1964 Epiphone Rivoli Bass, Sunburst


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The Rivoli bass was based on Gibson's electric acoustic EB2 model. Identical in every way, with the exception of the headstock and inlays. The Rivoli was shipped between 1959 and 1968 and was available, initially, in sunburst and natural finishes with Cherry available in 1968. A popular instrument in the UK with the British Beat Boom in full swing, the Rivoli was distributed by Rosetti alongside the rest of the Epiphone range. Shipping records show only a handful of EB-232 as being shipped in the fifties and interestingly none shipped in 1962 before resuming in 1963. Only 1876 Rivoli were produced in this initial run before the bass was discontinued.

Featuring semi-hollow body with laminate maple top, back and rims, with solid maple block running through the centre. A Mahogany neck with a 20 fret Rosewood Fingerboard, short headstock and pearl inlayed Epiphone logo and decoration. The pickup is the fabled EB pickup also used on the Gibson EB-0 and EB-2 basses from 1958 onwards, and the EB-3 and Epiphone Newport from 1961. Controls are Volume and tone with an additional 'baritone' sound available via the tone switch. In keeping with the rest of the Epiphone range in 1964 the hardware is nickel plated throughout. Tuners used are open backed Kluson 538 Tuners with the strings anchored by a Gibson adjustable Bar Bridge. A tortoiseshell Pickguard with silver Epsilon and Gold reflector knobs complete the package.

This wonderful bass has seen some use and shows minor wear overall but considering it is nearly 60 years old it remains in very good condition. The finish has a perfectly balanced Sunburst, the Rosewood board is dark and oily and there is the right amount of patination to the hardware. Largely original it has one replacement pot, the other the correct CTS pot with 64 date code. The nut is a replacement brass piece but this could easily be swapped out for a new nut of the new owners choice. The electronics including the 2-way baritone switch perform as they should. The frets show some minor wear but the bass still plays extremely well, and sounds exactly like it should with a room filling low end like nothing else and a focused ‘baritone’ sound that cuts. Easy playability thanks to the 30.5” scale length and full width 43mm nut.

A superb example from the definitive year with looks to die for. The bass comes with a period Baldwin case that thanks to the blue lining looks the part.
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