1967 Gibson EB-2 to EB-6 Conversion 6-String Electric Bass Guitar

Now this is a true beast of a guitar. It began its life here as an EB-2 (4-string) bass without any hardware, missing its pickup, and with both a repaired headstock break and a shorn-off truss rod end (no nut, no threads). My friend Steve bought it this way, however, so it could be fixed-up and modified into an EB-6 (6-string bass/baritone) instead.

This journey involved locating hardware (thanks Steve!) and then conversion. I (carefully) excavated enough of the truss rod's end to get a new nut and washer on it and found it to be working well-enough to be serviceable. I then leveled/dressed the frets, made a new nut, and filled/redrilled the headstock for a new set of aged Gotoh tuners of the sort you might find on a "real deal" EB-6.

After that, I had to do some routing/cutting to fit the new pair of Duncan Antiquity pickups (and fit a filler piece of maple into the neck-side rout), fit a new wiring harness (all 500k pots with orange drop caps), modified the bridge to take 6 strings and adjusted intonation on the treble side, and made a new pickguard to fit. The pickguard is not exactly correct but I think it's good enough to pass muster at a glance. The pickguard bracket is something I whipped-up from my parts bins.

I had a tricky time with getting strings that worked for the instrument as Steve wanted flatwounds on it. LaBella makes a Bass VI set that runs from 95w-26w or close to it but that was a lot of tension to put on this instrument as it has a fairly skinny neck. They also felt a little stiff and awkward and the neck liked them best tuned down a full step to D. With the damaged rod I wanted to take it easy on the instrument. I wound-up hodge-podging it with a mixed set of two GHS Brite Flats packs (see end of this post for shots of them) and that got me into gauges 84w-22w overall which wound-up being perfect for feel and fit with the instrument, tuned-up to "standard" EADGBE.

Suffice to say, the end result of this venture is filthy-good. It plays quick and easy, has a gorgeous sound, and, I hope, it will open-up some new horizons for its owner. He already sent me a couple videos using it to sweet, delicious effect and we got to be serenaded by him in the store a few weeks back when it was in "beta testing" at the time. I think the flatwounds were the right choice, here, as it feels and plays -- more or less -- like a superman sort-of jazz guitar. One gets pulled into little chord clusters and fingerpicked sounds or strange melody and fill lines.

It's not like playing a normal guitar at all -- but that's the point.

Here are the string sets and gauges I wound-up using to get an "extra light" semi-flattened set for it: