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Why doesn't Gibson/Epiphone reissue Rippers and Grabbers?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lastminute, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. lastminute


    Dec 25, 2007
    I'm more than sure they'd be a hit, so why don't they?

    For that matter, why did they discontinue them in the first place?
  2. I actually seen a few Epi Rippers for sale new here (Australia) so I say they did re-release them but it was probably limited edition. They were cool basses I would go for one If I had the spare cash.
  3. Richard89


    May 7, 2007
    Epiphone made a limited edition of the Ripper with P/J pickups. I think they discountinued them last year or something.
  4. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    That Epiphone Ripper "reissue" was really illusory, since what really sets the Ripper apart (for me) is the tone, which comes from having those side-coil humbuckers wired in series. Having Fender-style pickups on a standard 3-position switch completely precludes getting the signature Ripper tone. It's like if they discontinued the Les Paul, then reissued it but with Telecaster pickups. Also, the Epi has a bolt-on neck, which probably also makes some difference but would not bother me if they got the electronics right. Ditto the three-bolt bridge (love them or hate them, part of the Ripper character).

    I have not played and Epi Ripper. Based on other Epiphone instruments I've owned and played, it's probably a fine bass, on its own merits. But many other Epiphone models are functionally pretty close to their Gibson counterparts; i.e., an Epi Les Paul or SG is a pretty faithful recreation (for its price point) of a Gibson Les Paul or SG. This is not the case with the Ripper, unfortunately.
  5. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    i saw an epi grabber up on ebay the other day. the seller said it was from the mid-90's. it had a single humbucker like the original but it wasn't movable. i dont know why they'd reissue it without that part?
  6. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    The epi P/J Ripper is actually supposed to be the best version yet of any of those basses. But come on, they are not going to fly off the shelves. Some of them had really nice grain figuring on them . Great basses, very underrated.

    Funny how everyone dismisses Gibson basses, but so many great players play/played them, but still people dismiss them and really have always been the anti-bass in the bass world-which I guess is part of the attraction, for me. It's the Charlie Brown/ Alfa Romeo syndrome.

    The only serious EPI is the JC & Tbird, sales & acceptance wise. The Epi Eb's are kind of a beginner bass.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Why are you sure they would be a "hit"? Back in the 70s I was just a kid, but I remember these basses, particularly the moving-pickup Grabber, not being very fondly thought of. I think Fender sold about 100 P basses for every Gibson bass of any kind back then. Even Rickenbacker sold more basses than Gibson back in the day.
    Because they didn't sell.
  8. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Wow, why didn't they think of that? ;)
  9. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    +1. Add that they are ugly as hell.

    The idiot at Gibson that decides to revive this line of basses will be fired IMO within a year. They didn't sell then and they won't sell now!

    When I was (going to be) a big rockstar in the '80s that is all I played. Rippers and G3s. Great SOUNDING basses for rock.

    Basically a snowshovel with strings.

  10. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    The bodies were ES-335 sized, that's alot o'lumber! especially for a solid body bass. It was a plain looking piece o'lumber too. I tried a few when they came out and although I liked the sound? they were just awkward and heavy. Did nothing a P or J didn't already do better. In my eye, Gibson's are almost a niche market bass. The old EB's had that amp crushing neck pickup and were short scaled.and most of what Gibson put out centered around that design....(with the exception of the T-bird. Got one couldn't live without it.) To be fair they certainly have stepped up over the years with some really nice stuff, but the Rippers were just not it when they came out. Marketing is probably gun shy after the original performance.
  11. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    Well Gibson basses don't sell well in general, so you could argue that the idiot who decides to issue any bass over there deserves to be fired. I thought with the popularity of Green Day in the mid-90's-now that the Ripper would return. I think overall Gibson has probably felt a little gun shy about their bass lines over the years and are reluctant to embrace it the way they've embraced their guitar line (which is a proven seller, at least with respect to the LP).

    Still, if popularity were the only issue, then how do you explain Fender reissuing a Squire version of the 2nd generation Telecaster bass with the neck mudbucker?
  12. UnDoNe


    Dec 6, 2002
    i love the look of G3's and Rippers. I'm considering one myself infact.
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If Gibson wants to sell basses, they should put their considerable resources towards marketing and promoting the excellent Tobias line which they own. The worst Tobias Gibson ever made is probably ten times better than a Ripper or Grabber from the 70s.
  14. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    yeah but it looks great! :bassist: :D
  15. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Tell that to Ralphe Armstrong or Justin Meldal Johnson. Ralphe Armstrong's best work was on a fretless Ripper. Justion always has a Ripper in the studio or on he road with Beck.

    Maybe a snow shovel to you, but I think not for everyone.
  16. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The Epi reissue Ripper isn't even the same bass.

    I think Rippers sound and look great, absolutely punch through anything...those things don't know the definition of mud. Every one of them I've played have been pretty lightweight, they have thin comfy bodies and the necks have a great feeling profile.

    I don't own one, but have been trying to find 'the one', because the issue has been how beat up they are by now.
  17. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    consider the price of a gibson bass aswell. if they price them like the SG re-issues, they would probably cost $1000+ but you can usually find a decent grabber/ripper/G3 on ebay for less than that.

    to be honest, the only reason that i dont have a grabber right now is that i've been looking for a specific type and every time i have the money available (such as now) there are none, and when they are available im broke haha.
  18. rhp335


    Aug 3, 2006
    Kansas City
    I've got a beat to sh*t '74 Ripper and tried out the Epi reissue, just didn't quite cut the mustard with the 3 way in place of the rotary. And if I remember correctly the Epi didn't have string thru set-up, which to me is another reason these sound like they do.


    A couple years ago you couldn't give these away, seems the younger players like the growl and punch they have.
  19. I think "younger players" have a warped sense of "vintage."

    "Back in the day," the reason you had a T-40 or a Grabber or the 2nd Gen Tele Bass is because you couldn't afford a "real" bass :)D) but didn't want to have one of those crappy Japanese instruments.

    Ironic, eh?
  20. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    I bought a Ripper brand new in 75 in the ever popular all natural finish and I
    liked it a lot. I traded it off for an Epi Les Paul Standard Bass some years ago
    when Rippers were lucky to fetch 350 bucks on the used market.

    The Ripper actually did pretty well in the 70's. Greg Lake played one and so did
    a lot of others such as Mel Schacer of Grand Funk fame after he'd moved on from his
    J-Bass, and if I remember correctly I think Jack Bruce messed with one for awhile.

    I like the Ripper and I'd like to see Gibson bring out an accurate reissue even in the
    Epiphone line. I think a reissue Ripper or even an updated version would get some
    fanfare from a lot of bass players.
    BlueAliceOasis likes this.

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