How good are the old Ibanez Rickenbacker copies?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I'm sort of looking for a used Rick and once in a while come across these basses on eBay, etc. Has anyone ever played those? I don't expect them to be as great as the real Ricks, but am curious how close they come to the real thing.


    Click here
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I've read that they are very good, very Rick-like, but have never played one myself. They're pretty rare.
  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    From what I understood, they are illegal, even afterwards.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I know that, but are they good?
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    They can't possibly be illegal to own or sell used now, can they?
  6. I didn't even know that they made a Ric copy... it sure looks good. I have played quite a few of their Fender and Gibson copies all of which were very very good. For $500 (or less if you can talk 'em down), it may be worth trying. You could probably get that much for it later if you didn't like it.
  7. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i don't want to insult any of our beloved die hard ric users... but i've heard by a few people that they are actually better (playability and tone-wise)... i palyed one and hated it, just like every other ric i have ever played so go figure :confused:
  8. There were a number of companies that knocked off Rick basses in the 1970's, Ibanez and Univox just to name two of them. Rick filed a lawsuit for infringement on the uses of their designs and their name, and won in every case. The imitation brands were forced to stop producing them, but they are not illegal to own. Rickenbacker is quite good at policing the eBay listings for the copies. They will have eBay cancel the listing if it is clear that a seller is selling a copy as the genuine article, even unknowingly.<p>The acid test for determining whether or not the bass is a copy or the genuine article is the number of truss rods. Genuine Ricks ALWAYS have 2! The copies all only have one, and there have been neck stability problems reported. I've played an Ibanez, it was fine for an inexpensive bass ($250 or so tops) but they just don't have "the sound" of the real McCoy.
  9. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    There's one at Bass NW right now for $500. It Ric. :)
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    You didn't click my link, did you?:p
  11. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I had a real Ric as my main bass in the late '80's, and a Univox Ric copy as my backup. (We were a Rush cover band at first.)

    When I recorded I actually got a better sound with the copy, and I'm told the Ibanezes are the same. Go for the copy. $500 is an okay-ish price. I'd offer $425, but I'm cheap that way.
  12. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    Oh...oops. I've been known to do that. ;)

    Cool bass, I'd go for it.
  13. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    that bass had an excellent sound as did all the lawsuit series basses, Ibanez even made the FIRST j&p bass, It came with a maple neck with black blocks which was excellent and a togle switch to switch back and and forth between the two pups. I would say go for it.
  14. Cool.
    The first nice looking Ibanez I've seen. ;)
    I'd consider buying it, if I was looking for a new bass, and lived closer to Seattle.
  15. I was fortunate enough to find one of these at the Bass Palace here in Scranton, PA ( ....great online selection) . It was labeled as a Univox, but I later discovered that the Ibanez copies had the bolt-on necks and Univox made the neck-thru copies.

    While the sound isn't quite the same as the "real deal," it is still extremely versatile and sounds rather good for a $450 knockoff :D A major difference is the neck: this neck is not as chunky as a RIC's, but just as wide and is pretty comfortable. The pickups are pretty hot, and I can get a pretty nice array of sounds from it by just adjusting the controls. Very solid and clean after about 25 years of use. Volume and tone for each and pickup selector switch, my favorite setup. Both pickups pick up bass equally well, but the bridge one has less twang and brightness, and more growl to it, especially with the tone rolled off a little.

    The best part of the bass is probably the pickups. They are extremely microphonic, especially the bridge one. Most people would whine about the little bit of extra noise, but you'll find that you don't have to replace the strings as often to keep getting a bright tone, just turn up the bridge p/u!

    The tuners (not sure if they were originals) are also excellent, but turn like a knife through butter and are accurate as well.

    The cons: a little bit of neck-dive, but nothing incurable with some strap-button repositioning. Also, it's not wired for stereo!! Shame shame..I'll have to work on this sometime. Otheriwise, not too much difference from a real RIC.

    I would highly recommend checking out this bass if you have the opportunity.
  16. One of my bass teachers has one, it has the Rick shape, but no pickguard or anything and I think it had J pickups. I dunno exactly what it was but from the look of things it was pretty cool sounding and played nicely.
  17. I owned one.. don't know if it's an Ibanez or a Univox because of the Rickenbacker stamped on the plastic nut cover which looks like the real thing ( I once owned a Ric 4003). looks like the real s**t, except that the serial number on the copy is STAMPED at the back of the neck.
  18. elgranluis

    elgranluis Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX


    rics from the same period as lawsuit basses have one truss rod.
  19. The link didnt work for me, can someone post it again?
  20. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Incorrect. Rick basses have had almost always two truss rods, and probably have always had them from what I can tell. Here's a scan from a 1957 catalog: