Custom Build- Rick Inspired 5 stringer questions
Like a lot of folks here, I desire to get a Rickenbacker 4003, but cannot get what I actually want, a 5 string, LEFTY bass with an onboard preamp in tuxedo white. I am really into the looks of Rics, really like the sound for most applicaitons, but I do not care for the fact that there is no easy place to rest your thumb. I would like to create a space for it to go, maybe on a pup.
Unlike a lot of folks who frequently look for a Chinese knock-off, I am interested in potentially commissioning a luthier I know into building one. I want to get fairly close to the rick tone, but am Ok with somewhere in between a Rick and a Jazz, hopefully this will get a bass with lots of tonal versatility. I don't play professionally, and I am looking to simply have a one off built. I have an American Deluxe that I like, but wish it had a bit more growl in the tone.
I understand the whole construction is important to the tone, but here is what I was thinking in terms of specs.
Soft Maple Body
Maple Neck, Rosewood board, neck through
Nordstrand big singles, or Aguilar 5 string single coils in the same location as the Rick pups
Nordstrand 3 band pre
Shark inlays, binding
1.80 at the nut, 16in fretboard radius, (I like wide flat necks)
19 mm string spacing
Pearl White Finish, Black Pickguard
My main concern is will this bass sound too bright to be useful? Will the pups, and placement give me versatility? Can I get the look right even if the pups are not completely rececssed into the body? Are there other ways to put a thumbrest into the body that is useful.
I play 75% fingerstlyle, 20% slap, and 5% with a pick. I play contemporary christian, classic rock, and some gospel.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
They don't use rosewood on the fretboard. They used to use bubinga and now they use carribean rosewood. Both of those woods have the tonal charistics of a maple fretboard. In other words those wood won't have the dark rosewood tone they will be bright.
As per the preamp I find the Audere 4 band works good on my 4004. The Nordstrand big singles will work good for the pickups.
Thanks. Can someone post any pics of any custom made Rickenbacker looking like basses? I may need inspiration!
Also, does anybody know if any 5 string Rick style bridges exist, or do I want to avoid them because of tail lift issues?
My biggest concern was whether the maple body would make it too bright, but sounds like Nordys will tame them some. Would the big singles need to be in the same position to keep their sound?
You may want to PM Ric5 about who machined the bridge replacement for him. Also, you can see in the thread that he just adds two screws to the back of the tailpiece to avoid tail lift.
A couple more photos.
I couldn't track down the maker, though.
There are some 5-string Ric bridges out there, but you have to get them used, and they're not very common.
The pickups would have to be in about the same position to get the same sound.
This thread documents a conversion of a 4 string bass into a 5 and I handle the bridge tailpiece issue.
Talk to Chris Stambaugh. He could definitely build what you want.
And I'd recommend the custom single coil Aeros that he uses on his Fossil model for the tone you want. They give a modern single coil P/Ric sound.
Here's a progress shot of my bass that will use three of them:
That looks amazing, beautiful workmanship. I wonder how the bridge was done.
I had always thought that Rick used pau ferro for fretboards, did they at one time or am I completely mistaken?
Velalv - good luck on your build. I look forward to seeing what you eventually come up with.
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