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The Ripper

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassinplace, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I just saw one of these used and was wondering if anyone has any experience/opinions on them.
  2. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    My opinion is that they're made by Gibson.
  3. Oh man,I haven't seen one in years!! From what I remember, they weighed almost as much as the Thunderbird, had a big fat Gibson neck, and had a really deep dark sound. I think Gene Simmons had one on the first Kiss Alive Album when they were endorsing Gibson.
  4. Have you even tried one yet? Maybe they're better then the other ones..

    Geesh, you talk about them like they murdered your mother.
    And yes, I know.. we've been through this before
  5. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    If you knew, then you'd know that I actually like the Grabber and the Ripper as I've said several times in the past and I currently own one Gibson. Its not like it makes their designs any better, but the Ripper was a success in my opinion because it was very Fender-like in tone.
  6. Surely a 'search' would yield results!?!?!? Many have discussed The Famous Gibson Ripper, the Grabber , G-3 & the newer re-issued Epiphone models.....

    ps. I LOVE 'em meself!;) & want one. So if U find one - simply send it to me & I'll give U a great extensive review of it. :cool:;):bag:
  7. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Great basses

    One I had


    A video of what they sound like
  8. I think the Grabber and G3 succeeded in getting Fender tones but the Ripper IMO is a Gibson through and through.

    The maple, set neck, two bucker/varitone set-up put it firmly in the Gibson court. Not that that's bad or anything.
  9. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    The Ripper, IMO and IME, didn't have that blooming lowend that most Gibson basses have, and it had a nice low-mid crunch.
  10. Fly Guitars

    Fly Guitars

    Dec 29, 2008
    Rippers are superb basses - yes a lot less mud than the EB basses - they have tamer pickups, and are either all maple or alder/maple) and so quite different from a lot of Gibsons that preceded them.

    Definately one to try, a real nice solid sound.
  11. The '73 Ripper I had was awesome. Great tones all along the tone pot. Great action, and looked very cool. I wish I would have kept it.
  12. The Grabbers and G3's switched to alder at one point but I do not believe that the Rippers ever did. Anyone I have ever seen was all maple.
  13. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    I had a Ripper back in the late 1970's. Was definitely a cool looking bass, especially after I had a custom pickguard made from 1/4" aluminum that revealed a lot more of the top wood. Felt really comfortable. Sounded okay; the tones it got were decent, usable, a bit muddy (but that probably had more to do with the amps I was using at the time). Biggest complaint was that mine had some dead spots on the neck that made it nearly unusable. The difference between the 2nd fret F# on the 4th string & the 3rd fret G on the 4th string was nearly 12dB! I had to work out all kinds of crazy fingerings just to get what should have been simple lines to come out at a consistent volume. When someone stole that bass out of a parked car I was spared the task of having to set it on fire while onstage, which I was sorely tempted to do at so many gigs.
  14. whitespike


    Nov 28, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I had a Grabber years ago and I loved it. The only reason I don't have it is because the guy I had it on loan to offed himself.

    I loved the sliding pickup, so I like it better than the Ripper. The tones were much punchier/Fendery than my EB3.
  15. good enough for Krist Novoselic, good enough for me!
  16. Joe Kyle

    Joe Kyle

    Oct 18, 2008
    they make a good projectile apparently
  17. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    The ripper was yet another attempt by Gibson to make a fender.

    it failed.

    However, they have some 'nostalgia' value these days... But these were DIRT CHEAP on the used market not that long ago (as were the Grabber)

    just because something is old does not mean that it's good...
  18. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    ...and, of course, just because something was "DIRT CHEAP on the used market not that long ago" does not mean that it's bad.

    I have a Ripper that was my main bass for years (for most of the 90s), and I still have it and pull it out every once in a while. My current main bass is a Gibson Les Paul Money bass, but my other favorite bass is a Precision, so I am not an anti-Fender Gibson apologist. In fact, it was a Precision that eventually took the Ripper's place as my number one, but that was at least in part due to the fact that the Ripper came with a huge flight case that was quite inconvenient to haul around, and I didn't want to risk it in a gig bag, unlike the P-bass (a MIM beater).

    I don't think they were an attempt to make a Fender, because they don't look, sound, or feel anything like any Fender I've ever seen. The Ripper is a long-scale bass without a mudbucker so maybe it was a more concerted attempt to get part of the Fender market, but nobody is ever going to confuse a Ripper with a Precision from any perspective.

    I thought, and still think, that the Ripper sounded great. It has a vari-tone switch that selects between four different pickup configurations, and they are not the ones you would expect, although I don't remember what they all were off the top of my head. But I do know that one of them was both pickups (which are humbuckers, despite what the single set of pole pieces might suggest) wired in series, and that was the punchiest, kick-you-in-the-ribcage-est bass sound I've heard. Getting a good tone from the Ripper required EQing the amp differently than you would for other basses---if I had the amp set for the Ripper and plugged in the Precision, it was annoyingly trebly, whereas the Ripper into an amp EQed for the Fender would be way dark and muddy. But with the amp set right it was awesome.

    The Ripper (mine, anyway) had a big, beefy neck, and was a bit on the neck-heavy side. Despite the heft of the neck, it was not the most stable---every year when the seasons changed it would require a truss rod adjustment, which is not unique to that bass but it could be a pretty dramatic change, from playing fantastic to nigh-unplayable seemingly from week to week. And when adjusted correctly, mine has incredibly slick, smooth action; it practically plays itself.

    The Ripper is certainly a solid bass, and useable in a number of contexts; the question is simply whether its combination of features and dimensions works for you. They're different enough that I would not recommend buying one without playing one. But if you like it, I would not avoid it based merely on its relative unpopularity with some segments of the bass-playing community. If you want to make it work, you can make it work.
  19. I had a Grabber and just hated it. Glad to have gotten rid of the thing.
  20. Didn't Rick Danko of The Band play a Ripper?

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