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Al Krow

Please tell me why I should avoid getting a Rickenbacker!

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[quote name='drTStingray' timestamp='1497397077' post='3317889']
I always though Rickenbackers were old clank machines until I heard someone playing Dune Tune by Level 42 on one - then realised a lot of my favourite soul funk bassists from the early 70s played them (Larry Graham for one). They're quite versatile.

[media]http://youtu.be/McBSPmqi5fo[/media]

As for the CEO - well he simply takes issue with people making unlicensed copies of his instruments - and can you blame him - he's more interested in protecting his customers and his business rather than the knock off merchants and theirs. I don't see that being odd in any way - maybe the zeal with which individuals have been chased is a little surprising. Very strange some manufacturers never bothered to protect their designs and probably now regret those decisions.
[/quote]

Nice sound from that Rick... shame he got a blegh Stingray sound which makes the Stingray sound terrible by comparison... but, anyway, lovely Rick sound. Shame he can't afford a shirt after buying that bass :P

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1497466017' post='3318481']
So apart from the neck, body, finish and some of the electronics it was identical to a standard rick ? :blink:
[/quote]

"what have the Romans ever done for us?"

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[quote name='4000' timestamp='1497528466' post='3318874']
Well let's see. Same woods, same construction, same pickups, same hardware, same pots, caps etc as before and simply converted to stereo like a standard 4001 (which is both mono & stereo, the 4001S being mono only). Basically it was gradually shaved a bit thinner - unintentionally I might add - and was refinished in a non-Ric colour. If either of those means that it could hardly be classed as Ric then there are a million guitars out there that are no longer Strats, Teles, Precisions, Jazzes, etc etc. I better let my mate know that the Strat he shaved the neck on and repainted a la Eddie Van Halen is no longer a Strat. He'll be mortified.
[/quote]

Sure, although Chris does say both the body and neck were shaved such that there was a significant weight reduction. Let's also not forget the 4kOhm bridge pickup which he states is very low output and trebley compared with the stock pickup. Probably an early example of a Rickenbacker QA fail.. :D If you like Ricks, that's fine.. However let's not pretend that even when the factory tries to make a standard product, the results are consistent.. Maybe it's character, but if other manufacturers can do it right consistently then I don't understand why Rickenbacker can't.. Apparently they ship the basses from the factory without them being set up (how the hell do you test a bass without doing this?) because "there is not enough time" ...

I get that you like them. :)

Edited by markstuk

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1497557833' post='3319155']
I agree if a used one is bought then JH gets none of my cash, but moving on said used one isn`t as simple as moving on other makes. Making both parts of my argument valid - I wouldn`t buy a new one to prevent JH getting any of my money, and a used one is more difficult to move on - not many sold on here for example, a forum specifically for bass. I should add I`m not a Ric-hater, both of the ones I`ve played for a fair amount of time I really liked, played great, sounded greater, so I`m not knocking the instruments, just the Stasi way the company police them.
[/quote]


Not selling them in this forum is because of a policy instated due to their CEO's antics about copies... it just made life easier (there's lots to read about it and I'm sure you remember all that). You can sell them elsewhere. As long as it's legit, and it shows, their CEO won't bother anybody about it. EBay and Gumtree, and other places, are absolutely fine.

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[quote name='hiram.k.hackenbacker' timestamp='1497595892' post='3319274']
Yes, I'm aware that he polices his board quite 'vigourously', but lets not forget that's it's his board to police and unlike Basschat it relates directly to the product that he manufactures and sells, so I would kind of expect it to be that way. Being a member there myself, for the most part, it's a nice environment to be in. There are some very helpful people there, but much like any other board, there are also some complete idiots and I don't see why they should be given any more time than anywhere else. Personally, whenever I've had an issue with any of my MM basses, their customer service has been lightning fast, including sending out replacement parts. I would much rather see Sterling on the board getting involved rather than being some faceless management type raking in the cash. I am a Rickenbacker owner and have been for decades, but I wouldn't recognise John Hall if he stood in front of me.
[/quote]

The thing is you don't need to criticise their instruments. Suggest replacing anything in them... say, a pickup... and observe the sycophantic mob descending on you with nasty comments. That sort of thing. And then the big guy joins himself too often. It's just ugly.
Yeah, there are nice and helpful people there... but I find the atmosphere ugly, which is why I stopped going there and I only go back if I have a specific question that the helpful ones can talk about while the sycophantic fanbois pass me over looking for another target to crap on...

God I hate that place... shivers. I love the bass (my Stingray is the one bass I'd keep if I could only have one), I love their consistent production... I hate the personality.

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1497603228' post='3319368']

The thing is you don't need to criticise their instruments. Suggest replacing anything in them... say, a pickup... and observe the sycophantic mob descending on you with nasty comments. That sort of thing. And then the big guy joins himself too often. It's just ugly.
Yeah, there are nice and helpful people there... but I find the atmosphere ugly, which is why I stopped going there and I only go back if I have a specific question that the helpful ones can talk about while the sycophantic fanbois pass me over looking for another target to crap on...

God I hate that place... shivers. I love the bass (my Stingray is the one bass I'd keep if I could only have one), I love their consistent production... I hate the personality.
[/quote]

You need to come over to the Dingwall forum - it's a lovely, warm, supportive canadian sort of place :D

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1497605743' post='3319408']
You need to come over to the Dingwall forum - it's a lovely, warm, supportive canadian sort of place :D
[/quote]

Although Sheldon moaned at me on here for saying that I got rid of the combustion as I found the sound too polite :lol:

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[quote name='Woodinblack' timestamp='1497606036' post='3319413']
Although Sheldon moaned at me on here for saying that I got rid of the combustion as I found the sound too polite :lol:
[/quote]

He must have been having a bad day :)

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Having talked to him and John Hall, the former was certainly more pleasant and wouldn't put me off getting another (less polite) dingwall!

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[quote name='bubinga5' timestamp='1497379405' post='3317723']
It's the one bass I have no desire to own. Don't like anything about it.
[/quote]


I had this same viewpoint. I hated them. Tried one in guitar guitar and was converted by the sounds. I have still not bought one, but would definitely consider one if I had the dosh currently!

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1497605743' post='3319408']
You need to come over to the Dingwall forum - it's a lovely, warm, supportive canadian sort of place :D
[/quote]

but then I might end up wanting a Dingwall... :unsure:
best to stay away, my bank statement says... ;)

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1497602900' post='3319358']
As long as it's legit, and it shows, their CEO won't bother anybody about it. EBay and Gumtree, and other places, are absolutely fine.
[/quote]

John Hall is on record saying that if he could prevent the sale of secondhand original Rickenbackers, then he would. Deluded megalomaniac fantasist he might be, but for him it's all about his bank account's bottom line.

Has anyone mentioned RIC's interesting warranty? Which starts not when you buy the bass, but when it leaves the factory? :lol:

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[quote name='Cuzzie' timestamp='1497445938' post='3318208']


Agreed

Same your strings, amps, cabs, pedals etc.
[/quote]

Agreed also.

I find it quite surprising the number of musicians who moan about CEOs of smaller volume manufacturers - I think three companies have already been mentioned in this thread.

I would use the analogy of my local chip shop where, if I took issue with the way the owner cooks his fish and chips I would expect the verbal equivalent of a black eye or worse - there are musicians around who think they know more about how to run a company and its products than the CEO - easy to have a view but you haven't got the full picture when you aren't responsible for the company and its financial viability!!

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I don't really get why people wouldn't buy a Rick because the CEO of RIC is apparently a first class knob; I think Gordon Ramsay is an idiot but I still eat in his restaurant. My issue with Rickenbacker is the price.

I love them by the way: I love the looks, I love the sound, I like the chunky neck, I just don't think they're worth £2k+

I've never owned a 4001 / 4003 but I borrowed a 4003S for a while, and I also used to own a 360 back in my guitar days. Both were pretty shoddy in terms of their fit and finish; creaky plastic, gaping joints, bulging foam from under the pickups, inconsistency in resistance of the pots (some would spin freely, some were stiff), impossible to keep in tune. Sure, they're amazing instruments, but the build quality of my Stingray is way superior, and it cost half of what a 4003 would. If 4003s where priced somewhere around the thousand pound mark I would get one, without a doubt. From my experience they are a £1000 instrument, based on the build quality I've encountered.

Mind you, an ex girlfriends father had a Ferrari 360 and that was a heap of junk.

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[quote name='drTStingray' timestamp='1497621150' post='3319584']
Agreed also.

I find it quite surprising the number of musicians who moan about CEOs of smaller volume manufacturers - I think three companies have already been mentioned in this thread.

I would use the analogy of my local chip shop where, if I took issue with the way the owner cooks his fish and chips I would expect the verbal equivalent of a black eye or worse - there are musicians around who think they know more about how to run a company and its products than the CEO - easy to have a view but you haven't got the full picture when you aren't responsible for the company and its financial viability!!
[/quote]

I suppose if I was[i] told[/i] stories about him I'd probably ignore them. However if I had [i]first hand experience[/i] of his attitude I'd be put right off. I am the latter.

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My two penneth

I'd always lusted after a Ricky. Finally bought one in about 2004 and never got in with it. I am a dyed in the wool P-Bass guy admittedly but while the way the kids and treble cut through the mix beautifully, I found there was a real absence of low end and when playing below an A it always seemed lacking in a two guitar and loud drummer kind of band. I still love Rickys but know i just don't suit 'em.
The positive to my experience? I sold it in at a £200 profit from the price I paid new. The cost of Ricky's has continued to rocket upwards to the point that if you wait for the right one you'd get a banging vintage 4001 with mojo for the same or possibly less than you'll pay for a newbie.
Me? I stuck with P-Basses and massively battered and heavily modified '76 Ripper.

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[quote name='mr4stringz' timestamp='1497631505' post='3319689']
I'd always lusted after a Ricky. Finally bought one in about 2004 and never got in with it. I am a dyed in the wool P-Bass guy admittedly but while the way the kids and treble cut through the mix beautifully, I found there was a real absence of low end and when playing below an A it always seemed lacking in a two guitar and loud drummer kind of band. I still love Rickys but know i just don't suit 'em. The positive to my experience? I sold it in at a £200 profit from the price I paid new. The cost of Ricky's has continued to rocket upwards to the point that if you wait for the right one you'd get a banging vintage 4001 with mojo for the same or possibly less than you'll pay for a newbie. Me? I stuck with P-Basses and massively battered and heavily modified '76 Ripper.
[/quote]

Thanks for sharing that, really useful feedback about the kids :) (aka the mids), treble and lows.

[quote name='4000' timestamp='1497443357' post='3318176']
I've owned something like 15 different Rics from all eras except the '60s (did get one but never received it - that's a whole other story) and my favourite Rics have seen off everything else, including Alembics, Wals, Jaydees, Seis, a bunch of Warwicks, Fenders, all sorts of things. They just work for me, which isn't to say they'll work for anyone else. I find them very versatile, I love how they look, play and feel, and personally I prefer the tone to anything else.

HOWEVER!!! Please bear in mind that Ric necks have varied hugely, often by year. My '72s are relatively wide and flat (for Ricks). All the '72s I've tried are pretty much the same. '73s can be anything from similar (at the very start) to Precision-sized. Most of the other '70s ones I've owned feel narrower and rounder, but again they all vary. Do not assume that having played one, or even several similar, that they'll all feel the same. They won't. Same goes for tone. Pickups have changed, pot values have changed, construction has changed across the years. I had 2 Rics, an '80 and a '76, prior to finding my '72. Neither worked for me tonally and I was never 100% happy with the necks or feel. The '72 was so far above them, for my tastes, as to be virtually unmeasurable, and remains my favourite by far of the probably thousands of various basses I've played. I've played literally hundreds of Rics and I've found that anything after early '73 up to the early V63 and CSs just don't really work for me, although they do vary a lot. The newer ones, around 2011 onwards, I generally like. But of course YMMV. Ultimately, find one you like and buy it, because you may not find another exactly the same. Oh, and as for ergonomics, they remain possibly the only bass I can play comfortably with my various ailments, which is contrary to some people's experiences. Again, YMMV.

If you find an instrument you bond with, whatever instrument that is, whatever brand it is, then that's great for you, regardless of whether it suits someone else.
[/quote]

I'm kinda intrigued by your expertise of this brand! I doubt if many of us have "played literally hundreds of Rics" in the way you have. So I'd really like to put you on the spot with 3 Qs (YMMV etc noted!) if I may:
- what is the best Ric you have ever played and why?
- which ones to definitely avoid (and why)?
- if you were to buy a current new model which of the range would you go for (and again why)?

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1497601989' post='3319340']
Hey Al,
Well, it's all very subjective, and the basses I have at the moment cover a lot of ground and are all active - they all have John East Retro EQs, which have sweepable mids, and I can get everything I could need out of them. My two main Shukers are both (new) in the price bracket, and the Dingwall is close. The 4003w I had (and again, it was only one, I was probably just unlucky) unplugged didn't feel or play well enough - I think I said (on here) at the time, [b]if I'd closed my eyes I'd have said it was a sub-£500 bass[/b]: it didn't zing or sing, and if a bass doesn't do that, no amount of plugging in and EQ and amplification's gonna fix it. All IMHO, YMMV, etc, etc, of course - I'd reiterate if you've played one that you liked, that worked for you, then there's no reason not to buy it.
[/quote]

[quote name='PaulGibsonBass' timestamp='1497625451' post='3319621']
I don't really get why people wouldn't buy a Rick because the CEO of RIC is apparently a first class knob; I think Gordon Ramsay is an idiot but I still eat in his restaurant. My issue with Rickenbacker is the price.

I love them by the way: I love the looks, I love the sound, I like the chunky neck, I just don't think they're worth £2k+

I've never owned a 4001 / 4003 but I borrowed a 4003S for a while, and I also used to own a 360 back in my guitar days. Both were pretty shoddy in terms of their fit and finish; creaky plastic, gaping joints, bulging foam from under the pickups, inconsistency in resistance of the pots (some would spin freely, some were stiff), impossible to keep in tune. Sure, they're amazing instruments, but the build quality of my Stingray is way superior, and it cost half of what a 4003 would. If 4003s where priced somewhere around the thousand pound mark I would get one, without a doubt. [b]From my experience they are a £1000 instrument, based on the build quality I've encountered[/b]. Mind you, an ex girlfriends father had a Ferrari 360 and that was a heap of junk.
[/quote]

Value for money is also, for me, a really important driver. I actually don't mind paying a lot (within reason!) for something if it is "worth it" however we each separately define that term - but bringing a smile to your face each time you pick up and play the thing has got to be somewhere high up on that list, right? I guess that is true for a lot of us on this forum? But I'm definitely getting the message that a new Ric isn't necessarily going to be great value for what it is delivering.

Edited by Al Krow

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Bloody autocorrect!

Also, my take on the CEO and cost thing.

Re: John Hall. Doesn't do a lot to represent the brand in the best of lights but to be honest that wouldn't affect my decision on whether to buy or not.

Value for money - based on my experience of over a decade mine was well worth the grand I paid, but the £2k plus now? Not a chance. For me, I'd never pay that for anything non-vintage.

That said, I would also say there's nothing like a Ricky.

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Wow, prices have shot up! Still some around the £1650 mark, but upwards of 2k is a little silly. Where did the 25% hike come from?

Maybe I should just f***ing buy one at the cheaper price, cross my fingers and get this over and done with! If I end up hating it at least I saved £400 finding out.

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[quote name='ped' timestamp='1497626934' post='3319636']


I suppose if I was[i] told[/i] stories about him I'd probably ignore them. However if I had [i]first hand experience[/i] of his attitude I'd be put right off. I am the latter.
[/quote]

Yeah I understand your position - I guess their lawyers are pursuing aggressively any potential sales outlet for unlicensed knock offs. Unfortunately, as you can see from some of the responses, some people just don't get the concept of a company protecting its products and legitimate customers - although Rickenbacker maybe unique in going after the secondhand market - you can only speculate but it seems possible their sales and finances were being badly affected.

I am guessing this is all Fender's fault because people have got used to being able to buy 'knock off' Fenders in a range of prices and Fender has seemingly not been bothered about protecting its brand or customers' interests - until it was too late a few years back, when courts didn't back them.

Lawyers representing other manufacturers have also gone aggressively after people (usually retailers) selling knock offs, particularly if they are being passed off as genuine instruments (even Fender have done or threatened this).

It doesn't affect my attitude to buying - for instance I found some of the Musicman forum stuff 10 years or so ago pretty unpalatable (although it should be said that most people involved were behaving like complete twats) - however having been a big fan of their basses since the 70s, would a few posts on a forum between people who should know better bother me - well the answer is not at all.

And in my book, Rickenbackers are cool basses, warts and all, in the same way as any other
professional level instrument.

Edited by drTStingray

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Because they sound like this (only joking)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2OAzbGCNcw

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[quote name='Jus Lukin' timestamp='1497708754' post='3320176']
Yuck, they might as well have just played it on a Jazzmaster! ;)
[/quote]

lol, I think it was a danelectro 6 string bass :)

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JH is the whole reason I'd avoid a Rick. I don't want him getting any of my cash and I don't want to advertise his products by playing them.
Over the years I heard complaints about poor finishes blamed on the owners,using non Rick issue string as a reason to void your warranty. Ditto not using a Rick approved tech for adjusting the TR. Said warranty started the second it rolled off the line. Owners who suggested improvements were subject to personal attacks of the Rick forum too.

I have no problem with him going after blatant fakes but strong arm tactics were used against companies he "alleged" were infringing his IP. Some of these firms would have won quite easily if they'd had the lawyers fees.

Could be the best bass in the world but it's a matter of principle with me.

Mr Krow. If you do get one I hope you enjoy playing it as your reasons will be every bit as valid as mine.

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