Other Guitars

Ric for tele Trade help

26

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

– Bonedaddy

Oh yeah, about that...[ahem]…yeah, I was…uh...just...uh, testing you and Bob.......yeah...that’s it.

You...you guys...uh...did real good.

I’ll be sure and...uh...shoot a fax to corporate to that effect.

27

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

– crowbone

Also John Kay of Steppenwolf and John Fogerty in the early days of CCR.

28

Well, Tim, I've got three Rics, a 330, a 350V63 (the Lennon model but with a standard scale length and the top of the range 381V69. O.K. Three is a small sample in the overall scheme of things but all were flawless straight out of the box from the factory with perfectly cut nuts and saddle slots for the Ric branded strings supplied.

The 381 is definitely "fancier" than a JB Tele even with its' "flame" finish but the other two less so. Anyway, the fit and finish of all 3 is a step up from most Teles although my JB Tele was good but, of course, it was in the same price band as the Ric 330 but needed a lot more setup work to get it just right. Maybe a function of a bolt on neck? I don't know.

Is a Ric fingerboard any more "funny slicked-over" than a maple neck Tele? I guess that's just an opinion which is fair enough.

The body finish work on the Rics is superior to the Fender though. It just glows.

Anyway, keep writing. I do like to read your comments.

29

Luck of the draw, I suppose. My new out-of-box 620 in midnight blue (a decade ago, maybe?) had lacquer that showed the kind of surface swirling you expect halfway through the buffing process - and which felt gummy, as though it hadn't completely set. In two years of ownership, it never did. The neck was always sticky. The guitar was achingly beautiful, but I could neither bond with the narrow neck nor find a sound in it I needed.

My 360-12, also new out-of-box in 1996, was fine...until the tailpiece spontaneously snapped while the guitar gently slept in its case. It had also come with a crack in the upper pickguard. Rickenbacker replaced both components - when I sent them the old ones to prove I wasn't trying to build a counterfeit one piece at a time. But they no longer had the oh-so-90s black tailpiece, so mine is now chrome.

I briefly had a 660-12 last year - one of those grail guitars for me, which was going to give me the 600 shape again and possibly replace the 360. But its neck, while wide enough...also felt big and clunky. And there were numerous flaws around the binding.

Just my bad luck, I suppose, that I'm 3 for 3 with Rickenbacker. I realize that while personal experience is all anecdotal, it's also fairly definitive for the person who had the experiences. I'm not slamming Rickenbacker, and don't preach agin'em. I still hold out hope for a playable 600-series (sometime), and a 4003 bass is pretty much at the top of my lust list.

Otherwise, like everyone, I go with with what works for me - and occasionally report my findings (assuming others know not to put too much weight on what one cranky old bastid on a forum says).

So I don't know. Aesthetics and tone are personal choices, so there's little point repeating that, with the exception of the 600 cresting wave, Ric shapes are categorically unattractive to me - and for all that other people use Rics effectively, there's just not a tone in the 6-strings I've found workable.

So that's all to the side. My larger point about Rics vs Teles is that they almost have to be judged to different standards, since their designs, build, and intentions are so different. And really, I've just never had a functional issue with a Tele - of any price.

Before Cadillac turned into the glittering gilded luxury bucket of upward aspiration in the 1930s, it had been a fastidiously workmanlike and mechanically bulletproof utility vehicle, used by the Nairn Transport Co to haul passengers and freight across the untracked desert between Beirut and Baghdad. They'd tried other cars, but none held up as well. The idea was that the greatest luxury is reliability.

And there's your Tele.

To me the slicked-over Ric neck is a little funnier than frosted maple, yes. I simply don't care for the appearance of the walnut (though I love the sharkstooth markers) - and it's been my observation that Rickenbacker heaps the finish on thicker, so it actually piles up against the frets and creates a wavy appearance. Fender's neck finishes, not so much.

But these are all matters of taste, and everyone picks his own poison.

30

Luck of the draw, I suppose. My new out-of-box 620 in midnight blue (a decade ago, maybe?) had lacquer that showed the kind of surface swirling you expect halfway through the buffing process - and which felt gummy, as though it hadn't completely set. In two years of ownership, it never did. The neck was always sticky. The guitar was achingly beautiful, but I could neither bond with the narrow neck nor find a sound in it I needed.

My 360-12, also new out-of-box in 1996, was fine...until the tailpiece spontaneously snapped while the guitar gently slept in its case. It had also come with a crack in the upper pickguard. Rickenbacker replaced both components - when I sent them the old ones to prove I wasn't trying to build a counterfeit one piece at a time. But they no longer had the oh-so-90s black tailpiece, so mine is now chrome.

I briefly had a 660-12 last year - one of those grail guitars for me, which was going to give me the 600 shape again and possibly replace the 360. But its neck, while wide enough...also felt big and clunky. And there were numerous flaws around the binding.

Just my bad luck, I suppose, that I'm 3 for 3 with Rickenbacker. I realize that while personal experience is all anecdotal, it's also fairly definitive for the person who had the experiences. I'm not slamming Rickenbacker, and don't preach agin'em. I still hold out hope for a playable 600-series (sometime), and a 4003 bass is pretty much at the top of my lust list.

Otherwise, like everyone, I go with with what works for me - and occasionally report my findings (assuming others know not to put too much weight on what one cranky old bastid on a forum says).

So I don't know. Aesthetics and tone are personal choices, so there's little point repeating that, with the exception of the 600 cresting wave, Ric shapes are categorically unattractive to me - and for all that other people use Rics effectively, there's just not a tone in the 6-strings I've found workable.

So that's all to the side. My larger point about Rics vs Teles is that they almost have to be judged to different standards, since their designs, build, and intentions are so different. And really, I've just never had a functional issue with a Tele - of any price.

Before Cadillac turned into the glittering gilded luxury bucket of upward aspiration in the 1930s, it had been a fastidiously workmanlike and mechanically bulletproof utility vehicle, used by the Nairn Transport Co to haul passengers and freight across the untracked desert between Beirut and Baghdad. They'd tried other cars, but none held up as well. The idea was that the greatest luxury is reliability.

And there's your Tele.

To me the slicked-over Ric neck is a little funnier than frosted maple, yes. I simply don't care for the appearance of the walnut (though I love the sharkstooth markers) - and it's been my observation that Rickenbacker heaps the finish on thicker, so it actually piles up against the frets and creates a wavy appearance. Fender's neck finishes, not so much.

But these are all matters of taste, and everyone picks his own poison.

– Proteus

Man, Tim, it hurts me to my heart that you happened to score your 620 during the time when Rickenemabacker was having trouble with their finishes. And I can also easily picture your considerable previous experience with so many other guitars to cause a 620’s neck to feel...just...wrong.

I’m also very curious to hear more about your take on the 660/12, since your ears and fingers are vastly more evolved than my own, having lived in that world for so much longer. I often muse to myself that I may just be experiencing bliss in ignorance with regards to Ricks since I haven’t come anywhere near the 10,000 hours. But I CAN say that I’ve played mine enough to reach the point to where a Rick with, say, a Les Paul-dimension neck just wouldn’t feel right to me...but only on a Rick. Another greenhorn question I have is thus...

Is it just me, or are fargin’ Rickenbaggages perhaps more amp-sensitive than your standard Gretsch, Gibson, or Fender?

I’m giving myself a headache.

31

Man, Tim, it hurts me to my heart that you happened to score your 620 during the time when Rickenemabacker was having trouble with their finishes. And I can also easily picture your considerable previous experience with so many other guitars to cause a 620’s neck to feel...just...wrong.

I’m also very curious to hear more about your take on the 660/12, since your ears and fingers are vastly more evolved than my own, having lived in that world for so much longer. I often muse to myself that I may just be experiencing bliss in ignorance with regards to Ricks since I haven’t come anywhere near the 10,000 hours. But I CAN say that I’ve played mine enough to reach the point to where a Rick with, say, a Les Paul-dimension neck just wouldn’t feel right to me...but only on a Rick. Another greenhorn question I have is thus...

Is it just me, or are fargin’ Rickenbaggages perhaps more amp-sensitive than your standard Gretsch, Gibson, or Fender?

I’m giving myself a headache.

– tubwompus

I had a 660/6. Same width neck. Width was fine but it was awfully shallow and flat and just wasn't all that comfortable to play. But DAMN it was something to look at. In the end, I ended up my current 360/6 WB. The awesome 330 style body but with binding and shark teeth inlays like before Ric went to the rounded over top on the 360.

32

Don't wanna make this about me me ME - or a referendum on Rickenbacker in general, because who cares?

But maybe my responses to a couple of Tub's cogitations will prove useful to others.

And I can also easily picture your considerable previous experience with so many other guitars to cause a 620’s neck to feel...just...wrong.

I don't think I'm overly sensitive to neck configurations or profiles (at least not to the princess-n-pea point). You may know that I have at least a few guitars, and they certainly don't have homogenous neck profiles. While my hand feels the difference between a rounded baseball bat, a typical C or D, a V, or whatever - most of the time it really doesn't care. It just adjusts.

At what I now consider the extremes of neck design, though, I have run into combinations of factors that just won't work for me. In some cases, I just can't get around on the thing - it's either immediately painful or the attempts of my tiny paws are just laughable. (That's with a REALLY fat round neck with stupidly high action.) More often, the configuration either makes me a worse player than I am on most other guitars - and/or, it causes hand cramping over a playing session.

Perhaps counterintuitively, it's not the big necks that most confound me - despite my petite hands and stubby fingers - it's the ones that are too slim from front to back that keel me. Most shredder guitars are simply not comfortable. My Charvel Surfcaster was a terrible offender. I think it's a combination of too flat a radius AND too thin a neck.

I also note I'm getting more sensitive to string spacing at the nut than I used to be. In the past I've generally been able to adjust to narrower spacing without either cramping or getting notably messier. I don't know what kind of deterioration has come with age, but I'm finding it harder to fret accurately - without killing adjacent notes - than it used to be.

My deficiencies in physical grace are practically part of my self-definition - any attempts at dance are ludicrous - and I suspect I was born with built-in limitations to proprioception. I've always known where my limbs are well enough to walk, ride a bike, drive, do all the normal things - and at smaller scales I either had or developed sufficient fine motor control that my fingers have pretty well known where they are on a keyboard (musical or otherwise) and a guitar neck. I think just how precise that control could be has been genetically limited (I may never have made a surgeon).

I've surely put in the theoretical 10,000 hours a couple times over, and there's just always been a threshold past which I seem physically incapable of advancing. No matter how much I practiced, my fingers would move only so fast. But a guitar neck has been a familiar home for decades, and in the past I've been able to adjust to spacing changes. I could not only feel when my fingers were in the right place, they could go there, changing their configuration on the way to a new chord or position, and be right when they arrived. (I'm talking about both sideways positions across the strings and extension - or compression - across frets.)

Despite playing more most days in the last year or so than at any time I can remember, I'm not only not getting better at these details - I seem to be getting worse. Stuff I swear was for decades easy for me, waaaay beneath the level of conscious thought, has presented itself for attention. I've found it harder to play cleanly (mostly left hand finger deployment, but also fretting-picking coordination between the two hands). It's not bad, and I don't think I would sound much worse to most listeners; it just seems more of a challenge to execute as cleanly as I'd like.

It's also true that I'm deploying (I think) more demanding techniques, with more voicings, more finger movement, and more left-right coordination than I've needed in the past.

In that context, while either wider or narrower string spacing than normal might confuse my fingers at first, narrower is worse. Because with extra width, there's more distance between strings to accommodate slop. With less width, the clean-execution challenge is greatly increased.

So...most Ric necks are perfectly comfortable for me in the front-to-back dimension. Their profiles are OK; they're neither too beefy nor too delicate. It's just the string spacing that befumbles me.

Again, despite small hands, I'm more comfortable - and play better - on a 2"-wide flat classical neck (assuming it's thick enough front to back) than on a neck ostensibly more built for speed.

Thin, shallow, flat shredder necks do shred. They shred my hand.


I’m also very curious to hear more about your take on the 660/12, since your ears and fingers are vastly more evolved than my own, having lived in that world for so much longer

OK, points of detail. I know you're being respectful of your elders, but my ears are NOT more evolved than yours.

Hands, maybe. (On guitar - but I haven’t heard you on guitar for a couple of years, and I speck you’ve been woodshedding.) I've played since 1965, and without spending 20 or 30 years deathgripping drumsticks. (OK, I know your grip is way more fluid than that.) But again - I think I probably reached the practical limit of the dexterity coded in my personal DNA some years ago. That is, I got as good technically as it's in my animal nature to get - and I may be losing some dexterity with age.

So the neck of the 660/12 was a real (and very unpleasant) surprise to me. The string spacing was OK - or no more problematic than any of my non-Ric 12s. What kilt me was that Rickenbacker seems to have thought than if they made the neck wider, it was necessary to scale up OTHER dimensions as well. It felt clubby. Too thick front-to-back, and with a decidedly unpleasant profile particularly as I worked my way up the neck. It didn't have the fleet, flattish feel of my 360/12 (which is perfectly comfortable).

Maybe I could have had the back of the neck re-profiled. But it was already an expensive guitar (by my protestant Appalachian standards), and I didn't like the tone more than the 360's (maybe less), so it didn't seem one of those lifetime guitars it would be worth investing in.


Is it just me, or are fargin’ Rickenbaggages perhaps more amp-sensitive than your standard Gretsch, Gibson, or Fender?

That's a good question. I hadn't thought of it. I haven't made a study of Rickenbacking through different amps. To be clear, I have no trouble whatever with the sound of my 360 through any amp I generally use. But it seems like I played the 620 through my own variety of amps (so, Dlx Reverb, Peavey, Ampeg) without being thrilled and delighted by any of those combinations. I mean, I liked the tone OK. There are/were applications to which it could be put. But I didn't love it for any of those purposes.

I had a 330 for a short while, when I was transshipping it to a GDP-er in the antipodes; I remember being somewhat more enchanted by that tone, though I don't remember what amps I used. It had an interesting texture. But that was moot, as the 330 is a complete non-starter for me in appearance. I shouldn't be so trivial and shallow, I know.

33

Tim,

I have a buddy in Atlanta, GA who bought a "Snoglo" white limited run 4003 last year. I've known him for 50 years and have never heard his bass riffs sound that good. Get one!

Interesting experience with your guitar nut width foibles. For me, it's the opposite. It took me years to figure out why early Hofners, 60's Stratocasters and Gretsches, 70's Gibsons and Rics play so well. They all have 1 5/8" nut widths, which would probably drive you crazy, but for a fingerstyle player who loves the sound of "closed" jazz chords there just is no other way to go without a severe deterioration in performance and it gets more critical as the years go by.

Yes, the guitars are VERY amp sensitive. I get by far the best results from a Music Man 110 D-50 with a cheap Danelectro trem pedal on the front end.

One other thing.....every player I know who has played a Ric has commented on the guitar's action. The twin truss rods DO work really well.

And finally, my big beef. That Hagstrom type 4-post bridge tilts so easily when adjusted requiring all of the strings to be loosened to straighten it up again. Any possibility of a Ric Tru-arc on the horizon???

34

Weird. I play considerable hybrid finger style, and love close dense chords (ok, also big wide open ones) - and need more width to make the shapes, not less.

And I have a MusicMan 110-50. I’ve had it so long I sometimes forget what a great amp it is - but every time I fire it up I remember why it’s going nowhere. If only I’d known to try that combination.

I have no complaints about the action on any Ric I’ve played.

And, in fact, we have a Ric model Tru-Arc. Our member Brian66 commissioned it last year (longer ago?) for a gorgeous 620. The shop customized a baseplate to provide the requisite offset position for intonation. Great-looking bridge. I’ll try to find pics.

Also, there’s no doubt I’ll have a 4003. I owe it to Chris - and Paul and John, et al - but mostly Chris. I stayed out of the P-Bass Lovefest thread because to me, a Ric is what bass sounds like.

35

Then we clearly have different shaped fingers!

Would like to see a pic of that bridge.

36

Well, hilariously (or not), I found the thread in which Brian posted lots of what I remember as gorgeous pictures of his 660. (Not a 620, as I recalled wrongly.) Brian's a great photographer.

Alas, all those pics are now MIA. Whether Brian took them down or they were lost in a server cleanup, I don't know.

Here's the thread: http://gretschpages.com/for...

All I have is two pics Brian sent me just after he got the bridge, and before he shortened the posts (which the shop left long, because we didn't know what kind of rise the bridge would need).

37

I had the shop square the ends off slightly by comparison to a Tru-Arc Standard, to make the Ric version visually distinct; it also kinda matches the shape of the bridge base, but that's hidden by the adjusting wheels.

Also, Yavapai, I see that you posted in that thread! Is your memory gone too?

38

Great pics Tim. Many thanks.

Memory? Oh, none of us are getting any younger!

39

i picked up a black 1990s 360 a couple of years back, and have been really surprised by its versatility. mine has the high-gain PUs, which i deliberately selected cos i wanted a Peter Buck guitar. i haven't found it to be that distortion-friendly, but when played relatively clean (which really is relative at my place) the clarity is astounding. it doesn't chime worth heck, but i'm not really a chime consumer anyway. i foresee it being quite useful for doubling rhythm guitar parts on recordings.

40

To me, a Telecaster and a Rickenbacker is an even trade and value. I like both.

I would probably trade for a 330 over a Telecaster. However, as stated above, a "Burton" telecaster is not common, but what exactly is special about a Burton Tele?

If it's super unique, then I'd keep it, but between the two, I'd rather have the Rickenbacker, despite the narrow neck. I can get used to any neck profile.

...------

41

Burton Tele is way more versatile than a Rick. Depends on what you're after. I personally think those Burton Teles are hideous and wouldn't take one out for a gig. I have a Rick 330 it's very one dimensional but what it does, it does really well.

42

i picked up a black 1990s 360 a couple of years back, and have been really surprised by its versatility. mine has the high-gain PUs, which i deliberately selected cos i wanted a Peter Buck guitar. i haven't found it to be that distortion-friendly, but when played relatively clean (which really is relative at my place) the clarity is astounding. it doesn't chime worth heck, but i'm not really a chime consumer anyway. i foresee it being quite useful for doubling rhythm guitar parts on recordings.

– macphisto

I found that I needed to pretty much have some compression "always on" in there to get that 'magic' out of the various ones I've owned. Unknown Hinson seems to get a hell of a distortion tone out of his, but if I had half the talent that Daniel Stuart Baker had I could probably figure it out.

43

none of us are getting any younger!

But the more stuff I forget, the younger I feel. It's great not to be burdened by extraneous information.

45

And online trading is even more interesting. Especially, when you start to receive good profits from the deals? Interested? Read xm review https://tradersunion.com/br... . You will find out a lot of interesting things on how to get money by correct price forecasts. It is not a joke. Millions of people enjoy regular profits on forex trading.

46

My friend Tim says...*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.*

I feel this way about my Falcon and a couple other Gretsch that I have. This statement is gold.

47

Ah well, if he cancelled, it wasn’t meant to be. That said, I own both a Rick 360 and a JB Tele except mine is an older one from 1989. Those are not cheap Teles. They are well built. I agree with some of the others about playing a Rick before buying one. I bought mine without playing it because it was an outstanding deal. I’ve got lots of guitars of various brands and scale lengths and I couldn’t play that Rick for squat in the beginning. I finally spent hours and hours playing it for an entire week and suddenly, it just magically happened. It must have been a muscle memory thing. Ever since that magic moment, I’ve never had any trouble since going from another brand to the Rick.


Register Sign in to join the conversation