Some Interesting 80s Basses

1982 Gibson Ripper Bass

Following on from the “70s Bass Extravaganza” earlier this year I have two early 80s basses in for set up this week.

Gibson Grabber Bass

1982 Gibson Ripper Bass

1982 Gibson Ripper Bass

The first is a lovely 1982 Gibson Grabber Bass. It was suffering from uneven frets and a rising tongue caused by some unwise heavy shimming of the neck with a Benson & Hedges cigarette packet.

I dressed the frets and also cut down the saddle height screws which even with the greater neck pitch were way too high and sharp, making palm muting a dangerous activity and rather painful!

The remarkable thing about this guitar (apart from the clever sliding pickup) is that it is one of the lightest basses I have ever played. It is solid maple of course and maple is normally a very dense wood but this bass is feather light.

Kramer XKB-10 Bass

Kramer XKB-10 Bass

Kramer XKB-10 Bass

The Kramer XK series was introduced in 1980 and discontinued the following year so this is a pretty rare bass.

It was suffering from a misaligned neck which was an easy fix.

Unfortunately aluminium-necked Kramers didn’t get an adjustable truss rod. Just about every bass I have seen has had a bowed neck and this one was no exception.

The DiMarzio humbucking pickup is naturally high-output and really pushes an amp.

As you’d expect, this bass is almost impossible to play when sitting down!





1 Comments on “Some Interesting 80s Basses”

  1. I have a Kramer xkb-10. Love the look and the growl of the pick up when I play hard rock or metal. Only 2 complaints- can’t get a ‘clean’ sound without the ‘growl’ and it’s heavy. While performing live I don’t feel it but the next day my neck and shoulders are sore. Still one of my favorite basses to play!

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