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This Ripper is one of the good, light ones made of alder rather than maple, meaning that it is about 1.5 to 3 pounds lighter than others.
When we received the bass the pickguard had completely off-gassed and disintegrated. This is typical of Gibson basses from this period. The new pickguard went right on without the need to drill any new holes. The original controls were heavily oxidized - pretty much toast - so we replaced the entire harness with a new one, varitone included. The original pots are included in the original case. Pickguard screws are all new.
The rest of the bass is original. Frets showed oxidation, as did the bridge. The frets received a light polish. The neck is killer with some sweet, honest wear. The truss rod checks out as fully functional.
These basses sound killer, pretty underrated until recently. I think the alder ones sound better than the maple ones as well.
According to Gibson production numbers, 1057 Rippers were made in 1975.
Here is a description of the functions of the 4 way switch system in this bass:
The Gibson Ripper has three controls: volume, midrange and tone; and a four-way rotary tone switch; unfortunately these are not marked, so players have to learn and remember what they do!
The varitone positions are as follows:
Position1: Both pickups, in-phase, wired in series (result: more "bite)
Position 2: Back pickup only (result: maximum treble)
Position 3 Both pickups, in-phase, wired in parallel (result: More bottom end)
Position 4: Both pickups, out-of-phase, wired in series (result: Funky, dirty tonality)
The Ripper was designed to use all of these controls in conjunction with each other. Today, people that don't like Rippers (yes there are some!) have probably had a bad experience without really experiencing what this bass can do. But this is perhaps not surprising, especially if the pickup outputs are not balanced.. it is tempting to leave all controls on full and only change varitone positions. But this was not how Bill Lawrence designed the bass to be used. Pickup signal must be comparable for neck and bridge to get the correct out-of-phase signal.
The volume control is the knob closest to the bridge. The Midrange control is furthest from the bridge - at "0" it gives the minimum midrange response, at 10 the max. The Tone control is closest to the output jack - at "0" it delivers maximum bass, and 10 it delivers maximum treble.
- Color: Natural
- Weight: 8lbs 4.8oza
- Body: Alder
- Neck: Maple
- Fretboard: Maple
- Inlays: Dots
- Frets: Jumbo
- Fret count: 20
- Nut material: Bone
- Nut width: 1 11/16"
- Scale: 34"
- Radius: 9.5"
- Neck thickness at 1st fret: 0.84"
- Neck thickness at 12th fret: 1.0"
- Action 1st String at 12th Fret: 2.25mm
- Action 6th String at 12th Fret: 2.75mm
- String gauge: .045-.105"
- Hardware: Chrome/nickel
- Bridge Pickup: 5.86k OEM
- Neck pickup: 5.61k OEM
- Tuners: Original
- Pots: Replaced
- Switch: Replaced
- Potentiometers: Replaced
- Pickguard: Replaced
- Case: OHSC