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Gibson Ripper basses - what are they like?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pattyløve, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. pattyløve


    Apr 7, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Engineering, D'addario
    So in the next few weeks, I'll be heading over to NY to record my band's latest release. In terms of gear to bring over, the producer has said he'd like me to bring a bass however there are some basses he has access to. Of these basses, a Gibson Ripper is the one that is always readily available.

    Now, I've never had any experience with this bass whatsoever. How do these sound in a mix? Generally, our sound (pop-rock) calls for a more high-mids heavy clank (musicmans, jazz basses) rather than thump and oomph (ie. not precision basses, mudbucker basses). In the spectrum of things, how does the Gibson bass fare? I am very curious and interested.

    I did a brief search but couldnt find an exact answer. Sorry if this has been done before.
  2. The ripper is gonna sound darker than a jazz or MM but if the producer has it on hand, he should know how to fit it properly in the mix.
  3. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    The pickup selector/tone circuit on a Ripper has a number of options and it gets a wide range of tones, but to be honest, the "clank" you describe is not really one of them. Also, a Ripper is ergonomically very different from a Jazz or MM. There's something to be said for using a bass that the engineer knows, but, you will probably want to have something you know works for your music with you. But, I'd say, when you get there, try the Ripper, just for the experience!
  4. I which case, you need to stay well away from Gibson basses in general. I say this as the owner of an SG Bass and a Jazz and a Stingray.
  5. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Well, in fairness a Ripper doesn't sound anything at all like an EB-0 or EB-3 or any of the other iconic Gibson mudbucker basses.

    But yeah, it's also definitely not in Jazz/MM "clank" territory either.

    Midrange Grind was what I remember most about the Ripper I owned many many years ago. More "chunk" than "clank", more "wham" than "woof".

    Also lots of really obvious dead spots on the neck.
  6. samtastic


    Jan 24, 2011
    If you are going to record, any good engineer should be able to record any bass. My suggestion is to use your own equipment, you are accustomed to playing it and are familiar with they way it sounds. If you try something new in the studio it could lead to disappointment.
  7. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    My stock fretted Ripper leans towards Gibson thick (but not muddy, it ain't an EB!) in switch position one (both pickups in series), while position 3 (both pickups in parallel) is a more open sound, with more reveal in the midrange. Position two is just the bridge pickup, not my fave but about as far away from an expected "Gibson Bass" sound as you can get. Forget about #4's out-of-phase uselessness.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    They are aggressive sounding basses.
  9. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Melbourne, FL.
    Rippers are a mean old snarly son of a gun.
  10. pattyløve


    Apr 7, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Engineering, D'addario
    Awesome responses so far, really helpful. Any more insight?
    I've read in some places it being described as dark whereas others are desricibing it as bright and aggressive.. which is more accurate?

    Also, Im sure the producer is capable of recording it nicely. However he has requested i bring my own bass, possibly so we have our own sound? So i was just wondering how it would compare to my jazz, tone-wise
  11. LanEvo


    Mar 10, 2008
    If you need access to a specific bass, there are a number of us here in NYC that can probably help.

    I've never played a Ripper or Grabber, but everyone seems to say that they're closer in tone to a P-Bass than anything else.
  12. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Depends, rich and thick with decent mids if fingerstyle with flats, or aggressive with rounds and a pick at the bridge. Unlike an EB model it's not a one trick pony.
  13. Fat neck, huge body, meh pickups. That's all you need to know.
  14. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I'd bring your jazz, see if there's also a P available to have on hand(with rounds they don't by any means just "thump" and it could be the thing that sits in the mix just right for many tracks), and also certainly give the Ripper a shot--it's a great rock bass. But having the J and P basses covered is never a bad idea....
  15. I always liked my friend's Grabber and G3 for poppy stuff, but never played a Ripper so I know little about their pickup's tones.

    You might want to try an Ibanez ATK if one is available.
  16. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Supporting Member

    May 26, 2010
    I remember seeing Greenday back in the mid-early 90's and Mike Dirnt was playing a Ripper back then. I'd say if it worked for him it could work for you.
  17. pattyløve


    Apr 7, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Engineering, D'addario
    Thanks for the replies guys, it's been very helpful. I actually remember seeing Mike Dirnt play a grabber in early days so I listened to some old stuff. I found it sits in the mix similar to a P bass. I also looked up on youtube and such and tis tone seems cool and versatile. Definitely keen to try it out on a few tracks.

    I've decided to bring my jazz bass because i the way I see it, it couldnt hurt having more options. And the producer seems to really want us to bring one bass and one guitar along (at least). Im really looking forward to playing around with that ripper, especially through the SVT rig that the producer has.

    Oh, and LanEvo, that's a very generous offer and I highly appreciate the gesture :)

    My next questions is how to best look after my bass on a plane, and i'll start off a new thread for the new topic! See you guys on that thread ahah!
  18. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    When the Ripper/Grabber issue comes up, early Kiss (pre-"Destroyer") comes to mind. For all their pretentions at being metal back then, most of their stuff up to "Alive" was pretty straightforward rock w/pop overtones. Not a huge fan, but I remember Simmons' Ripper/Grabber as sitting pleasantly enough in the mix - "there" (with a little growl) without being in your face.
  19. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Like playing a warped 6 by 6 pressure treated post
  20. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Did Mike play a Ripper? I know he played a G3 a lot, which does have a similar tone to a Ripper IMO.