The Rickenbacker thread

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:20 am

1985 Fireglow 360 with Hi-Gains
1973 Fireglow 4001
1991 Fireglow 360v64

I bought the 1985 new since the only way to get one was to order one. I couldn’t find a vintage or used one anywhere. A friend had 2 vintage Ricks, a 6 and a 12 string and they were amazing guitars. I had wanted one since I first started playing guitar a couple of years earlier. George Harrison, Pete Townsend, Peter Buck, Paul Weller, they all looked so cool playing Ricks instead of Strats or Les Pauls. The double bound Toaster pickup 360s weren’t available in the catalog except as 12 string, so I decided to get a 360 over the 330 even though I preferred the 330 body shape.

It’s still the only brand new guitar I’ve ever owned. I traded it for a 1963 Daphne Blue Jazzmaster in 2001. I didn’t want to, but it wasn’t the double bound 360 I had always wanted and it was the only way to get the Jazzmaster. I missed not having a Rick and I saw 3 on display at Guitar Center on my birthday in 2004. I picked up a Fireglow 360 that had humbuckers and black tuners just because I was looking at guitars on my birthday. I sat down to play it and realized to my dismay that it was my old guitar! Someone had modded it with a different bridge, tuners, and those humbuckers! I almost cried. I felt sad that someone had abused my long time friend like that. I thought about buying it back and trying to restore it, but I couldn’t afford it and it still wouldn’t be to double bound 360 that I always wanted, so I played a few of my favorite riffs that I wrote on that guitar for old times sake and said goodbye a 2nd time.

The 4001 came along when I needed a bass. I always liked the look of a Rickenbacker bass, just like the guitars, and was looking for one or a Musicman at the local pawn shops. I found a beat up one in Fireglow that matched the 360 except it had pinstriped binding. I added my initials to the 2 names under the pick guard. Years later I came across a book about the Austin punk scene and saw a picture of my bass. The name of the guy playing it matched one of the names under the pick guard and there is a thumb gouge along the top of it that matched as well. My 4001 had some punk cred.

I found the 1991 a few years ago. I’m not getting any younger and I still had never had that double bound 360 with toaster pickups that I had coveted since playing my friend’s so many years ago. I mentioned it to a friend and he told me about one hanging in a local guitar shop. I stopped in the that day and bought it just before closing. It is the 360 that I always wanted. It seems to be lighter and more jangly than the carved top 360 that I had earlier and the neck feels slightly thinner, but maybe I am just misremembering. It has the look and sound that was always in my head and now it’s in my hands.

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by jakeisjake » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:32 am

TinyEv wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:07 am

You'd be replacing a guitar that can do a number of different sounds for a guitar that has one very specific sound.
Truth...I've told myself (and my family), no matter what I think in a moment of weakness, I cannot sell the Jaguar. It is the singularly coolest guitar I can ever own. someday the timing will be right for one of those Rics.
Bert Camenbert wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:03 am
I believe that's what is commonly referred to as a "Riccup".
that's awesome.

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Maggieo » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:40 am

I had this 325v59 "John Lennon" 3/4 scale Ric:

Image
Rickenbacker 325v59, September, 2009 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr

Sure, it looks great, but the super short neck, the heavily lacquered fingerboard, and the heavy strings meant I hardly ever played it. So, off it went.

I play the Fakenbacker that Fullerplast made way more. I even put a Mastery bridge on it, and it nails the Ric sounds, whilst being far more playable.

Image
The Frankenbacker, January, 2010 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr

Image.
Toasters, June 07, 2015 by Maggie Osterberg, on Flickr
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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by s_mcsleazy » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am

i tried a rickenfaker today.
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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Bert Camenbert » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:55 pm

s_mcsleazy wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am
i tried a rickenfaker today.
Nooooo! You're going to make John Hall cry!

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Bert Camenbert » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:02 pm

People who have tried rickenbackers often complain about the narrow lacquered necks and the tail pieces and whatnot... I've owned three ricks, and the only thing that I had trouble getting used to is having both volumes on the bottom, instead of the usual gibson-style volumes upfront and tones on the back.

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by cestlamort » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:45 pm

I’ve had a number of them over the years, as I must have imprinted with some Marr or Buck (or Guy from Rites of Spring) photo in the 80s for what a guitar should look like (and sound like).
I’ve been playing Rickenbackers as my main guitar for years now, whether 6 or 12 string. I really like how they feel and sound, especially with drone strings. I’m pretty sure they’ve changed how I play (in a good way) and what I try to do with guitar. I've had a number of Fenders in parallel (a series of MIJ jazzmasters, a couple jaguars) and there's some overlap, but the Rickenbackers feel/sound a bit more three dimensional, albeit with a specific sound and more limited range of sounds.
The good: really nice quality (for the most part) and just feel like a cut above most other guitars, especially as offsets have leapfrogged them in prices on the used market.
The bad: John Hall, the cult of Rickenbacker, etc. Refusal to admit to ongoing quality issues such as exploding tailpieces, stubbornness for making any concessions to buyer wants, New aesthetics (walnut etc) are not up my alley. Ric-o-sound is not very useful.

My history with them:
I got a 1978 4001 mapleglo as my first real bass in the 90s in Santa Cruz from the classifieds. Took it into the local shop and the tech was the guitarist from the Avengers. (Cue me being star struck). I was very much in the throes of Gravity-era punk (evergreen especially) and they used the 4001, so it made sense. Ms Cestlamort started using it years ago, and it’s hers now.
I switched to guitar, eventually tracking down a 230 Hamburg jetglo when I was living in Germany. Bolt on neck, minimal 80s aesthetics. The fingerboard was separating from some truss rod abuse earlier in its life. Sounded a bit more rock. Sold to fund something or other.
1999 360 jetglo. Main guitar for 5 or so years. (in my profile pic) Installed a mastery bridge which was a nice improvement. Only sold when I tracked down a 1982 330 jetglo (see below).
Briefly had a 90s 620-6 jetglo. Sounded good. It made me feel like a giant.
2007 330/12 fireglo . Got really cheap due to some glue/finish issues. (And red paper clipped it from a danelectro baritone). Sounded great, played great. I wasn’t a fan of the pinkish color or headstock cut outs. Sold to fund my current one:
1990 370-12 jetglo (“mcguinn overrun”. Supposedly one of a handful of bodies made in case of warranty claims that were then sold as non signature models later. A bargain in any case). Just amazing sounding and playing. “Hot” toasters, shorter neck, checkerboard binding on back. Mark Arnquist put on a new nut (yay) and made a new harness that has the blend knob be the middle pickup volume. (It has normal wiring). The rickosound out is now "vintage sound".
1982 330-6 jetglo. The "Marr 330". It had been let go from the factory before the finish had cured, so the fretboard was flaking off in chunks. Heavier (thicker top than later ones, super thick rosewood fretboard) but a wonderful guitar.
1994 330-12 jetglo. Got relatively cheap as a tour guitar (CITES paranoia). More than does the trick. A bit beefier neck (very relative) than the 370.

Aesthetic pickiness:
I prefer the smaller headstocks (early 80s or older; 2007 or newer) and rounder 330 wings (90s or older). I prefer the 330 shape to the 360.
But I think the 360s with the double binding (360os, 360wb, 360-12c63, etc) are some of the prettiest guitars in the world, maybe my platonic ideal of the electric guitar.
Last edited by cestlamort on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by s_mcsleazy » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:56 pm

ok so the one i tried was an ibanez rickenfaker 4001/3. it had different pickups but honestly, i though it sounded better than a normal rick bass tbh. i'll upload the pics later
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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Grey » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:02 pm

cestlamort wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:45 pm
Refusal to admit to ongoing quality issues such as exploding tailpieces
As far as I know this only happened to the old black tailpieces because the baking process for the paint weakened the metal, and they did fix it.

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by cestlamort » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:41 pm

It was definitely an issue with the black ones, but seems to affect the chrome 12 string ones too. (Knock wood)

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Maggieo » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:51 pm

Bert Camenbert wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:02 pm
People who have tried rickenbackers often complain about the narrow lacquered necks and the tail pieces and whatnot... I've owned three ricks, and the only thing that I had trouble getting used to is having both volumes on the bottom, instead of the usual gibson-style volumes upfront and tones on the back.
That bugs me, too.
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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by i love sharin foo » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:07 pm

I've always been perplexed at why so many people seem to dislike the fretboards being cleared coated over. To me, it isn't much different than a maple fretboard on a Fender. Is it because being sprayed on so thick and after being fretted, that it makes the frets feel even lower? If that is it, low vintage wire doesn't really hinder what I do. I've never been a fan of anything much bigger than vintage Fender fret wire. I find the widths to be okay as well. I could get on with an A width Fender, too. Even the 330/12 was fine for me. I don't have much preference for fretboard radius either. I know that is probably blasphemous to say out loud, but I really don't. Going from old Fender with the 7 1/4" to my Travis Bean, which is flat, I can adapt to anything in between okay.

The one things I have always felt lacking with all the Rickenbackers I've had was treble. Or maybe it was an over abundance of low end. I've had all Hi-Gains and really wished I had a clangier, more biting tone. I believe that toasters are more what I want. I am pretty sure I will convert the new 330 to them. I know for a fact that when I get another 12, it has to have them for me to be happy. I loved my old 330/12, but it just wasn't clear enough for a 12. I think a 360/12C63 is what I will be after when the timing is right. A 360/12V64 would work, too. I hate that fucking R tailpiece, too. It isn't so bad with a 6 string, but with a 12 it can be a real bastard. When a ball end gets stuck in there, depending which string, it can end your day. I think the trapeze is for sure something I want on the next 12.
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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Larry Mal » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:23 pm

Immediately upon getting a Ric I measured the nut, and found mine to have the same nut width as my AVRI Fenders. The neck stayed pretty narrow as it traveled to the body, still, it was nothing like what I had heard. I found a Ric to be a joy to play.

I couldn't get the R tailpiece off there fast enough.
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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Tehz_ » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:01 am

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:20 am
1985 Fireglow 360 with Hi-Gains
1973 Fireglow 4001
1991 Fireglow 360v64

I bought the 1985 new since the only way to get one was to order one. I couldn’t find a vintage or used one anywhere. A friend had 2 vintage Ricks, a 6 and a 12 string and they were amazing guitars. I had wanted one since I first started playing guitar a couple of years earlier. George Harrison, Pete Townsend, Peter Buck, Paul Weller, they all looked so cool playing Ricks instead of Strats or Les Pauls. The double bound Toaster pickup 360s weren’t available in the catalog except as 12 string, so I decided to get a 360 over the 330 even though I preferred the 330 body shape.

It’s still the only brand new guitar I’ve ever owned. I traded it for a 1963 Daphne Blue Jazzmaster in 2001. I didn’t want to, but it wasn’t the double bound 360 I had always wanted and it was the only way to get the Jazzmaster. I missed not having a Rick and I saw 3 on display at Guitar Center on my birthday in 2004. I picked up a Fireglow 360 that had humbuckers and black tuners just because I was looking at guitars on my birthday. I sat down to play it and realized to my dismay that it was my old guitar! Someone had modded it with a different bridge, tuners, and those humbuckers! I almost cried. I felt sad that someone had abused my long time friend like that. I thought about buying it back and trying to restore it, but I couldn’t afford it and it still wouldn’t be to double bound 360 that I always wanted, so I played a few of my favorite riffs that I wrote on that guitar for old times sake and said goodbye a 2nd time.

The 4001 came along when I needed a bass. I always liked the look of a Rickenbacker bass, just like the guitars, and was looking for one or a Musicman at the local pawn shops. I found a beat up one in Fireglow that matched the 360 except it had pinstriped binding. I added my initials to the 2 names under the pick guard. Years later I came across a book about the Austin punk scene and saw a picture of my bass. The name of the guy playing it matched one of the names under the pick guard and there is a thumb gouge along the top of it that matched as well. My 4001 had some punk cred.

I found the 1991 a few years ago. I’m not getting any younger and I still had never had that double bound 360 with toaster pickups that I had coveted since playing my friend’s so many years ago. I mentioned it to a friend and he told me about one hanging in a local guitar shop. I stopped in the that day and bought it just before closing. It is the 360 that I always wanted. It seems to be lighter and more jangly than the carved top 360 that I had earlier and the neck feels slightly thinner, but maybe I am just misremembering. It has the look and sound that was always in my head and now it’s in my hands.
Damn amazing stories!

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Re: The Rickenbacker thread

Post by Pacafeliz » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:22 am

The only original Rick I ever owned was a 70s 3001 bass, ugly but kinda rare model, I think.

Now I own these fakers made by Vester in Korea in the 90s. Love 'em!
Image

And also a 70s Ibanez 4001 copy. :blush:

(Sorry, the originals are just too expensive)
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