~1980 BC RICO refinish

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by The_Nuge, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hi!
    Got the paint stripped off without too much effort - and damage!
    [​IMG]

    I left a small area with paint around the inked serial number...

    [​IMG]

    To my shame I must confess that I chickened out on the refinish :D and went to see a luthier in Stuttgart. Being a very nice man, he agreed to repair the damaged areas, respray the beast in aged white NITRO :dude: and dress the frets - all for a fairly reasonable amount of money. He reconed that I can pick her up in about 6 weeks, which will give me time to find a new bridge (Schaller or Badass copy - what's better?) and some push/pull pots - looking forward to putting her back together :).
     
  2. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hello Again!

    Time for a bit of necro-posting :D - I finally got the guitar back from the luthier after almost a year :shock:. Well, he did have to move workshop once, the heating in the new place didn't work and his girlfriend left him - at least that's what he told me :cool:,

    Well, here it is:
    [​IMG]

    I think he did a good job of matching the colour - you can see the mismatch on the back of the headstock where we left a little area with the original serian number.
    We also swapped the bridge for a Schaller 455 - which is much better in my opinion - and I coil-split the Schaller pups (didn't have the originals and I didn't want to put the EMGs back in). Still have to sort out why one Schaller works the other way round from the other when split :hmm:.
    Plays great, but I still need to fine-tune the setup and get used to the somewhat sticky nitro finish :thumb:.
    Also, because the whole thing took so long, I've managed to spend literally 1000s on other guitars to cover my "needs"!

    Have a good one

    Es
     
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  3. Cpt_Gonzo

    Cpt_Gonzo Senior Member

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    You sure you want to keep the Schaller PUs? I hated them when I had them. Then again, different guitar, different story.

    Looks really good, though. Like the aged white. Retains the whole vibe of the guitar.
    I'm only missing all the flimsy little switches and knobs though...love them on Mockingbirds :D
     
  4. mzmo

    mzmo Junior Member

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    Hey The Nuge,

    I also own a 1980 B.C. Rico, an Eagle that I picked up in a great little secondhand guitar store in Sapporo last year. Neck-thru, original Gotoh DiMarzio-style HBs (I changed out for Duncan Jazz/JB set that I had lying around as I hated the ceramic Dual Sound sound), upgraded TonePros version of the Badass bridge. Plays fantastic, has a real hot rodded Les Paul Custom-type sound.

    Hope you don't mind if I ask you a few questions about yours, as my Japanese isn't great (or existent) and the guy in the shop didn't know so much about it.

    1. What wood combination is your Mockingbird? It looks in the photos like it might actually be maple/mahogany (or maybe nato)? The guy in the store tried to tell me mine was alder, but I think his English was just a little confused. Also, it doesn't at all sound like alder, but almost like straight mahogany, not maple/mahogany, so I'm wondering what yours is.

    2. Mine is a solid bright red color but where the serial number should be, back of the headstock as on yours, it's solid color and quite smooth. Is your serial number stamped on? Like, it is likely that mine just had the serial number worn off over time? Or more likely that it's actually a refin?

    3. How hard was it for you to get the finish off with the heat gun? Like what's the actual process like? I have read some other threads on this but since you have the same make, I wanted to get your thoughts on how it worked out for the Japanese BC Rico.

    I am considering just stripping off the finish entirely and just going tung oil on the natural wood body, as I tend to like that kind of look. The red it is right now is kind of too bright and slightly orangey. If it were a darker or more metallic red I would just leave it.

    Please let me know your experiences!

    Also just to note that as far as I can tell, the BC Ricos (maybe Kasuga) were made in a different factory from the later NJ series (Masan Tarada and Iiya).

    Thanks!
     
  5. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Hi!

    Don't mind you asking - hopefully I can provide adequate answers :)

    1. My Mockingbird is maple neck with mahogany wings. Fretboard is rosewood, and the headstock overlay appears to be too.

    2. The serial is ink-stamped - mine is 177*

    3. The heat gun method works very well - apply heat to the finish, but be careful not to burn through it, and when the paint is on the verge of bubbling, scrape it off with a scraper. I'd say it takes about 2 hours to do the whole guitar if you're being careful.

    If I were you, I'd probably refinish in a solid colour, as the wood is a bit plain.

    BTW, I've since upgraded the pups to custom made Fuelies and "upgraded" the switches to more-or-less US-spec:

    [​IMG]

    Post pics of yours too!

    Es
     
  6. mzmo

    mzmo Junior Member

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    Don't have a lot of great pics myself, but here are the pics from the store's webpage. Also I'm happy to pimp their store. They never have a lot of stuff in at one time, but the guitars they get in there are always interesting. The owner is a huge Beatles fan and collects Rickys. They always have a couple of fabulous Rickys in the store window, but those are the ones that aren't for sale.

    B.C.RICO 80's “ú–{» Eagle ƒXƒ‹[ƒlƒbƒNŽd—l - Teenarama! Used Guitar and Pop'n'Roll Bar - ’†ŒÃƒMƒ^[Eƒx[ƒXEƒAƒ“ƒvEƒGƒtƒFƒNƒ^[ / ’†ŒÃŠyŠí”Ì”„E”ƒŽæ / ƒJƒtƒFEƒo[ / POWERPOP / ROCK'N'ROLL / PUNK

    Besides the pickups (seriously, those stock pickups are just harsh and fizzy, the Duncans are much clearer and sweeter. White bobbins, which is kind of a classy look), I've also changed out the tuners to a set of Grovers (not Imperials, just the regular bean ones) as they were a bit loose for my liking. The Grovers hold tune much more reliably.

    What did you specifically change in the switches? You mean the pots and such or is there actually a difference in the wiring?

    Also, have you ever messed with different values in the Vari-tone? I kind of only ever use two settings on mine and am interested in experimenting with the values to get more sounds I'd actually use right on tap.

    If the wood doesn't look particularly anything maybe I'll just skip the refin then, as I do like playing the guitar. I just wish I could tell if there's a serial number under the red paint or if it has been worn off--ink stamping can wear off, right?
     
  7. mzmo

    mzmo Junior Member

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    And have you seen this? The info is same as we've all figured out by owning these guitars, but nice to see it confirmed in a catalog, especially the maple/mahogany part!

    1982 Japanese B.C.Rico Catalogue
     
  8. The_Nuge

    The_Nuge Senior Member

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    Cool :thumb:

    Mine doesn't actually have a Varitone, but rather a little pre-amp with 4 or 5 sounds. The rest of the wiring is series / parallel wiring for the pups individually, out-of-phase, and two different value caps for the tone (that's the switch between the chicken-head and the second volume, that would normally switch the preamp on and off) - kinda complicated and very fiddly, but I like it :D

    Es
     

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