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RItter Roya at Bass Club Chicago - Impressive!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eminor3rd, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    I've got to be honest, I kind of wanted to NOT like it.

    I guess I just thought more people would have them if they played and sounded good. Sure they're expensive, but so are Foderas and Alembics. I assumed they were all about the looks and "status."

    But, that didn't stop me from wanting to find out for sure.

    So I headed down to Bass Club after the website told me that they had two Royas.

    Very impressive basses, both in terms of tone and playability! Well, I only played one of them - the 5A maple topped one. I would describe the tone as quite aggressive but "tight." The B string was especially nice; very taut with a very round tone. The entire instrument resonated with each note (probably thanks to the TEN bolt neck) and harmonics literally jumped out of the bass. For a second, I almost thought I could play Portrait of Tracy :)

    For a second.

    Now, the neck was NOT for me. It was a little on the fat side with kind of a unique profile that's hard to describe. It was kind of a "softer" C that ended up being kind of sharp at the edges, if that makes any sense at all. My biggest dislike was the fact that it didn't seem to be tapered at all. Of course, I like Jazz-type necks, and I know a lot of people are just the opposite, so I'm not "judging" the neck, just saying it wasn't for me. That being said, after playing for a few minutes, it quickly began to feel more comfortable. Still not my ideal "cup of tea," but far from something I couldn't deal with, unlike some super-chunky Warwicks that I just can't get around easily. Plus, I really got the feeling that the neck was contributing to the tone in a significant way, much more than any other bass that I've played.

    The bass was also surprisingly light. It was made of swamp ash, so I guess that makes sense in retrospect.

    Anyway, that's all, just thought I'd share my description of a bass that carries a hefty price tag but generally must be bought without the opportunity to try out.

    For what it's worth, I was playing through an Aguilar DB750 and a Berg AE410. The combo was fantastic.

    Anyone else have any Ritter experiences? How did your impressions compare to mine?


    EDIT: Big thanks to Mark at Bass Club for letting me bang around on it with absolutely no intention to buy :) He's a great guy.
  2. I guess just as you were hoping not to like it, I have been hoping that no one would notice it, since I don't have the cash in hand. I got to play one way back when. I really didn't know who Jens Ritter was at the time. I could have bought that bass for 1/3rd of what they go for now and I am still kicking myself.

    Great tone and amazing playability. The one you played would be the specs that I would custom order with the exception of the gold hardware.

    Maybe you could confirm for me... Does it have the nice growly and percussive tone that I would expect from swamp ash? How does it sound passive?

  3. atrapp


    Dec 4, 2006
    Taichung, Taiwan
    I play mine frequently... from Sunday Worship to dive bars. I don't worry about it at gigs much as there are probably less than 200 people in all of Oregon that know what a Ritter is.

    It is a great bass, very flexible - great tone, super easy to play
  4. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I've played a few Ritters and have been very impressed by them all around. I'm not a huge fan of the way they look, but their tone & playability is on par with their prices. Great basses.
  5. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    Absolutely growly, but not in a midrange-only way. Percussive? I don't know. The thing about it was that it really sounded (and felt) more like a neck-thru than a bolt. It sounded quite aggressive, but very full at the same time. The "growl" was coming from the entire spectrum of midrange to upper midrange to treble. A different way to describe it would be "lush." But yes, "growly" or "aggressive" would be the first words that come to mind when describing the tone.

    The noticeable difference from passive to active, to me, was in the highs. The only gripe, in fact, that I had about the tone was that the treble extended too high. Passive mode tamed it significantly, but not completely. Very sweet trebles when playing finger style, but definitely a bit too glassy when slapped.

    As for me noticing it: don't worry! $50k in student loan debt will ensure that I won't be making a purchase like that for 20 years. Plus, I still like my Pedulla better.

    So, it's all yours. One other thing, though, if you're considering buying it, is that Mark said that his price is lower than you can find them now, because he ordered it three years ago when the exchange rate was WAY better than it is currently. He claims it's about $1000 cheaper than it would be direct right now.
  6. Thanks for the review. It's much appreciated. I am sure you know how hard it is to buy something long distance. I guess I better get to work!!
  7. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    I love my Ritter Roya. It has a tone of it's own on par with my Foderas and my Dingwalls
  8. Eminor3rd

    Eminor3rd BLAAAAARRGGHH!!

    Feb 10, 2008
    No problem. Mark also said that he takes deposits :)
  9. Bass Club Mark

    Bass Club Mark

    Dec 21, 2005
    Bass Club Chicago
    Thanks for the good words guys. I currently have 2 Ritters in stock and everyone who has played them has been impressed. The Ritters are not only eye catching, but are articulate and balanced. The price should also be competitive since the exchange rate was very agreeable when I bought them.

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