Other Guitars

NGD - Rickenbacker 330

26

So cool! A 330 is on my list of "first purchases after I hit the lottery." That and a Gibson J-45, Les Paul Deluxe (goldtop), and, of course, a Duo Jet.

27

Glad you moderated your comment, Rich. It sounded a bit dogmatic and over-the-top - and it challenged the personal experience of those who are qualified by experience and taste to make up their own minds. If I don't care for the feel of a particular neck - having played hundreds of guitars - I'm entitled not to like it, and to report my experience. (For the record, I have no problem with the size of Rickenbacker 6-string necks.)


Btw though, if you can’t play a Ric, 6 or 12 due to neck width, you except yourself from being a mandolin, banjo, uke or tenor player IMHO because all have a smaller nut width than a Ric 300 series or 620.

It's not the width of the neck Ric-12-string critics have a problem with, it's the space between string courses. Also for the record, I just measured both my Gretsch mandolin and my Ric 360-12. Space between pairs is identical at 9/64". (I have small hands, but find I play mandolin as sloppily as I play my 360.) Banjos, ukes, and tenors (guitar or banjo?) typically have PLENTY of space between strings. I just checked my Gibson tenor banjo, and despite its narrow nut width, it has 19/64" between the strings, over twice the mando/Rick12 spacing. That's not a problem.


If McGuinn can chord on a Ric with fewer fingers to compensate for less space, so can anyone else.

Well, I dunno. Are you saying we're all Roger McGuinns? If Django can play like that with three fingers, so can anyone else? If a Mongolian contortionist can tie herself into a knot, so can I?


I get your defense of Rickenbackers, but you might have overstated the case a little.

I'll put up with a neck I consider less than optimal for my playing comfort in order to get a sound I can't otherwise get - and I'm NOT referring to Ric 6-strings, as, again, their neck width is OK for me. And, yes, no one should discount and refuse to try a guitar based on what anyone else says.

But it remains a valid observation that Ric 12-strings (other than 650 & 660) have mighty close string spacing, and that impedes playability for many people. Of my four electric 12s, the Ric is by far the hardest to play cleanly - at least using any approach informed by playing 6-strings. It is, of course, possible to modify one's chord fingerings and technique - producing voicings and playing artifacts are components in the characteristic Ric-12 sound. (Which is not a bad thing. It's just a thing, and it doesn't hurt to mention it.)

Besides all of which, there are those players - of whatever hand size - who simply prefer a wider nut width, even on 6-strings, usually because it facilitates cleaner note articulation, especially when going for convoluted chord shapes during complex (and often quickly-changing) fingerpicked passages. It's why classical guitars typically have 2" nuts. We have players on the GDP - with decades of experience on many different guitars - who prefer (and report playing better on) the 1.75" nut width of the 6122-1959 Chet model. Of course players at that level of accomplishment can adapt to the guitar of the moment - but, like a race car driver, anything that provides an edge is appreciated and exploited to get a performance that couldn't be achieved on a less optimal instrument.

I had Godin's Multi-ac synth-access nylon-string solidbody for awhile, which was a magnificent guitar in every way - EXCEPT its ludicrously narrow nut width, which made even modestly brisk passages with countermelodies something between a golf drive and a crap shoot. (IE, a matter of luck.) Everything else about the guitar was fabulous, but I not only couldn't bond with it - effectively, I couldn't even play it. It seemed a stupid misstep for Godin, who at the time apparently thought they were building a guitar to attract solidbody electric players to nylon strings, rather than a guitar to enable classical/nylon players to go electric. (I see they've since widened the neck of that model.)

Moral of these stories: there are legitimate and valid reasons players choose to be choosy about neck dimensions.

Also for the record, and no doubt proving there's just no satisfying some whiners, I also didn't get along with the wider neck of the 660/12 for which I'd lusted for years, and briefly owned a couple months ago. String spacing was OK - but the neck felt thick and clubby front-to-back, without the zippily effortless (though sloppy) playability I was used to on the 360.

And it's a shame, because the 660 is just a beautiful instrument.

28

Glad you moderated your comment, Rich. It sounded a bit dogmatic and over-the-top - and it challenged the personal experience of those who are qualified by experience and taste to make up their own minds. If I don't care for the feel of a particular neck - having played hundreds of guitars - I'm entitled not to like it, and to report my experience. (For the record, I have no problem with the size of Rickenbacker 6-string necks.)


Btw though, if you can’t play a Ric, 6 or 12 due to neck width, you except yourself from being a mandolin, banjo, uke or tenor player IMHO because all have a smaller nut width than a Ric 300 series or 620.

It's not the width of the neck Ric-12-string critics have a problem with, it's the space between string courses. Also for the record, I just measured both my Gretsch mandolin and my Ric 360-12. Space between pairs is identical at 9/64". (I have small hands, but find I play mandolin as sloppily as I play my 360.) Banjos, ukes, and tenors (guitar or banjo?) typically have PLENTY of space between strings. I just checked my Gibson tenor banjo, and despite its narrow nut width, it has 19/64" between the strings, over twice the mando/Rick12 spacing. That's not a problem.


If McGuinn can chord on a Ric with fewer fingers to compensate for less space, so can anyone else.

Well, I dunno. Are you saying we're all Roger McGuinns? If Django can play like that with three fingers, so can anyone else? If a Mongolian contortionist can tie herself into a knot, so can I?


I get your defense of Rickenbackers, but you might have overstated the case a little.

I'll put up with a neck I consider less than optimal for my playing comfort in order to get a sound I can't otherwise get - and I'm NOT referring to Ric 6-strings, as, again, their neck width is OK for me. And, yes, no one should discount and refuse to try a guitar based on what anyone else says.

But it remains a valid observation that Ric 12-strings (other than 650 & 660) have mighty close string spacing, and that impedes playability for many people. Of my four electric 12s, the Ric is by far the hardest to play cleanly - at least using any approach informed by playing 6-strings. It is, of course, possible to modify one's chord fingerings and technique - producing voicings and playing artifacts are components in the characteristic Ric-12 sound. (Which is not a bad thing. It's just a thing, and it doesn't hurt to mention it.)

Besides all of which, there are those players - of whatever hand size - who simply prefer a wider nut width, even on 6-strings, usually because it facilitates cleaner note articulation, especially when going for convoluted chord shapes during complex (and often quickly-changing) fingerpicked passages. It's why classical guitars typically have 2" nuts. We have players on the GDP - with decades of experience on many different guitars - who prefer (and report playing better on) the 1.75" nut width of the 6122-1959 Chet model. Of course players at that level of accomplishment can adapt to the guitar of the moment - but, like a race car driver, anything that provides an edge is appreciated and exploited to get a performance that couldn't be achieved on a less optimal instrument.

I had Godin's Multi-ac synth-access nylon-string solidbody for awhile, which was a magnificent guitar in every way - EXCEPT its ludicrously narrow nut width, which made even modestly brisk passages with countermelodies something between a golf drive and a crap shoot. (IE, a matter of luck.) Everything else about the guitar was fabulous, but I not only couldn't bond with it - effectively, I couldn't even play it. It seemed a stupid misstep for Godin, who at the time apparently thought they were building a guitar to attract solidbody electric players to nylon strings, rather than a guitar to enable classical/nylon players to go electric. (I see they've since widened the neck of that model.)

Moral of these stories: there are legitimate and valid reasons players choose to be choosy about neck dimensions.

Also for the record, and no doubt proving there's just no satisfying some whiners, I also didn't get along with the wider neck of the 660/12 for which I'd lusted for years, and briefly owned a couple months ago. String spacing was OK - but the neck felt thick and clubby front-to-back, without the zippily effortless (though sloppy) playability I was used to on the 360.

And it's a shame, because the 660 is just a beautiful instrument.

– Proteus

Sorry Tim - I can only skim your longer posts. I have to confess you lost me at the beginning of the Godin paragraph.

I understand your point with string spacing, and for others its’s likely a similar issue. I was simply addressing those who quickly dismiss Rics due to width at the nut. Sorry but I’ve heard that one too many times and it just doesn’t hold up for me.

As for my McGuinn comnent, ai think players should try some McGuinn abbreviated chord shapes - might be fun as opposed to dismissing Rics all together.

We’re really not far apart on our views Tim. i agree that some neck shapes don’t suit everyone. I’m just calling for open mindedness about trying the Rickenbacker.

Let’s not get into a derail of the OP’s NGD thread. Beautiful guitar. I’m happy for him!

29

No problem, all is well. I too was just trying to be specific about these issues rather than painting with too broad a brush. Coming at it from different sides, perhaps, but meeting somewhere near the middle.

I'm certainly with you on the point that no one should dismiss all Rics because of the very specific issue with some 12-strings. (Ad nauseum...I have the issue - but I also have the guitar, which says something!)

Thanks for clarifying your McGuinn comment. I get that you're saying he developed some adaptive chord shapes for the guitar, not that we're all Roger McGuinns! I don't think I learned any abbreviated chord shapes from him, but out of sheer self-defense I've figured out how to simplify on that guitar - which is actually a good thing, because the additional harmonic complexity of the 12 strings makes up for the difference anyway.


Ruby Red is probably my top choice among Ric colors - along with the dark blue (Midnight?) - and I thoroughly approve of Jimbo's new 330. He's happy, we're happy, I'm happy.

30

As others here, I’m such a Rickenbacker fan! I have a 90s 330/6 jetglow, a 90s V series old style 360/12 in natural, a jetglow 620/6, fireglo 660/6, ‘67 fireglo 375,’80 360/6 new style and an Encore 350 copy.

31

IMO playing a 300 series Ric is it’s own unique experience, just like...say...shooting a 1911 pistol. Many are similar but not quite the same.

My first 12 from Rickenbacker is a 350/12v63 (long-scale version of Lennon’s) I figured that with my li’l girly-size hands, no sweat.

I WAS WRONG! Haha

BUT...a very experienced and world-traveled as a tech buddy was able to make it much, much easier to play, to the point to where I truly enjoy it and chalk up any misfired notes to my neophytic abilities. On the other hand...

My 1993 PLUS has the neck that most guys figure all Ric 12’s oughtta have. I was hipped to that model by our own Ricky Bobby (Ric12String). He was dead-on right.

All that said, I have 2 330’s ala the one in the OP. Ridiculously comfortable to play for me personally, as is my 350v63 6-string.

I once again offer my congrats to the OP

32

Bingo - I’m with you Cap’n! And besides, usually Ric neck width complaints are associated with the 12 strings, with the exception of the Petty model 660/12 with the wider neck.

Btw though, if you can’t play a Ric, 6 or 12 due to neck width, you except yourself from being a mandolin, banjo, uke or tenor player IMHO because all have a smaller nut width than a Ric 300 series or 620. If McGuinn can chord on a Ric with fewer fingers to compensate for less space, so can anyone else. Anyone who believes that Rics are unplayable due to large hands is depriving themselves of the joy of a wonderful Ric such as the OP’s, and is cheating themselves.

– RichB555

All I can write in reply is that I tried. I bought a 360 and tried to play it for 6 months, but could not do anything near the nut without inadvertent deadening of strings. There's a reason Petty and Townshend specified models with a wider nut width. Now, all I have to do is become a rock legend and I'll get John Hall to do my bidding.

And the guitar posted by the OP is gorgeous.

33

As others here, I’m such a Rickenbacker fan! I have a 90s 330/6 jetglow, a 90s V series old style 360/12 in natural, a jetglow 620/6, fireglo 660/6, ‘67 fireglo 375,’80 360/6 new style and an Encore 350 copy.

– RichB555

I have one of those as well. I never play it.


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