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Current thoughts on Gibson Grabber and Ripper?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JoshuaTSP, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    When I saw "the last waltz" by the band, I was immediately in love with the ripper tone (he's also a great player!)
    Rippers in sunburst are rare!
    Seems like a fat Jazz?

    That said, I also love KISS, and while I know the Grabber wasn't always his main......I still associate it with him.
    Basically a P bass with adjustable fatness?

    What are your thoughts about the Grabber and Ripper?
  2. Ripper was my first quality bass. I picked it up at Central Music in Brockton Massachusetts I guess in 1975 or thereabouts for I believe about 325.00. I was trying different basses including a Rickenbacker, which I hated the feel of at the time, not to mention the 450.00 price tag. So I picked up the natural finish one, and was pretty excited about it! It was my first long scale bass so it took some getting used to. It felt monsterous to me at the time I was about 16 years old. The band I was in didn't care for the sound it wasn't cutting through very well at all. I was using an EMC 15" combo at the time so that didn't help either. I ended up trading it for a Pbass and trading the amp toward an ampeg B25b amp with 2/15 cab. But it was a decent bass but I wouldn't be overly concerned myself about having another one. But a nonreverse Tbird would have me drooling!
  3. KokaKola


    Jan 21, 2015
    Kalamazoo MI
    I have a mid seventies Grabber and it has the most articulate sound across all strings of any bass I've owned. Not sure if I just got lucky or what, popular opinion is that they sound kinda muddy.
  4. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008

    I'm going for it. Grabber incoming!
  5. I owned a grabber for a while. Picked one up cheap after I saw one in a Green Day vid in 91 or so. It was fun to have, was kinda rude sounding which worked for me at the time. Didn't really mind selling it when I needed the cash though.

    Love Rick Danko, BTW.
    KokaKola likes this.
  6. Mines a 77 G3 and is excellent! Love it!
  7. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Have an original grabber.. Needs some TLC but a fun bass to play.
    GLW it.
  8. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    I figure it's a win/win on any Gibson bass. I also remember when they were fairly cheap to pick up used.
    Now the prices are nearly double.

    The grabber I found is in really good condition and has the cherry finish.
    JMacBass65 likes this.
  9. KokaKola


    Jan 21, 2015
    Kalamazoo MI
    Oooh I always loved that finish. Let us know how you like it!
    JMacBass65 likes this.
  10. wmhill


    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    I wanted a ripper for years- then i finally got one- a '76 in pretty great shape. I never had a bass that I disliked more. The feel, the tone- just everything wasn't right for me. I had pumped up it's status in my mind over the years to something that reality couldn't deliver. I hope if you ever get one you like it more than I did.
  11. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    Yeah, I really don't like the look of the natural ones. That yellow look is weird to me now.

    Cherry, and Sunburst look great. Black is fine, but a little plain in my eyes.

    I'm mostly hoping the tone doesn't cover too much of the same ground as my P bass.
  12. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    I think they are really nice basses, but will probably never own one given that the prices are climbing. Wish I'd had the foresight to buy one when you could score them for 250 bucks
  13. KokaKola


    Jan 21, 2015
    Kalamazoo MI
    My other bass is a Precision as well, they are similar in some ways, the P is a bit beefier in the low end but grabbers have their own sound for sure, mine sounds more present on the D and G strings. I agree the prices have gotten fairly ridiculous lately though. I'd have a hard time paying the over a grand they seem to go for now
  14. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008

    It's pretty sweet!
    KokaKola likes this.
  15. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    I personally think the G.3 blows both of those basses away, but thats just me....so I guess Im going to say "Grabber" as that is technically what a G.3 is
  16. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    My Ripper rips heads off.
    As advertised.
  17. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    Cool, the G3 does seem really cool, and I forgot to mention it in this discussion.
  18. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    This is accurate.
    I would say something similar. The Grabber is more of a tight punchy growl, while I find my P to be a little bit more fat and thumpy.

    I've read that people don't think that the sliding pickup "doesn't do anything", and while I find it subtle, it definitely gives you different flavors. Touch fatter and round at the neck position to a bit tighter and brighter in the bridge position. The middle area has a bit of a honk to it. It's almost like you're adjusting a certain frequency (Q factor).

    The neck is pretty nice. Somewhat fat C shape, but not huge. Being all maple, I'm thinking that contributes to the snappy tone.

    It's not super heavy since the body is so thin.

    Overall, really happy with the bass. I'm going to reset it up (action, truss, pickup) with the existing rounds and evaluate whether I put on flats or not.
    KokaKola likes this.
  19. My 1975 Ripper was my first quality bass as well, it has been with me since 1975 when I bought it brand new. Out all of my 13 basses it is still my favorite after 41 years :)

    then and now

    upload_2016-7-20_9-58-15. upload_2016-7-20_9-58-32.
  20. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I bought one in '75. It was my first bass and I really didn't know anything about them. I didn't want Fender cause everyone seemed to have them and Rics were too expensive. I played the Ripper for 10 years. I never got a tone I was happy with and it was an uncomfortable instrument. I stopped playing it regularly when I got a '73 J bass. So with the Ripper I changed out the pups and that helped a little. Then I had the frets pulled. Still didn't do it for me. It was stolen along with the '73 J bass. I look at them now with nostalgia, but I'd never own one again.
    JoshuaTSP likes this.

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