Why no Rickenbacker import line?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PennyroyalWe, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    Seems pretty odd, considering almost every other major manufacturer has some sort of budget minded import line/series. I see plenty of posts here about how people would love to own one, but never will due to cost. YouTube is filled with videos reviewing Chickenbackers and DIY Kits. There’s definitely a viable market, and leaving it to the imitators to fill this need is only doing Ric harm in the end.
  2. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    They're probably doing just fine with their current offerings, just like Mercedes-Benz is.
  3. ScottsTheLimit

    ScottsTheLimit Inactive

    Sep 3, 2018
    Rickenbackers aren't expensive for what they are.

    Considering that Fender's mexican crap used to sell for $399 and now sells for $999 (with no increase in quality), if Rick would do such a thing it would just push their USA stuff price-wise into the stratosphere (the fact that USA P-basses are now almost $2000 is just stupid ridiculous for such an easily built simple bass).

    Even though Rick's quality control, paintjobs, and customer service are horrendous, they shouldn't dilute their brand with an import line. The most astute reasoning being that the import line would almost by all accounts be of much better quality than the John Hall produced stuff.
    TrustRod, Tommy V, TH63 and 32 others like this.
  4. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    My thoughts on it are that an import line that is deliberately “inferior” to the USA models, (bolt on or set neck, dot inlays, cheaper woods etc), at $700 would generate such in increase in sales and thus market share. I understand that part of the Ric appeal and prestige is the scarcity, but I doubt the company executives would complain if they became more popular.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Somehow I think they are aware of the idea. They have consciously made the choice to be scarce.

    No other bass here has more threads with people asking how to get their tone and or looks. They know exactly what they are doing.
  6. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Can't brag about a Ric that's not from America...
  7. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I agree, Pennyroyalwe.
    For some reason, the multi-price-point product for increased market share strategy employed by virtually EVERY major manufacturer is not used by the Ric company.

    It IS their choice, and probably their loss.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    They know they could make more. Frankly, I think it's refreshing that a company has chosen not to suck every penny out of their product in favor of quality and taking care of their employees.
  9. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Guest

    Mar 25, 2018
    Eventually some corporation will buy them out, and we will all pine for the days when there was just one line of Rickenbacker. It's already confusing enough with all the numbers, now you're going to add Custom, Professional, Vintage, Heritage to all the names.
  10. Iristone


    Jul 8, 2017
    Will they still be playable? :eek:
    TrustRod, Old Blastard and Mvilmany like this.
  11. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Apple makes a small percentage of the world's computers. They do, however, make a lot more profit per computer than if they decided to slog it out with everyone else at the bottom of the market. Similar strategy here. It's OK for a company to decide it's got it's slice of the pie, and be happy with that.
  12. john_g


    Sep 14, 2007
    Ric is not the size of a fender, so the "executives" are probably 4 people all with the last name Hall. They are usually backlogged with more than enough orders...in other words...they dont have to and Im ok with that.
  13. It's not exactly novel, to keep production in the USA. Martin and Taylor have kept their mid- to high-end stuff in the US and only make less expensive, non-flagship models in Mexico. And a Taylor 100 series made in Mexico is still a damn fine-sounding guitar, and well-made. All of Godin's stuff is made in Canada, and they don't exactly pay poverty wages there (nor do they charge a premium price).
  14. ScottsTheLimit

    ScottsTheLimit Inactive

    Sep 3, 2018
    I usually get excited when I see someone play a Rick on stage...but if I spot the USA sticker on the pickguard or worse yet the push/pull sticker by the knobs my doooooshcanoooo meter goes off and I can't take them seriously.

    At least an import line would keep people from leaving stupid stickers on their basses.
    2behead, NeonVomit, MattZilla and 7 others like this.
  15. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    They don't because they haven't had to, enviable sales backlog they don't dare mess with. It wasn't always that way, when I bought my 78' 4001 brand new I dug through a STACK of them to find the one with the thinnest neck. Try finding even one on disp!ay these days in most stores. My local GC hasn't had a single one In stock for YEARS.
  16. ScottsTheLimit

    ScottsTheLimit Inactive

    Sep 3, 2018
    My local GC has had the same fireglo 4003 for about a year now hanging in the fancy/expensive section, spiderweb cracks in the paint around the bridge highlighted by some really nice track lighting in the ceiling.
  17. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    What if Ric went the other way??
    A custom offering of original 4001's (67~72 specs, give or take) with certain improvements.
    - harder fretwire
    - Hipshot bridge
    - checkerboard binding
    - non mysterious truss rods
    - outsourced paintwork (your wallet is the limit)
    - select woods
    - vintage spec pickups with matched outputs
    In short, address every shortcoming of the 4001 on a custom "cost is no object" basis, but still with the imprimatur of Rickenbacker of America.
    Is there a clientele for the "Ric of their dreams" at a
    $ 3~5k pricepoint?
    ERIC31, zubrycky, christw and 3 others like this.
  18. Ricks are cool but they are a required taste. People want them because not everyone can have one. If everyone could have one they may not be as different and cool. I’m not knocking them at all. I honestly want one. I have played some pretty crumby newer ones also.... If they made a cheaper version it may be better than the America made ones.
    Mike Whitfield, Iristone and DJ Bebop like this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Everybody likes to birch and complain about how lousy they supposedly are. But so many seem to want one.
  20. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    They already have enough quality issues.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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