practically identical to this new-for-2023 creation. For the original EB-0, Simmons reshaped the neck, refinished the body, replaced and relocated the pickup, added body binding, installed a custom pickguard, swapped out the tuners, and drafted in a replacement high-mass bridge.

All of these quirks are represented in the EB-0, which is limited to only 100 units – making it, consequently, the custom shop’s first bass model to be produced en masse.

A double-cut mahogany body (finished in Ebony and complemented with single-ply white binding) is joined by a “Gene Simmons 1959 EB-0”-profile neck and 12”-radius Indian rosewood fretboard. A Corian nut, acrylic dot inlays and 20 low profile frets complete the ‘board.

Elsewhere, Grover Mini Bass tuning machines make the cut, as does a Kluson High Mass bridge (which can be top- or through-body-loaded), black four-ply pickguard and “Gene”-embossed truss rod cover.

Tones come by way of a sole SG Bass pickup – situated closer to the bridge, naturally – which is controlled by master volume and tone parameters.

It's also worth noting that the guitar comes in a custom hardcase, and with a load of case candy, including a tin of signature guitar picks.

All things said, it looks like an incredibly classy bass in its own right, and we’d wager those low-end lovers who are nonplussed about the Kiss connection would be tempted by the uniquely spec’d instrument.

Having said that, since this EB-0 is a limited custom shop model – and a signature guitar, no less – all of the above comes at quite a price. $6,499, to be exact.

To find out more, head over to Gibson.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.