Today we restored an old ’60s era Gibson EB-O. This thing had been through the ringer, and was seriously distressed, and… dare we say: funky. The fretboard was caked with dirt, the frets were turning green, the original pickup was broken, and the wiring was a disaster.
We’ve never seen a fretboard this funky. Normally, we clean and polish a board with steel wool… but this one required a chisel. Check it out:
The original pickup was dead – in fact, it had fallen apart completely:
One of the coils was missing, so instead of having the pickup rebuilt, we opted to replace it with a Darkstar pickup. The Darkstar pickups are designed to recreate the sound of ’60s Hagstrom pickups used in Guild Starfire basses. We think they sound fantastic, and our customer approved, so we had the green light to go for it. We would have to do a tiny bit of cleaning up in the pickup cavity to get it to fit, but overall the pickup install was going to be fairly routine. That is, until we got a look at the control cavity…
This is easily the worst shielding job we have ever seen. Chunks of copper were being held in place with thumbtacks, and there were a couple of copper strips sitting on top of the pots (we have no idea what the purpose was behind that…). The wiring was terrible, with poor solder joints and cheap pots: the only way to fix this is to rewire the whole thing. We yanked out the entire wiring harness, and replaced each component with high quality Switchcraft parts. We properly shielded the cavity with conductive paint and copper tape, and wired the whole thing up and installed the Darkstar pickup:
That’s one funky, cool bass:
We set the bass up with light strings, which combined with the short scale, make this bass super easy to play. The Darkstar pickup sounds badass. This bass may have lost some of it’s funk, but none of it’s mojo.