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Earthwood Bass

This is a discussion on Earthwood Bass within the Music Man Basses forums, part of the Gear Talk category; I'm a new guy to this forum and a the proud owner of an Ernie Ball Earthwood acoustic bass(serial#657), bought ...

  1. #1
    rahock is offline Registered User Newbie
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    Smile Earthwood Bass

    I'm a new guy to this forum and a the proud owner of an Ernie Ball Earthwood acoustic bass(serial#657), bought in 1972. I also have a Fender Precision , bought in 1970 and a Hagstrom 8 string, purchased about the same time.
    I've owned several others over the years, but these are the keepers .

    I'm hoping to find a few other Earthwood players here. I know there aren't too many of us out there ( only about 800 of these things in existence).
    I did a search before posting and found a fairly recent thread that posted some pics. I've seen/ played several of the newer acoustics including a Martin that I really liked, Epihone, Fender and several names I can't even remember. The new versions have some nice features like an open cutaway and necks that are a lot more "at the octive friendly". All that I've seen also have on board electronics that the Earthwood lacks. But Nothin', I repeat.....NOTHIN' comes close to the Earthwood sound. I absolutely love this thing. It sounded great when it was new, but now that it has passed the magic 30 year mark, where all acoustics just seem to age into a richer/ fuller sound, it sounds soooooo sweet.

    I recently had it in a local music store that handles the Taylor line (didn't have a Taylor bass in stock though). I was just trying to fit it for a guitar stand, which is pretty difficult due to it's size, and everyone in the place flipped out over it.
    The Taylor guys in particular were in awe. About a half dozen people played it and everyone else in the place(employees and customers) kept requesting me to play some more. I knew I was crazy in love with this thing , but I was a bit suprised that so many others were too.

    I know you're no longer with us Ernie, but thanks for the "White Elephant"( it's huge, it's white and it has a giant "E" on the head piece , so that's her name).

    Any other Earthwood folks out there???
    BTW, I'm still looking for a stand to fit this big ole thing.
    Rick

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    Morrow's Avatar
    Morrow is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    Post pics please...that sounds like a wonderfull bass

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    dlloyd's Avatar
    dlloyd is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    Yes, pictures please!

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    Dargin's Avatar
    Dargin is offline Ernie Ball Customer Service
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    We estimate that we built 500 Earthwood basses, with probably 400 in circulation.

    No acoustic bass touches the Earthwood!

    Scott

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    Psychicpet's Avatar
    Psychicpet is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    hmm... Scott, this "Earthwood" vibe seems to be picking up some steam....

    I think maybe there should be a little pow-wow over the holidays with the powers that be to see if 2005 could be the new dawn for Earthwood again


    "Top pros 15 - Talkbass 0"

  6. #6
    Dargin's Avatar
    Dargin is offline Ernie Ball Customer Service
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    I wouldn't keep my hopes up! Imagine what our backorder time would look like if we tried to build acoustic instruments again.

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    rahock is offline Registered User Newbie
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    I'll get some pics as soon as I can. I'll have to get one with me included in it, just so you can get an idea of how huge this thing is. I look like one of Santa's elves standing behind it....anybody but Paul Bunyan would

    Hey Scott, any idea how the serial numbers ran......as mentioned , mine is TB657. I heard from someone in Ernie Ball Customer Service recently that just under 800 were shipped worldwide.

    If there is any serious consideration given to making these things again, I would highly recommend a bridge like mine as an improvement(you'll see it when I get some pics up. It is a hand made piece with sliding bone saddles for adjusment.
    The guy who made it (Savanah Guitars), held a patent on it. He made them specifically for Martin guitars. I had some issues with mine original bridge lifting off the body. After the second time it happened, he offered to hand make the same style bridge for my Bass. It worked out really well, bringing up the volume , brightness and sustain a bit. Savanah is long gone now, but when he first set me up with this thing he took pics and wrote an article on it for Guitar Player magazine. However , they sent it back with a nice letter that pretty much said "real nice and thanks ... but no thanks, not of interest to the readers. It's kind of an oddball and we're trying to sell magazines to a more mainstream market".

    Anyway, as of about mid 70's when Savanah disappeared from the face of the earth , mine was the only bridge made for a bass.
    Thanks for the warm welcome, and I'll get some pics up as soon as I can.
    Rick

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    Dargin's Avatar
    Dargin is offline Ernie Ball Customer Service
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    We don't have an exact figure for the number of basses made. I got that number from the man who was in charge of building Earthwood instruments.

  9. #9
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    Evil_Ernie_Ball is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    That's a nice piece of wood !!!
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    Don't ask me... I'm just the bassplayer

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    word is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    Morrow's Avatar
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    that looks huge, I can only imagine how it sounds

  12. #12
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    spectorbassguy is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    How deep is that sucker? It looks like it's got to be 12" or more?!?

  13. #13
    Mobay45's Avatar
    Mobay45 is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectorbassguy
    How deep is that sucker? It looks like it's got to be 12" or more?!?
    Looks like you bought your acoustic too soon, huh?
    Starting to think about returning to bass playing in the very near future.

    Larry

  14. #14
    Morrow's Avatar
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    There's a shop in New Orleans called International Vintage Guitars that has one for $1200.It's on their website

  15. #15
    rahock is offline Registered User Newbie
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    Hey Evil Ernie,
    What is the dark finish around the sound hole? Is that an inlay or a pick guard of some sort? Mine doesn't have that . Mine is all light finish, like the one posted on Ebay.
    It looks great! I see you have it mike'd in one shot. I had a tough time getting a mike to work very well. I experieced some pretty interesting feedback the first time I tried that
    It made some growly, howly sounds that were downright spooky .
    I finally got it to the OK point, but it was no big deal in that I never gigged with it. It spends most of it's time hanging around the house.BTW what's your Serial number? You got me fired up Evil Ernie. Finding another Earthwood guy is like finding out I've got a long lost brother Seriously, in the 32 years I've had this thing, I've seen 2 others and had a chance to talk with one of the owners.

    Spectorbassguy,
    It's right about 6 3/4 inches deep and the body is 25 inches long....it's pretty big.
    I was going to pick up a new case, thinking maybe a cello case would work, but this thing is actually a bit deeper than a cello. Screw it ... I got a new zipper put in the old one .

    That one on Ebay for $1200 doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. I played a Martin while traveling in Virginia recently and it was really nice for $1300. Played great, open cutaway, electric, sounded great and all that good stuff. I imagine 30 years from now it'll sound a whole lot better. If this wasn't a trip with my wife in a two seat sports car, that Martin probably would have come home with me

    BUT.... like Scott said " No acoustic bass touches the Earthwood". Thanks again for your help on the numbers Scott. Let me bug you one more time though What kinds of wood were used on these things? I've heard some different opinions on this, so please set me straight if you can.
    Thanks,
    Rick
    Last edited by rahock; 11-10-2004 at 03:34 PM.

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