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Gibson Ripper Bass

long scale Gibson bass

Gibson 1975 bass catalogueThe 1975 bass catalogue with Peter Cetera from the band Chicago, playing the L-9S Ripper.
1978 Gibson catalogueThe minimalist 1978 electrics catalogue entitled Quality / Prestige / Innovation
1980 Gibson catalogueThe 1980 'Gibson Guitar' catalogue was the last US catalogue appearance of the Gibson Ripper bass, although production did continue until at least late 1982

Gibson Ripper overview Ripper shipping totals
Ripper schematic
1974 Ripper (natural)
1976 Ripper (natural)
1977 Ripper (sunburst)
1978 Ripper (ebony)

1974 Gibson Ripper

1977 Gibson Ripper

The Gibson Ripper was the product of guitar and pickup designer/builder Bill Lawrence. He worked at Gibson from 1972 onwards designing a number of similar solid bodies, such as the S-1 and L-6S.

The first Rippers were produced in late 1973, to a good reception; 1974 was a good year and production at Gibson's Kalamazoo plant continued throughout the decade. Production slowed into the eighties, with a trickle of basses being produced towards the end of 1982.

Bill Lawrence specifically designed the humbuckers and tone circuitry to accentuate the natural sounds of the guitar. A lower impedance giving clearer tones to those associated with some other Gibson bass guitars. It was also built out of maple and alder rather than mahogany and rosewood as was so often the case with previous models. These changes had a major impact on the sound and feel of the guitar; a Ripper is just not like a Thunderbird or EB bass.

The Ripper was available as a fretless and fretted bass; the first Gibson fretless in fact, but these sold in much smaller numbers.

For specific details and a closer look at some Gibson Ripper bass guitars, follow the links to the right.

Vintage advertisements for the Gibson Ripper

Electric Bass advertisements originally published from 1974 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies.
Check out other vintage Gibson advertisements

Gibson Ripper - The Ripper. Designed To Rip Your Ears Off

Gibson Ripper - The Ripper. Designed To Rip Your Ears Off (1974)
1974 Gibson bass advertisement. This ad was widely used in 1974. First, an enlarged double-page version was used in the January '74 issue of Guitar Player, effectively announcing the model. ...

Gibson Ripper - Try Gibson for a change of bass

Gibson Ripper - Try Gibson for a change of bass (1977)
A mid seventies (1977) advert featuring the Gibson Ripper and Gibson G3 bass guitars
"Sometimes it pays not to follow tradition. We didn't when we designed our new basses. We just followed the a...

Gibson Ripper - It Sounds Like Peter Ceteras Playing A Lot Of Basses

Gibson Ripper - It Sounds Like Peter Ceteras Playing A Lot Of Basses (1977)
But hes playing a lot of bass. A Gibson

If the Gibson Ripper that Peter plays had just one sound, it would be an excellent bass. But, the Ripper is loaded with...

Gibson Ripper - Gibson Guitars. To the Tune of $399 and Up

Gibson Ripper - Gibson Guitars. To the Tune of $399 and Up (1979)
Gibson electric guitars begin with the Marauder at $399. And it begins where most of its competitors leave off—with high power electronics, a full range pan pickup potentiometer and the same craf...

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