Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kelbrihan, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Inactive

    Dec 2, 2004
    Okay, am the only one that doesn't get it? Everyone raves about these basses but to me, they look ridiculous. Do they play and sound that great? I mean the 7 bolt necks, those HUGE pickups, the wacky body designs. I would think that everyone would have more of a *** reaction to them. Can you guys help "hip" me to them?
  2. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Never had the pleasure myself, but from what everyone says, yes, they play and sound fantastic, they are made to extremly high standards and custom specifications if wanted. That, along with his unique style make them perfect for people who want something a little different in the looks department.
  3. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I played one a month or so a go. I'm not that keen on the look but the sound was my sound with the "big" pickups that you refer.

    I also played one with the other pup config and did not like that sound. Both basses felt great to play. I was a bit uncomfortable resting the lower horn on my leg but did not test with a strap. Probably worried about balancing a $6000 CDN bass on my leg.

    I'd rather have the Fodera in your avatar. I should be trying a couple of Foderas at the end of the month.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Sorry, no help here.
  5. 1. Can't say, never played one.
    2. Can't help ya. If you don't like it, that's cool w/me. I like them, but I don't think I could strap one on- it would draw attention away from my crappy technique.
    They are quite pricey, but so are Foderas. I'm afraid to play either; I might find that they are 'worth it'...
  6. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Clearly, you're not the only one that doesn't get it, but that's cool...more for me. :) I think they look great, but I think most singlecuts look silly, and some others that others find gorgeous. Eye of the beholder and all that. They look "normal" being played (check my profile photo). I personally prefer modern designs to the J shaped basses all over the place. Necks are 10 bolt.

    To my ears, they sound incredible. I've been through a ton of basses, and I'm never ever trading or selling my Ritter. It has the sound I want and plays beautifully. I won't babble on more, but my comments are here in basses..

    Take care,
  7. westland

    westland Supporting Member

    I own the Ritter Roya 4 (below) which is IMHO the best bass made. There is a reason for each of the particular design choices that Jens has made. Jens was educated as an electrical engineer, and approached making basses from an engineer's perspective. The 7-13 bolts on the neck provide neck-through performance from a bolt on (Jens math modeled the bass as an oscillating pair of weights neck-body, and chose these numbers). The Classic was the first 'Ritter' style shape (though if you look at Jens' own instrument, made long ago, it has a more standard Fenderish shape) and resulted from Jens hand sanding to take as much weight off the instrument as possible (they are a good 2 lbs lighter than comparable instruments). This works because his wood is first rate.

    His electronics are a modification of the IC headphone amp that appeared in May 2003 'Audio Express', by Klaus Noll and uses AD744/AD811 line stage (op-amp + buffer) with Jung/Didden regulators. He had Klaus Noll customize it for his pickups which are also custom wound. The clarity of his electronics are better than anything out there (and actually make the instrument harder to play, because they are so responsive, though you can switch to passive mode to cut finger noise, etc.) The pickups are big because of their internal geometry ... this has all been math modelled, including the 3degree and 7 degree offsets. The potentiometers are all ALPS, and components are audiophile ... very expensive.

    He knows materials perhaps as well as any luthier out there, and is willing to produce basses in plastic; metal plated; etc. in addition to woods.

    His Swordsteel string steel is improved, with improved balance across all of the strings. String tension is different than other basses, and along with the PLEK treatment of the frets makes this the easiest instrument to play of all I have ever tried.

    And the list goes on. Ritters are not just a piece of pretty hardwood glued to a standard body. There is a lot of technology that underlies the whole instrument.

    The in_your_face designs and wild colors are perhaps a bit Teutonic for many tastes, but Jens has been a struggling luthier who wants to be noticed. He's done that well ... differentiating himself from the rest of the market. That's brilliant from a marketing standpoint; it's essential for a startup firm. And he's done a lot to expand the possibilities of bass design (check out the new Ritter Concepts site)

    Attached Files:

  8. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Inactive

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    I love mine
  9. I got to play a Ritter 5-string that John Turner had received for review. I like unusual-looking basses, so the aesthetics weren't a problem for me. It balanced perfectly, played effortlessly and sounded incredible. The most interesting part to me was that for all the knobs and custom pickups and complicated electronics, I thought it sounded better in passive mode. Just crushingly huge tone. I had a really hard time putting it down. It was like getting to test drive a Rolls-Royce.. I would never spend that much, but it sure was fun to try it out.
  10. I love Ritter's designs. They're so different from the usual customs that you see. He's gone and created his own pickups that are completely unique (as far as I know) and his designs are all wacky yet uber stylish. And he has some of the best, most interesting wood/finish combinations that I've seen.

    Some of the new designs look awesome too!!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  11. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    If he hadn't come up with the "wacky" designs, odds are good that very few of us would have heard of Ritter basses or be discussing them constantly in forums. You can't argue with success.
  12. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Inactive

    Dec 2, 2004
    Thanks, Now you've really peaked my interest, i've got to play one. Does anyone who owns one receive any flack from band mates, producers, etc...? Because of the non traditional looks?
  13. I've thought about that too. There's a lot of basses and designs (like Ritters) that I personally love, but would be a little afraid to play out in public. What would the Jazz band think if I brought in some crazy looking ritter one day? :p
  14. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Inactive

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    Our band "clear" is the biggest band in detoit at the moment
    and I usually get a considerable amount of compliments for my agressive playing in the "rock with an agressive bass twist" style of music.
    I played my okon at a big haloween show (pictured a few posts above) and Swear to god The whole damn place stopped when I broke it out. I got so many compliments on it they forgot at that particular show all about my playing.

    And I know that one of you out there are going to...
    "maybe your playing is forgettable" type neg stuff and your opinion is your own but you also havent heard me play or were at the show so it'll just be hot air.
    The truth is: its like les claypool and the rainbow bass.
    people cant figure out what the hell is going on!
    Is the bass weirder than the playing or vice versa.

    Ritter is an innovative engineering driven designer with that german engineering thing eating at him to motivate the inner artist. that being said he executes his designs well and havent met anyone who has disliked they way they play aesthetic aside (that is you do or you dont like stuff, fender or not to fender.)

    my 2 cents
  15. those things are going to be tapping machines. ohhh i hope jean baudin gets a ritter 11 string.
  16. Do you have any gig pics with the Ritter? I'd love to see more pictures of Ritters in action rather than just the shop pics (which are awesome :cool: ).
  17. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Inactive

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    I know theres a video or 3 floating around and I saw one right after. The light show was kicking so all you really saw were shadows and the leds, but I'll try to locate some shots or a video/audio short.
    I think I may use it at our new years show with sponge and paper st. saints. (I worry, I am tought player live and beat on my basses,) its hard to justify beating on that pretty (and expensive) of a bass.
    My main gig bass, a 1995 warwick fortress MM has a dig hole above and next to the pickup 1/4" deep/ now filled with CA glue! Also along the neck where I used to tap when I played in tribal traktion, as well as chips on the right side of the fingerboard from left hand pull offs, belt rash like the moon on the back, etc. etc. (Thousands of shows will do that to a bass!)
  18. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I didn't get any flack from my band, but I'm not going for a traditional vibe anyway. Every gig I got some compliments, and it wasn't for my playing. :smug: If the next group I join has a problem with my Ritter...their loss! ;)

    Other than my profile picture, there are a few shots of me and my Classic 5 at

  19. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    Marshall - I love the finish on your Ritter. And everything else about it.
  20. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Inactive

    Dec 2, 2004
    Hey Tribal3140, i'm playing in Detroit on Fri & Sat night, any chance you could bring out your Ritter for me to check out?