PRODUCED: 1972 – 1979/80
TYPE: Single cutaway solid body, 4-string, passive
BODY: Bound 2-piece Honduras Mahogany, carved top
NECK: 3-piece mahogany, set neck, 24 medium frets
SCALE LENGTH: 775mm (30.5-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Bound Rosewood with pearl block inlays
HARDWARE: Chrome, adjustable 4-saddle bridge/tailpiece, bridge cover plate, pickup surrounds
PICKUPS: Pair of Gibson black covered low impedance humbucking units
CONTROLS: Volume, Bass, Treble, 3-way pickup selector switch, 3-way Tone Lever switch, Output Hi/Lo switch & Phase In/Out switch
FEATURES: Very sophisticated low impedance passive electronics for the time
FINISHES: Natural Mahogany or White
COMMENTS: Following directly on from the Les Paul Professional Bass (Circa 1970-72) the Triumph was introduced as the bass equivalent of the Les Paul Recording model guitar with similar low impedance pickups but without being set at an angle.
The body is slightly larger than a standard Les Paul and features a heavily carved top and a read body scoop. The extra mass makes this a very heavy instrument indeed and the low impedance feature meant you could use much longer leads on stage.
However it needed a special lead provided by Gibson with a transformer built in at the amp end. Without this you were unable to function correctly hence the inclusion of the Hi/Lo Output switch so a standard lead could be used.
In spite of this slight complication the fact that the Triumph was so much more versatile on sound than other Gibson basses of the time made it a worthwhile venture. Earliest versions had the typical all-metal three-bolt adjustable bridge/tailpiece but a slimmer unit with nylon saddles superseded this.
In spite of its sound potential it proved too complicated for most players so was never a real commercial success. Gibson’s Les Paul Triumph bass is a pretty rare and exotic animal so well worth tracking down.