1974 Gibson Grabber Bass
Summary: The Grabber featured a bolt-on 34 1⁄2 in (876 mm) neck similar to Fender basses and shared a similar body shape with the Ripper. The Grabber also had a V-shaped headstock like the Gibson Flying V guitar. A distinctive feature of the Grabber was its adjustable pickup, which could be positioned by the player to simulate a neck or bridge pickup position, or in between, to provide further tonal variation. The pickup was brighter than the traditional Gibson style humbuckers. The Grabber had one volume and tone control each, and a removable bridge cover. The Grabber was originally built with a thin, maple body, but it was changed to alder in 1975. This Grabber bass has been modified and played a lot but it still sounds and plays amazing!
Body: The 3 piece maple body is very thin and has belly and arm contours. The wood grain is very beautiful, even sporting slight “birdseye” around the lower horn.
Neck: It has a very comfortable maple neck with some figure towards the scarf joint and a maple fretboard. The headstock is Flying V style with original truss rod cover, Gibson tuners and replacement bone nut. Scale Length is 34 ½” and the Nut
Width is 1 5/8”.
Pickups/Hardware: The pickup is the original Gibson embossed sliding pickup that is fully functional and adjustable. The tuners are original Gibson tuning machines, the bridge is original 4 individual adjustable saddles (missing bridge cover), the nut is bone, original black pickguard with 1 volume, 1 tone and a 3 way switch that doesn’t do anything in the first 2 positions but all the way in the rear position it works as a kill switch. Also the tone knob seems to be wired in such a way that it only has 2 variations (tone all the way up until its turned all the way to zero, then it just cuts the tone down a bit and gives it a nice usable mellow tone).
Cosmetics: This bass has been played and modified a lot in its life but it’s still a very playable and beautiful instrument. The pickguard has been cut out to fit a pickup in the bridge position which has since been removed. There is a hole in the back on the heel which once fit a strap button. There is a chip in the back of the headstock as well as a ding in the Gibson logo. There are lots of scratches and dings throughout the instrument; pick scratches, buckle rash, consistent with a well-played and gigged vintage instrument. There is nothing that hinders the function of the bass and it is a great playable piece of history.
Playability: This Grabber plays and sounds phenomenally. The neck is straight and the frets have a small amount of wear, but also have tons of life left in them. The bass has been recently set up by our in-house luthier with low action and strung up with a new set of strings. This vintage bass plays great up and down the neck.
Modifications: This bass has been modified in a few ways. The pickguard has been cut and the body has been routed to fit a bridge pickup that has since been removed. There is a hole in the back of the heel where a strap button was once installed but removed. The 3 way switch is not original. The bone nut is a replacement.
Weight: 9 lbs, 11oz.
Case: This bass ships in its original Gibson hard-shell case which serves its function of protecting the instrument but is it pretty rough shape and has lots of duct tape holding it together.
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