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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got this from a buddy. It's a Capri EB-3 copy from the 70's. Judging from the headstock it must be pre lawsuit. A few chips on the edges but overall quite clean and came with what looks like the original case. It sounds great too. Really chuffed about this one.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I originally saw this a few years ago when he first got it and did the setup for him. I was a bit shocked when I a/b'd it with my 1968 Gibson eb-0 and it sounded better than the Gibson...lol.
 

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Nice score - I like the finish on that one and it has some cool (if inaccurate ) features - they were not trying to be perfect copies per se (like they were with e.g. Les Pauls six bangers).

Better is relative however - those aren't anywhere close to being the same neck pickup. Also the build quality is usually never close to the Gibsons like with other lawsuit era stuff (bolt on vs set neck in this case, obviously not mahogany, and the hardware blows - replace the bridge ASAP), but otherwise looks rather well made; certainly better than average for these - I have had/played a few. Like I said it's not a very accurate copy by a longshot (but none of them are; Grecos come closest IIRC) - I guess the neck binding might be considered an upgrade by some though.

The Mudbucker (aka sidewinder - first such pickup) does one thing and one thing only, and that is talk to whales (near pure sine wave of fundamental frequency vs the Fender school which stresses the 2nd harmonic and more high end in general). Great for dub or sparser music where it can poke through (trip-hop; folk etc) but not really good for much else. The EB3 (and EB2) had a 'baritone' setting (EB3) or switch (EB2) which was an inductor-based 2nd order high pass filter that cut a lot of the bass from the signal and allowed the midrange and treble that it does capture to actually be heard. That was the rock sound of the British Invasion (baritone switched mudbucker through a cranked /distorted Marshall/Vox, usually into a 4x12 but sometimes 15s). An EB0 did not have that baritone switch so it was a 1 trick pony, and if you no like, then it's not a very good trick.

The pickups on these copies are mostly rather clanky (esp the bridge pup, obviously), which is something I don't particularly like (I do love The Mudbucker; even though it's very nichey). Even real mud in baritone mode can be rather useful and superior to the copy pickups (IMHO of course - YMMV etc).

Anyway this was one copy I had for a bit (what has been seen cannot be unseen [evilgrin]):


It had a set neck, the better version of the 'Bar Bridge' copy with mute, but the shittier tuners. If only they placed the mudbucker lookalike at the neck, it would be a rather accurate copy aside from the (yes that's original) finish and the neck joint style. The pup placement and neck joint (and body shape I suppose) are post 71 style but the bridge is pre 66 style.

And here's my rescued 65 Gibson EB3:


That's a Schaller 460 which was a drop in replacement for the post spacing of the original Bar Bridge, except that I accidentally got the extra wide version (no biggie this thing was already refinned and stripped twice and had a neck break/reset- see that sliver of undyed mahogany there, and I think the post holes were already filled; not really valuable). Came to me mostly stripped (some thick and lumpy black finish still on it in spots) and with the remaining hardware in a bag (missing bridge, switch plate, thumbrest and most of the screws - tone cap burnt and 1 bad pot - had the switch knob but I don't think that's the original one - too long, but I like it so kept it). Also in the most hilarious home made case (looks OK in the pic but up close was so LOL).

That is the original cherry stain (some was sanded off already but not all) - just darkened as the tung oil finish on top of it is now over 10 years old and dirty. Paid US$300 for it at the time. First bass I owned (before that I was using borrowed Ps -a Squire I hated and later developed a neck twist, and a Fernandez copy that was actually rather nice).

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some great info there, thanks Granny. That copy looks like a desert storm bass...lol. Sounds like your 65 Gibson suffered the same fate as my 68. When I bought it, it had either been stripped many times or really heavily sanded in one refin as the bevels are quite rounded over now... sort of like a salt lick after the cattle have had a go at it. The headstock was cracked and had been repaired several times with dowels and even body filler! The only original part left on the guitar was the knobs and the pots. I figured it was so far gone that after all the repair work I had to do, I may as well put bridge pickup in and made it into an EB-3 just to give it a bit more tonal options. I wired the two pickups straight to the output with no tone control, its simple and works pretty well. I like it, they are their own thing with a different sound for sure but I enjoy plunking away with them. Here are the sisters.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yup, its a DiMarzio. The neck pickup is just an offshore no name that I had laying around...nothing special but it does the job. One of these days I will get around to finding some better pickups for it.
 

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Better is relative however - those aren't anywhere close to being the same neck pickup. Also the build quality is usually never close to the Gibsons like with other lawsuit era stuff (bolt on vs set neck in this case, obviously not mahogany, and the hardware blows - replace the bridge ASAP), but otherwise looks rather well made; certainly better than average for these - I have had/played a few. Like I said it's not a very accurate copy by a longshot (but none of them are; Grecos come closest IIRC) - I guess the neck binding might be considered an upgrade by some though.
True enough.

I like a few things about early '70s basses made in Japan. Generally the body wood is interesting and has aged nicely: the resin has dried out to give that super resonating kind of sound. While the pickups can be a bit hit-and-miss, when they hit, they seem to be just perfect. No, not perfect Fender bass or Gibson bass, but absolutely perfect for recording. I have a couple such basses and they play well and sit well in the track.

Mostly, they are so much fun to play that they are my go-to, pick-up-and-write-a-riff kind of bass. The ones I have are short-scale which also suits me. I think they may have been student basses, or sold at music stores to young musicians.

I love them.
 

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Just got this from a buddy. It's a Capri EB-3 copy from the 70's. Judging from the headstock it must be pre lawsuit. A few chips on the edges but overall quite clean and came with what looks like the original case. It sounds great too. Really chuffed about this one
I just picked up the blonde sibling of this bass."Fair" condition but handles well. Nice neck. Shortscale. Fun sound. Love this thing.

I am a big time sucker for early-seventies Japan/Matsumoku basses. Something about them. So much fun for so little money. I have one friend who will spend $2,500 on a bass and then just leave it hanging on his wall. For about $120 each I can buy a half dozen different basses and play them each every single day because they are simply fun. The kind of fun you don't have to worry about.

Already pre-dinged, pre-relic'd.
 

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I suppose back then I missed this & could have also included my Matsumoku made EB 3 copy--branded Granada
I've mentioned it elsewhere here as well.
A couple years ago at a guitar show I saw a near identical one--and my friend & my brother also spotted it.
Although that one had the original witch hat knobs & the pick guard.
 
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