All user reviews for the Rickenbacker 330

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Average Score:4.7( 4.7/5 based on 10 reviews )
 9 reviews90 %
 1 user review10 %
Audience: Advanced users Value For Money : Correct
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MacB's review"2009 Rickenbacker Mapleglo (coming straight from L.A.)"

Rickenbacker 330
1. Description:

- neck-through construction, open soundholes in the style of Thin Line instruments
- Canadian golden rosewood fingerboard (the golder, the better)
- 1-piece = neck and body made of selected sycamore maple
- 6 SCHALLER tuners
- one 3-position selector switch
- 5 knobs, with the famous 5th allowing for hi- and low-end EQ depending on which direction you turn it (clockwise for more high frequencies with the high switch position, counter-clockwise for more lows with the bass switch, and full-on with the know full-on, tone and volume, vith balanced frequencies)
- one Rickenbacker 33nf condenser half ceramic/ half paper oil
- Modern "R" bridge
- 2 modern Rickenbacker pickups
- 2 rosewood bands incrusted in the wood at the back of the neck
- tuning keys
- Rickenbacker-branded case, cloth and leaflet
- coming straight from the USA (the shop brought it back from there, my guitar was originally intended for the U.S. domestic market)

2. The instrument itself

I bought it in 2016. It was out of the Rickenbacker factories and originally manufactured to be a demonstration guitar at the famous 2009 Los Angeles show. Made according to the specs of the brand’s American customers, requiring a better woodwork and construction, better chosen woods and genuine golden rosewood. I already own another comparable Rickenbacker – a 660 which can’t be found in Europe, where I live. The shop where I bought it took it straight from over there. A real difference shows between my guitars and the models aimed at being exported for the European market. Soundwise, the pickups are not better however, they’re the same and the knobs and tuners are a little harder to action.

3. Use and sound

Tried on tube MARSHALL and NOS 2 heads and cabs, as well as a MESABOOGIE LONESTAR, with a Fender-type reverb. On the MARSHALL and NOS’s overdriven channels, the sound is fatter, very blues rock-oriented, ala ZZ TOP with a psyche/fuzzy sound. In clean mode on the MESA it’s as good as 65 DELUXE REVERB, still the 65 is better in clean with that kind of instrument. On my PRINCETON REVERB, you definitely get a 60s psyche sound, fuzzy but with a great clean sound. You can go from jazz to blues, to blues rock, to pop, to “old school” British rock, to more modern British rock, to early AC/DC hard/heavy, to GUNS’N’ROSES-heavy style – all in a breeze.

Let’s make it clear, we’re not talking about the British Invasion sound, but the sound remains warm, hot, but you need the right amp. For instance I find the sound on modern VOX amps to remain rather cold, while FENDERs and MARSHALLs deliver something warm, dry and mellow on the FENDER e.g.

4. Overall

Everything’s perfect on this instrument, as it was made to be a demonstration instrument in one of thae world’s most famous shows. The sound is very warm, hot, and as the owner of a 2012 Rickenbacker I can tell this one’s sound is way warmer than the one from 2012, and very close from that of my 660 from the same year (2009) – although the 660 is equipped with Toasters.

Compared with the 2012 model, the central stick is thicker, and the neck goes farther through into the body compared with the 2012 guitar which neck feels more like half-through than neck-through, as can be found on 620s and 660s.

I'll complement later with pictures.

Updated review from March 5, 2016:

A very good guitar, with the lows very much more defined than on a European market Rickenbacker export, you’re close specswise to one of the brand’s US 660s, but with additional midrange. While the pickups are not Toasters like is the case for the 660, it is much more vintage-sounding than other models which can be found here in Europe, and while it still doesn’t provide the original British Invasion sound, you get close to a very good Les Paul. Perfect for heavy/Led Zep, with a good overdriven sound. A solo-playing friend tried it, it really rocks, so beware of the neighbours, better try it in your rehearsal room if I can give you an advice.

moosers's review

Rickenbacker 330
The Rickenbacker 330 is an electric guitar that has a semi hollow body with just one opening in the body.  The guitar has 24 frets and has two hi gain single coil pick ups.  It has standard setting controls for volume and tone and a pick up selector switch as well.  The neck is made out of maple and the fingerboard is made of rosewood, making for a long neck that is thin and easy to play.


Playing up and down the neck of the Rickenbacker 330 is a breeze, as overall I find the guitar very easy to play.  I do like playing chords on this guitar over playing lead, but both are pretty easily done as it is easy to reach the top notes.  The weight of the 330 is pretty light, and has a very cool looking body, a selling point that has made the Rickenbacker brand quite famous and renown.  The sounds possible are pretty varied, but across the board the guitar has a great inherent tone.


I have used the Rickenbacker 330 only one time for a recording session.  I used it with a Vox AC30 and wasn't the player for the session, but was engineering a session for someone else.  I was overall very impressed with the sounds that we got for the session.  While of course a good deal of this had to do with his playing abilities, but I also played around with it a good deal playing it myself, and found that I was able to get comparable sounds even though the session player was a bit more experienced than myself.  The tones are rich and creamy speaking in generalities, but there is a good deal of space here for experimenting with the different pick ups and setting controls.


The Rickenbacker 330 is just one of those guitars that you marvel at its design.  It has an incredibly cool and retro look to it, which is a look that I believe has been unchanged over the years.  The guitar certainly isn't cheap, but I'm sure that most of you will be expecting this type of price for a top tier guitar like this one is.  This is the type of guitar that you want to save up for and is one that should last a lifetime if treated properly.  I'd recommend that those who have any interest in the 330 to check it out at your local guitar shop, as most of them should have them on hand.  This is a great choice for an all purpose electric guitar for the experienced player, but isn't for everyone.
Audiofanzine FR12/14/2008

Audiofanzine FR's review

Rickenbacker 330
(Originally written by Psib/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
See previous descriptions and the Rickenbacker website.

Mine is a lefty amber fireglo model.


Flat and very slim neck... Very easy to play for those with thin fingers.

Good access to upper frets, the heel begins at the 22nd fret.

The guitar is very light due to the partially hollow body.

The sound is good unplugged, it vibrates through the whole guitar which can lead to unwanted noise

from the bridge. Once the guitar is plugged, the sound is wonderful, clear and crystal-clear for

arpeggios and cutting rhythm parts. The sound is versatile and everything is possible, except for hard rock and

other violent music styles because the guitar has only single coil pickups.


Its sound ranges from the 60's to today's music.

I play it with a Fender Blues Junior tube amp that fits this guitar perfectly.

I think a tube amp is necessary to get the right SOUND!!!

The settings are simple but the knob that adjusts the balance between both pickups is very sensitive so you'll need some time to learn to use it well.

I like 60's and 70's music so it's the perfect guitar for me.


I've owned this guitar for one month. It was not easy to find because I needed a lefty.

Its only weak point is the unwanted noise generated by the beautiful bridge (I guess).

I own several Fender and Gibson guitars and this one is the most beautiful.

The price is ok considering similar instruments.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.
MGR/Florian Reitz11/21/2002

MGR/Florian Reitz's review"Rickenbacker 330"

Rickenbacker 330
In summer 2001, I got the idea to buy a new guitar, because I was bored of my very cheap Yamaha Strat-wannabe, so I looked around to find out, which guitars the Beatles played (my favorite group). I noticed, they’d played lots of Rickenbackers and I was very pleased about the body-styling. I first looked for a 325 (the famous short-scale, John Lennon played), but when I heard about the price (ca. 2000$), the dream of a Rickenbacker went up in smoke. I went to serveral of my local dealers and asked if they had RICs. At Musik Renz (my favorite musical instruments dealer) I played a german RIC look-a-like and was very pleased with the fretboard. I serched the internet (in between, I was informed that there wasn’t a RIC distributor in germany anymore) and asked serveral US dealers about shipping charges, etc. but they told me, RIC would never allow to sell guitars from USA to Germany. I found one who would have sold one used, but after a while he didn’t answer to my mails anymore. I was told by my dealer, he had a RIC 330 in red with black hardware in the storage in his other shop for 2900 DM (about 1450$ then). I asked my grandma for some money and then on my 16th birthday on 1st of september this beauty was mine.

As far as I’m thinking, the music of the 60’s is the best ever made, this guitar the best I could have buyed. I am using it in my band as a rhythm-player, but it has also a nice and warm distortion with a good tube amp. The fingerboard is slightly thinner than a Fender Strat’s, but it’s the best for playing rhyhtm-guitar, very low action and a fast neck with a very nice carve. The tone is very 60’s like, with nice trebles and a ringing sustain, all that makes that so called “Rickenbacker jangle”. The guitar has a tone and a volume control for each pickup and a three-way toggle-switch (neck PU only, both or bridge PU only), completed by a fifth knob which could be discribed as a master tone control. The styling is one of the best stylings I’ve ever seen. Lots of people on the concerts of my band ask about this guitar and which brand it is, because it’s absolutely different from Stratocaster- or Les Paul-styling.

The only thing I don’t like on this guitar is the neck pickup, because it’s a bit muddy. I use it only in combination with the bridge pickup.

This is a semi-hollow body with a 1½” thick body and two pickups. The finish is the best I’ve ever seen, the clear-laquer is very thick and nearly mirror-like and absolutely plain. To me, no more expensive Gibson has that quality and the 330 is only a standart model, but there aren’t any cheap, i.e. low quality guitars at Rickenbacker.

Rickenbackers are the best, to me, as I am preferring 60’s music. The best guitars to buy for “old-fashioned” guitar players, because you can’t get that Rickenbacker sound without having a Rickenbacker. Today, RICs are hardly to be seen in up-to-date-bands, because you can’t get that trash-metal distortion with a RIC, but for 60’s like guitar players a must-have (for Beatles, Byrds, etc. likers anyway).

This review was originally published on

corsicaevh's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Produce impressive !!!!!!!!!!"

Rickenbacker 330
Hand made in the United States very limited edition! produced 85 to 86 in color with a black pickguard special new for the brand!
Tune o matic with floating rope with R RICKENBACKER of the most beautiful effect!
5 parts in maple neck very end!
24 frets OO for a half mache box with a super fine is not very common!
slecteur 3 positions togle 1 volume and 1 tone with microphones microphones with a knob to "mix" that makes the pickup balance


the handle is super nice I can tell you that I tested the PRS custom Gibson Les Paul and SG Fnder of strata, and Grestch Ibanez and I never had a handle as nice as this one when I 'm rather big gibson style neck!
The weight of the bin is half light body forces with access to acute fantastic! 24 frets plus ca help to go to 22nd frets c easier over the long run is more than can be gone for the treble!
the sound is easy to find over there is really an enormous palette of sound with the "mix"


I play with all these microphones and high out put s attack can be a hard rock! I also play jazz and the impressive half caisss c gibson can do the worries!
we all want it sounds qu'n versatile this guitar is super!
I use it with a marshall jtm 45 with 4x12 celestion speaker "Radial Tonebone pedals Plexiglas tube, cry baby, boss etc. ...


I useful for 12 years
try everything and g n matter what!
I love everything about this guitar
I consider the report seriously c qualitée unbeatable price unbelievable!
I would do if the choice he had to 1000x!

Noukie's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Back to the Future"

Rickenbacker 330
Guitar 1 / 2 box made in the United States in 1988, type Thinline with a hearing on the top of the box.
Cash and neck with 24 frets mapple rosewood keys. Mine is colored "mapglo" (light maple) with a black pickguard.
2 single coil pickups, 3-position selector, 2 volumes, 2 tones + button combination of two microphones.


The neck is very thin, almost too much when you're used to the sleeves of Start or Les Paul, we do not know where to put his fingers. Access to acute is remarkable and the handle is a real highway.
Do you get a good sound easy? ... I think we can do almost everything with. it goes the more orthodox jazz to the big rock that task provided they ale that goes with the amp. Just remember that Pete Townsend of The Who reached out to understand what I mean. I find it extremely sensitive against by the attack on the right hand and the type of mediator used. To me, this is not a beginner guitar, because it requires a lot of control at that level.
She is very sound, even empty, it's not a guitar to play the muted evening in his living room. I think we always hear the sound of the guitar to empty, which bothers me. With a little volume, cons, it's a pure joy.


I play with a bit of everything, but mostly blues crunch sound and rhythm in the clear. The micro serious is a marvel of balance and punch, but it also happens to mixtures very balanced middle position by adjusting the balance neck pickup / bridge pickup with the button combination for doing so. In all cases, there will always be the small side "pinched" which is the characteristic of the 330. This is a guitar that has a lot of mediums by default, which is why we always hear the mix in the worst. It is very similar in that the Telecaster (I speak as mediums of course !!!).


I've had a dozen years and has not budged an inch. It's very good violin. I bought a friend who felt they did not know the ringing, I do not regret it. It's not my main guitar (I'm a fan of strats and TV), but it does not spoil in the collective and it's always a treat to take a break with her.
I find that it easily withstands the comparison with other models from other brands US, although I find it futile to try to compare as different instruments with assertive personalities. Personally, having played on two, I think the 330 can do everything that can make a proper amp with the ES335. It can approach a good Telecaster, and there is hardly clear that the pure sounds of the style Strato it will be difficult to plagiarize. Ultimately, it was an instrument with a real personality that does not require anything to anyone. And so beautiful!

casterbro's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Rickenbacker 330
Rickenbacker 330 Jetglo bought new in 2004 MODEL US standard, micro hi-gain. The finish is not perfect ... for a guitar US, I expected perfection, this is not the case - but I have seen Gibson over 3000 in the same state, but nothing serious!


This is not the most enjoyable guitar playing, nor the most "easy". That said it did everything correct and the key varnished, but it's weird to beginners trs fast you can not see the difference and the touch is enjoyable


I bought this guitar without testing it because I could not find a store within a reasonable distance to do so. This n'tait trs not serious because this guitar REPRESENTATIVES all that I wanted a look 60 'and an inimitable story ... many groups that I love playing or have played on this guitar. Ds I reu guitar I test my blackface twin reverb and DECEPTION !!!!!!! sound bland, cold, I had the impresion to have a low end guitar, no heat in her, an impression of confusion in any position. Treble equally tasteless, I do not have AIM this guitar so I plugged into a Vox AC30 top boost UK, even more confused cose, HOT ROD, idem.
I bought this guitar for the sound of 60 ', the Kinks, the Birds, the british invasion ......
I did not find an ounce of that sound, you will understand I do not like the sound of this guitar and I had the opportunity to essay the other two and still nothing!
I'm not saying that this guitar is worth nothing but it just not for me.


I just sell this guitar and had a hard j'i Sparer me because although I do not like her, she is beautiful and what a story!
If you want to buy a board, try the love you may be but the price we must be certain.
I have a Jazzmaster, a Jaguar and a Mosrite and I love them!

elimealoz's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Rickenbacker 330
Without doubt one of the most amazing guitars in my collection. As liked to say Pete Townsend: "Even if breaking guitars, breaking all the most expensive."
The sounds range from jazz to Django Hard as heavy ropes that fool climbs.
Fast, it's not a guitar, it's an ice rink with mapple neck. A delight.
Mine is color "Midnight Blue".


A marvel.


Pedal Ibanez BeeBaa more Echo Chamber of Fender Vibro Champ.


I have been using a 30aine years. I own a Fender Tele with 1963, with a Framus Sorella Jazz, a John Lennon and Rick plus some acoustic layers.

bensouss's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Rickenbacker 330
Thinline guitar, with an extremely thin body, ie that it is far from Grtesch or Gibson to fund 10 to 12 cm thick. This also makes it very comfortable to play.

Made in America like all the Rickenbacker is also the largest manufacturer American Fender and Gibson now has the bulk of their production abroad.

24 frets and 2 single coils.

The bridge is half way between fixed and floating, to the extent that it is a floating bridge on a metal plate fixed.

2 volumes and 2 tones + an additional knob which is actually a kind of coil that balances the sound between the two microphones to assay the contribution of micro severe acute with respect to the micro. It's actually a knob-specific Rickenbacker who also plays the tone and sustain.

The key is in a beautiful wood with rose point benchmarks.


Handle very fine and pleasant, with the distinction of being varnished. Cutting a very special double cutaway makes access to acute ultra easy until the 24th box ... candy for the solos, although it is generally believed that this guitar is not made for that.
Furthermore it is relatively mild, similar to a strat regarding weight, but however much greater. Let's say the table is much the same size as a Gibson ES 335.
As far as easy to get a good sound the answer is yes to the sounds of bases, however a little experience will teach you to master the 5th knob, which can radically alter your sound. See the next section


As you can imagine it is actually typed but not that. Micros easel is edged in a wish, say that it approaches a telecaster but hey it's something else. The neck pickup, however, is much rounder than one might imagine.
It is obviously of vintage sounds and lets out sounds very typical 60's Beatles, Byrds and Who or pop rock 80 to Smiths, REM and Unknowns, besides of course the Jam.
But do not forget that the Steppenwolf, typical of the 70 also played very fat Ricken and Creedence Clearwater and many others that are associated less with this guitar as Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5 and many groups the first wave punk.

In fact with the intermediate position that is at the greatest range of sounds thanks to the 5th knob that allows the entire field as possible between 50/50 and 90/10 for the provision of two microphones.


I have this guitar for twenty years now and despite a few pets on the varnish is extremely reliable.
This is a guitar that is both original and mythical with a real face, a true sound but allows more than it seems at first.

The value for money and very correct when compared to any guitar made in United States, and downright excellent when compared to any half-box of the same class.

I do not have any regrets regarding the choice of this guitar, except, like all psychopaths collectomanique of my kind to have been a rare model of the mark as a 381v69 or not having chosen a different color (they are for a number of years now the colors of the year may be great.)

Peaveycroquette's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Rickenbacker 330
Here is a guitar made in United States.
the handle, especially trs (we like it or not) includes 24 cases.
two single coil pickups, two volume, two tone and a button Tone gnrale

all rglages allow a range of sounds big enough, despite the reputable brand.


The ergonomics are excellent, not too much weight in spite of the large size of the fund.
This instrument sounds very easy and with characters labeled trs.

a BMOL: mounting ais not cords because they are fixed on the beautiful R extrmit of the box, yet it is maintained that the string tension. In short, the opration galre do that is to explain ...


This guitar is idalie for rhythmic riffs and wild, but it also ensures the solos, half-cash giving it excellent sustain.
to get an IDE, just listen to Monster, the sublime album of REM


I use it for 6 years, and I'm delighted.
Submitted it the advantage of being rare in France, to have a strong personality and a great face (that got a case, it says)
we can find 1500 used, that's all - reasonable for a device of that quality.

In my opinion, it leaves no indiffrent: we love it or dtest!