The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

General Rickenbacker discussion

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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (indianation65) » Sun May 24, 2020 1:45 am

I had heard and love plenty of music from the 60s and 70s that had Rickenbackers in it.

Most of my guitar heroes played Gibson Les Pauls, and I'm still crazy about all of them, and the Les Paul.

However, it was Peter Buck and early REM that sent me over the top for Rickenbackers. I have never heard Ricks sound like this, or the overall "atmosphere" of the sound of their album "Murmur" before.
I was hooked!

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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (seabass) » Sun May 24, 2020 4:01 pm

I'm a huge Squire, McCartney and Rutherford fan but it was the intro to Smoke On The Water that got me first. Had no idea what the bass was but boy it sounded good. Then it was Yes and buying my own and now I'm hooked (like all of us here I presume......)
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (tcsmit29) » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:18 am

For me it was the Beatles, or Lennon, more specifically. I was learning guitar in the mid 80's on a Harmony Les Paul copy from the Sears catalog. I was big into Beatle music and other 60's groups. I fell in love with John's second 325 that I saw in pictures. My parents got me a 325v63 in 1988. I was a sophomore in high school. I was struggling to play on the Harmony because of the chunky neck and high action. As soon as I got my 325, my bar chord game really took off and my playing improved dramatically. For that reason, I think the 325 is a great beginner's guitar, other than the cost. Funny how life works, now I struggle to play the 325 and chunky necked Les Pauls are my thing! :D I still love the Ricks though. I've owned quite a few through the years.
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (ch willie) » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:59 am

Just after the Red Rose Speedway, Wings over Europe tour, when I bought a poster of Paul playing his Ric.

I kept that poster on my wall from the time I was 14 until I got my 4001 3 years later. It is tattered, but I keep it on my wall, and it gives me fond memories out how I wanted a Ric so bad that I actually hurt.

I think the photo was a freelance pic: I have searched the web on and off for a long time, and it does not exist. I'd love to have it developed into a poster that I could have matted and framed.
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (Sérgio) » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:24 pm

I’ll be the odd one here.

The moment I actually was dragged into the Rickenbacker love wasn’t when I first listened to the Beatles or anything.

It was when I saw a picture of Johnny Ramone playing what appeared to be a modified Fireglo 450 somewhere around the late 70s, early 80s. I didn’t even have to hear anything, that photo in a magazine cover got me craving for a Ric and made me associate Ric guitars with punk and indie rock in my mind.
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (RicUpNorth) » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:27 am

Not a musical moment, but the cover of Damn the Torpedoes. I first bought a blue with black hardware 610 for $800 when I could finally afford it. I now have my Fireglow 620 that is such an amazing and beautiful instrument. It just cuts through like nothing else in recordings while fitting in its own sonic space, feels amazing and looks damn cool.
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (scott_s) » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:49 am

indianation65 wrote:However, it was Peter Buck and early REM that sent me over the top for Rickenbackers. I have never heard Ricks sound like this, or the overall "atmosphere" of the sound of their album "Murmur" before.
I was hooked!

...wisdom

Image


Same for me. In early-mid 1995, when I was seriously starting to get into music, R.E.M.'s "Monster" was getting a lot of play and I decided to check out their back catalog starting with a copy of "Chronic Town" I found in the local record store.

It blew my mind because it sounded nothing like "Monster"! Punk rock with clean arpeggiated guitars? With mumbled vocals? Can you do that? :lol:

Their willingness to do everything their own way really made an impression on me, and knowing how dedicated Peter Buck was to his Rickenbackers, I had to have one, too. I spent a lot of time trying to get his sound with other guitars and the wrong types of amps, I'm finally getting closer these days.
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (RicUpNorth) » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:37 pm

scott_s wrote:
indianation65 wrote:However, it was Peter Buck and early REM that sent me over the top for Rickenbackers. I have never heard Ricks sound like this, or the overall "atmosphere" of the sound of their album "Murmur" before.
I was hooked!

...wisdom

Image


Same for me. In early-mid 1995, when I was seriously starting to get into music, R.E.M.'s "Monster" was getting a lot of play and I decided to check out their back catalog starting with a copy of "Chronic Town" I found in the local record store.

It blew my mind because it sounded nothing like "Monster"! Punk rock with clean arpeggiated guitars? With mumbled vocals? Can you do that? :lol:

Their willingness to do everything their own way really made an impression on me, and knowing how dedicated Peter Buck was to his Rickenbackers, I had to have one, too. I spent a lot of time trying to get his sound with other guitars and the wrong types of amps, I'm finally getting closer these days.

Have to ask, what amps are getting you close? I know he left bed AC30s...
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (bigbajo60) » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:25 pm

For me, it was seeing a particular picture of McCartney wielding the Rick in a poster that was the reverse side of a thin little magazine that I ran across in a grocery store on my way home from high school one day.
I'd started getting into the bass a couple of years before because of the Band On The Run LP, but the only bass pictured in the poster with that album was Macca's Jazz.
The poster pictured below was the first time I became aware of the 4001, and I was "hooked".
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Re: The Rickenbacker Moment That Brought You Onboard

Postby (scott_s) » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:49 pm

RicUpNorth wrote:
scott_s wrote:...I spent a lot of time trying to get his sound with other guitars and the wrong types of amps, I'm finally getting closer these days.

Have to ask, what amps are getting you close? I know he left bed AC30s...

Sure, I'll tell the story chronologically if you don't mind. :)

From the beginning, I've played on amps that my dad and/or I built. The first tube amp made probably 10W and didn't have a tone control. I read a bunch of hype online about tweed amps and built myself a 5E7 Bandmaster and 5F2A Princeton clone from Weber kits. After that, I went really primitive and built a 5B5 Pro completely from scratch, forming my own chassis from bent aluminum sheet and cutting a speaker baffle from 3/8" plywood to use in the Bandmaster cabinet. All great-sounding amps, with warm cleans that transition smoothly into a great grinding overdrive when you crank them. But that midrange warmth also obscures the fast arpeggios, and I kept cranking up the treble to try to get more definition out of the low strings, to no one's pleasure.

Recently, it dawned on me that most of the amps Buck is known for using (BF/SF Fender Twins, Mesa/Boogies, Vox AC30s) have a tone stack that scoops out some amount of midrange. I used the Duncan Tone Stack Calculator to model a Blackface tone circuit with the midrange control all the way up for minimal scoop but the bass and treble controls set fairly neutral:

AB763.png

I set my Boss EQ pedal for that shape and put it in front of my tweed clones -- it was a revelation! There was the clarity and definition (without ear-piercing brightness) I'd been looking for all this time! And it only took me 20 years or so to put it together. :oops:

So I wasted very little time in hacking both my 5F2A and 5B5 clones to include a bass/treble tone stack modeled on the BF Champ. The 15k mid resistor allows plenty of scoop without eating too much gain. These mutts have me jazzed to play guitar again, now that the sound I'm hearing is so much closer to the sound I've been wanting to make!

recent_amp_mods.png

As I understand it, the earliest Peter Buck rig was just his Rickenbacker or Telecaster into a Fender Twin Reverb with nothing but a cord in between. (You can see the Twin behind Peter in wisdom's picture above.) That would give you the ultimate squeaky-clean scooped Fender sound. Don't forget the 0.013 gauge flatwounds! 8)
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