Introduced in 1961, the EB-3 was one of the bass guitar equivalents of the popular Gibson SG. It featured a slim SG-style body, a 30.5" scale, and two pickups (one large humbucking pickup in the neck position and one mini-humbucker pickup in the bridge position). The electronics consisted of a 4-way switch and associated volume and tone knobs for each pickup. The standard finish was cherry red (like the SG guitar models), though EB-3s were also produced in other finishes such as Polaris White, Pelham Blue, and ebony.
The design of the bass guitar remained unchanged throughout the 1960s. In the 1970s, the position of the pickups on the body was changed and moved closer to the bridge, and different materials were used for the body and the neck. A few models were produced with a slotted headstock (similar to those on most classical guitars). In addition to the Gibson EB-3, a long-scale (34") model, called the EB-3L, was introduced for players who preferred the longer 34" scale (as featured on most Fender bass models). The design of this bass, as with its lead guitar relative, has been criticised for the tendency of the guitar's neck to lean toward the ground because of the small body and large headstock.
The EB-3 was discontinued in the late-1970s. It is currently being produced by the Gibson Guitar Corporation as the "Gibson SG Bass"; this model is similar to the early-60s EB-3, except for the lack of a varitone switch and 3 knobs instead of 4. Epiphone produces both a long-scale and a short-scale EB-3, which are similar to the original EB-3s.