Epiphone Ripper

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pinkfloyd, Feb 10, 2001.

  1. what do you think of the rippers?
  2. ACP


    Nov 30, 2000
    I just traded in two of my basses for a black '79 Gibson Ripper and I love it!
    I'm sure the Epiphones are great also. They look awesome and have tons of sustain.
    Are the Epiphones stereo? The Ripper I got is stereo and I'm still trying to figure out the four different settings on the switch so if you know what 1,2,3, and 4 are let me know.
  3. Actually the Epiphone Ripper bears very little resemblance to the real Gibson Ripper.

    The original had a set neck, 2 humbuckers, 4 -way rotary switch, treble cut and midrange cut controls and a traditional Gibson style headstock (not triangular).

    These Epiphone versions have bolt on necks, only one pickup (and therefore fewer controls) and if memory serves, a triangular headstock (I may be wrong about that).

    I strongly urge you to look for a used '70's Gibson Ripper. They can often be found quite cheaply. I got my '74 for $399.

    The original Gibson Ripper is a great bass (much better than the Grabbers or G-3's) - IMO, one of the best basses Gibson ever made. They are also one of the best buys on the vintage market.
  4. the grabber had the triangle headstock and i would agree i would try to find a Gibson that the Epi.
  5. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    The Gibson Rippers weren't stereo, just mono - perhaps yours is modified?? I have a black fretless I've had new since the mid-70s (electronics heavily modified) and recently got a matching fretted model. The switch positions:
    1 - both pickups, in series, in phase
    2 - bridge pickup only
    3 - both pickups, in parallel, in phase
    4 - both pickups, in series, out of phase
    I have a schematic in .gif format if you want, email me.

    Mine at: http://www.gollihur.com/bass.html

  6. I paid $200.00 cash for My '75 Gibson Ripper, And I wouldn't
    trade it for the world.
  7. I was wrong about the Epi headstock - it's the regular Gibson shape but it is blonde like the rest of the finish. The originals had black painted headstocks. Also the clear finish on the Gibson was more of an honey/amber colour even on the fingerboard.
  8. were did you buy it?
  9. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    I got my natural, fretless, all-original :D at Bass Northwest. I'd say G - VG condition.

    Weren't there two Ripper variants originally? Both by Gibson. One had the
    sliding pup like the current Epi, and the other the two pups w/varitone switch.
    I remember readin' somewhere that the slidin' pup one was Gibson's attempt at
    a Carol Kaye signature model. She just couldn't make up her mind where the pickup
    should go, hence the sliding action.

    There's a REALLY sweet sunburst, fretless Ripper (2 pups) at http://www.gbase.com
    in VG - VG+ condition for around $600. Just enter "Gibson", select "Bass Guitars" and
    hit "Search".

    :mad: I'd like to get my hands around the throat of that jack-@$$ who's responsible
    for the "study in blue" (they even spray-painted the fretboard blue :eek: ).
  10. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    The Ripper only came in one flavor, two pickups with the four position switch, volume, and two tone controls, and a set in (glued) neck.

    The one with the sliding pickup was The Grabber - it had only one pickup and was a bolt-on neck.

    A variant of the Grabber was the G-3, which was the same, physically, but had three pickups.

    I have fretless and fretted Rippers in ebony/black; the fretless has a pair of Lane Poor soapbars and a Bart 3-band preamp - it is killer.
  11. Ah yes, the Gibson G-3, I know it well. I bought one used
    in the late 70s, and had it about a year or so. It was a
    good bass, but, strange. I think it's the first bass I ever
    saw with three pickups. They were single coils wired in an
    odd configuration: Neck & middle, bridge & middle, or all 3!
    The main reason that I sold it was that it didn't have a
    focused sound like a Jazz bass, proving the old saying that
    "Less is more".(pickups that is) I sold it to a friend who
    thanked me after that every time he saw me. I haven't seen
    him in years, so I don't know the fate of the bass. Now,
    Rippers were nice. Never bought one though. I agree with
    Rob W, they were one of the best basses Gibson ever made.
    IMHO Gibson had some excellent basses, but, they withdraw
    them much too quickly if the sales aren't good enough. I think their marketing dept. has to go back to school.

    Another Gibson strangeboy that I almost bought was a black,
    active RD Artist. Does anyone remember that one? Very nice.
    Ah, another regret. How about the Victory Bass?

    Gibson, wake up!

    Mike J.
  12. smpbass


    Feb 2, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    Not the ripper, but how's the Epiphone explorer by Gibson?
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ahh, the RD Artist! Finest bass Gibson ever made, IMHO.

    That Moog preamp had a killer tone, and the bass sounded great passive too.

    I want to get one of those in blonde with a maple board, but with a fully functional preamp. I have been offered 2 with the preamp removed. Not interested.

    The Victory? I don't know. Real heavy(of course the RD Artist was too, but it is worth the weight!:)) and the looks don't really do it for me.

    Did the Victory Artist have the Moog preamp also?

  14. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    For your viewing pleasure [​IMG] ...



  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member


    notduane, where'd you find all of the cool old Gibsons? Wow!

    That RD Artist looks mint, that's exactly what I'll be looking for next.
  16. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I let two black RD Artists with Moog preamps slip by on eBay. I have an LP Artist and ES Artist, both black, and they are the best-sounding Gibson guitars (am I allowed to say guitar here?? ;)) I have ever heard. If RD Artist sounds half as good as these...get one!
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Brooks, do those Artist models have the Moog preamp in them?

    That is what really makes the RD Artist. It has humbuckers, and sounds pretty good passive, but man, when you turn on the preamp, it takes it to a whole different level.

    The RD Artists cuts through the mix really well, and has a grind to the tone taht would work really well for hard rock or heavy metal.

    And they look cool, too!:D
  18. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Most of `em are from a search at http://www.gbase.com .
    I think the Artist is at http://basspalace.com . It might be sold, though :( .
  19. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    As far as I know, all Gibson Artists have the Moog preamp. My ES & LP have it, and I have seen 2 black, 2 natural and 3-4 tobacco burst RDs that all had it.
  20. To Embellisher, I can not agree with you more. It was
    1977 or so, and during three different trips to Sam Ash,
    I would take this black beauty off the wall, and play it
    for about 20 minutes each time. What a bass, what a
    sound! I remember it's main features were compression
    and expansion. This axe was so far ahead of it's time it's
    wasn't funny. It could give the deepest organ bass type
    tones, or, the "Spittinist" Jazz bass machine gun volleys!
    I don't remember why I didn't buy it, but, this was definitely one of my biggest musical regrets of my life.
    I think it was only made for about two years. This is why
    I get so mad at Gibson. They come out with revolutionary stuff, no one buys it because it bucks
    convention, then they don't take any more risks for ten
    years because their new product flopped. Any one that
    knows anything about marketing guitars should know
    by now that products that go in a new direction take time to catch on. Have small production runs every year,
    but don't scratch the thing entirely. Just my $.02.

    To notduane, I'm convinced you are a genie. Someone
    just says the name of a bass, and, LO and BEHOLD!
    It appears! The picture of the G-3 looks exactly like the
    one I had. Where do you find this stuff?

    To Brooks, as you've read above, they sounded so un-
    believably good. See what I mean? We can't be the only
    handful of guys wailling for deceased Gibsons. IMHO
    Fender needs more quality control, Gibson needs more

    Talk to you guys later,
    Mike J.

    Hey notduane, thanks for the pictures.