5 string Rickenbacker-like pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jallenbass, Dec 3, 2013.


  1. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    I'm toying with an idea to modify a 5 string with 2 pickups in the Rickenbacker positions. I've seen Ric5's modification of standard Ric pickups to span 5 strings but am looking at 5 string pickups that have similar characteristics of the older single coils. I'm listening to a lot of Mike Mills lately. Jason Lollar makes a '51 P with the same resistance as Rics in a 5 string version. What else do I need to consider? It doesn't need to look anything like an original.

    For those who are going to ask "Why?"

    Because I want to and enjoy this kind of thing.
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    The guys at Classic Amplification will make one for you.
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    Thanks Ric5.
  4. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville area
    I'd think long and hard about doing this. For every modification like this that turns out well, 10 instruments get turned into funky junk. I'd like to have a 5 string Ric too, but I'd wait for the factory to build one.
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  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    Like I said in the OP. It's what I like to do.
  7. Major Softie

    Major Softie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Location:
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
    You did note that he's not modding a Ric, right? Maybe he's starting out with a sow's ear and going to turn it into silk purse.
  8. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    That's correct though the sow's ear will likely be a Squier Affinity Jazz V. I had one and really liked it. Shouldn't have sold it. The current plan is to buy another for around $150, plane off about 1/4" from the front and glue a maple or cherry cap on it so that I can re-route it for the pickups. If I use with cherry I'll go with a natural finish. Should be nice.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Although I have no personal experience with this, Ric5 once said that Duncan Quarter Pounders sound similar to Ric pickups. Do they make a QP that fits the Squier Jazz V? If they do, then you wouldn't have to plane & route.

    Edit: Whoops, just re-read your original post and noticed the phrase "in the Rickenbacker positions".... :)
  10. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2005
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    I'll look into QPs. Not what I would have thought.
  11. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You will be waiting a looooong time!


    My Sidewinders sound like Rick pickups. Humcanceling too! :bassist:
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hahahaha ... really???

    I basses were made to be modified ... period ... anything else is a waste of time.

    If you are waiting for the Rickenbacker factory to make a 5 string Rickenbacker then you are in for a long damn wait. They made the 4003s5. It sounded great and it was a good pick bass but it was almost impossible to play fingerstyle. Then they made the 4004 cii5. The bass had the wider string spacing, but they put in pickups with 2 1/4" steel rails and the string spacing was 2 3/4". This effectively made it a 3 string bass. The guys at Rickenbacker cannot take criticism. So when people were critical about the botched 4004cii5 then Rickenbacker decided to only make 4 string basses. It has been over 10 years and Rickenbacker shows no interest in making 5 string basses any more. The trend at Rickenbacker fo the last 15 to 20 years has been fewer models, fewer options, and higher prices.

    So if you want a 5 string Rickenbacker then your only options are to have one built, build one your self, or modify a Rick.

    You can also build a bass with pickups in the Rick positions and wire it up like a Rick and get the Rcik sound without making a look alike bass.
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    John Hall can't take criticism. I mentioned on their forum that they should use graphite in the necks so they can get the 4003 necks thin like the 4001s used to be.

    Mr. Hall sent me an email saying I was wrong, and that they can't use graphite because it's patented (!!?!) and gave me the number for the Moses Graphite patent for the "construction of a graphite neck", which of course has nothing to do with using graphite reinforcement. When I wrote back to say that, and that everyone and their mother uses graphite in the necks, he said his legal council knows best, and those other companies were small potatoes (like Fender) so no one is going to sue them!

    Then he ended with the know customary "but we have a better idea in mind," just like they said about their bridges, and the too narrow pickups on the 5 strings, etc. They all work fine for Hall's bass, so they should work fine for everyone else.

    It's all pretty sad really. I appreciate that they make most of the instruments they way they were always made, but when it comes to the more modern basses, they get cheap with parts, etc. Are you telling me they can't design and build a wider 5 string pickup? Or out source them! Sure, they need a new chrome bezel, or a new injection molded case, but they are a big enough company, so that shouldn't be a problem.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ya ... it really is a shame ... the basic design of the 4000 series is a classic great design. A working 5 string version would be wonderful.
  15. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    Well they have a customer right here. I'll place my order the same day that they announce a 5 string 4000 series with at least 17.5mm (preferably 18mm) string spacing - and 22 frets would be nice; but somehow I think my pension fund will be safe well into my dotage.

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