Author Topic: Ripper project - questions  (Read 372 times)

ack1961

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Ripper project - questions
« on: October 31, 2017, 09:46:52 PM »
All,

I don't know much about Gibson basses, but I'm curious if the folks here think this 70's Gibson Ripper bass project is worth the initial investment.
I'm a tinkerer and like projects, but getting this back to mid 70's OEM parts might be an expensive venture.
It looks like I'd need, at a minimum, new pickups (possibly full electronics), bridge and tuners.
A quick search on eBay shows me 70's era tuners running at nearly $80 apiece and a 3-pt bridge at $225
Pickups, pots, jack, etc. might be hard to come by.

Just curious the thoughts of the Gibson experts:

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/msg/d/early-1970s-gibson-ripper/6368993525.html

Thanks,
Steve
Have Fun.  Be Nice.  Mean People Suck.

amptech

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 11:09:09 PM »
Well, inexpensive gibson bass parts do pop up on ebay, just put in autosearch for what you need. It's really a matter of how patient you can be. Ripper pickups are not the most sought after, sometimes there is a make an offer option - use it! Although gibsondependable/ebay
can be somewhat shady in describing instruments, they semm to have a steady flow of electronics to most basses.

 If you settle for an epi three point, you can probably have one for 'nothing'+shipping here. If everything must be mid 70's gibson, it might be more costly - and decent rippers are not that expensive to begin with.

But the coil is there, good. Wash the pots and they're probably fine too.  If there is no neck issues, this is probably a nice project!

Basvarken

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 12:00:59 AM »
Agreed. Just be patient if you want genuine vintage Gibson parts.
But do all parts really need to be genuine vintage parts?
For example, a three point bridge is nothing special.

You can score one for $20 from China on Ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Point-4-String-Bass-Bridge-Tailpiece-Chrome-For-GBS-EP-Guitar-Parts/202099609752?hash=item2f0e135098:g:8AsAAOSwJI9ZpSBo

And for $27 from USA:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Three-Point-Chrome-Bass-Guitar-Bridge-fits-many-Gibson-Epi-ships-from-USA/282714545852?hash=item41d3199ebc:g:xEcAAOSwPhdU93N9


Oh and the pots, jack, rotary switch and choke are still there with the bass. Do you suspect there might be something wrong with these parts?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 12:35:14 AM by Basvarken »

doombass

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 01:42:36 AM »
Yes, if you don't need to get all original parts there's no big challenge really. Ripper pickups do come up for sale. Repro pickguard is no problem. Though you might consider waiting to get one until you've found two physically identical pickups. Initial production pickups mounts into the body wood. Later era have ears mounted in the pickguard.  Regular Schaller BM tuners usually fit.

Basvarken

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 01:52:44 AM »
Seymour Duncan makes damn fine Ripper pickups

http://customshop.seymourduncan.com/ripper-bass/



66Atlas

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 07:17:53 AM »
Looks like it would make for a fun project.  One word of caution about Schaller BMs, the new ones have slightly longer shafts than the ones originally installed by Gibson.  My G3 had replacements on it when I got it and it wouldnt fit in the case anymore, not sure it would be a problem with the ripper case but I'd check before spending 75 bucks on a new set.   I found a set of vintage set that weren't Gibson branded and they fit perfectly, I think I paid 50 bucks on ebay for the set.

I have a friend that has one of those Seymore duncan pickups in his, he swears by it.

ack1961

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 11:04:13 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate all the great advice, tips and hints.
If I can finish up two current projects quickly, I may just jump on this Ripper project.
It looks like fun, and I have an awesome place to go in case I get stuck somewhere.  Thanks LBO!

Steve
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patman

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 12:14:45 PM »
That is one fine-sounding fretless

uwe

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 01:03:21 PM »
Seymour Duncan makes damn fine Ripper pickups

http://customshop.seymourduncan.com/ripper-bass/




Much better than the rather lame originals in fact.
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Basvarken

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 01:54:17 PM »
Perhaps the pickups on your Ripper(s) were suffering the same deterioration that is mentioned in this video?
Maybe they sounded great when they left the factory?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 03:22:45 PM by Basvarken »

doombass

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 03:20:37 PM »
Oh, I've never heard of the deterioration of the winding insulation from pickguard fumes before.

uwe

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 03:46:07 PM »
The Ripper pick guards - due to their huge size - are actually notorious for that. I can't rule out that this happened to my models to some extent too (and in any case those pups were never intended or constructed to last half a century), but generally my Rippers from different eras (early 70ies, mid 70ies, early 80ies - last round of Rippers) and, hence of different aging, don't sound all that different - well-balanced, but docile (mind you, it is what they probably aimed for, the Ripper was to be their Jazz Bass). The biggest dif tends to be whether they have a maple fret board like the natural ones or not.

Interestingly enough, the gassing of the pg is never - in my experience  - an issue with Grabbers or G-3s of any age, probably because their pups are closed.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

amptech

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 11:22:07 PM »


Interestingly enough, the gassing of the pg is never - in my experience  - an issue with Grabbers or G-3s of any age, probably because their pups are closed.

But the Grabber single coil is such a sturdy consruction, nothing would kill it!

Seriously, a friend of mine wanted to borrow the Grabber so I decided to give it a setup first. It then came to me that I had put it away because I had worn it completely down over the years. So it became a full day's work, I had to level the frets a lot and file the nut.
Bridge was fine, but took some time to loosen those screws..

But the biggest issue was the electronics, all green of corrosion... Or pickguard gas?  I had put a sticker in the cavity, reminded me that I had cleaned the electronics/pots in 1993. I had to replace even the shielded wire, all green too. And there was two pickguard screws that had lost their heads, just by sitting in the case for some three years without attention.

We have disgussed Grabber gassing before, and I strongly suggest thar the plastic that the pickup itself is made from produce gas.
The iffy smell some Grabber/Ripper cases have comes from that gas I believe, as I happened to remove plastic from a 70's gibson recording pickup (it was broken) a while back. While grinding down that very plastic, my workshop was filled with the very same Grabber case smell.

EDIT: My point was, if the Ripper pups are made of the same plastic, corroding that thin and very exposed wire is an easy job...
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 11:31:19 PM by amptech »

uwe

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 08:24:46 AM »
The verdigris greenish look is exactly the symptom from the pickguard fumes. Drove me nuts when I first experienced it on an older Ripper, the whole pg would become steamy/misty within 24 hours (after having been wiped clean before) and I had just no explanation for it, no luthier could help me either, they thought it was some fungus, but it wasn't. Back then, the phenomenon wasn't that widely known, I'd say that has radically changed in the last 10 years or so.
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amptech

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Re: Ripper project - questions
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2017, 02:44:20 AM »
Back then, the phenomenon wasn't that widely known, I'd say that has radically changed in the last 10 years or so.

That's evolution. You just cannot stop it, god knows what kind of mysteries the Rippers/Grabbers will unwind in the future!