I use this Rickenbaker 620 with an ibanez TSA30H tube amp (a very good small amp that I can only recommend), and I mainly play rock.
Excellently built: solid maple, neck-through construction. Quality can be felt. After a time to adapt to its thinness and short length, the neck appears comfortable and pleasant. I still had to have the string height set as it was a bit high to my taste. It features TWO truss rods, allowing for a very precise setting (my repairman particularly appreciates this feature).
The guitar stays in tune very well thanks to excellent closed tuners. The sound is incredibly homogeneous when you get from one string to another, with the whole greatly balanced.
As for its cons, I noticed the second string sounded approximately 1/10th of a tone out à tune (especially noticeable when you get from a G to an A), something my repairman an I more or less solved by slightly trimming the slots in the nut. I believe however this problem to be a side effect of the guitar’s extreme sensibility to position change (sitting, up, neck positioning…). No vibrato needed, merely distorting the neck pressing the body works very well for that. Compared with the other guitars I’ve tried (I own a Gibson SG, a strat, a cheap Gretch), you even get more of a tremolo effect when shaking the neck.
In the end, it’s not a real problem provided you manage to keep a stable position while playing, it’s even a quality in that it makes the guitar an extension of your own body, sensible to all nuances and ready to react to all intentions.
On another note, setting the saddles is a real nightmare with a standard key (which comes with the guitar) due to how close the bridge is (yeah, it’s a beautiful R and still…). Perhaps there’s a way around this, but if so I haven’t found it yet (neither did my repairman).
Now, let’s get to the SOUND! I’m really pleased with it. It can sound aggressive, bite with the bridge pickup but also round and soft with its neck counterpart. The important distance between them certainly accounts for such a contrast. Both hi-gain single coil pickups are a real pleasure – how punchy! The aforementioned homogeneity really reveals when the guitar is plugged in, with a full sound, crystal-clear (yet not aggressive-sounding) trebles (the clean neck pickup with a good reverb on a split chord on the fourth trebly strings around the 12th fret just sounds… wow!). As for the sustain, it’s just huge! The attack’s “soundgrain” is not bad, either.
The setting knobs (two for volume, two for tones and an extra knob that acts like a sort of EQ allowing extra control over the sound) are very efficient and allow for a wide array of sound. It’s been the first time I’ve actually used tone knobs… Is you also consider the contrast between both pickups, the intermediate pickup selector position becomes most interesting.
Please note: it’s also possible to plug a stereo jack on a second, specific jack out. I haven’t used it but if I’m not mistaken, I understood it was meant to get the separate outgoing sounds of each pickup for two different amps.
Finally, its look is quite original, and I love its curves! Of course, that’s quite subjective. Caution though: the guitar is really small. The neck has one less fret and seems buried into the guitar’s body, unlike, say, an SG. I first found it quite disturbing. Considering this, I wonder if it would be fit for a large sized guitarist (which ain’t my case).
In a nutshell,
- perfect manufacture with quality components
- homogeneous sound
- crazy sustain
- awesome playability (only for experienced guitarists – not a guitar to be put in anyone’s hands…)
- very good pickups, precise-sounding and powerful
- it has a real personality
- its look
Cons : the original string height was a bit high to my taste, an important sensitivity to position change, and even an almost out-of-tune sound in the very first frets (but believe me, this guitar takes -and deserves- being tamed), plus the saddles which aren’t easy to access. Also, it’s a rather rare models and it takes some time to manage to get one.
Clean sound : just like heaven.
Overdrive: you’d love yo eat it whole!
Distortion (with an original Sans Amp and a Proco Rat): raving!
OK, this review is quite ecstatic, but I still claim a certain level of objectivity: I had a very good and experienced guitarist friend of mine play this guitar, and not only does he share my advice but he now also wants a Rickenbacker (but he’s after a hollow body model). As to my favourite guitar repairman who usually never says a thing, he went “hey, nice guitar, and the sustain… wow!”.
So, i’m a happy guitarist.
Pdate a few months after: still happy with it, I finally got used to the neck and I can no longer live without this guitar! Totally satisfied for live use too: I bought a Vox Nightrain head and they work wonder with each other. A real love story between a Rick and a Vox...
The Rickenbacker 620 is a really unique and cool guitar that offers a distinct and different voice from the typical Gibson, Fender or Ibanez guitars that are commonplace nowadays. Rickenbacker guitars were noted in the sixties for their futuristic look, their very unique feel and the killer jangly sound as used by many British Invasion groups of that era. It features all maple construction, a rosewood fretboard with 21 frets, Schaller tuners, Rickenbacker Hi Gain pickups, and a dual volume, dual tone control layout with an added gain/contour control knob. The guitar also has a finished/lacquered fretboard which is not something often seen on guitars. It's made in Rickenbacker's factory in the USA.
The guitar is not the most ergonmoic instrument in the world considering its smaller size. The all maple construction makes for a heavier feeling instrument and the design is certainly not one that's suited to fast playing due to the cumbersome neck heel. However it does feature a nice neck profile for chord and lower position lead work which is a plus. The upper fret access isn't great due to the clunky neck heel, but that's not really what the guitar was designed to do anyhow.
Getting a good sound out of this guitar is a bit harder than normal because of the somewhat confusing control layout with the tone controls on the top row and both volume controls on the bottom row. However, when it is finally dialed in it sounds utterly glorious.
I've tried this guitar through a vintage Fender Super Reverb with a Diamond Compressor out front and the tones were sheer perfection. Hitting even just open chords resulted in this brilliantly complex and jangly clean tone that just gave me absolute shivers the first time I heard it. These guitars just have a beautifully intricate voicing that is everything I love in a clean sounding guitar and nothing I don't. The neck pickup has just the right amount of girth and sustain for that edgy, subtle breakup that is too cool for words. The middle position is jangle city, and the bridge pickup is just a vehicle for the most killer sixties style clean tones you could ever want. Definitely just an amazing sounding piece.
All in all I think the Ricky 620 is just a very unique and cool sounding guitar that has some of the absolute best clean tones I've ever heard. It's not a Gibson and not a Fender, but the jingle jangle sort of voice is just perfection in a box. At $1,500 or so new these guitars are a great deal for the price, and paired with the right amp (and a good compressor pedal) and you're into sonic satori.
Guitar made in the USA in Santa Ana, California.
Channel two-part conductive maple cut on quarter, wood grain inverted for better stability.
Double truss rod
2 Hi Gain pickups
Selector 3 positions, 2 vol, 2 tone, 1 volume pot mix for stereo output
1 mono, 1 stereo output
The method of construction and the wood used correspond to the idea that I made a solid body.
Handle very pleasant after a little time to adapt (I used a Les Paul before moving on this model), some will be disturbed by the varnished rosewood, but we made it very quickly, the keys on maple strat, tele etc are also painted so ..
The guitar is well balanced.
The pitch of the guitar (similar to Gibson) can not have too much to loosen the wrist for daring agreements.
For cons, the guitar is factory-fitted with 10/46, which compared with a Les Paul (or any other Gibson) seems more flexible: it can be explained by the fact that the strings on the Rickenbacker, derive almost "right" the bridge to Silet: the angle formed by the tailpiece / bridge / strings is close to 180 ° (ie almost flat), or of less tension on the rope granted. On a Gibson for example, the same angle is more closed to or greater tension.
The real plus of this guitar.
Rickenbacker model is not limited only to "Beatles - style".
Many YT videos show people playing this style of music with this guitar, which is very good. But she can not do that. She also knows how to show angry distortion (unbelievable but true) and could break in this area in many preconceptions. Hey! It is a solid body and maple neck-body maple! not half a crate! Microphones and send!
I would say that it is in the micro Paulien serious, and a mix of Telecaster / SG on the micro acute.
A monster versatility, and saturated sound (Kurt Ballou of Converge up album You Fail Me uses a variant of this model).
I plug the guitar into an Orange Rocker 30 Head + PPC212 with a little Maxon Overdrive. The heavy artillery.
Amazing guitar and unknown, that may be suffering from the image and sound of his sisters 360 and 330 and its lack of availability, which deserves to be tested in a register "big sound." I plan to also put online a video on YT test in this register sounds.
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simon brant's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
United States California ... What class!
21 frets (on a handle trs trs beautiful but also high quality ...)
2 pickups, neck mapple ...
I have long been a user of strata and tl I am therefore convinced that these two types of stick his best, but since I use my rickenbacker 620 I won, but rounder trs fast tlement Fidler shorter but it's a great short sleeve!
dernire the cargo is not usable! bof on this single instrument, however the handle is open to the body so it can reach all the frets without difficulty.
this guitar is very easy to use sound is a guitar pro without having to spend a couple of rgler ha ...
This guitar not only looks but also sounds fabulous, I'm a big fan of that sound so special between tlcaster of great years and the warm sound of a Gretsch Despite being a solidbody!
I'm a fan of his English guitarist, but I'm also a guitarist living room and never in concert or other .. big guitars but little amp ..
vox ad 50 vt 112. and effects loop I have a small home boss a wha wha dunlup and the effects of the amp is the argement enough.
all his words with the guitar are fabulous fat or crystal-clear that the foot!
So little history (forgive me but I tell my life but brief)
I, for my first, his guitar silent rcupr a 1958 325 capri lennon the same as this guitar I t flight a year ago ... I have a passion for guitars to play with but also to the object and I missed my ric, but I can not afford to take me a capri that era if it is of minimum cost me 10,000 Euros .
I was looking for a short guitar as nice and I went PARIS and I cracked a jetglo 620 new! yesterday is not old ...
the look of the grate and the sound is really pure
ALUS that the price lev but when you love it does not ...
with the exprience I n'achterai rickenbackers addition, do not hesitate if you want to buy something unusual ...