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No idea how to use my new Ripper

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MammaryVest, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. MammaryVest


    Oct 18, 2006
    Stoneham, MA
    So I got this '78 Ripper today for 1000 dollars because it's totally badass. I discovered when I got home that I have no idea what the hell it is. Does anyone know anything about these? What kind of wood might it be made of? What does this weird chicken-head knob do? What do the knobs do? I don't know if there's volume volume tone, or volume tone tone, or which one any of them are.
  2. MasterBass!

    MasterBass! Reaching new Highs in Lows!! In Memoriam

    Geez...just plug it in and play with it!!!!:cool:
  3. grifff


    Jan 5, 2009
    Towson, Maryland

    That's all I can help with though :(
  4. MammaryVest


    Oct 18, 2006
    Stoneham, MA
    Thanks, you've been wonderful.
  5. MammaryVest


    Oct 18, 2006
    Stoneham, MA
    Sincere thanks, Don't know why that wasn't working.
  6. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    It will most likely be a maple body but it could be alder.

    It has a 5 position varitone from what I remember and some of the settings do coil tapping but I can't remember what position was what.
  7. crayzee


    Feb 12, 2009
    Mississauga, ON
    With 2 pickups, it'll be a volume knob for each and a communal tone knob. The chickenhead's probably a blend knob (instead of a bridge/both/neck switch).
  8. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I'll agree with MasterBass. Turn the knobs. The one that makes it go silent is the volume.
  9. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    That's incorrect. There is a master volume a midrange control and a treble cut.
  10. +1 :D
  11. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    I have a '78 that is black/black too. The chicken head switches between two full rich sounding settings and two really thin, useless settings, for four total. The good ones are not togehther -- it goes good/bad/good/bad ..or bad/good/bad/good (depending on your perspective). You'll know when you hear them.

    The three knobs are volume (top), bass(bottom) and mid/treble (to the right), if I remember correctly. The mid/treble doesn't work quite the same as on a Fender P. It doesn't dial in a lot of highs, its more like high mids.

    One of the two "useful" chicken head positions will give you a slightly darker, deeper tone (the one on the end), while the other will make it slightly brighter (the one in the middle).

    There's no direct pickup selection available. The chicken head switch decides what its going to give you in that sense.

    Rippers are great - they look badass, and are fun to play, with the thin body, and imo, relatively lightweight. They can be a little bit neck-heavy, but I put Hipshot ultralites on mine and it balances beautifully with them.

    Gibson just re-issued them only in natural, at a ridiculous price.. even street prices are exhorbitant - between $1,900 and $2,200 - depending on where you look.

    The re-issue has two more positions on the chicken head (for a total of six), and the electronics are a bit different. I'd love to hear the kinds of tones you can get with it.
  12. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
  13. slug


    Nov 27, 2002
    1,000 bucks and not a clue. wonderful. but it does look badass.:rolleyes:
  14. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    You spent $1000 on a bass and had no clue what it is or what it does?


  15. RobertPaulson


    Dec 11, 2008
    Des Moines
    I've been guilty of worse things :p
  16. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    So what?
    It's not your money that is spent.

    As long as he is happy with it. He just asked how the controls work.

    see above
  17. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    A Gibson Ripper is a bass guitar produced by Gibson (the makers of Les Paul). I'm guessing yours was made in 1978 because that's when they were most badass. They go for about $1000 on the used market.

    The knobs control the volume, the pickup selector (I believe it's a 4-way rotary with bridge, both series, both parallel, neck), and a couple other tone-shaping things.

    It might be made of Alder, Mahogany, or Maple, as those are common body woods for Gibson instruments.

    The four metal cables are called strings and they produce the sound, which is a pretty badass feature IMO. They are tuned to specific pitches as denoted by some fancy mathematical equations that basically describe specific frequencies in terms of notes names. If you google "online tuner", you can turn the tuners at the end of the string to adjust the notes.

    Mike Dirnt played a Gibson Ripper, so it's even more badass than most other Gibson basses.
  18. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    I have never seen a mahogany Ripper, Grabber or G3. They were all maple or alder bodies.

    Dirnt played a G3 not a Ripper. It looked like a Ripper body shape wise but the headstock is different and it has 3 single coils versus 2 humbuckers.

    Gene Simmons played a Ripper though.
  19. Primary

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