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 Post subject: Often imitated, never duplicated
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 232
Location: N.J.
Line 6 has come out with a guitar that supposedly can imitate a Rickenbacker:

http://line6.com/variax/collection.html

Under "Check out tracks below" scroll down and click on "Chime"

I don't think RIC has to fear of being replaced by computerized guitars anytime soon. BTW, how is the sustain on that puppy?


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 Post subject: Re: Often imitated, never duplicated
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 1677
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California
I don't think anything but a Rick really has the Rickenbacker sound.

It's way better to make a guitar that has its own unique sound than to make one to imitate the sound of someone else's.


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 Post subject: Re: Often imitated, never duplicated
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 95
Location: UK
Quote:
Line 6 has come out with a guitar that supposedly can imitate a Rickenbacker:

http://line6.com/variax/collection.html

Under "Check out tracks below" scroll down and click on "Chime"

I don't think RIC has to fear of being replaced by computerized guitars anytime soon. BTW, how is the sustain on that puppy?


While I agree with you that nothing beats the real thing, I can see some cases where having this type of equipment would come in useful, particularly in cases where maybe the odd song requires a different instrument or 2. I'm a bassist & without question always use THE RICKENBACKER GROWL however a few numbers that we used to do would probably have been better suited to fretless or 8 string or even a P-Bass. The variax could take care of all the minority stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Often imitated, never duplicated
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 461
Location: New York/New Jersey
I've had one of those Variax guitars for a little over a year. Mine is a plane-jane sunburst 500, made in Korea, with a decent fingerboard and action. It has the quality you'd expect from a mid-priced imported guitar. The electronics are stunning though. Line 6 modelled about 30 different instruments that can be selected via a 12-poition rotary switch and a 5-way selector, from a Strat to a Les Paul to a Gretsch 6120 to an ES-335, several Martin acoustics a Coral Sitar and even a banjo. For someone playing in a cover band, it's very useful and connecting it digitally (via ethernet cable) to their Pod XTL amp modeller lets you select amp models and guitar models with the tap of a toe, or click of a mouse (the Pod connects to a PC via USB). You can also modify the guitar models (for example, you can "build" a tele with P90s in drop-D tuning and save it to the guitar) with their "Workbench" software.

Now, how does it compare to a real Ric? Well, we don't need to go into just how beautifully made the Ric is compared to the Variax. In 10 or 20 years time I'll still have the Ric but the Variax will probably be just a piece of obsolete junk. And the Variax doesn't have the tonal depth and overall lushness of my 360/12. But, it's really not bad and for someone who only needs occasional use of a Ric 12 it's not a bad option. Unfortunately it does seem to be a guitar you spend more tweaking than actually playing, but the technology really is very interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Often imitated, never duplicated
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 2592
Location: The Rickenroom
I'll leave sounding like my Ricks to my Ricks. That way I get the real thing, not almost, sort of, not really.

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Throw that piece of firewood where it belongs and get yourself a Rickenbacker!


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 Post subject: Re: Often imitated, never duplicated
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 1752
Location: Erkelenz, Europe
Quote:
While I agree with you that nothing beats the real thing, I can see some cases where having this type of equipment would come in useful, particularly in cases where maybe the odd song requires a different instrument or 2. I'm a bassist & without question always use THE RICKENBACKER GROWL however a few numbers that we used to do would probably have been better suited to fretless or 8 string or even a P-Bass. The variax could take care of all the minority stuff.

For the same reasons you mention most music teachers advice their students to get a "versatile" Ibanez or Yamaha guitar instead of an Epiphone Les Paul or SG, a Fender Mexico Strat or something like that. And they advice them to buy a modelling amp with "all the effects" built in instead of buying a valvestate amp or a tube amp and maybe some stomp boxes.
I do not agree with this point of view at all. Creativity is not boosted by circumstances in which everything is possible (or seems to be possible). On the contrary you become creative if you have to deal with limitations, if you are forced to find solutions with the equipment you have got. In case of music this means you will be more likely to produce great music (or great "art") if you are limited and forced to make the best of this situation (which might lead to new solutions - or new sounds.) What is more: I think it is much better to have the choice between only two really good sounds than between a whole lot of fairly good sounds.
(Please excuse if I haven´t been able to express these thoughts in plain English. I am not a native speaker.)

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"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." (Elvis Costello)


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