320 vs. 325

Vintage, Modern, V & C Series, Signature & Special Editions

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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (kiramdear) » Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:51 am

doctorwho wrote:
kiramdear wrote:... The "5" refers to the tremelo model of any series ...

Except for the 355JL and 355/12JL Limited Editions, which have trapeze tailpieces. And it does not apply to the 4005 bass, of course!

I'm beginning to realize there are no nutshell explanations for anything Rickenbacker! Thanks, doc, for filling us in :)
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (wj350) » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:55 am

kiramdear wrote:I'm beginning to realize there are no nutshell explanations for anything Rickenbacker! Thanks, doc, for filling us in :)



Ahh, the one constant truth about all things Ric!!!

:D :D

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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (deaconblues) » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:15 am

Don't forget the 325/12!!! :D
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (kt66) » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:35 pm

Why did they stop making the 320, surely thanks to
Lennon and Hoffs it would always be in demand over something like the 6 series????
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (iiipopes) » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:01 pm

A post above talks about the lower bout of the guitars being wider or narrower at different times. This is a function of when they were made, not a function of 320 (tailpiece) vs 325 (whammy). The wider bodied guitars are generally, although I don't know the exact dates, the later standard issue guitars of the '70's and '80's, before the "reissues" started being made. In an old guitar player magazine from decades ago there is an article about the process of starting the "reissue," or "vintage" models, and the Rickenbacker folks going through the old templates in storage and holding each one up to a guitar to match the "correct" one.

Remember that the numbering series for short scale guitars was originally:

310 - two pickups, tailpiece
315 - two pickups, whammy
320 - three pickups, tailpiece
325 - three pickups, whammy

And this carried through until modern times when popular corruption calls all the short scale guitars "325's," in spite of this designation only properly being assigned to short scale, three pickup, whammy-equipped guitars.

There are also other details not noticed except by those like me who have played both eras of guitars, including the scale length and pickup placement, as well as the wider or narrower lower bout. (Again, this is a generality; I don't know exact dates when things changed back and forth) The scale length on the '60's models (and therefore, the reissues) is 20 3/4 inches. The scale on my 1981 320 is 21 inches. The scale length seems to have been lengthened by moving the bridge back towards the tail the extra 1/4 inch. Originally, my 320 had 1/4 inch more space between the bridge and the bridge pickup than do the '60's era guitars, which leads me to speculate that the pickup routing jig remained the same. I wondered why I didn't get all the jangle I should, so I moved the bridge pickup that 1/4 inch closer to the bridge, and split the difference with the middle pickup. I got the "bite" back with the jangle.

Yes, I delved into all this decades ago when I thought about trying to convert my 320 to a Lennon replica. When I realized it just wasn't going to happen, I settled on moving the pickups and changing out the 320's 14kohm overwound neck pickup with the underwound pickup in the bridge position of my 1981 360-12WB FG ckbd to match the underwound bridge and middle pickups on the 320. Before the cries go up, my 360-12 had a pickup open up, so it had already lost its originality, and since the pickups were from the same year, I switched them out. I had the dead 12-string pickup rewound and unwound the remaining 14 kohm high gain down to @ 8 kohms. Again, before anyone cries out - that pickup was so muddy as to be unusable, and this was before RIC offered the 7.4 kohm toasters as a standard item in the boutique. Now the two pickups in the 360-12 have a clear, chimey, almost "acoustic-y" tone that really compliment that guitar, and my 320 has three really jangly, clear pickups, in the flavor of early Beatles. (Again, remember that the 7.4 kohm spec is an average of mid-'60's pickups that were measured after being auditioned tonally in prototyping the "new" toaster, and that late '50's and early '60's toasters generally had a little less wire on them.)
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (Ontario_RIC_fan) » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:25 pm

doctorwho wrote:
kiramdear wrote:... The "5" refers to the tremelo model of any series ...

Except for the 355JL and 355/12JL Limited Editions, which have trapeze tailpieces. And it does not apply to the 4005 bass, of course!


Actually the 325 is the only vibrato equipped RIC that didn't lose the "five after the model number" to indicate that it had a vibrato when RIC redid the numbering system to add VB after the model number in 1985.

I have a 67 625 and a 2002 620VB, so I pay attention to this tiny detail.

I think the 325 designation has some mileage due to its association with John Lennon.

I still think the vibrato less 320's are cool. But then I am biased, as I have never owned a 325..

:)
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (Tommy) » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:59 pm

kt66 wrote:Why did they stop making the 320,

I heard because it was cutting in to the sales of the 325. People would buy the cheaper 320 and then just Lennonize it with a few parts to make it a 325 like John's.
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (Nash Rambler) » Wed May 29, 2019 3:12 pm

wj350 wrote:I *think* the 320 bodies and necks are physically different than their 325/310/315 counterparts--wider bodies (13.25" vs. 12.75"), and narrower necks. The 320 body depth is the same as the 325c64, 1996RI, and the 350 models (1.5").

Bill

Probably any slight differences in the necks and these 2 models (320 vs 325) is due to differences in the individual guitars and the year they were produced. I find it hard to believe that a guitar maker would take the time and effort (which costs them $$) to tool up to machine a different neck for the 320. They would just use the same body, neck, electronics, tuners & hardware but use the "R" tailpiece in place of the vibrato. It just make sense, guitar makers like Rickenbacker are in business to make money and they probably try to avoid any unnecessary cost.
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (iiipopes) » Wed May 29, 2019 6:13 pm

Nash Rambler wrote:
wj350 wrote:I *think* the 320 bodies and necks are physically different than their 325/310/315 counterparts--wider bodies (13.25" vs. 12.75"), and narrower necks. The 320 body depth is the same as the 325c64, 1996RI, and the 350 models (1.5").

Bill

Probably any slight differences in the necks and these 2 models (320 vs 325) is due to differences in the individual guitars and the year they were produced. I find it hard to believe that a guitar maker would take the time and effort (which costs them $$) to tool up to machine a different neck for the 320. They would just use the same body, neck, electronics, tuners & hardware but use the "R" tailpiece in place of the vibrato. It just make sense, guitar makers like Rickenbacker are in business to make money and they probably try to avoid any unnecessary cost.

It may be difficult to believe, but it is true, especially on the lower bout width and the scale length.
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (redamber) » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:30 pm

Interesting long-running thread - and how sad to note earlier contributions from Kira Moon (RIP), who is no longer with us.

Anyway, despite the debate about John Lennon and 320/325 variants, I am fortunate enough to own the only four Ric 325 models ever associated with John Lennon (shown below, from left to right):

- 325C58 MG (here partially 'Lennonised’). Marketed as the ‘Capri’ model, it was bought by JL in Hamburg in 1960, where the Beatles were performing in a variety of Clubs .
- 325C64 in Jetglo – presented to JL by the Rickenbacker Corporation in Miami in 1964, as a replacement for his first 325.
- Rose Morris 1996 in Fireglo – ‘lent’ to JL by Rose Morris UK in late 1964, after he dropped his 325C64 whilst recording the 'Christmas Special' shows and it was off being repaired.
- 325-12 in Jetglo – presented to JL by the Ric Corporation in 1964, but only used a few times live (eg Boston, USA) and in the studio (eg, ‘Beatles for Sale’).

A search on the net will reveal photos of JL with each of these models. IMHO, all other 320/325 Rickenbackers (325V63 and the signature 'JL' models, etc) sit in the shadow of the true Lennon 325 guitars.

4 X 325 Models - DSCF6397 Resize.JPG
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (Nash Rambler) » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:40 pm

1OUfan wrote:
wj350 wrote:Kira, the neck differences (in measurements anyway are small--something like 1.6" at the nut for the 320, 1.65" for most of the 325 models. The fretboard radius on the 320 more like Lennon's guitar--10", vs 7.25" on the 325c58 (kinda curious about that myself). I like the flatter board myself.
Bill----
Please excuse my ignorance, but which radius is the flatter of the two? :oops:
Bob
I think it's great you're taking your guitar in your own direction. Keep in mind, Lennon modified his most likely because the Kaufmann was a pain to play with (especially in the raucous style they played back then)...if he'd had an R or Trapeze tailpiece he might not have even fooled with it!


Bill

I find it hard to believe that a guitar manufacturer like Rickenbacker would go through the trouble and expense to retool in order to make these stated changes in the body and neck of a 320, they would just make the 320 like the 325 with the "R" tailpiece instead of the vibrato..
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Re: 320 vs. 325

Postby (iiipopes) » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:58 pm

Nash Rambler wrote:I find it hard to believe that a guitar manufacturer like Rickenbacker would go through the trouble and expense to retool in order to make these stated changes in the body and neck of a 320, they would just make the 320 like the 325 with the "R" tailpiece instead of the vibrato..

RIC did, in the '60's. Everybody wanted the 325's instead. The body, neck, and scale changes occurred in the mid to late '70's through to the "reissue" guitars.
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