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  1. #1

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    In all the years that I have followed the JGO Forum, I don't recall ever seeing any mention Rickenbacker guitars. When I was a kid in SOCAL, I had a neighbor who split his time between a Gibson ES-335 and a RIC two-pickup, semi-acoustic. He was an exceptionally good guitarist--very jazzy. Anyway, he got great sounds from BOTH guitars.

    Thinking back, it got me to wondering why nobody seems to use RICs for jazz. They sure are capable of outstanding sounds.

    Thoughts?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Why not?
    Remember Toots Thielemans wit George Shearing
    Rickenbacker guitars?-shearing-stage-jpg

  4. #3

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    I owned a little Ric solid for a couple of years (The "Tom Petty" cover guitar). I really liked it as a Fender alternative, but the neck/fb was too teeny-tiny for my fingers. But those 60's jangly Ric's sound great on the songs.

  5. #4

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    I recall Rickenbacker necks being chunky. However, I don't think that they gained width as you went up the fingerboard. That was different from other guitars but not a deal breaker.

  6. #5

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    The Rickenbacker 660 has a 1 3/4" nut, but it's the exception.

  7. #6

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    In college I had a fascination for the entire RIC lineup. One music store had the catalog which is where first set eyes on a 381.


  8. #7

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    Good question. My only Rick is a B6 lap steel from back when they were still spelling it Rickenbacher. I don't tend to use it when I (try to) play jazz, though I wouldn't mind being able to play like Greg Leisz with Bill Frisell...

    Rickenbacker guitars?-rickenbacher-b6-jpg

  9. #8

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    In the early 70s I bought a 1065 fire glow 460 from my neighbor. Bring in Malibu they drove to the factory and he picked out what he wanted. I loved that guitar through my Drluxe Revetb
    Last edited by Crm114; 05-02-2021 at 03:29 PM.

  10. #9

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    IIRC Rickenbacker built a full size archtop designed by Rodger Rossmeisl. Cats eyes soundholes and German carved top. Recall seeing photos of Ricky Nelson with one from the 50's.
    Must be a rare bird! Paging Hammertone...

  11. #10

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    I've only seen one Ric IRL, owned by an acquaintance; gorgeous, great sounding; never got to play it. I did have the great good fortune to play with a very adroit bass player who swore by his gleaming black Ric bass, and was an all-around Good Guy, a good man to have at your back - a tale for another day and perhaps another place.

    Sterling instruments, in my view.

  12. #11

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    EXACTLY. The guitar that was in that catalog i had !!


    Quote Originally Posted by SierraTango
    IIRC Rickenbacker built a full size archtop designed by Rodger Rossmeisl. Cats eyes soundholes and German carved top. Recall seeing photos of Ricky Nelson with one from the 50's.
    Must be a rare bird! Paging Hammertone...

  13. #12

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    Its the 390... here's the catalog page:

    Rickenbacker guitars?-ric-dp-body-acoust-jpg

    Very cool-looking! As far as I know, it never made it into production.

  14. #13

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    I've always loved the way Ricks look especially the George Harrison 12 string. But after trying a bunch of them and even owning a couple, no thanks!

    Skinny width, and strange neck angles along with bright pickups.
    I'm sure glad others can make them sou d good, cause I sure cant, LOL !

  15. #14
    My friend says a ric is just another cheap guitar like a mosrite or Sears that is priced too high. But I’d love one of those cheap rics


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #15

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    In the below Impressions clip, the player gets a great Metheny-like tone and at 1'22 the upper register chords sound like harp strings . Very good playing, btw. In the "fireglo" clip I thought the first few seconds on the neck pup sounded very usable indeed.




  17. #16

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  18. #17

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    Rickenbacker guitars?-diettes001-jpg

    Rickenbacker guitars?-381-12-front-2-jpg

    Rickenbacker guitars?-370-12-front-jpg

    I've had a half-dozen Ric 12's. If I still had a need for an electric 12, I'd still own one. I hate the skinny, deep necks and the teeny frets, but I love the sound. Pretty sure I’ve never used one for jazz though.

    Danny W.
    Last edited by Danny W.; 05-02-2021 at 08:16 PM.

  19. #18

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    Since I was a teenager I always wanted a Rickenbacker 12 string. A few years ago I started to get serious about getting one, until my brother said “after you play a couple of Byrds and Beatle songs then what are you going to do with it ?”. That cured my GAS for a 12 string Rickenbacker. He saved me a lot of money.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fasteddie;[URL="tel:1118986"
    1118986[/URL]]A few years ago I started to get serious about getting one, until my brother said “after you play a couple of Byrds and Beatle songs then what are you going to do with it?”.
    Play Beach Boys songs.

    Danny W.

  21. #20

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    I had a 660 from about '76 to '85. Main thing I liked was that it was a lot lighter than my Les Paul. As I remember the neck didn't feel a whole lot different, but it's a long time back now. In those days we didn't pay as much attention to those details.

    I was playing some jazz, but not the Wes Montgomery kind. I was one of those guys who felt like "give me a broomstick with a couple of decent strings on it and I'll blow your mind". And I liked that nobody but me was playing 'serious' music with one.

    I thought it sounded great clean or with a Rat on it. I recorded some really challenging modern classical with it.

  22. #21

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    Peter Banks used a Ric (I think a 365, but I could be wrong on the model) in Yes and got a great jazzy tone in addition to psychedelic rock sounds:



    Bonus: Bill Bruford demonstrates why I always thought of him as a jazz drummer in a rock band. His duet with Banks in the middle section really swings.

  23. #22

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    Aside from the skinny necks and twangy sound, I think aesthetically they are some of the most beautiful electrics.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Aside from the skinny necks and twangy sound, I think aesthetically they are some of the most beautiful electrics.
    Well, besides that, how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Aside from the skinny necks and twangy sound, I think aesthetically they are some of the most beautiful electrics.
    Although I love the 4000 series basses, all those Rick guitars with narrow necks were a deal-breaker for me.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by SierraTango
    IIRC Rickenbacker built a full size archtop designed by Rodger Rossmeisl. Cats eyes soundholes and German carved top. Recall seeing photos of Ricky Nelson with one from the 50's. Must be a rare bird! Paging Hammertone...
    Roger Rossmeisl built two 390 prototypes, based on the Roger Super model made by his father's Roger company in Germany. All photos of artists with 390 models show them with one or the other of these prototypes. Both of the guitars are on display in the Rickenbacker Museum. I agree with cmajor9 - they never went into production, despite being listed in some catalogue information. Other than these two guitars, there are no 390, 391 or 392 models in existence. I would love to be proven wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmajor9
    Rickenbacker guitars?-ric-dp-body-acoust-jpg
    Very cool-looking! As far as I know, it never made it into production.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-05-2021 at 03:56 PM.

  27. #26

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    I have long lusted for those two RIC archtops. Gorgeous.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    I have long lusted for those two RIC archtops. Gorgeous.
    A few builders have done copies/repros.
    -Rickenbacker did a 760J "Jazzbo" prototype for NAMM'04;
    -Ed Rees built a 360 copy/homage;
    -Paul Wilczynski (Studio California) did an authorized copy;
    -maybe one or two more out there.

    They all have some similarities, but are wrong in various key ways. Below are three of the copy guitars.

    The Ric 360 is clearly Roger Rossmeisl's version of the Roger Super, originally designed by Wenzel. Roger evolved the design in the Berlin shop, after the Markneukirchen shop was seized and his father imprisoned, and further evolved it while working at Rickenbacker.

    Below the Ric-style archtops are three early Roger Supers with cutaways. L-R:
    -built under Wenzel's supervision at the Roger shop in Markneukirchen
    -built under Roger's supervision at the Roger shop in Berlin;
    -built by Klaus Andrees (who worked at the Berlin Roger workshop briefly) using a Berlin-built Roger body and neck.
    Attached Images Attached Images Rickenbacker guitars?-copies-jpg Rickenbacker guitars?-img_1183-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-05-2021 at 03:28 PM.

  29. #28
    To me Ric is a hangar queen type brand except for some of the basses.Top studio and jazz pros never used them much,except for British invasion type acts.

  30. #29

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    I've always wanted the little solid body that Toots Theilmans played with George Shearing, that looks like a cool guitar.

  31. #30
    I knew one guy who had the Shearing gig for a while and he mainly liked Gibson archtops. One thing that surprised me was that he told me George was really proud of being able to live on Nob Hill in the SF Bay area. Sort of like watching Stevie Wonder drive his new Rolls Royce in an empty parking lot ! A group I was in opened for Jose Feliciano at the Exit Inn in Nashville and I found out Jose was a happy,fun person to be with and a excellent singer and guitarist. When I was a teenager I thought Rics were desirable but an older wiser guitarist steered me into a 1959 Gibson 355 for 325$. It was my all time favorite guitar. But if others really like something else I say to each his own.

  32. #31
    Considering what Germany did to England in WW2 it struck me as odd that all four Beatles played German brand named instruments,even Ringo! Maybe when The Ruttles played " Goose-Steppin Mama" they figured that out. I believe George Harrison helped produce The Ruttles! Whats in a name I guess?

  33. #32
    The Rutles Were More Famous Than Buddah!

  34. #33

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    I have played about 3 or 4, six string rics. Only one made me want to buy it. I think it was a 1974. I am not typically excited about old guitars (except for the history), some play great, some not so much, some sound great, others not so much. However the old RIC was very different then the new ones I played. I almost bought the old one but it was well played and cost a lot. I still think about that guitar and wish I would of spent the money. It sounded fantastic and even though it felt like a RIC with the neck thing happening, it played well ... the sounds I pulled out of it were really cool. I do not remember if it was able to do jazz at all... maybe not.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    Considering what Germany did to England in WW2 it struck me as odd that all four Beatles played German brand named instruments,even Ringo! Maybe when The Ruttles played " Goose-Steppin Mama" they figured that out. I believe George Harrison helped produce The Ruttles! Whats in a name I guess?
    Perhaps their time in Hamburg influenced their instrumental choices.

  36. #35

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    Now, they were into Americana and smart enough to go for that historic USA brand with a modern shape to go with the mop tops.

    I have a ancient pedal steel, love the horseshoe magnet, great tone.

    Should we mention that great American inventer Doc Kaufman?

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve burchfield
    Considering what Germany did to England in WW2 it struck me as odd that all four Beatles played German brand named instruments,even Ringo! Maybe when The Ruttles played " Goose-Steppin Mama" they figured that out. I believe George Harrison helped produce The Ruttles! Whats in a name I guess?
    Huh? Those are American companies.
    Would it also be odd that they played Gretsch, or Martin, or Les Polfuss? How about Hofner or Framus? Dang, this whole subject gives me a headache. I think I'll go take a couple of Bayer aspirin.