Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

Posted by J. Stahl on Sat, 09/18/04 - 11:58:35.

Just purchased a new Rickenbacker 325C58, my first one. I'll have to say it wasn't as good as expected. At first glance it looked beautiful, then I started my close inspection of it. First I noticed that the Kauffman Vibrola thumbscrew had dug a gouge into the high gloss finish, the bottom of the thumbscrew is way too close to the finish. If you even attempt to use the bar, goodby finish. Seems to me Rickenbacker could have angled that part of the Vibrola farther away from the finish. I also noted that the unit was resting on the finish, the springs on the bottom of the Vibrola had made indents into the finish. This couldn't be seen until you lifted up the Vibrola unit after loosening the strings. I then noticed that the strap screw going thru the bracket of the vibrola was stripped. I took out the strap screw and noticed it was a fine machine thread going into bare wood, which if you know anything about woodworking, is rediculous. They should have either pressed a metal threaded insert into the wood or used a wood type screw, with coarse threads and a little bit of an undersized hole drilled into the body to give the screw more bite. I also found several screws holding the back of the tuners stripped out, 5 of 6 tuners to be exact, looks like someone at the factory likes to torque little screws too much. Also one of the tuner nuts holding the tuner to the front of the neck head was torqued until it put a hairline crack in the finish going from the tuner hole outward for about 3/8 inch. For the money I just wasn't really impressed by the current workmanship of this Rickenbacker, and surely wouldn't try another of any Rickenbacker model, just to see if they are all like this. I wrote Rickenbacker of my problems over a week ago but have received no reply. You can't send it in for warranty repair without a return authorization number, and you can't get that without a reply to your questions/and or problem. In other words no customer support avalilable.



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Re: Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

: Just purchased a new Rickenbacker 325C58, my first one. I'll have to say it wasn't as good as expected. At first glance it looked beautiful, then I started my close inspection of it. First I noticed that the Kauffman Vibrola thumbscrew had dug a gouge into the high gloss finish, the bottom of the thumbscrew is way too close to the finish. If you even attempt to use the bar, goodby finish. Seems to me Rickenbacker could have angled that part of the Vibrola farther away from the finish. I also noted that the unit was resting on the finish, the springs on the bottom of the Vibrola had made indents into the finish. This couldn't be seen until you lifted up the Vibrola unit after loosening the strings. I then noticed that the strap screw going thru the bracket of the vibrola was stripped. I took out the strap screw and noticed it was a fine machine thread going into bare wood, which if you know anything about woodworking, is rediculous. They should have either pressed a metal threaded insert into the wood or used a wood type screw, with coarse threads and a little bit of an undersized hole drilled into the body to give the screw more bite. I also found several screws holding the back of the tuners stripped out, 5 of 6 tuners to be exact, looks like someone at the factory likes to torque little screws too much. Also one of the tuner nuts holding the tuner to the front of the neck head was torqued until it put a hairline crack in the finish going from the tuner hole outward for about 3/8 inch. For the money I just wasn't really impressed by the current workmanship of this Rickenbacker, and surely wouldn't try another of any Rickenbacker model, just to see if they are all like this. I wrote Rickenbacker of my problems over a week ago but have received no reply. You can't send it in for warranty repair without a return authorization number, and you can't get that without a reply to your questions/and or problem. In other words no customer support avalilable.

I resolved all the problems with my Rickenbacker 325C58 on my own, by myself. I repaired the damaged area caused by the Vibrola, repaired stripped screw holes, took off the junky Kauffman and installed a Bigsby B5, installed a chrome cover to the roller bridge and polished out the laquer flaws as much as I could. I recieved absolutely no help from Rickenbacker or CEO John Hall, and have come to the final conclusion that Rickenbacker is out for one thing, the BUCK, and could care less about customer satisfaction. The company lives on its reputation from over 30 years ago and its quality has been dwindling steadily since Hall Jr's takeover. I've done alot of investigating into the complaints of others and have read and heard many sharing the same or worse complaints as mine. I also see an idiotic kind of Rickenbacker mentality on some forums treating this has been company as some kind of god that deserves worship even though the same people are complaining alot about the same problems and are just accepting them with the attitude they own a Rickenbacker. They gripe about finish cracks, crazing around string tuners, stripped screws, hardware falling off, poorly finished guitars, warped necks, lousy customer service, and the list goes on. I've even read where people would rather resolve their problems themselves as I had so they wouldn't have to deal with Rickenbacker Co. or the unexperienced, uncaring, people working there. I'm sorry I don't understand this kind of mentality of settling for something sub-standard that you paid good money for. Some customers have this crazy idea that Rickenbacker guitars made the Beatles, I have news for them the Beatles would have been just as great with with ANY other guitar. I happen to know that had any other brand electric guitar been available to John Lennon when he walked into that music shop in Hamburg, he would have accepted it. Lennon only wanted a new guitar, period, and was told where he could get one with little money down, so thats where he went and only a Rick was available because of the guitar show that was in town at the time. That first guitar ment alot to Lennon in later years not because it was a Rickenbacker but because it was his first brand new guitar and was a keepsake that represented the group before their great success. After the Beatles fame, Gretsch, Vox, Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker gave the group guitars and amps for promotion of their equipment, not because the Beatles chose them. If Lennon were just starting out today as a musician Rickenbacker would be the last guitar he'd have chosen.

kauffman vibrola

:where can i buy a kauffman vibrola for install to 325C58?
how much does it cost?
is there anyone know?

Re: kauffman vibrola

: :where can i buy a kauffman vibrola for install to 325C58?

I have a new one for sale - Rickenbacker 01215 Vibrola Kaufman Assy Complete

Kaufman Tremelo

Hello.
Still have the Kaufman tremelo for sale? How much, and where are you located? Send me a contact number and I will call you.

Thanks,
Michael S.

Re: Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

"Just purchased a new Rickenbacker 325C58, my first one. I'll have to say it wasn't as good as expected." --- "If Lennon were just starting out today as a musician Rickenbacker would be the last guitar he'd have chosen."

Maybe Lennon's Ric, Harrison's Gretsch and McCartney's Hofner all combined to create a sound like nothing else. The 325 certainly had a "always out of tune" Kauffman Vibrola problem but this was "solved" by Lennon when he replaced it with the Bigsby B5. He seemed to be a risk taker and tinkered to the point of contamination, leaving the techs to clean up his mess.

I have a 325 and have replaced the single coil "toaster" pickups with Rickenbacker humbuckers. I wired them up to the "sweep" knob, converting it to a single coil/humbucker switch. Even in single coil mode, the sound wasn't quite as shimmery as with the purpose built single coils but when switched to humbucking mode did open the 325 up to a far greater range of fatter sounds. When covering songs I was able to play a range of fairly obese solos as required.

What I'm getting at is that you can modify most guitars to get what you want if you're prepared to take them off their pedestals and get your hands dirty. Most of the major guitar makers have had bad times, the Fender CBS days, Gibson quality control in the seventies. Hofner guitars were never much good, they just happened to produce a bass guitar that lefties could play comfortably just with a simple string position switch. Paul was an excellent player and made the most of his rather hollow sounding violin. I think the Beatles early gear was certainly different (warts n' all)and a little bit exciting ..as was the Brit band sound of the 60's.

In conclusion, the 325 is a great chiming, shimmery rhythm guitar with "that" unique sound. Sure it had a few crappy parts but hey ..stick it up on a pedestal, to my eye it sure looks more interesting than a Fender! As for guitar makers and customer satisfation....yes it's hard to spot individuals from up there on those lofty fretted pedestals.

Keep up the tinkering!

Re: Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

Ok First question....How does the guitar play ? Second question....why are you talking as if John lennon didn't really like his guitar,and that he just settled for it ? He actually really loved the way his guitar played....There is an interview where he was asked why he is playing A Ric rather than a Srtat or a les paul like many of the other rock n' rollers of the time ...do you know what his response was ? He said ....and I quote...." Its **** ing Great !!! The action is incredibly low...and the small neck is easy to play alot of the Rock n' Roll chords I like to play. The only crummy bit about it is the vibrator arm that came with it...but I fixed that." So as you can see, he really loved his rickenbacker....and so did George....I can't remember where I read it but George once said that Rickenbackers are great instruments and that they are built like violins...with skill and precision.I have bought countless guitars from countless companies and every once in a while you will get one like that from every manufactuer....once you get the bugs worked out Im sure it will be a great axe....I agree that the quality control in every company does let mistakes slip by everyonce in a while but that doesn't mean that you should bash them for it...after all ...were all only human...

Re: Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

: : Funny how you neglect to tell the whole story of HOW you got the guitar and why it was screwed up. The guitar's warranty was void and you just want to take pot shots at Rickenbacker. Buyer beware and you got taken. And now you feel that Rickenbacker should pucker-up and kiss your butt.
What part of "the warranty is void" don't you understand?
With regard to the guitar itself, if you like your Epiphone so much, ebay the Rick and bask in the fact that you screwed some poor Rick-o-phile.
Rickenbacker responded to their consumer base which said "We want exact,period correct guitars". They listened. At some point the team at Rick decided to go with the Kaufman. It is a POS. So what, they didn't make this guitar to attract people pLaying import copies. Kids playing Schecters are not going to pick-up c58's. (In fact, they likely will not be allowed to touch a c58)
Rickenbacker was not trying to become the boon of the modern guitar world by releasing 1958 re-issues. They built this guitar to satisfy (what I'll guess is, a small percentage of) guitarists who want the equivalent of a stone knife and a loin cloth for a guitar.(Admittedly,some of the most famous guitars in rock history) You'd better understand what it is your getting before you buy it because Ricks ain't cheap. It is a high-end item. Always has been. Worth the money? Well that judgement is in the eyes of the owner.
I think it sucks that you go on the Rick Forum, kiss ass and then come over here and bash.

Re: Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

: With regard to the guitar itself, if you like your Epiphone so much, ebay the Rick and bask in the fact that you screwed some poor Rick-o-phile.

FUS, in regard to your above statement on dumping my Rick to a poor Rick-o-phile, no thanks, I deal in only high quality items on my ebay and wouldn't think of screwing some unsuspecting buyer with a known problem guitar. I use mine to show others who don't know what Rick quality is all about. Besides ebay is full of other Ricks with many having the same problems on them as mine. Also shows what type of person you are suggesting it to begin with.

Re: Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

Hey FUS,
Whats your kickback from Rickenbacker anyway? I purchased a New Rickenbacker from Hoboken Guitars, who had just picked it up from Guitar Center, the only one having it before them was the manufacturer. The guitar had numerous problems as I've stated from the factory, and the factory copped out to any warranty because they know the product to be substandard. I never kissed ass on the Rick Forum, all my posts are still there with the same concerns I've given here. I notice though that the Rick Forum is comprised of many who have direct ties to Rickenbacker and John Hall, and are quite biased in their opinions to unsuspecting new members. Anything at all that sounds even the slightest bit negative about the Rick, a handfull of you stormtroopers come out to make excuses and slam the poster. Why don't you go to Harmony Central and read the reviews of ALL the Ricks, sounds like the same thing I've been talking about with mine with even more problems being discussed. I don't make excuses for junk guitars no matter who makes them, and don't appreciate cop outs by the manufacturer for unfounded ridiculous excuses. I've had several emails from others who have had the same or more serious problems with their Ricks, even though they bought them from Rick dealers. My local Guitar Center won't even carry the line because of quality problems and bad customer support, so go peddle your Rickenbacker Mentality to someone else a little younger and less experienced.

Re: Rickenbacker 325C58 Problems

: Just purchased a new Rickenbacker 325C58, my first one. I'll have to say it wasn't as good as expected. At first glance it looked beautiful, then I started my close inspection of it. First I noticed that the Kauffman Vibrola thumbscrew had dug a gouge into the high gloss finish, the bottom of the thumbscrew is way too close to the finish. If you even attempt to use the bar, goodby finish. Seems to me Rickenbacker could have angled that part of the Vibrola farther away from the finish. I also noted that the unit was resting on the finish, the springs on the bottom of the Vibrola had made indents into the finish. This couldn't be seen until you lifted up the Vibrola unit after loosening the strings. I then noticed that the strap screw going thru the bracket of the vibrola was stripped. I took out the strap screw and noticed it was a fine machine thread going into bare wood, which if you know anything about woodworking, is rediculous. They should have either pressed a metal threaded insert into the wood or used a wood type screw, with coarse threads and a little bit of an undersized hole drilled into the body to give the screw more bite. I also found several screws holding the back of the tuners stripped out, 5 of 6 tuners to be exact, looks like someone at the factory likes to torque little screws too much. Also one of the tuner nuts holding the tuner to the front of the neck head was torqued until it put a hairline crack in the finish going from the tuner hole outward for about 3/8 inch. For the money I just wasn't really impressed by the current workmanship of this Rickenbacker, and surely wouldn't try another of any Rickenbacker model, just to see if they are all like this. I wrote Rickenbacker of my problems over a week ago but have received no reply. You can't send it in for warranty repair without a return authorization number, and you can't get that without a reply to your questions/and or problem. In other words no customer support avalilable. I believe Rickenbacker is relying too much on its past reputation and quality of those past products, and using that in today's market but supplying an inferior product. Either that or they need to find a new QC inspector. Now I know why the other major guitar manufacturer's are having their guitars made in Korea and China. My Korean Epiphone Les Paul runs rings around this Rickenbacker in quality and workmanship.

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