Rickenbacker copies?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by sfletch, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. sfletch

    sfletch Member

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    A friend of mine has a really cool Ibanez from the 70s or so (I guess "lawsuit era") that is a ringer for a Rickenbacker 4001 bass. Anybody know of any good Ric guitar copies? The only one I've come across is a Chandler - and from what I can tell it's almost twice as spendy as a Rickenbacker. I feel like I saw some in Japan, but can't recall the name.

    Rickenbackers aren't prohibitively expensive, but they are a bit hard to find...and I was just curious if anyone knows of any cool copies.

    Thanks!
     
  2. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    There aren't many out there. Rickenbacker does a great job in defending their designs. If any show up on Ebay, the are immiedately taken down. If someone makes a copy, Rickenbacker immediately sends them a cease and desist letter. If they don't comply Rickenbacker sues them and wins.

    Fender didn't do this approach and that is why you see Fender copies everywhere. Two different approaches to doing business.
     
  3. Brian Krashpad

    Brian Krashpad Member

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    In US courts, yes. But not in Japanese courts, or elsewhere in a lot of the world. This is why there are plenty of Ric copies from Asia that are available elsewhere, including the UK, they just can't be sold in the US without Ric legal response.

    Btw, Ric copies do show up on ebay and sometimes aren't immediately taken down. Instead of "Ric" or "Rickenbacker," do a search for the names of artists well known for playing Rics, typically McGuinn, Byrds, Beatles, Tom Petty, and you may find one from time to time.
     
  4. SGNick

    SGNick Member

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    Wrong. Rickenbackers trademarks and copyrights are WORLD WIDE and that includes Japan and China.

    I can assure you, if a company is currently making Rickenbacker copies, they probably already have a letter on their desk with all the legal mumbo jumbo that prevents them from profiting from a design that isn't theres.

    They are all illegal, no matter what anyone says. If you have any questions about the specifics, email RIC's customer Service, you'll probably talk to a guy named Kenny Howe, He'll fill you in.
     
  5. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    + 1,000

    :munch
     
  6. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    If Fender DID use that approach it would put a LOT of Boutique "luthiers" out of work!

    Tony
     
  7. sfletch

    sfletch Member

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    well...I guess that explains quite a bit. I did hear they even went after a Godin model for being too Ric-like....but I figured there would be some from the 70s or 80s - possibly from Asia, as people have pointed out. If I really wanted a Ric....I'd likely just buy one. Boy, though...my friend's Ibanez 4001 copy is great! he has those nylon black tapewounds (?) on it...anyway it sounds very McCartney.

    Thanks for all the info!
     
  8. nd1969

    nd1969 Member

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  9. SGNick

    SGNick Member

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  10. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    Chandler respectfully worked out a prior arrangement w/ Ric way back for their Ric-esque model, the 555, which was more like an hommage than a violative copy/rip. Props and kudos for both parties involved.
     
  11. SGNick

    SGNick Member

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    Unless you can provide proof of that, I am VERY skeptical based on what I know about John Hall. I STRONGLY doubt he would ever sit by and agree to let someone make money off a design his company owns. I haven't found anything that would suggest there's an agreement.
     
  12. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    You may choose to be skeptical, but years ago with the intro of the 555, there was boilerplate language accompanying ad copy for the 555 involving a statement that it was "...an original design under Rickenbacker license..."(I'm not going to archive-search that for you, btw; I've asserted what I know to have been true in/from the past, and, aside from that, I have no dog in the hunt ), and the fact that the 555 is still in current manufacture ( www.chandlerguitars.com ) ; as you and the rest of us know, Hall would take them down if it were otherwise . Look at the guitar for yourself and see how it has Ric elements w/out being a Ric clone/fake.
     
  13. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    And now I see a fellow has weighed in at the Ric Forum questioning the assertion I have made. Mr. Hall has previously said he "handled" this. Hopefully he will go into greater detail for everyones satisfaction.

    BTW, I'm on the Ric Forum because I have a '66 330 in Fireglo (had it since '68) and a 381V12 in Mapleglo that I've had since ordering it FROM the factory (via GC) 10 years ago. I love me some Rics and wish they'd bring back the bigger hollow-bodied single Venetian cut-away electrics they made in the late '50s/early '60s. I also wish they'd revive the late '50s Combos, w/ the horseshoe bridge p'up (the design that they pressed Jason Lollar out of repro-ing through a "cease and desist").
     
  14. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    ...and there's an April 23, 2007 quote posted by "Octagon" on the Rickresource Forum that, "...The back of the Chandler 555 headstock says 'Patent by RIC USA'."
     
  15. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    That above-referenced model was the 335F (I believe the "F" stood for "full-body"). Beautiful guitar, but I remember trying to chase one down in Hollywood in small shops years ago, and having some "dealers" claim that there was no such animal, that I was confused, and actually looking for a Gibson model; like die alter kockers used to say, people who THINK they know what they're talking about are really annoying to those who do;) .
     
  16. Chuck King

    Chuck King Member

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    I'm a little surprised Agile's Harm series has endured---I guess there must be something about it that is just different enough from a 330 to not count as a copy, but it sure is Rick-esque.

    And Schecter's new Stargazer comes in a finish that is obviously supposed to evoke Rick's Fireglo, although I don't know if Rick can claim a particular finish is a trademark.
     
  17. SGNick

    SGNick Member

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    I think the F actually stands for "fat" as ridiculous as that sounds!

    Not sure a finish can be protected under copyright... unless it's like... the food of something...
     
  18. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    Maybe "Full-figured"?
     
  19. SGNick

    SGNick Member

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    Or Free Pizza.

    man... if a guitar could get me free pizza... I'd be SOOOOOO happy!
     

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