Other Guitars

Ric for tele Trade help

1

So I have a James Burton tele, I like it, but really have other guitars to make me happy. Never had a Ric,, Beautiful guitar, I was offered a nice good looking (from Pic) Rickenbacker 330 maple. Prices seem very close for an even trade. So from your experiences here, ya think if that Ric is in great condition like my Tele, It would be a good trade?

4

I'd say as long as you wont be missing the Tele, then yeah.

5

Looks like a good deal. But I would advise playing the Ric (or any Ric at a music store) first. Rics have a narrow neck. Be sure you like it first.

6

We shall meet up Thursday, Thanks for the help!

7

Mark, I agree with the suggestion that you play the guitar first. Make sure you plug it in so that you can hear its tone when amplified. While many like the Rickenbacker sound, it isn't for everyone. That guitar has the Hi-Gain pickups, which are single coil pickups, but wound a bit hotter than the more vintage-style "toaster" pickups. When I have played them, I thought that they were sufficiently "chimey", but many do prefer the toaster pickups.

Also, make sure that you are good with the natural finish on the guitar. For me, I love the traditional color finishes of the Rickenbacker models, such as the Fire-glo (red sunburst) and Jet-glo (black) finishes. The natural Maple-glo somehow looks less interesting to my eyes.

Let us know what you decide to do once you have played it.

8

I had a 330 for about 10 years. I always thought I'd end up loving it, but it never felt or sounded right and I ended up trading it for a Gretsch. If you love Teles you might not love a Ric. That is great advice to really try it out first. In my experience 330s are not the jangle-chime guitars you might expect them to be.....or you might love it???

9

Be ready for a big change -- Fender only types come in for a real shock with the Reality of Ricks.

The only Rick I can deal with -- since I'm a lightweight-- is the wide neck and bucker 650. They have maple boards which is a bit more Fender-friendly.

10

Tele's are a dime a dozen, so if you're ok with not having a killer tele like that one, and you like the Ric enough to keep it in your stable, then by all means, go for it. You could easily replace the tele with a lessor, plainer, and cheaper model, but it won't necessarily be a bad thing. That's the wonder of teles...the Timex watches of guitars.

11

Imho,its an easy choice. The Rickenbacker is the better guitar.Sounds better,easier to play,feels better and of course looks way better. And I like Telecasters.(My Ric to Tele ratio is now down to 3:1.) And the difference in build quality is incredible. But really, when it comes to sharing the same sonic territory,the two guitars are blood brothers.

12

James Burton Tele's are NOT a dime a dozen. I'd keep the Tele.

13

Being an owner of both, I’m gonna offer that it gets down to what tones you want. Both have a sharpness potential that humbuckers don’t generally offer. The Telecaster gives a more “traditional”(?) version of that kinda tone, in that its color of it is a lot more commonly heard. Either can make the same point in their own way IMO.

As Ric12 pointed out, the 330 comes with their Hi Gain pickups instead of the old toaster tops. The Hi Gains offer more low-end potential. To me, they give a “fatter” version of what’s considered to be the Rick tone. If you’re a fan of overdriven tones, I’m gonna guess that you’d prefer Hi Gains. Here’s an example of Hi Gains through a Marshall...

Other points to consider are, for example, the commonly-mentioned narrowness of the majority of models of Ricks’ necks. I do offer that if you’re used to Fender necks, it wouldn’t be as big a jump to adapt to them as it would be if you were more accustomed to Gibson or Gretsch necks. Another is the Ricks’ lower frets. An issue for some, not so much for others.

Sorry if I’m retreading on redundant stuff here.

14

Tele's are a dime a dozen, so if you're ok with not having a killer tele like that one, and you like the Ric enough to keep it in your stable, then by all means, go for it. You could easily replace the tele with a lessor, plainer, and cheaper model, but it won't necessarily be a bad thing. That's the wonder of teles...the Timex watches of guitars.

– crowbone

Teles may be a dime a dozen, BUT, finding THE Tele for you is not that easy. I still only have one that I kept. Having had them by lots of manufacturers, the one I kept is (believe it or not) a dirt, cheap Douglas that I was going to dismember for a project. It's an older one.

15

Being an owner of both, I’m gonna offer that it gets down to what tones you want. Both have a sharpness potential that humbuckers don’t generally offer. The Telecaster gives a more “traditional”(?) version of that kinda tone, in that its color of it is a lot more commonly heard. Either can make the same point in their own way IMO.

As Ric12 pointed out, the 330 comes with their Hi Gain pickups instead of the old toaster tops. The Hi Gains offer more low-end potential. To me, they give a “fatter” version of what’s considered to be the Rick tone. If you’re a fan of overdriven tones, I’m gonna guess that you’d prefer Hi Gains. Here’s an example of Hi Gains through a Marshall...

Other points to consider are, for example, the commonly-mentioned narrowness of the majority of models of Ricks’ necks. I do offer that if you’re used to Fender necks, it wouldn’t be as big a jump to adapt to them as it would be if you were more accustomed to Gibson or Gretsch necks. Another is the Ricks’ lower frets. An issue for some, not so much for others.

Sorry if I’m retreading on redundant stuff here.

– tubwompus

Great points that Sammy makes here!

I would only take exception to one thing. Although he was known for playing Rickenbackers early in their career, the guitar that Jim Babjak used on The Smithereens' song, A Girl Like You, was actually a 1973 Les Paul run through a 100-watt Marshall 800 rather than a Rickenbacker with Hi-gain pickups. Guitarist Jim Babjak Breaks Down 11 Essential Smithereens Tracks

16

Thanks so much for all the helpful ideas, I will be playing it soon and will be very mindful of the comments made here. Good thing I think it is coming with an 80 year old man who has a few guitars, So I am sure what he says it is,, It really is! I do have 2 G&L's that have taken my heart for the tele thing and really have not touched them much, Due to getting a Supro Bluesking, Once I plugged my Gretsch into it, I can't really think of playing anything else!!! Thanks again!

17

Here is a song where Jim Babjak is playing his 1972 burgundy red Rickenbacker 330 with hi-gain pickups.

18

Less important than the brand, model, look, or feel of the guitar (in anyone's analysis but yours) is whether it's your guitar.

You'll know it's your guitar when you play it. If it's not your guitar, you can own it, but you're only a curator, holding it for its real owner.

That particular Tele would never have followed me home: Teles have neither three pickups nor paisley pinstriped flames in blue and black. But if I'd been blind, played it and loved it, it would be my Tele.

In any case, sounds like you've owned that one long enough to know if it's your Tele. Sounds like maybe it isn't.

The Ric? Who knows? Twice I've learned the lesson that Rics are, as a rule, not my guitars. I don't rule out that one might be. You won't know if that blonde is your guitar till you try it.

But if you like it as much as the Tele, and the deal is fair, you might as well be its curator while you figure out if it's yours or not.

19

I've had both. The Ric was a better made and finished guitar with a surprising amount of tonal possibilities. The JB Tele got some nice twangy Tele tones but was much more limited overall.

Playing wise, apart from the scale length, the Ric and Tele necks are not very different, especially the older models. Both guitars are very sensitive to pickup height settings so do be aware of that when trying out the Ric.

In the end, your own hands and ears will decide. One thing. Many Ric players prefer to use flat wound strings. I've tried that setup too and it works well.

20

Twice now someone has mentioned the Ric is "better made" than a Tele.

That doesn't track with my experience. By their natures, they're very different guitars - the Tele a simple bolt-on block-body affair with the minimal hardware necessary to do the job, and the Ric typically a higher-gloss set-neck affair with fancier appointments and a funny slicked-over fingerboard.

But being fancier, with an inherently more elaborate and difficult build, doesn't translate - to me - as a "better" build. When I think of Teles I've known - whether Fender or otherwise - it's really hard to think of one that was shoddily built (for its type), or which even played or behaved badly. Maybe it's inherently an easy build to get right - or, more to the point - harder to get wrong. Teles seem to just work.

I've had my hands on fewer Rics, so the sample pool is narrower. But despite their aesthetic glory (which is very much in the eye of the beholder, believe it or not) and generally deluxe appointments, a higher percentage of them have had playability or other issues. It's apparently a harder build to get really right.

Also, I never had a pot-metal (though beautifully plated) tailpiece explode on a Tele.

The two guitars have to be evaluated for quality each on its own terms.

21

Ricks are shockingly versatile. I often surprise people with how great mine sounds in a Blues context Mine is a '67...I did have to refret it so it didn't feel like a big mandolin. Not sure what kind of frets the modern ones have. I have small hands and love the tiny neck. Of course...I like chunky necks, too. ;)

22

Beatles, the Who, Smithereens, Fugazi all played Rics...some jangle, some heavy, and some really heavy sounds coming from those bands.

23

Guy cancelled for whatever reason, So I guess I will never know!!!!! JB Tele Staying where she is!

24

Being an owner of both, I’m gonna offer that it gets down to what tones you want. Both have a sharpness potential that humbuckers don’t generally offer. The Telecaster gives a more “traditional”(?) version of that kinda tone, in that its color of it is a lot more commonly heard. Either can make the same point in their own way IMO.

As Ric12 pointed out, the 330 comes with their Hi Gain pickups instead of the old toaster tops. The Hi Gains offer more low-end potential. To me, they give a “fatter” version of what’s considered to be the Rick tone. If you’re a fan of overdriven tones, I’m gonna guess that you’d prefer Hi Gains. Here’s an example of Hi Gains through a Marshall...

Other points to consider are, for example, the commonly-mentioned narrowness of the majority of models of Ricks’ necks. I do offer that if you’re used to Fender necks, it wouldn’t be as big a jump to adapt to them as it would be if you were more accustomed to Gibson or Gretsch necks. Another is the Ricks’ lower frets. An issue for some, not so much for others.

Sorry if I’m retreading on redundant stuff here.

– tubwompus

As much as I love love love my Rics, Girl Like You was recorded with a Les Paul.

25

Great points that Sammy makes here!

I would only take exception to one thing. Although he was known for playing Rickenbackers early in their career, the guitar that Jim Babjak used on The Smithereens' song, A Girl Like You, was actually a 1973 Les Paul run through a 100-watt Marshall 800 rather than a Rickenbacker with Hi-gain pickups. Guitarist Jim Babjak Breaks Down 11 Essential Smithereens Tracks

– Ric12string

Well crap, I should have kept reading, didn't see you'd mentioned that tidbit about the LP


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