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Rickenbacker 360

Beam Tetrode

Member
Messages
1,508
Hi,

I'm interested in a Rickenbacker 360, but I've never played one before. Is the body totally hollow, is there a center block, or is it maple neck thru? What do the stock pickups sound like - how much output vs. PAF?

Thanks,
I.T.
 
Messages
1,380
I have 9 Ricks and love them all. I have a 360 in fireglo with the hi gain picks ups and this guitar rocks! I also have a 360v64 six string with the chrome bar pickups and I get the Beatle era sound.
You are going to have to play a Rick and decide for yourself if that is the kind of guitar you want. Peter Buck of REM plays a 360 Rick in black.:RoCkIn
 

MrMunky

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,387
It's got a center block. The pickups complement the guitar very well. The output of the pickups is low, the frequency response is broad.

Here are a few clips:

http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/Pback.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/RicGainst.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/EternRic.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/JangleRic.mp3

Even though the list price of these has gone up recently, they still strike me as bargains. The craftsmanship, attention to detail, and quality of construction is unreal, and the instrument designs are not cheap to execute. It amazes me that they aren't even more expensive; it's hard to believe that a Fender Custom Shop Nocaster would be more expensive to manufacture than a 360.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
The construction is unusual. It's a semi-hollow, with a center block that only runs from the neck to about the front of the bridge pickup; the neck is inset most of the way into this, with a very long tenon. The body itself is made from a solid block of wood, routed out from the back, and with the back itself glued over the top (which is why the binding is around the back edge of the body).

The stock pickups are Rick's "High Gain" type - they're not very, although they are quite loud for single coils, a tiny bit more powerful than a Tele bridge pickup, and do actually sound very good distorted. Oddly, the neck pickup is wound higher than the bridge and tends to be muddy used on its own. You can fix this by adding a bright cap to the 5th pot, which is a secondary volume control for the neck pickup.
 

SGNick

Member
Messages
3,578
Um, I believe they're both the same output... being at the neck position, it just sounds Much much louder, which was the original reason for the 5th knob. to even it out.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
Um, I believe they're both the same output... being at the neck position, it just sounds Much much louder, which was the original reason for the 5th knob. to even it out.
No, they aren't. The neck pickup is hotter wound - 14K vs 12K, if I remember rightly (I don't have a High-Gain one here to check) - and significantly thicker sounding even allowing for the position.

The 5th knob was introduced when they still used the vintage Toaster pickups, which were the same in both positions, but it's even more necessary with the High-Gains. The problem is that without a bright cap on the pot, it makes the neck pickup even muddier.
 

openbar

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,967
No, they aren't. The neck pickup is hotter wound - 14K vs 12K, if I remember rightly (I don't have a High-Gain one here to check) - and significantly thicker sounding even allowing for the position.
I once owned a 360-12, and I swapped the two pickups around. Fixed the problem - it got rid of the anemic bridge position, and the middle sounded right.

Still have my 330, what a cool guitar, I've had it since 1988. Ordered it new with toasters.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
I once owned a 360-12, and I swapped the two pickups around. Fixed the problem - it got rid of the anemic bridge position, and the middle sounded right.
I tried that too, but it looked wrong with the polepiece spacing being off, and I didn't think it did sound quite right... I ended up putting it back and adding the bright cap on the 5th pot instead.

I never liked the High-Gains on the 12-strings anyway... nice on the 6s though.

If your 330 is from '88, it should have the 12K Toasters... the best of both worlds IMO, and a real shame that Rick don't do them any more (and even worse, some people unwind them to make pseudo 7Ks, which they still aren't the same as).

I've got 7K Toasters on my 660/12, and I finally understood why the controls are arranged with the neck pickup tone control closest to the playing position ;).
 




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