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Fender’s first two-pickup bass, the Jazz, was introduced in 1960, and to what extent the two-pickup Gibson EB-3 (introduced in ’61) was actually a “response” to the Jazz is debatable.

The similarities in approach were obvious; the Jazz was perceived as an upgraded/two-pickup version of the Precision.

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The first and fifth numbers are the year, for example 8997653 = 8997653 or 1986 ES (Electric Spanish - hollow body with fixed pickup(s) T - Thinline D Double - 2 Pickups C Cutaway or Cherry Finish 3/4 - 3/4 side and short scale SV - Stereo and Veritone wiring option Please keep in mind that Serial numbers show approximate date of manufacture.

For those that have been following along on this blog for a while, you probably know that I’m not overly big on Gibson basses.

When it came to electric basses, Michigan-based Gibson spent the ’50s playing follow the leader to California’s Fender.

So it’s a touch ironic that while Fender made only one model in that decade (the Precision), Gibson introduced three – the violin-shaped solidbody Electric Bass in 1953, the semi-hollow EB-2 in ’58, and the solidbody EB-0, which replaced the Electric Bass in ’59.

The Grabber featured a bolt-on 34½” neck like the Fender basses and shared a similar body with the Ripper.

The Grabber also had a V-shaped headstock like the Gibson Flying V guitar.The antennae of many guitar collectors/enthusiasts pop up when they encounter a Gibson-made instrument bearing a six-digit serial number with “Made In The USA” embossed on the back of its headstock.Gibson used the six-digit/Made In The USA serial number system from 1970 through a portion of 1975 – the half-decade considered one of the company’s worst eras in terms of design innovation and manufacturing quality.What made the Grabber truly unique from other basses was its sliding pickup to which the name refers.The bassist was able to position the pickup by sliding it either up or down to simulate a neck or bridge pickup.The EB-3’s hardware also included a handrest and string mute. In addition to a Volume and Tone knob for each pickup, an unusual four-way rotary switch offered operation of the neck pickup only (position 1), both pickups (2), bridge pickup only (3), and neck pickup with “choke” (4) that produced a brighter, baritone-like sound; its circuit was similar to the pushbutton “baritone” switch on the EB-2.

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