MGR/Florian Reitz 11/21/2002

Rickenbacker 330 : MGR/Florian Reitz's user review

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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 http://www.musicgearreview.com