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Advice Please for a Bass Newbie!


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I have been entrusted with (sort of a permanent loan) an Epiphone Rivoli Bass, serial number 67400. I believe it dates from 1964.


The guitar belonged to a friend's father, he acquired it in 1967/8 and played it in various bands until his untimely passing in 1993 after he suffered a brain haemorrage.


The guitar has been untouched in its case since 1993 and has been stored all this time in a nissen hut.


On removing it from the case it is intact and while it needs a good clean and the strings are not rusty it does need attention to the bridge. The bridge is not damaged but is corroded as are the fixing bolts. My friend's father added a second pickup by the bridge which looks like it is from a strat (it's from a six string, it's not a bass pickup). This second pickup is a bit rusty but seems to be working.


I'm looking for sensible advice on how to restore the bridge (I'm assuming that new ones are not available) and what to do with the second pickup, I'll be renewing the strings and giving it a good clean.


Also I'm looking for an amp for it, cheap as chips for now, as my Roland Micro Cube can't cope! I play mainly acoustic guitar but am keen to learn bass now I have the equipment so to speak.





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You lucky dog, a 60's Rivoli for free. If I were you I'd be heading down to my nearest and best repair shop to see what the damage is. Those 60's Rivoli's are fetching up to £2000.00 these days so it really is worth getting the job done properly. There's quite a few reasonable amps under £100.00 but you could get a little Vox Pathfinder for around £60.00. A Rivoli and a Vox, a classic combination.

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If I were you, I would hang on to your Rivoli for dear life. I have a 1968 Gibson EB-2dc, which I have had since about 1983, and it is a wonderful musical instrument. There are usually parts for both on eBay if you search for them, and a bridge for one should fit the other. It is a two point mount instead of a three point mount like Gibson and Epiphone used on solid body basses. Mine is missing a few of the original parts, like the mute which fits under the bridge, so I have been checking eBay for those things periodically. Your bass would have had one of the earlier non-adjustable bridges which see to show up a bit more often than the later adjustable ones.


As far as amplifiers are concerned, a hollowbody like your Rivoli will sound very good through a solid state amp. Some will argue the point, but this is my personal opinion. If it sounds great through a less expensive amplifier, why spend a lot extra on tubes which won't make it sound much better? You will want enough power and enough speaker area to move a whole lot of air if you are keeping up with guitars. It takes more power to make a bass loud enough.

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