Friday, May 15, 2009

Gibson Grabber Bass Guitar

Photos of a Gibson bass guitar I sold on Ebay

Serial Number 964097

Manufactured in the USA in 1975 or 1976 (I think, that's what I can figure from the confusing serial number!)

The Gibson Grabber Bass Guitar holds it's own unique style and is distinctive for both it's looks and it's thunderous sound!

The condition of this bass guitar is pretty good considering it is at least thirty years old, there are signs of wear as you would expect on any vintage instrument. However, there's nothing major and to try and highlight this I've taken a whole bunch of photos which you can see below!

I personally imported this lovely bass from America and I have never gigged it myself, although I imagine it's seen a fair bit of life! It's been a fair old wrench to sell this bass, I spent a lot of time tracking one down as they aren't very easy to find either in this country or anywhere else in the world. I was chatting to an expert about the rarity of these Gibson Basses a few days ago and he told me that Gibson never sold all that many as they always insisted on being far more expensive than the rest of the gear on the market, most notably Fender bass guitars! Mind you, you can really see that the extra cash you had to find to buy a Gibson was worth it! This Grabber is really nicely made and plays like a dream. The sound is thunderous but has a great clarity, which I guess is why this vintage bass is so popular with slap bass players and a whole generation of heavy bands like Botch, These Arms are Snakes and loads more!

Condition of Electronics

I have had the electronics thoroughly inspected by a very experienced electronics circuit testing engineer called Ian Crow at Amblin Man Studios. The verdict was that the electronics are in perfect condition. The unique sliding pickup (see photos below) works a treat and all the tuning pegs have been cleaned and lubricated. The input jack socket was showing signs of age so that was replaced, I really wanted to make sure that this Gibson would be totally reliable and dependable. I also took this opportunity to restring the bass to get the very best I could from it. This work was carried out very recently, if you want to see the invoice please get in touch.

Guitar Setup

In addition to the work carried out as detailed above I also had the guitar professionally setup by none other than Mark Harwood at Springvale Studios, and he REALLY knows his stuff! The action on this Grabber is really nice, it suits pretty much all playing styles. Mark also gave the bass a sympathetic clean, which has made it look lurvely! The intonation has been declared as being perfect, however I've found with selling guitars on Ebay that intonation can be a matter of taste so I'm not giving this intonation as a 100% guarantee.

Click the photos for the huge and very detailed images of this Gibson Grabber Bass!

Me with my special 'lights are on but nobody's home' facial expression. I'd like to point out that this is quite a large bass, but I'm also quite a large chap so this photo confuses the size issue a bit!

This bass comes with the original case, which is a very sexy purple colour!

The unique sliding pickup, slide back for sharp attack, slide forward for deep bassey tones

That distinctive Grabber headstock

As you can kinda see, the neck is straight and true

As you would expect with a bass of this age there is a bit of wear where a generation of bassist's have rested their arm, probably whilst pausing for a moment to survey all they own in the land of rock!

It's really hard to take a photo of the serial number as they are embossed in the wood rather than printed. It says just below the serial number 'made in USA'.

I've messed about with the settings on this photo to try and ENHANCE the marks in the wood, it really doesn't look this bad in real life, I wanted to exaggerate it to make sure you won't be disappointed when you buy this beauty. In fact for a bass made in the early seventies there is very little buckle rash indeed.

Here's another photo of the headstock just for the hell of it, just because it's so cool!

Not the greatest photo I've ever taken, but I wanted to show you that unlike a lot of basses I've seen of this age there is very little damage around the top strap button

Ooh what a lovely piece of wood that thar neck is made of!

And here's the other side of the neck, look, no strain or damage at all! You can also see how nice and close the action is.

That famous Gibson Neckplate

Another shot to show that lovely slim neck

Someone has moved the rear strap button slightly, it wasn't me, although I have done that on a whole lot of basses I have owned, it's pretty normal

I had the tuning pegs all cleaned and lubed up, I played one practice with this bass tuned to C and it still stayed in tune, even with these new strings!

Here's the Gibson case I'm chucking in for free, mainly because it's the case that arrived with the bass when I imported it from the states so it seems only fair! I should add that when I imported this bass it arrived with slackened strings, so the seller really knew their stuff! I'll be honest, this case has seen more life than David Attenborough, but I'm sure it would have loads of cool tales to tell, but that would be weird huh, a talking bass case!

And here's the inside of the case, complete with (not very) secret compartment!

Click here to find out more about Gibson Grabber Basses on Wikipedia...


  • I will not ship guitars outside the UK, it's just too much of a pain in the bum!

  • I have described this guitar as accurately as possible, the plethora of photos is intended to fill any gaps in my description, however, you should still treat this auction as 'sold as seen'.

  • All guitars are non-returnable, there's nothing wrong with them (unless specified) but I can't take guitars back if you change your mind or decide you don't want it for some other reason

  • If you have a feedback rating below ten, or are a new ebayer then please contact me before bidding

  • I will not close auctions before the end date so don't bother asking

  • I prefer payment by PayPal or bank transfer, pay by cheque if you must, but you'll have to wait around twiddling your thumbs while it clears, I use postal banking so this can be anything up to two weeks!

  • If you live near Ipswich (Suffolk) then you are welcome to come and have a look at the guitar, but don't expect to take it away before the auction ends

  • If you live within 100 miles of me (see above!) I will deliver the guitar personally for £50

  • Check out my feedback, you'll see that most of it is from selling stuff. I only mention this because it's a lot harder to get good feedback when selling something than when buying it

  • I am a music nut, I have been playing in bands since the early days of puberty, guitars are more than nice lumps of wood to me, so I like to think they all go to good homes!

I listed this guitar on ebay on the 8th July 2007

It sold for £600 on the 18th July 2007 to a very nice chap in a smart band!

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