There are 3 control knobs, which are self explanatory (Volume control, Midrange control and Tone control) and one four position varitone.
The varitone (four position transfer switch) settings are as follows (descriptions are taken from the 1978 Gibson Ripper L9-S spec sheet).
- Postion 1. Activate both pickups in a series in phase configuration. (Series wiring achieves a bit more "bite" than might otherwise be obtained.)
- Position 2. Activates back pickup only for a maximum treble response.
- Positon 3. Activates both pickups in an in phase, parallel wiring configuration. ("Parallel" resulting in more bottom end response.)
- Position 4. Activates both pickups in series, out of phase for a very funky, dirty type tonality.
Sound clips for three Rippers are available on this site; the alder bodied 1976 Ripper, and 1977 Fretless Ripper, and a maple bodied 1978 Ripper