Gibson G3 Bass
Solid maple or alder body, maple neck. 34 1/2 inch scale.
The Gibson G3 bass, or Grabber 3 bass, was launched in 1975, as an upgraded Grabber, or G1. The only difference between a Grabber and a G3 is the pickup configuration. The G3 features 3 single coil pickups wired in humbucking configuration, whilst the Grabber, had one 'sliding' humbucker.
- Forward position activates the front and middle pickups in humbucking configuration.
- The back position activates the middle and back pickup in the same manner.
- The middle position activates all three pickups for what we have coined a "buck-and-a-half".
Woods and Finishes
Like G1s, G3s were available in several finishes: ebony, natural maple gloss (maple body), natural satin (alder body), sunburst, walnut and wine red. It is not mentioned as being available in white in the G3 production totals. The rare colours are walnut (40) and wine red (9). In the early 1980s, candy apple red was another finish offerred. Fretboards are maple, rosewood, and ocasionally ebony.
The last price list / catalogue appearance of the G3 was in 1980, but as is often the case with Gibson, they still made them for a little longer. They were made at the Gibson Kalamazoo factory from 1975-1982 or maybe later. In 1985 some G3s were stamped in the Nashville plant, though in very small numbers, so potentially using Kalamazoo bodies and necks.
This 1982 G-3 is unusual in having an ebony fingerboard, and Candy Apple Red finish. This colour was being widely used at the time on the eighties Victory basses, and was never offered on seventies instruments.
Picture courtesy of Uwe Hornung.
Gibson G3 FAQ
Frequently asked questions about the Gibson G3 bass
Was the G3 bass available in the older, 'wide' body style of the Gibson Ripper
No, the Gibson G3 bass was only produced after the introduction of the new body style.
Was all G3 production at the Gibson Kalamazoo plant in Michigan?
The vast majority of G3 basses were produced in kalamazoo, however a few of the very last basses from 1985 have Nashville serial numbers - although these may have been partially built in Kalamazoo, but then completed and shipped from Nashville. It is highly unlikely that the Nashville plant actually built G3 basses from scratch.