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What an amazing rare old piece! The story from the grand daughter of the original owner was, this guitar was bought in the early 30’s, her grandfather played it to woo her grandmother. Once she married him, he never touched it again. It has been sitting in a case since the 30’s! The guitar was tuned up and yet, the neck is perfect. The slight V shape of the back of the neck is super cumfy and adds to its strength and rigidity. The old-growth tree that this was probably made out of is so strong, the wood will not bow. I have 12 gauge Elixers on here. My first inclination was to use Silk and Steel, but the tension was too low to make it speak. These strings are perfect. The original frets show almost no wear. There are no cracks, repairs or loose braces. Neck joint is tight.
What I love about this guitar is the wide flat feel of the fretbaord. Nut width is 1 11/13″. The action is nice and low with no buzzing. The sound is beautiful! The small Koa body is loud and full. All the pieces used on the body are book matched and the head has a nice rosewood cap. The tail piece/bridge arrangement had me worried that it wouldn’t resonate, but I was wrong. The tone is sweet, punchy, with a slight boxy tone that gives it its personality. It’s so fun to play you do not want to put it down! The guitar has a real early Martin vibe. I was told Martin made some Weymanns, and I would not be surprised if this was one of them. If not, it is on par with the quality of an old Martin. The original hard shell case is in great shape as well. Guitar was originally strung to play Hawaiian style with nut jack. Original Ree Lax slide and picks and nut jack included! Own a piece of history with a great story behind it!
The Gibson EBO, or “SG” bass as some call it, is one of my favorite vintage basses. I love old shots of Jack Bruce from Cream or Jim Lea from Slade (below) playing the bass.
But getting one to play right can be a big hassle. Especially the old, two post bridge. These bridges can tilt forward to the point where the bass is virtually unplayable. I’ve seen different ways of trying to remedy this; like a stack of quarters under the front side of the bridge, or a screw mounted underneath to push the front up. But these methods never seem to work.
The best way I have found to stabilize the bridge is to add pressure to the back of the bridge.
I do this by adding two 1 1/2″ sheet rock screws to the back of the bridge. My method does involves some alteration to the original parts but the holes that you need to drill are almost totally hidden. The first thing I do is to disassemble the bridge and remove the saddles. Then I drill two holes underneath the “G” and the “E” intonation adjustment screws at the back end of the bridge. Next thing to do is to put the bridge in place and drill holes into the body directly under the two new bridge holes for the 1 1/2″ sheet rock screws. Now I insert the screws through the bridge and into the new holes in the body.
The new screws can be used to level and stablize the bridge. Then, I string up the bass with just the “A” and the “D” strings. I set the action with these two string only because I need to get to the new stabilizing screws to set the action, and the “G” and “E” strings get in the way. Once I have it set nicely, I add the “E” and the “G” strings. The new screws work like a charm, however they do make it very hard to adjust the action. You may have to remove the “E” and the “G” and couple of time before you get it. The extra set-up time is worth it becuase the bass will play like a dream and the bridge will never tilt again!!