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Do I need a Rickenbacker 330 or 360?


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I pretty much have all the Hamer bases covered along with the Strat and tele things and I think I am close to having all I really need.  I know no one will believe but feeling pretty happy with the collection.  Maybe I need a V, and a... 

The one thing that I've never had is a Rick, I've only played a handful of times mostly unamplified and I know that the necks are skinny and weird but a good chunk of my favorite music has them all over it.  Interested in a 6 string not a 12.   

Talk me into or out of it. 

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2 minutes ago, crunchee said:

I had both a 330 and a 360 six-string over 10 years ago, I loved the looks of them but hated the tone-sucking original bridge design.  Nowadays though, there's a cottage industry in aftermarket 'improved' bridges for those guitars, IIRC.

Which did you prefer?  Any real difference between the two sound wise?  

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1 minute ago, hikarateboy said:

Which did you prefer?  Any real difference between the two sound wise?  

No difference that I could tell, both of mine were early '90's models.  I don't miss them, I find that I can get most of the jangle and/or chime I need with a good Tele.

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360s are brighter than 330s, in my experience. The more recent Ric 360s have had fatter necks too, IME. They are well made and fast guitars to play...meaning I can fly on t(e necks...but for big bluesey bends, I found the Ric 650 absolutely excelled compared to the rest of the line...so naturally Ric discontinued that model. Excellent rhythm guitars and for lead too, especially double stops and single note lines without big sustaining bends. Really good for rhythm. Everyone should have one once. Enjoy.

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My first guitar (as opposed to bass) was a Ric 330.  While it was pretty, it did not speak to me.  I got rid of it and got an Echotone which beget a minor addiction to all things Hamer.

My holy grail was a Ric bass with Ric-O-Sound. Was heavily bummed,  The finish on the back of the neck was sticky.  Tho' far heavier than the Ric, the Hamer Cruise was a better bass.

At one point in my journey, I ordered a Carl Wilson limited edition 12 string.  The neck was far too narrow for my chubby fingers. Got rid of that in favor of a Newport 12.  Absolutely no comparison.

Alas, Ric is a myth - or at least it now is.

 

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I sold a 360 a few years back. Missed it and got a new one this year. I love the body shape. It's a comfortable 7 lbs 11 oz. It rings nicely unplugged and sounds familiar (REM / Petty) plugged in.

I wouldn't want a Ric as my only electric, but it's a great choice for a collection.

Buy one!

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36 minutes ago, atomicwash said:

I wouldn't want a Ric as my only electric, but it's a great choice for a collection.

Buy one!

I couldn’t put it any better. I use .010 flats on my 360. Ric isn’t a myth. Far from it...AA350A0D-625A-45CE-A616-1C98885A2A80.jpeg

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I lust after Rickenbackers.

I buy a Rickenbacker.

I remember why I can’t stand owning/playing a Rickenbacker.

I sell/trade the Rickenbacker.

(Repeat every 5 years)

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The fat necks (on the odd  occasion a seller publishes such superfluous information) got me curious, but making my way through the Rick-o-nomenclature, coupled with the only time I’ve ever seen one in person were the new ones hanging at Gruhn’s back in the 90’s, have led to restraint.
 

I think a Tele would likely get me close enough and I can put that together myself. 

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I've owned several over the years (mostly vintage ones including a '65 360, '67 330, and a '63 625), and found the 360 is a bit more comfortable with the rounded front edges but both the 330 and 360 sound very similar to my ears.  I like the sound and the visuals, but like Chris while I lust for them when I have one they just don't mesh with me that well...  I do currently own a 360-12/V63 since I played in a popular Beatles tribute band for several years, and I upgraded the bridge to a 12-saddle version as otherwise it never sounded in-tune to me.  Definitely like the vintage toaster pickups more than their current hi-gain ones too...  I do have a "horror story" of dealing with their customer service folks about 20 years ago (I had a 650 Sierra model where the pickup died 2 years after I purchased it and they refused to replace it and it basically got very UGLY with me), and after that I swore I'd never own another but playing in the tribute band dictated I had the right gear, hence the Ric 12 I still have.  The company still acts like it's the Sixties for good or bad, and while they certainly have their niche it's definitely an acquired taste.  YMMV...

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I'm a fan but I only own one Rick right now. It's a 660/12 with the wider neck. I can get close enough with my other 6 string guitars, but there is no

duplicating the 12 string sound. That doesn't mean there are not other really nice 12 strings out there (Hamers included) but the 660/12 solves most of the 

problems that people run into with a Rickenbacker-wider neck, toaster pickups, 12 saddle bridge. 

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As I am old enough to remember the Beatles from their very beginning, I always thought that John Lennon's Rickenbacker was cool.  Last year, I finally gave in and bought this '87 325 JL clone.  Close enough for me, at half the price of a real one.  Some interesting history and in really nice shape.  The short scale is tough to play, but I'm glad I got it.  Did not help my lack of talent, tho...

87 Ric 325 JL clone.jpg

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Thanks for all the feedback.  I think I am convinced I need to give it a shot. Whats the worst that can happen?  I dont like it and have to sell it.  Never had that happen.  

Still as toss up between 330 or 360.  I expect the 360 would be more comfortable but will likely be which I find for the right price.  The market is crazy these days. I realized there were pickup options, havent thought about it now I need to go down that rabbit hole.  

Any concerns around years?  Not interested in vintage for vintage sake but one to avoid and periods that have a bad rep

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IIRC, I believe the truss rods were redesigned around 1986, supposedly by Forrest White (yes, the Fender guy) while he worked at RIC; and from vague mentions that I've seen online, the truss rod may have been redesigned again more recently, though I'm nowhere near 100% sure about that.  The Rickenbackers made before the mid-'80's required some 'help' and literal manhandling to adjust the neck, so just to be safe, I'd avoid getting one made earlier than the late '80's...but that's just my preference.  I've been out of the loop on Rickenbackers for several years, so it might be a good idea to ask someone who has worked on them recently on a regular basis for pointers.  Hope this helps a little!

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My 360 and 660/12 are mid- and late-90s, respectively.
 

The 360 had toaster replacement pickups, original hi-gains were in the case. Never tried the hi-gains, but I do like the sound of the toasters. The have all the signature Ric, “spank’n’clank”, but can tamed a bit with the tone pots. The blend pot comes in handy in that you can set up a nice lead boost setting. 
 

All said, I’m not an expert on any particular era of Rics, but the two I own are very nice examples. Good luck in your search. 

Edited by RobB
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1 hour ago, hikarateboy said:

Thanks for all the feedback.  I think I am convinced I need to give it a shot. Whats the worst that can happen?  I dont like it and have to sell it.  Never had that happen.  

Still as toss up between 330 or 360.  I expect the 360 would be more comfortable but will likely be which I find for the right price.  The market is crazy these days. I realized there were pickup options, havent thought about it now I need to go down that rabbit hole.  

Any concerns around years?  Not interested in vintage for vintage sake but one to avoid and periods that have a bad rep

I like 360's for the shape & the acoustic value. The guitar sings. My favorite Ric.

1. Call Wade at Wade’s Guitars in Milwaukee. See what he has in stock & ask for a Dan Hicks discount. He's amazing!

2. Check out Dave’s Guitars in WI. His pricing is almost as good and he has great selection.

Both are excellent dealers. That's all.

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On 11/19/2020 at 10:15 PM, hikarateboy said:

Thanks for all the feedback.  I think I am convinced I need to give it a shot. Whats the worst that can happen?  I dont like it and have to sell it.  Never had that happen.  

Still as toss up between 330 or 360.  I expect the 360 would be more comfortable but will likely be which I find for the right price.  The market is crazy these days. I realized there were pickup options, havent thought about it now I need to go down that rabbit hole.  

Any concerns around years?  Not interested in vintage for vintage sake but one to avoid and periods that have a bad rep

Ted - If and when ( :D ) I end up getting roped into another Rickenbacker, it'll have to be a 360 c63 or v64... or a 1966 340 or 360. I prefer the original toaster styles over the hi-gain pickups.  I've had both at the same time and side-to-side, and the toasters get the "RICK" sound.  I think Willie's gets some cool Rickenbackers in regularly, and Dave's always has a great selection if you wanted to try something out.   Personally, if you're looking for a 6 string, the 330 will be considerably cheaper, but the 360 was the one I gravitated towards when I had both styles.

Bang around on a few of these (by appointment first, of course!):  https://www.williesguitars.com/product-category/electric-guitars/rickenbacker-electric-guitars/

 

This is a CRAZY good deal on a nearly new 360, if you like Fireglo:  https://reverb.com/item/37082189-2018-rickenbacker-360-6-string-electric-semi-hollow-guitar-fireglo-clean

Pretty unusual darker fingerboard AND Toasters: https://reverb.com/item/35657300-used-rickenbacker-360-mapleglo-w-case-tsu6868

 

 

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On 11/20/2020 at 10:07 PM, cmatthes said:

I prefer the original toaster styles over the hi-gain pickups.  I've had both at the same time and side-to-side, and the toasters get the "RICK" sound. 

Seems like the toasters are quite rare versus the high gains.  I trust your recommnedation and that is what I am going to look for but I'd hate to have to swap out pickups immediately.  

I like the look of the 360 better but listened to the dirty knobs a bit recently and Mike Campbell.  So a 330 is still in the running.  I think I could be happy with either.

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RIC reissue 'toaster' pickups can be had at the Rickenbacker 'Boutique' website:

http://boutique.rickenbacker.com/PICKUP-ASSY-TOASTER-GUITAR_p_504.html

There are other versions made by other makers listed online (Google for details), some are supposedly accurate, while others are essentially cheap look-alike knockoffs.

Note the little description/disclaimer at the bottom of the RIC listing...it doesn't explain why the replacement 'toaster' PU doesn't work on their 'Vintage' reissue guitars:  <_<

Vintage Guitar Pickup (All Positions) Scatterwound Toaster Single Coil. Alnico 5 Magnets used in construction.  For Neck, Middle and Bridge Positions. Fits Most Models w/o modification. Will not work on the 325C58(all positions) or the 360/12C63 neck position.

 

 

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