Thursday, 30 June 2011

Thoughts: Rickenfakers

I find it amusing and a little sad how worked up people get over "Rickenfakers" (copies of Rickenbacker guitars, particularly the basses).

There seems to be this notion that Rickenbackers are somehow sacred and "fake"* instruments which, to most people (including me), look perfectly fine are described as hideous and 'sacreligious'. Hell, I even saw one thread on a forum where someone described seeing what appeared to be a Rickenbacker in a shop only to find out it was a "fake" as an "emotional rollercoaster". I think someone needs to get out more. You never hear people going on about "hideous fake" Les Pauls. Nobody gets their knickers in a twist when they see a Stratocaster that turns out to be made by someone other than Fender.

Rickenbacker don't seem to have worked out that the reason why these "fakes" continue to exist is that their instruments look really cool but are far too expensive for most people to afford. I'd be prepared to bet folding money that if Rickenbacker introduced mass-produced budget versions of their instruments they'd make an absolute killing on them. I'd certainly buy one.
Hell, the Japanese companies that made the first Rickenfakers did so as a compliment! In Japan copying the work of another is seen as a mark of respect, not an attempt to rip off the original. If only the capitalist West realised that a bit more.

*This is one of the biggest issues I have with all this. To me it's only "fake" if it is being sold as genuine when it's not. These instruments aren't, most of them are quite unashamed of their non-genuineness.

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