Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

650S Sierra vs. Les Paul
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Author:  Vics [ Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:14 am ]
Post subject:  650S Sierra vs. Les Paul

I became a first time Rickenbacker owner in September, 2005 when I bought my Jetglo 330 and I've really come to love this guitar. I use all pickup combinations for clean tones, and for semi-dirty tones I use the neck pickup only. Outstanding. I'm also a Les Paul owner. Studio Swamp Ash w/ Dimarzio pickups; an Air Classic in the bridge and a Virtual PAF in the neck. As much as it plays and sounds great there is a problem: keeping the guitar in tune. The G and B strings are constantley slipping out of tune. It's currentley in the shop being looked at by a great tech and hopefully he can sort it out.

Anyway, because I have no problems with my 330 keeping in tune, and because I need a good, reliable humbucking equipt guitar I started to give the 650 S some thought. Tonally, the thing I love about my Les Paul is it's depth and how the response is so even across the spectrum. Very well balanced. I use it for anything from CCR to Rock-a-billy, Beatles to Led Zeppelin , AC/DC to Van Halen and for some original material.

So, the big question is; is the 650 S capable of handeling the mentioned styles that my Les Paul can cover? That "depth" and "balance" that I mentioned is very important to me and if you've played a Les Paul I'm sure you know what I mean about it. Any info on the 650 S will be more than appreciated. Thanks for your help.

One more thing. In looking at pictures of the 650 S I noticed how small the pickups look. They look about the same size as the pickups on my 330. Can anyone give me any numbers as far as how powerful they are? Can you compare with anything? Even though they're humbuckers are they more of a mini-humbucker? Thanks again.

Author:  Dubhear [ Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 650S Sierra vs. Les Paul

The 650 will have more lower mids and bottom end and sustain MUCH better than your LP. The ash that particular LP is made of makes it much brighter and less powerful sounding than the usual LP models. The 650's Walnut has a tone more similar to mahogany than to ash... add in the neck-through (with none of the LP's signature slop in the neck joint) and the solid bridge-to-body mount and you're going to have a much more solid instrument with what most people would consider more "desirable" resonant qualities.

As for the pickups, they are designed to retain some of that characteristic Ric jangle, but have the tonal range and noise level of a humbucker. So more of a cross between a mini-humbucker and the hi-gains in tone.

Plus the 650 has American/German hardware as opposed to the LP's Korean bridge and tuners... and the headstock won't split or fall off! ;-)

Author:  Ligumo [ Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 650S Sierra vs. Les Paul

I'll concur with Dubhear. I own an '81 LP Deluxe and love it to death, but if I had to buy new, I'd definitely investigate the 650 (amongst, admittedly quite a fe other models of that kind) on the grounds that I think it would be better made than a contemporary Gibbo. My LP has mini-humbuckers, but I've found their output levels to be more than adequate for handling anything up to heavily distorted grund metal, plus they give some extra clarity while retaining most of the character of full sizers.

Hope that's of some use!

Author:  VillainofVerona [ Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 650S Sierra vs. Les Paul

Any Rick with a neck-through body is going to have sustain that should scare the set neck player into fits.
Well, you know what I mean, the entire idea behind the neck-through guitar is science. Sound science.
(a joke?)

Author:  doctorno [ Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 650S Sierra vs. Les Paul

I love the 650, but I doubt that people who like the Les Paul will be satisfied with it. The 650 sounds much brighter than a Les Paul. And, well, the 650 just FEELS different. I can hardly describe that. The only thing I know is that I love my two 650s and did never like any of the Les Pauls I played.

Author:  MarkRevel [ Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 650S Sierra vs. Les Paul

I have owned a Les Paul and an Explorer in the past and I much prefer my 650 Dakota that I've owned for 5 months. The rickenbucker HBs will jingle a bit, cop the Beano tone perfectly, & simply wail with absolutely no hum at all.
They are very articulate and much more versatile than any Gibby I've owned or played. Plus they sustain incredibly well. I love the neck...it is a lead-players delight & makes a perfect blues guitar. When I had a higher action on it, it was great for slide.

At less than 1/2 the price of a LP, you get an impeccably made guitar crafted of beautiful woods and set up with great hardware & sweet pups. I love the oil-finish on the neck too. I have no problem dropping my Strat & picking up the Dakota or vice-versa.

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