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About This Listing

The AEB-1 (fretted) and the AUB-1 (fretless) were the first horizontal electric basses of Ampeg's own design, and they are the most commonly recognized of the Scroll Basses. They feature a scroll headstock, similar to Ampeg's Baby Bass, and a rounded body with two large F-holes that go all the way through the body. Most of the front surface of the body is covered by a large black pickguard that wraps around the F-holes. You may think they're beautiful or you may think they're ugly, but you can't mistake them for any other bass!

The initial development of these instruments was done in the spring of 1966, and they were introduced to the public at the NAMM show in July 1966. Production started right after the show and ran into the middle of 1968. A total of about 1150 instruments were built, all by a small crew of luthiers in Ampeg's Linden, NJ factory.

In addition to the unusual overall appearance, the AEB-1 and AUB-1 have many interesting technical features that were innovative at the time. The "mystery" pickup, as it was called in Ampeg's brochures, is buried in the body underneath the bridge. The bridge itself is mounted on a thin steel diaphragm plate overtop of two big magnetic coils cast into a large epoxy block. It's not a piezo pickup.

The reason for this unusual pickup is so that the bass could use gut strings! Everett Hull, Ampeg's founder, was trying to create an electric bass for upright jazz players, and he thought that fretted basses with metal strings were just a passing fad. Obviously, he was wrong, and very few of Ampeg's horizontal basses were sold with gut strings on them. Most were shipped with LaBella flatwounds, and the rest had LaBella black tapewounds. Everett refused to equip his line of basses with roundwounds, although many players put them on themselves.

The tailpiece on these instruments hangs about an inch off the back end of the body on two steel posts, and the extra length between the bridge and tailpiece requires special strings that are about 3" longer than standard Fender length. This was done partly to get the necessary string angle over the mystery pickup, and also the extra string length allows the strings to stretch more, so they can be plucked harder like an upright bass.

The necks on all Ampegs are maple, and the center scrolls in the headstocks are actually molded plastic parts which are glued in place. Most Ampegs have ebony fingerboards, although some have rosewood.

The body of the AEB-1 and AUB-1 models is made of three blocks of maple glued onto a one-piece back cut from 1/4" birch plywood. Over the years, many of these instruments have developed cracks in the body down near the tailpiece. The pickguards on all Ampegs are made from a 5-layer engraver's stock, a hard laminate plastic which is used to make signs and nameplates on trophies.

Because of the difficulty in getting strings and the temperamental nature of the "mystery" pickup, many AEB-1's and AUB-1's around today have been heavily modified.

Approximately 400 AUB-1's were built. The serial numbers, which are stamped on the underside of the tailpiece, start at #001 and go up.   Ampeg AUB-1 fretless Scroll Head bass in great playing condition.
Owned this instrument for the past 25 years. It has repairs which hold up very well. One of the tuning machines has a replacement part. There’s a repair to the body, visible in the pics, which has never been an issue. It’s an aftermarket purple refinish which looks to have been professionally done. This bass needs no work. This is a players instrument and is plug and play.

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed13 days ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more

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