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Gibson Ripper

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RayO5421, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. RayO5421


    Jan 15, 2007
    Toms River NJ
    Hey all,
    I've been looking into getting a Ripper, either vintage Gibson or an Epiphone reissue. I haven't had a chance to play one but I really like their looks and I have a few questions for you guys who own them.

    How heavy are they roughly? The bodies look rather large which could be a pain because my current bass is light. Is the neck profile comparable to a P bass or a Jazz bass? I have an ash bodied Fender P bass deluxe, will the Epiphone reissue with P/J pickups offer a different tone and feel for me?

  2. Its actually pretty light and the neck is kind of like a P.
  3. My '78 weighs 11lb. 10oz.
  4. Rippers are very heavy. If you are looking for something a little lighter I would go after a Grabber. Out of the Ripper, Grabber, G3 family I have found the Grabber to be my favorite. These were also available with alder bodies. Tipper necks are similar to P necks.

    The Epiphone Reissue does not sound anything like a Ripper. It is similar in looks alone (which is pretty much what you are looking for anyway). They are more sonically similar to a Fender than the Ripper so it will be closer to your P bass deluxe than the vintage Gibson will be. Still it has a ample body which should give you a bit of a sonic difference. These are still pretty darn heavy though.
  5. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    My '77 Ripper is pretty hefty.

    Neck is really round, but fast and comfortable.
  6. hadendm

    hadendm Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    my ripper is a lot lighter than it looks...the weight depends on the type of wood the body is made from. I believe mine is Alder.

    the neck has the same feeling as my P bass. As far as sound goes...i got to play a reissue last weekend and although it has a great sound, it doesn't sound anything like my ripper.

    The ripper just has its own unique funky tone. Im not sure what to call it exactly. But the epiphone reissue is definitely missing it.

    All in all...if you can find an original go with that...but if you just want the looks then save your money and go with the reissue.
  7. Bone


    Oct 28, 2006
    My 76 while not light weighs in at 9lbs 11oz. so it's still pretty managable. Mine has a Maple body but there were a few years that they were made from alder or ash(I think 74/75) so there may be light ones out there. The bodies are big but they are about 1/2 in thinner than a standard Fender. With that big ass meat cleaver headstock they balance really well. I can coax some nice usable tone from mine and the neck is more P Bass like. Mine is 1 5/8 at the nut with a nice soft D shape and Jumbo frets. I like the feel of it.
    I'll add the obligitory pic.
  8. Fly Guitars

    Fly Guitars

    Dec 29, 2008
    The Maple Rippers are the earliest ones and the later ones.

    Alder ones are the typical mid period basses (with decal serial numbers, and a natural satin finish - probably some exceptions).

    Although heavier than some basses, they are not really that bad. Well worth trying, and very easy to flip if you can't take the weight.
  9. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    I owned a '76 for a few years, I found that it didn't have any punch at all. Very midrangey, almost no bottom end.

    No it was not the amp settings, an a/b with a Guild B-301 showed that. The Guild won hands down.


    Aug 22, 2007
    my 76 is alder.it's pretty light. the ripper is the most comfortable bass body & neck there is. now about the pups.they're kinda tame.i've got 70's Guild "Sludgebuckers" in mine.
  11. RayO5421


    Jan 15, 2007
    Toms River NJ
    Thanks everybody! All this info helped a lot.

    I just found a used Epiphone Reissue on ebay for $325, this seems rather high for a used bass MIK. Its a black body, black pg, and maple board with P/J pickups so I'm assuming its from
    '06. Is this a good deal?
  12. mrjim123


    May 17, 2008
    Elkhart, IN
    I have a '74 Ripper and a G&L Tribute L2000. I haven't weighed either, but the Ripper is noticeably lighter. Although the Ripper body is broader I believe it is thinner. I would weigh and measure it for you but it is at practice.
  13. Orpheus55

    Orpheus55 Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Port Charlotte, FL
    I had the Epi reissue and it was very nice. Had a maple body, brass nut, smooth tuners, and a p/j configuration. The pickguard was a thin single-ply and warped quickly, but it was not very heavy at all and sounded much like a P-bass. The fretwork was surprisingly good. I used a coffin case bodybag, which was big enough to hold it nicely. Kind of wish I had it back.
  14. RayO5421


    Jan 15, 2007
    Toms River NJ
    Damn fine bass you've got there!
  15. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    If it's the body shape and look that appeals to you then I guess go for the Epi. As a former owner of a Gibson Ripper that I'd bought new in 1975, the Epi Ripper is nothing more than another P/J type bass, packaged in Ripper cosmetics imo. It's fine in it's own right if that's what you want.

    For the real Ripper experience you need the whole, set neck, two humbuckers, varitone style pickup switching, with the three knob vol,mid, passive tone knob thing going on. I liked my Ripper overall. It's a highly under rated pawn shop classic imo. If you can save up the cash, you can still find actual vintage Rippers for around the 1G mark and maybe a bit under if you shop hard enough. Most clean ones are starting to hit the $1200 mark these days as collector interest is heating up.
  16. RayO5421


    Jan 15, 2007
    Toms River NJ
    I guess I really would enjoy playing a vintage instrument and I love the way the old Rippers look and feel. Its just too tempting to get an Epihpone right now for around $300. Damn GAS to hell!