Should I trade for a Rick?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by itstooloudMike, May 1, 2015.

  1. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    I've never owned or even played a Rickenbacker, but I've admired the 360 since I was a kid back in the 60s. I've been offered a pretty nice one as trade for my Gibson ES-339. I do like the 339 a lot, and it fits my playing style (blues-rock lead). But I have other Gibsons that play/sound just as great as the 339. My '61 SG Reissue has been my "go to" Gibson for quite a while, and I can cover most anything with it.

    So, that brings me to the Rickenbacker. This one is a mid-2000s 360 in Fireglow. The guitar really looks new. But it's 3 hours away from me, and I have no way to try one before I invest a travel day to look at it in person. I've checked every dealer around my area, and no-one has any Ricks that I could try. And I have never even touched a Rickenbacker, so I don't know what to expect. I'm pretty adaptable to various neck shapes, so that doesn't scare me. And I don't have large hands. All I really know about Ricks is that they look and sound really cool. So, my question is: what would I gain/lose by trading my ES-339 for a Rick 360? Would it fit my musical style? Or am I just kidding myself because a Rick isn't a lead guitar? I am a big fan of early CCR, and know that John Fogerty used a 360 back in the day. But I can't think of too many other lead guitar players who have used Ricks. Am I missing somebody that I should be remembering? Maybe I should just keep the 339, and quit thinking about a Rick. Give me your opinion, and try to convince me one way ot the other.
     
  2. jdogric12

    jdogric12 Supporting Member

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    Whoo... first I'll say I'm a Rick guy through and through for many years, many different models. But you may be in for a disappointment. Now, the talk you hear of them not being lead instruments is common, but IMHO wrong. There are plenty of folks using Ricks for leads if you look a little. But a Rick 6er will be quite a different beast than a Gibson 33x. I'd love to convince you to get a Rick, but I wouldn't advise throwing the dice and trading away a guitar you already like for one. It would be worth the drive to Nashville to check one out. Find one in stock somewhere and make a day of it.
     
  3. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Are you missing someone you should be aware of? Yeah, Fred "Sonic" Smith...but his Rick was modified. There was a pretty hot blues player out of. Delaware about 20 years ago who used a Ric hollow body. Also that Hubert Sumlin guy you may be familiar with.
     
  4. Clyde Billt

    Clyde Billt Member

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    If you aren't using the 339 much then I don't think you have anything to lose.

    I'm happy playing lead breaks on my 330. It's not a shredder neck but I find it really comfortable.
    A bit like a 60s strat neck radius-wise. I'm sure that people will disagree but that's how it feels to me.

    As to how it sounds? Maaan i love the sound of my Ric.
    The chordal stuff sounds beautifully open and airy and.....yeah...jangly! Even through my Bassman.
    It has that "hollow" type sound ( a bit like the 339 but more hollow).
    Sounds fine with single note runs but really sounds the dogs bollocks with double stops.

    360 Fireglo?
    Dude, how cool does that look?
    Really. How cool?

    This cool.

    That's how it looks.

    This cool.

    [​IMG]


    Oh yeah......I forgot

    [​IMG]

    S'only 3 hours away
     
  5. NashSG

    NashSG Member

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    I have a Rickenbacker 360 and I got to say it plays and feels different than any guitar I have owned. The fretboard is narrow and finished, which gives it a different feel to play. The bridge and tailpiece combined with being a semihollow give it a bit of that plunkyness you hear in the sound. There is something kinda banjo like playing one. This feel makes you have to play a bit more precise when doing single note or diad runs. If you got huge hands, it will probably feel like a mandolin.

    I finally found the sweet spot with mine strung up with 10s tuned a 1/2 step down. Before that, I couldn't find a setup that didn't have too much string tension.

    Sound wise, it's great. My 360 is a few years old has the 'high gain' pickups which sound good. The bass contour works well. I like pulling off the bass contour with the pickups in the middle position. It's quiet and has quite a bit of growl with some overdrive. Playing open chords on this guitar they really ring out clear.

    If you are a big blues bender player, you might hate it, but I have gotten used to the neck and like to play mine now (and I usually like big ball bat guitar necks).
     
  6. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    That would be Hubert Sumlin's Ric ,I imagine.
     
  7. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Yeah, trade for this one:

    [​IMG]

    :aok
     
  8. RockinRob

    RockinRob Member

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    I always wanted a Ric, just cause, but could never deal with them once I got it in my hands. Rics are like no other necks...like plastic dipped in lacquer. I am sure people adapt but be ready for a BIG change in feel.
     
  9. SciFlyer

    SciFlyer Supporting Member

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    I had a Ric about 10 years ago. Never really played one beforehand, but found a discounted blemished one on GC's site and was curious. Looked cool, sounded really unique but couldn't get used to the neck. Gigged with it for about 6 months and ended up selling it for a decent amount. Never regretted it. Probably wouldn't buy one again.
     
  10. ultradust

    ultradust Member

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    If you're satisfied with your other "go to" Gibsons for the old 'bucker sauce, then I as well agree with those above who would vouche for the trade....with reservations.

    Even with my tiny little hands, every bout with my 360/12 or 620/6 is a proper wrestling match. They'll bite back hard in the thin neck, rattling bridge, and "strings sailing high over the body" dept, but nothing sounds quite like a Ric and all it took was a few clips of Paul Weller and Peter Buck doing their thing for me to hear why I wanted one. Or two.
     
  11. conanb

    conanb Member

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    I love the feel of the varnished neck. It's certainly unique but you put some time in and you reap the benefits. And nothing sounds like a Rick either.
     
  12. Claytone

    Claytone Member

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    I'm a longtime fan of Ricks but I say no, for the style of music you play, a Rick won't get you where you want to go. For rhythm parts, Brit Invasion, Beatles stuff, sure, they are beautiful and interesting guitars. But the Gibson will cover more ground, easier to play lead, etc.
     
  13. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Ric's are in a category all their own. So, how they fit depends on the ears & hands of the beholder. I wouldn't call them a one trick pony, like so many do, though...but they do have a distinctive sound that no other guitar can mimic. They are a different animal...so I think it'd be risky to swap for a Ric had I never had one previously in my hands.
     
  14. Zuhzuhzombie!!

    Zuhzuhzombie!! Member

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    You need to play one before making that trade. And check your trade values as well.

    I like Rics but the necks take getting used to.
     
  15. marktweedy

    marktweedy In Transit® Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a 360 and love it. As others have said, you either like the neck or you don't. On top of that there seems to be a lot of difference in the necks from guitar to guitar. This is my second one; the neck on the first felt so tiny as to be almost unplayable for me.

    I rarely play mine. It has a very unique sound and I would never describe it as being a versatile, at least not in my hands. That said, it sounds way cool to my ears which is why I will hang on to it.
     
  16. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    Or perhaps this Rick.

    [​IMG]

     
  17. tamader74

    tamader74 Supporting Member

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    I want to be one of those to tell you that the 6 hr. road trip would be the ONLY way I would even consider this trade. I've only played 3, 2-6 strings and a 12 string (which I liked the best...beautiful Mapleglo, and a decent neck).

    I want to say the newest 6 string was a 380 if I'm not mistaken (circa '02, guitar the same), I went to see a Friends new Band, '50-'60s with (a lot) of Country. He asked me up on stage, and my dumbass went.

    He handed me this Ric and gave me no time to adjust nothing (LOL...EGAD what a experience), he grabs his ol' faithful Ovation and to the Lead players attempt to pick some ??? of Lead on his Tele.,...Hell began. He kept me up there the rest of the set going thru some Country we had both played together (and the Lead player I really didn't think know much of what he was pickin') tried like heck.

    I will tell you (and yes I have good size hands),...I got a workout, but what it did wind up doing for me positively was digging the sound/tone of what I was getting out of the pups, and later on I was able to get a Gretsch into my hands which I hadn't played for many moons,...

    ...I was able to somewhat relate the Gretsch sound/tone back to the Ric,...that little Jangle...only I dug the pups more in the Gretsch, and it played a TON better ta'boot.

    I've had a Gretsch ever since except when I had to get rid of my Collection several years ago to pay for my Battle with Cancer. I've been a Fender Tele. kinda' guy forever along with Gibson, got a awesome '74 Strat. back in the day and got rid of my LPs playing just a Gretsch, a Strat., and (ahem) a few Tele.'s.

    Not to try to 'steer' you, but if the 339 isn't your favorite and you would like a little variety,...take that day trip, give the Ric a try and while your at it check out a Gretsch if you can, because only YOU will know what fits,...and while most/some thru the internet will tell you to jump...the reality is a Ric, a 339, and a Gretsch $$$ wise isn't anything to sneeze at and it could be quite a pricey mistake. I say be careful, and know for sure you'll dig it before you give up the Gibson. Tom
     
  18. Mejis

    Mejis Member

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    I play mostly Gibson style guitars but owned a Ric 360 for a few years. Honestly, the most tone compliments I ever got were from the 360 through a 78 Hiwatt 100 with an OCD pushing it. I sold it stupidly due to GAS issues, but would love another sometime.

    As others mentioned, the Ric feel is very different than other guitars - probably the most different really. I can switch between Gibson, Gretsch, Fender etc. necks with no issue, but the Ric is a different beast. They feel sort of stiff for lack of a better description. Dont listen to those who say you can't play lead on them - with some adjustment to your attack and amp settings they can rip. Finally, they're one of the only 24 fret semi-hollows I know of - at least by a major builder - PRS has the odd one and those Moonstones from the 80s, but they're few and far between.

    I'd say it's definitely worth the trip if you have other Gibsons, but try it out before the trade to see if you like the sound/feel.
     
  19. JPF

    JPF Member

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    A Ricky is a totally different animal, one of the very few guitars that really have to be tried out before making any decision to purchase or trade.

    Everything about them - the feel, vibe, sound, and ergonomics are unique, and no matter what other guitar model you're coming from, it's going to be radically different experience. You may love the Ricky or hate it, but you won't be indifferent...
     
  20. custom53

    custom53 Member

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    It won't feel or sound the same as your 339 but a Ric 360 is a great guitar. I had one and regrettably sold it years ago. Nothing was wrong with it but I just wasn't playing it enough with the style of music we were playing at the time. Although it could have worked. I still want to get another one to replace it. It did buy a 350 and love it but it is a bit different than the 360. I will get another one someday.

    My 1991 Rickenbacker 360 in Jet Glo...
    [​IMG]

    And 1995 Rickenbacker 350 in Jet Glo..
    [​IMG]
     

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