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The EB6 - Baritone

The EB-6, one of the most rare of Gibson creations.

The EB-6 was Gibson’s only short-scale six-string bass manufactured during an era of guitar production that produced some extremely collectible and expensive models.

Gibson created the EB-6 in 1959/60 as a complement to the EB-2,  tuned EADGBE, like a standard guitar but an octave lower (i.e., like a standard four-string bass + two bonus higher strings).

Like the EB-2, the EB-6 had one special Humbucking bass pick-up, a volume and a tone control with a bass/baritone switch to broaden the tonal range. Whilst the EB-6 resembled a guitar more than a bass, it was possible to differentiate it by it's slightly longer neck. Otherwise the tuning machines and the overall appearance were similar to a one pick-up guitar.

The semi-solid EB-6 was only produced from 1960 to 1961, when  a new "solid body" SG-type model with two Humbucking pick-ups was launched. The semi-solid EB-6 was only available in "Sunburst". In May 1960, it sold for $325, compared to $285 for an EB-2.

The six string, EB6 Baritone Bass Guitar is one of the most rare of Gibsons creations. So rare that even the experts can't agree on the numbers produced, or upon the dates!
 
In 1960 (according to A.R. Duchossor, author of "Gibson Electrics The Classic Years", or in 1961 if you believe Zach Fjestad, the author of the "Blue Book of Electric Guitars") Gibson responded to the success of Fender’s Bass VI with the  EB-6. The EB-6 was initially styled after the EB-2 bass (1958 release), with a body in the style of an ES-335 guitar. Like the Fender Bass VI, the EB-6 features a shorter-scale neck (30.5 in.), but the strings are tuned an octave below a standard guitar. In 1962 Gibson switched the body design to an SG-style (similar to the EB-0 and EB-3).
 
According to Zach Fjestad, Gibson only produced 135 of these EB-6 basses in total over a seven-year period (1961-67), of which 67 are the semi-hollowbody similar to the EB2, and 68 are in the SG solid-body shape.
 
The EB-6 also features in the book "Gibson Electrics The Classic Years" by A.R. Duchossor. Of the first thinline hollowbody version (for which it specifies one pickup) it states that "only 67 EB-6's were shipped in 1960 (34 units) and 1961 (33 units)". Of the second solidbody SG-style version it states "Only 66 solidbody EB-6's were shipped between 1962 and 1965, including a very small number of single pickup versions (probably no more than a dozen."
 
"Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars" (2nd ed.) offers shipping totals for both versions combined "Discontinued (135 total shipped): 1968" and the 2009 Vintage Guitar Price Guide refers to the 2 pickup version stating "1960-1966. Introduced as semi-hollowbody 335-style 6-string with 1 humbucker, changes to SG-style with 2 pickups in '62.
 
So there you are. What is completely clear is that these are exceedingly rare instruments. And here you can see examples of both!

CLICK HERE to Link to a youtube video of Phil X showing the astounding range of these guitars

Below, a 1959 EB-6, (one of only 67 ever made) with an impressive history -and to discover who owned this bass!

Click on the photo to see more pictures
 

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Below, a 1962 "SG" shaped EB-6,
one of only 68 'SG' EB6s ever made
(click to see more photographs)
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Gibsons 1962 Brochure-confusingly advertising the single pick-up, semi-hollow body EB-6 (in the bottom panel), which ceased shipping in 1961.

See more Gibson Basses, available for sale, at www.gibsonbassstore.com

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