In 1973 the Gibson bass came out of the shadows in the form of the Grabber G1, a rock-minded four-string that grabbed the attention of bassists everywhere. Its sleek design was matched by a thick and heavy, yet well-defined tone, and thousands of players found its blend of simplicity and versatility very hard to ignore. The model has been out of the Gibson catalog since 1982, but it’s back again, thanks to the new Grabber II, now available as part of Gibson USA’s new Limited Run Series guitars. The Grabber II — like all Limited Run Series models — will be produced in a strictly limited run of only 350 guitars.
A Gibson Unlike Any Other
The original Grabber clearly was a Gibson instrument, with its humbucking pickup, bell-shaped truss rod cover and arrow-shaped, Flying V-inspired headstock, but it was also one of the least traditional bass guitars to emanate from the company in its storied history. Although its contoured body edge vaguely echoed the SG, its offset horns were clearly reminiscent of other popular makes, as was its bolt-on neck. Also, once plugged in, that fat humbucker proved brighter and more cutting than many similar-looking pickups that had appeared on Gibson basses in years past.
Out of the Darkness
The 1970s are often considered something of a “dark period” for guitar design, but the decade did spawn some undeniable classics, of which the Grabber is certainly one. Its single sliding pickup was one of the main factors in its appeal, and allowed the player to fine-tune the frequency response of the instrument. Its 34½-inch scale length made it one of the “big boys” of the bass world, yielding a low, resonant response, while its thin, comfortable, solid maple body contributed to its excellent tonal clarity and punch. Countless players of the day thrived on the Grabber’s blend of thump and rumble, while many more contemporary players have rediscovered its appeal. A Grabber has frequently been the bass of choice of Mike Dirnt of Green Day, while Krist Novoselic of Nirvana played its similarly constructed two-pickup cousin, the Ripper.
Grabber II, The Sequel
The Grabber II, which is part of Gibson USA’s new Limited Run Series guitars, pays homage to the first-issue original of 1973-’75 Grabbers in many details. The large “shamrock” button tuners and chunky, three-point adjustable bridge are back, as are the sliding pickup and simple one-volume, one-tone control setup. The Grabber II also emulates the original in its use of a thin maple body, as used on the first Grabbers until the change to alder wood in 1975. The Limited Run Series Grabber II also utilizes Gibson’s traditional glued-in set maple neck with a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard, which enhances the bass’ tonal quality and sustain. All in all, this “rediscovered” Gibson bass offers the heavy, rocking tones of the ’70s in an instrument crafted for 21st century playability.
The new Limited Run Series Grabber II bass from Gibson USA is limited to only 350 guitars and won’t last long, so see your nearest Authorized Gibson Dealer today. Each Grabber II is its own customized certificate of authenticity and a black Gibson hardshell case with plush white interior and silkscreened Gibson USA logo.
Here are the specs for the new Limited Run Series Grabber II Bass from Gibson USA:
Made In: Nashville, TN USA
Body Wood: maple
Neck Wood: maple
Neck Joint: set; glued-in
Fingerboard: rosewood with acrylic dots
Scale Length: 34"
Nut Width: 1.600"
Frets: 20; jumbo
Machine Heads: shamrock button
Pickups: sliding Grabber II humbucker
Controls: 1-Volume control, 1-Tone control
Bridge: three-point adjustable bridge
Includes: Hard Case
Take a closer look at the Grabber II bass from Gibson USA.