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Cool vintage Ric

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassUrges, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    I was at NAMM's Museum of Making Music this morning and saw this cool Ric: IMG_4340.JPG

    From 1935, and with a 1935 bass combo behind it. Retro styling!

    I'd rock it if I could afford it.
    Helix, mikeyjm2, Tbone76 and 16 others like this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)

    (I had completely forgotten those had ever existed!)
    Tony B. Filthy and Matthew_84 like this.
  3. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    Well, if you were a bassist in 1935 we can forgive a bad memory.
  4. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    More info:

    Rickenbacker electric upright bass (1935), Amplifier (mid 1930s), Console piano, Museum of Making Music

    “The Rickenbacker Bass, 1935. Rickenbacker's George Beauchamp thought acoustic sound chambers were unnecessary. This upright magnetic horseshoe up is split into two section to accommodate the curvature of the fingerboard. In order for the pickup to function properly, the gut strings are wrapped with a fine ferrous or steel wire, that can be magnetized when strings pass between the magnet and the coils.”

    Also, from this Wiki on George Beauchamp:

    He was born in Coleman County, Texas on March 18, 1899. Beauchamp performed in Vaudeville, playing the violin and the lap steel guitar, before he settled in Los Angeles, California. During the 1920s, he experimented with the creation of electric lap steel guitars, electric guitars, electric bass guitars, electric violins, and instrument amplifiers. In 1931 he joined with Paul Barth and Adolph Rickenbacker to form the Ro-Pat-In Corporation to produce and sell electrified string instruments. In 1937 Beauchamp secured a United States patent for the electric guitar.

    He died of a heart attack in 1941 while deep-sea fishing near Los Angeles. He was survived by his wife, Myrtle, and two children, Frances and Nolan.
  5. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    That is truly a treat to behold. An amp builder/band mate friend of mine had a client bring him a very old Ric guitar that allegedly had been salvaged from a dumpster somewhere near Santa Ana, CA. I was lucky enough to be at the shop when he had possession of it. It had what was essentially a wooden shell for a body with a huge metal plate on the back side. If I remember correctly, it was a weird scale length (maybe 3/4?) and was finished in a color that looked similar to Gibsons TV yellow. It had a big horseshoe pickup, but it was a single coil. We stayed up very late trying to determine what it was exactly through online searches, but at the end he just therorized it may have been some prototype or test bed instrument. IIRC, the client was looking to use the pickup as a replacement for an old lap steel Ric he had. Not sure what ever became of that thing but I'm tempted to learn more about early Rics again...thanks to this thread!
  6. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Exactly like that. IIRC, the top bout was a rounded a little more, almost like a Les Paul, but that's pretty much the one.

    Edit: Looking at the pics now, it also had the truss through entire body and the snake headstock.
  7. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Where did you come upon that image?
  8. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    The description identifies that as a hollow-body prototype of the Combo 800 (which was solid in production, apparently).
  9. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Hmm..wonder if it's the same one I saw?

    Edit: Nevermind..I was talking of Jeff's photo.

    Pretty cool to see that Ric was using bling on the upright heads from the start though.
  10. Even these have a f***ing pickup cover.
  11. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    Well, it's a horseshoe magnet so kind of mandatory.
    Gaolee, woodyng2, bobyoung53 and 3 others like this.
  12. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006

    Read up on horseshoe pickups. ;)
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  13. I never really connected the pickup to an actual horseshoe before... Makes sense. I always thought they were cosmetic or for "shielding" purposes like current Rick 4003 covers are.

    And I meant no disrespect. It's incredibly cool, but I couldn't help but chuckle as I saw them and typed in that response.
    Tbone76, woodyng2 and Jeff Scott like this.
  14. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    IMG_4339.JPG Zoom in for another angle.
    mikeyjm2, Tbone76, NealBass and 2 others like this.
  15. What was the fingerboard radius like on these things?

    It looks fairly flat in the first picture, but a little more rounded in Jeff's.

    Edit to add: nevermind, the photos of the pickups help show it a bit better.

    This is pretty cool.
  16. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    I'm not convinced it's the same bass; strings and pup winding look different, no headstock cover on Jeff's.

    But it's fairly small and DBish. You can tell by the angle between the horseshoes.
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Those are two different basses, same model, though. There were two different versions of the Rickenbacker EUB.
    Sartori and Matthew_84 like this.
  18. The plot thickens...
  19. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    My hotel is literally across the street, but I was there with kids and I have to be in LA tomorrow before they open, so I can't gather more info.

    I had about 3.6 seconds on the MIA jazz they have for visitors (with tapes, weirdly) before I had to rescue a nice Martin from my youngest. I didn't even see the Precision Bass display I have to assume they had.

    But between Tutmarc's bass at the EMP in Seattle and this Ric, I've had an interesting 2016 for vintage electric basses.
  20. So that would mean it would work just fine with regular steel strings as commonly used on modern upright basses, right?

    I wish they still made these. I know, way too niche to be justifiable for them, but still amazingly cool.
    NealBass likes this.

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