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Why do people complain about Ric copies but not about Fender-copies?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kombi, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. kombi


    Jan 3, 2011
    I've been reading this in so many threads now and I'm asking myself (or rather YOU), why do people complain about Rickenbacker-copies and on the other hand, they play a Lakland (no Lakland-hate intended, just an example) Fender Jazz-copy with proud :confused:
  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    You just haven't looked hard enough. I mean, come on, this is Talkbass! People complain about everything here!
    20db pad likes this.
  3. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Well, one reason might be because Ric copies are thoroughly illegal in the USA whereas Fender copies are perfectly legit.* Another reason might be because it is hard to find a Ric copy that is anywhere near as good as a Ric, and yet on trademark-infringing looks alone they can fetch a good price as copies go. Others will say it's because Ric players are a bunch of hiveminds, and maybe that's true for some, but to suggest that's the only reason is its own sort of hivemind group-think.

    Lakland and other companies have put a lot of work into their "copies", whereas most Ric copies are just cheap turds trying to make a quick buck. That's another big difference.

    John Kallas made a Ric "copy" I think most of us really like. Like Lakland and others he took previous ideas and synthesized them into his own thing. Bear in mind he can only make these for himself in the USA.

    *For those who don't know, RIC has trademarks on most aspects of its designs, and it rightly enforces them--wouldn't you want to protect your IP? The way trademarks work, if RIC stops taking legal action, the trademark becomes void... so they have to be aggressive. Fender rarely took these measures and has not had much luck enforcing them, ever.
  4. jgroh


    Sep 14, 2007
    Some Ric fans are a little high strung lol I think because its been going on for so long (Fender clones) and Ric has strongly defended their patents. By the way, my main bass is a 2009 Ric 4003 and I would love to have a Lakland or Sadowsky lol
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Rickenbacker fans hate Ric copies that can be likened to a religious cult mentality. For some of them it is a way of sucking up and brown nosing Rickenbacker management. It is also a form of snobbery and elitism. The double standard is also a form of hyopocracy as well. I was kicked off of the Rickresource forum as were quite a few of my friends for stating comments like I stated here.
  6. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, for the sake of full disclosure, I own four Rickenbackers (all real), and I'd like to own a couple of Fenders (I do kind of prefer the real thing to the "copies" I've played) but there's no room in the stable at this time.

    You know we're not all that way.
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    It is a trademark issue ... not patents or copyrights.
  8. Well-made Fender copies, some of which actually exceed the original in quality, are relatively abundant. There are many very good bass manufacturers and builders making outstanding basses based on Fender models.

    Well-made Ric copies, that can even hold a candle to the original, are extremely rare, if not non-existant. The only Ric copies I'd ever play are one-offs by builders like john_k here on TB. Otherwise, though they may be nice guitars and certainly look like the real thing, every Ric copy I've seen and played has been woefully short of the real deal.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Full disclosure ...

    I fully intend to build some 5 string Rickenbacker copies. Mainly because Rickenbacker seems quite inept when it comes to building a 5 string bass and second it is really a lot of fun pissing off the Ric purists.

    My basses are frankensteined parts basses or modified factory basses.
  10. jrfrond


    Jul 11, 2006
    Tech Director, dBm Pro Audio Services, New York
    Who complains? John Hall? :eyebrow:

    There have been a few excellent Rick copies over the years, mostly out of the Matsumoku and Fujigen factories, most notably Univox, then Greco and Ibanez, respectively.

    The Univox Stereo Bass (which I had and sold, like an ass), was perhaps the best Ricky-ripoff ever, except for the pickups.

    Rickenbacker ANYTHING has a built-in sacred appeal, because Rickenbacker's President, the aforementioned John Hall, absolutely refuses to build his line down by sending his blueprints to Asia, and risking counterfeiting. Plus they guard their product trademarks and designs closely, and have routinely shut down eBay'ers who try to sell their vintage Rick copies. Their philosophy is "Want a Rick? BUY a Rick!". Personally, I love this philosophy.

    Fender really just missed the boat on trademarking their designs, and left themselves open to endless copies. Even the headstock design was unprotected until 1980, which is why you can find so many pre-1980 or so lawsuit copies by Tokai, Fernandes, Greco, etc.

    Sterling Ball, or Ernie Ball/Music Man fame is very similar in his approach to guarding their trademarks, but DOES build the line down with OLP, and closely guards the 3 + 1, 4 + 1, and 4 + 2 headstock designs with a bevy of Cease & Desist orders. Seems to work for them.

    It's the proliferation of Fender copies that seems to make it OK to purchase even the high-end also-rans like Lakland, Sadowsky, Nash, etc. But it's also the cool factor. Let's face it: it's ALWAYS cool to own a Fender-style bass. Fender-style basses are pleasing to the eye, familiar, comfortable, and if they are decent, work well in just about every application. Rick, Gibson, Hofner, etc. are really special-taste instruments. I personally love Ricks, but they just are NOT good for every style. However, their vibe and appeal is unquestionable, plus their instruments are a work of art.
  11. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Thank you for your honesty. I cannot for the life of me see why someone would buy one of these now. I bought one from a friend of mine who was in a bind and was like, YES! I have a Ric! After playing it a few days, it was the most uncomfortable bass I have ever played. :(
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Some Ric fans are religious zealots. Their extreemism reminds me of the Spanish Inquisition.

    It kinda makes me embarassed to play a Rickenbacker in public.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I have played Rics since 1973. I love the product, I am not thrilled with the company or some of the other Ric fans.
  14. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    My 1976 Univox Stereo Bass resents being called a "cheap turd", sir. He prefers to be thought of as an "inexpensive nugget". (my smileys aren't working right now, so imagine some sort of smiley inserted here)
  15. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I think it may be that when you're talking Fender copies like Sadowsky or Lakland, you're talking about a high end instrument that may very well be higher quality than the Fenders that they are copies of.

    Seems when folks talk about the lack of Rickenbacker copies, they are lamenting the fact that cheaper foreign made instruments of questionable quality do not exist.

    I love my 4003!

    I love my mostly Mexi Fender Franken Hoppus P bass.

    I would really like to own a Sadowsky or a Lakland someday.

    I really have zero interest in owning a cheap knockoff of a Rickenbacker.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Same here. I also have no interest in owning a Rickenbacker, given all the carping around here on quality and comfort issues.

    Strangely, back in the early '70s, before I had started playing bass, I used to watch a band called Buckwheat (or Picket Fence), and the bass player had a blue Rickenbacker. I thought it was a cool-looking bass and, as far as I remember, it had a good sound. I thought at the time, if I ever was a bass player, I'd want a bass like that. A few years later, when I bought my first bass, the thought of getting a Ric never crossed my mind, and it sill hasn't.

    What was the question, again?
  17. I'm all for protecting your intellectual property, but I never got the whole shut-down of second hand transactions between two consumers trading vintage knock offs.

    How does that damage intellectual property?
  18. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Agree to disagree--I've played a few of 'em and they were indeed cheap turds. But I respect that you like yours.
  19. kombi


    Jan 3, 2011
    Thanks for all the answers so far! :hyper:

    :D :D

    Rickenbacker doesn't sell their Basses here in Germany, so i'd need to import one from somewhere around Europe, wich is really, really f*ing expensive (above 3000$ without shipping).
    Rickoff's for examaple are available here - well, to be honest, they're becoming rarer here too.
    I really want a Rick for sure, but that's the closest i can get here...

    @Ric5: I like your point of view!

    That may be a pretty aggressive point of view, but i think Rickenbacker could just be scared by other companies, because i bet they could make a better (at least same quality) and more available Basses like Rickenbacker can. I mean, take a look at Fender: There're so many Fender copies out there and Fender still exists! So why should excellent copies harm Rickenbaker or their image? Fender still has a good image, too...
  20. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I know this point is OT but I have to point out, I have played a Ric in just about every popular musical style by now. And been asked back. A lot. I moved a couple of years ago and I have a handful of old clients that are constantly text messaging or e-mailing me to see if I'm going to come back for a couple of weeks so I can bring "the Ricky" back and lay some tracks down or do a show. These are country and rock people mostly, although when I still lived there 90% of my work was in jazz.

    I think if anything this recurring statement is great personal proof to me that one should not listen to teh Internetz all or even most of the time. Research and then figure this sh*t out for yourself...

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