360/12c63 or a C series 325?

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

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Re: 360/12c63 or a C series 325?

Postby (ayoungmusiciandude) » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:24 am

Would anyone here know how John Fogertys 325 sounded like with that Gibson Pickup?
It's better to burn out
Then to fade away

~Neil Young
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Re: 360/12c63 or a C series 325?

Postby (collin) » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:16 pm

ayoungmusiciandude wrote:Would anyone here know how John Fogertys 325 sounded like with that Gibson Pickup?


Listen to a CCR record.

(no, seriously!) most of the CCR material was recorded with that guitar, including Green River, Around the Bend and others.
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Re: 360/12c63 or a C series 325?

Postby (ayoungmusiciandude) » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:41 pm

Hey all

Bet you thought this was long dead huh? :lol:

Well, I figured to resolve the story I'd tell you guys the status of my Rickenbacker 325c64.


So among many sour and rather unpleasant comments there were some genuine users offering very helpful advice, which was really hard to pull out individually and discuss among a majority. Again I'd like to thank the guys that weren't jumping on my age or inexperience but rather expressed your own experiences as one guy to the next. I really did think about your advice in the long run and its really changed my decision....thus to the enthusiast purists and ones who think they write rules on how to keep a guitar be warned, you may wanna back out now.

The ultimate conclusion I pulled was
"why mimic the past out of nostalgia like a geezer, looking like an idiot onstage, when I could modernize to suit me"

I started by doing numbers and realizing the cost of a conversion would in the end be more expensive than just buying a C58. Upon doing more research I noticed luthiers wont touch this job for under $2000. With the retail price I paid for the mint C64 I had on order at my local shop this would mean I'm paying almost $5000 for a guitar I could get for $3500. I am in my early 20s, and yes indeed living paycheck to paycheck. So reality hit me fast when I saw the bills and meals I'd miss :roll:

This of course didn't fully dissuade my mind from tinkering, I still wanted to give it some character and boost tone/playability. I wasn't sure for awhile but after doing thinking I did my homework and laid out the schematics to create my own personal experience. Of course I don't plan to reveal the entirety of my future modifications for the Rick, that would spoil the surprise.

But for now I'll tell you I:
()Changed the default Rickenbacker vintage black knobs to a set of Hofner teacup knobs
()Swapped out the accent vibrato like I threatened with a standard Bigsby B5
()The old tune-o-matic I took out for a Bowtie bridge
() I had awhile ago disconnected my middle pickup (to replicate how Lennon did on his Hamburg model) but eventually decided to fully remove it
() took off the upper guard and used the grommets from that and the removed pickup to raise the pickguard similar to a C58 (makes it look thicker too)
() stripped the old deluxe rick tuning pegs for vintage style Grover tuners (open back).

These are all pretty basic mods for now as I didn't jump in headlong like I planned. They've thus far stabilized my instrument...or so I thought. :oops:

Seeing as most of my alterations leaned still to vintage accents I was finding some of the the issues a C58 is known for in my C64. The tuning would never stay, my intonation was out of whack and i would get some bizarre fret buzz. I guess I was lucky I didn't go all the way in making a Sullivan Show replica 325, had I done that I'd be stuck with that problem.

I brought it to my local luthier who is going to be doing routine maintenance as well as changing out my tuners with schaller locking machine heads, doing fretwork and pinning the Bowtie bridge to the body. Its gonna be a costly job but it'll keep it in tune and fix some bugs in the neck.

What I can tell you is my next plan off attack is to swap my bridge toaster pickup for a Gibson USA Humbucker. I'm leaning to a burstbucker but stuck between the 57' (Fogerty had one on his 325). after listening to the 325 playing in the CCR songs I thought a Gibson humbucker might add a new depth to it giving more possibility in its abilities. Constructive advice welcome. :mrgreen:

I also wanted to install a L.R Baggs T bridge but the tune-o-matic is apparently too large to fit the neck width. I like the piezo pickup installed in the bridge. The quality of the acoustic sound is pretty incredible, especially put on electric guitars -------->https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndVgR1qmHBs

All in all, not too much right now to report beyond that without ruining my surprise. Hope this project gets some good response, I look forward to the knowledge you all have :D
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Re: 360/12c63 or a C series 325?

Postby (jdogric12) » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:52 pm

Neat! that's certainly unique. What do you plan for the big hole between the pickups?
Sent from my Roland GR-500. Please excuse any typos.
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Re: 360/12c63 or a C series 325?

Postby (ayoungmusiciandude) » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:32 pm

jdogric12 wrote:Neat! that's certainly unique. What do you plan for the big hole between the pickups?


Thanks Jason! I'm pretty happy I didn't go down the vintage replica route and tried to be original instead. As the advice given. The C58 would have been a nightmare.

I actually have a few ideas for the middle pickup gap.

For now it's just got a piece of electric tape over it but I'm playing with the idea of adding a Fender single coil pickup there. Not sure what one exactly as I haven't started my research, leaning to a telecaster neck pickup.

I like how Alvin Lee of Ten Years After had really beefed up his Gibson 335, it really gave that band a distinct tone (That and Alvin's playing is incredible).
He had explained in an interview that he wanted a variety of sound and made it his own.
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~Neil Young
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Re: 360/12c63 or a C series 325?

Postby (maxwell) » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:16 am

Alright! Looking good, and it’s good you’re back to share your progress.

I’m still dragging my feet about installing a Bigsby. How did your installation go? Did you follow the instructions precisely (e.g., drill bit diameter), or did you have do some minor troubleshooting? I understand that the bodies are hollow (at least in spots), and that concerns me... goofing up drilling the screw hole and getting a loose screw placement.

In case you’re considering having a gold pickguard made, Pickguardian has a good rep for good work:

https://www.pickguardian.com/

You might have to send them your existing pickguard (if you want to copy that), or send a carefully made template for any customization. (Maybe also sending a knob for accurate color matching...?). You can call/contact them for details and pricing.

Anyway, looking forward to more progress reports.
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Re: 360/12c63 or a C series 325?

Postby (ayoungmusiciandude) » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:35 pm

maxwell wrote:Alright! Looking good, and it’s good you’re back to share your progress.

I’m still dragging my feet about installing a Bigsby. How did your installation go?


The Bigsby setup was great!

I had all the directions read over, the right drill bits and my friend and I checked it 1000 times before even marking the spot to drill :lol:

It was really a humongous improvement overall that I'm glad I invested in. It basically gave the guitar a whole new level of sustain, which is obvious as the accent vibrato was a chintzy piece of junk sitting on the body. It did seem hairy at first with that knowledge it IS a hollow guitar will lots of chambers but you're pretty much drilling into a solid area it seems. That and the screws they send are pretty good size, not industrial strength but they are a decent enough size so they hold to the face of the guitar very well.

I've also used the $hit out of it already and can say its pretty durable and versatile. believe it or not I preformed a solo on it...a Neil Young one no less. 8)

I'm not sure anymore about the gold motif in terms of the pickguard and TRC actually. It's so difficult to find the TRC on second hand market, especially outside the default Rickenbacker White. I'm actually leaning to the idea of a dull black decal or thin plexi layer over my original white pickguard. I would also swap out my hofner teacup knobs with replicas of the Burns Of London set. I thought it would give it a really cool solid look for the body with the classic Rickenbacker headstock and logo untouched.

I even made an example sketch in Microsoft paint of it. Any thoughts?
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