How is Rickenbacker still in business?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BadAssBill, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Rick is still doing well enough, financially, because there are virtually no fake Rickenbackers being sold in the USA. And Hall + Co. have limited production enough (and just in the USA) so that supply does not outstrip demand and they can get a maximum amount of profit in every unit.

    I think they've also created a sort of Mystique where they ship pretty much every guitar they manufacture, dump relatively few as defectives, and the fans of the product accept excitedly every single example they can get their mitts on. I personally don't think the typical Rick guitar owner plays their guitars for hours each day, and this means the owners are looking at the guitar more as art than as a hard working tool like a shovel or hammer. The criteria that determines the guitar owner's perception of quality is always heavily biased to be Pro Rick. I think Rickenbacker Bass players are much more pragmatic - and those basses see a lot of use sometimes. Frankly, I think a ton of the Credibility that Rickenbacker enjoys today is because of their fine bass guitars. And this is also true at G + L, by the way.
     
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  2. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    Rainbow guitars in Tucson goes through their Ricks rather quickly ....

    Some sell within a day of arriving


    I have a 360 12 and 360 6 ... they don't get much attention ... but they're nice to have around

    I'd love to have a Rick bass ... will probably get one someday

    They've come out with a 5 sting bass ... so I'll probably buy one of those when the times right

    :banana
     
  3. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    My numbers are not quite that stark, but I hear you.

    I always assumed they sold in other parts of the country, closer to SoCal. I wouldn't expect to see a lot of Peavey equipment in the West or in Michigan. I've seen maybe 12 concerts, 12 smaller shows in California only - I'm normally doing other things out there.
     
  4. HesNot

    HesNot Supporting Member

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    It will be interesting to see the future of Rickenbacker - the players who come to mind as regular Rick guitar players - back to the 60s (Townsend, McGuinn) through the 80s (Tom Petty/Mike Campbell, Paul Weller, Peter Buck, Susanna Hoffs...sigh, etc..) aren't getting any younger and in some cases are no longer with us. What I don't see is a lot of younger players using them - about the only one I can recall is Sadler Vaden in Jason Isbell's band is a big fan of his 330 12 string. Not that pros using them is the only thing that drives sales but it is certainly a factor and I don't see a new generation drawn to Ricks. Maybe I'm overlooking someone.
     
  5. PRW

    PRW Member

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    Yes, us folks with short fingers and tiny hands. (My son, who's a better player than me, has fingers that are two knuckle's lengths longer than mine.)
     
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  6. PRW

    PRW Member

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    Peter Buck says his 360 is on a stand at the foot of his bed, unlike his other guitars, and is the one guitar he plays every single day of his life.

    But he's not the typical Rick owner, I concede.
     
  7. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    There is a lot of half-baked thought in this thread.

    I play my 660 several hours per week. It compares very favorably to all my other guitars tonally and otherwise.

    Loads of 80's rockers used Ric's - Johnny Marr chief amongst them.
     
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  8. PRW

    PRW Member

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    As I think I said somewhere in this huge thread, there seems to be a real animus toward Rickenbacker that makes me shake my head.

    I think some of it's because J. Hall doesn't sit up and bark every time those who buy his guitars demand it of him ... because he basically ignores the sainted "public opinion" and still laughs all the way to the bank.
     
  9. charliechitlins

    charliechitlins Member

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    I don't know who this Ermagerd is...but whatever she's selling, I'm buying!
     
  10. charliechitlins

    charliechitlins Member

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    There are some guitar players with giant hands.
    I've never heard one complain that the neck on their Strat, Tele, Les Paul, etc. feels like a toothpick.
    I have small hands and can get around this toothpick neck like almost no other I've held in 40 years of playing...this is why my #1 is a '65 Firebird III.
    I must admit, many (maybe most) of the guitars I've played that had a fat, killer tone have had chunky necks; but the ones that feel so natural in my hand have been small.
    And guess what...I use 9-46 strings.
    Small neck...light strings...I must be a total wimp!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  11. Gorgar

    Gorgar Member

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    I had to check out the 381JK when I saw it show up at CME. That was my experience too; it made a lot of sounds that just sounded like quintessential rock guitar to me. Maybe it's because I listened to that live Steppenwolf album a lot.

    I've got plenty of Gibsons and Fenders, but the three electrics that stand out most to me are two Guilds and this JK.
     
  12. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Member

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    I spied a late 80's Rickenbacker bass at a pawn shop 2 weeks ago. guy said "It's on the waiting period, but will probably price it for what they go for, you know $500 or so. It comes out on the 2nd."

    Made an alert on my phone, took off from work got there and...

    "Oh, that rick bass? yea someone bought that awhile back. yea, you can buy them before the period is over and we'll hold it for you"

    :dunno I'll never know if the first guy's statement was a joke or not! I'm kicking myself for not making an offer on the spot and trying!
     
  13. PRW

    PRW Member

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    Anybody who can't take a Rickenbacker and do anything he or she wants with it isn't trying.

    I've got a 325, the John Lennon guitar, the one that's supposedly a "toy."

    Well, it's a toy if you want to stand with it in a mirror and pretend you're John on the Sullivan show ... and I plead guilty to mine being somewhat tricked out like Lennon's, it was that way when I bought it.

    But I've stopped treating it like a Beatle guitar, ditched the flatwound strings that everyone was rhapsodizing about because they were so "authentic," and had Glen Lambert's wiring loom that gives you every possible combination of the pickups (unlike Rick's standard switching system for 3-pickup guitars which is crap), and that thing honks now.

    My favorite setting on the thing is the middle pickup alone, has an incredibly fat rock and roll sound for a single-coil pickup.

    Plus I ... GASP! ... run mine through pedals, and not just the ubiquitous for Rick jangle compressor. Works great through dirt pedals.

    If you just can't handle the neck, so be it. But it's silly to dismiss the actual sounds you get from a Rick as not versatile unless you give it a fighting chance.
     
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  14. charliechitlins

    charliechitlins Member

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    I don't have a compressor.
    Mine gets plugged into an outboard reverb and a 4x10 Bassman.
    Fat Jazz/Swing, Rockabilly, scorching Blues and a dead-on Chuck Berry tone...so much so, you'd wonder if he wasn't playing one.
    Maybe someday I'll get a photo hosting thing so I can post pics...
     
  15. naveed211

    naveed211 Member

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    I remember a dude in the local scene back when I was in high school was playing a cheap Strat. Then one day he showed up to a gig with a Rick 360. I thought it was the coolest looking guitar ever.

    Fast forward to my grown up life and I’ve tried a handful of Ricks and haven’t loved them enough to ever get one. They’re idiosyncratic in both looks and tone, that much is true.
     
  16. Gorgar

    Gorgar Member

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    I'm not using a compressor either. I guess I'm not trying to get traditional Rick sounds out of mine. Not going for jangle, etc. Mine goes into a Super Reverb or a Laney GH50L.

    I think of the 381 as what I wish a 335 sounded and felt like. My actual 335 sounds wimpy in comparsion. It's good for really trebly sounds, but when I want something more muscular, the 381 provides.
     
  17. Devin

    Devin Low Voltage Supporting Member

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    I really liked my 620, I could get along fine with the neck, it was a nice chunky C. Beautifully crafted instrument, nice sustain and note definition. For me it sounded like an SG or Jr with none of the drawbacks. Big rock sounds.

    The ergonomics of switching between it and my other guitars caused problems. Notably I had to shorten my strap length and I noticed it was causing my left shoulder to feel like I had been stabbed.
     
  18. charliechitlins

    charliechitlins Member

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    My #1 is a Gibson Firebird III with 3 P90s. The stock 3- way slider got B, BM, and N. How can you have a Gibson that doesn't get NB?!
    I discovered a wiring scheme that uses all the original parts, no push pull pots or switches, and now it gets all 7 combinations and it's just killer.
     
  19. BK Verbs

    BK Verbs Silver Supporting Member

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    Rics are extremely popular in indie rock circles. Trying to find a good deal on one in NY or LA is damn near impossible.
     
  20. Chaseth

    Chaseth Member

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    I watched a video that was posted today on reverb.com that the dude from Against Me has a Rickenbacker collection. That's all he plays. I was surprised that such modern heavy music is played on a Ric.

    Rickenbacker's are a unique choice but there are a lot of players who love them. Besides the Lennon guitar Rickenbacker's appeal to the same people that like jazzmasters and jaguars and weird vintage Japanese guitars. I'd argue Rickenbacker's have been recorded far more than collings guitars for instance, or whatever else boutique brand guitar that is selling for 5k.

    The music industry is in the toilet. I feel like most of that is because stratocasters and Les Pauls have been done to death. Those two guitars have been played and perfected so for over 60 years so don't even bother. Playing ****** blues covers doesn't turn people on. You're not Stevie Ray. You're not Jimmy page. But a Rickenbacker, mess with the tunings and try to do something different. If it's good, people will listen.
     
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