Ric pickups

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nick303, Feb 15, 2014.


  1. Nick303

    Nick303

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    Can someone explain Rickenbacker bass pickups to me? I love the way Rickenbackers look but the pickups are hideous! Is there a reason for the huge plate and enormous horseshoe cover?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    There used to be, but not anymore. You can take the cover right off.

    EDIT: You can take the cover off on newer models. I hate pickup covers, so it was the first thing I did when I got mine.
     
  3. jj4001

    jj4001 Supporting Member

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    One man's trash is another man's treasure.
     
  4. DogBone

    DogBone

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  6. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

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    The pic you display is of the older "horseshoe" type in the bridge position. The newer ones are:

    [​IMG]

    or

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

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    Do some research and get back to us once you have learned the history and the differences between various Rickenbacker pickups, please. :cool:

    There is a lot more going on with those horseshoe pickups besides just looks. ;)
     
  8. Nick303

    Nick303

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    I was hoping to get some information from those in the know, care to share?
     
  9. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    We've got a whole sub forum dedicated to Pickups & Electronics where you'll find a lot of information.
     
  10. Flyingfrets

    Flyingfrets

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    You can safely remove the cover on this style of bridge pick-up. As mentioned, it's just a chromed piece of plastic. Just be careful when you disassemble the pick-up assembly to take it off. It's not complicated, but it's not as straight forward as it looks at first glance. The lead wires to the pick-up are very delicate...

    [​IMG]

    Unless something has changed radically in the design of the "horse-shoe" pick-ups, removing the 2 "prongs" will destroy the pick-up!!! Those "prongs" are actually magnets & are part of the pick-up itself. You can identify the "horse-shoe" pick-up by the split in the center of what looks like a cover. It will not be flat across. The magnets are mounted 1 on the left, 1 on the right & are usually angled upward slightly in the center...

    [​IMG]

    My 4001 originally had this style of pick-up, but was changed to the newer type about 1985. Couldn't find anyplace to have it remagnetized, so I had it replaced. Too bad because even though they had a considerably lower output, it was part of that vintage "clank" Rics are known for. Even though I have the vintage bypass push/pull pot installed, I get more of a "honk" than a "clank." Still uber-cool, but not exactly the same.
     
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    Rickenbacker invented the first electric guitar pickup the horseshoe pickup. The shoes were magnetized.

    [​IMG]

    Late 1968 Rickenbacker switched to a high gain pickup with a more modern magnet, but the put on a plastic or metal cover to simulate the horseshoe pickup..

    [​IMG]

    Those 2 pics are a real 60s horseshoe pickup.
     
  12. Nick303

    Nick303

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    Good info, I am genuinely enlightened and now have a growing appreciation for them. I must say though, that blonde one with small pickups is drop dead gorgeous.
     
  13. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Supporting Member

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    That's a 4004, the "modern" Rick bass. It comes in two flavors: the Cheyenne II with maple/walnut/maple sandwich construction of the body wings and gold hardware; or the Laredo, with usually solid maple body wings and chrome hardware. Pickups are humbuckers.
     
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    Here's a 4004 with the humbucking hb-1 pickups

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    Good thread. Need to replace the bridge pickup in my '72 4001.
     
  16. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

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    If you can find or get one built up from vintage parts, magnetic horseshoes sound great on them. Here is mine that has been on three different Ricks of mine, a '08 4003, '98 4001V63, and currently on my March '73 4001. The photos are of the '08 4003 and '98 4001V63.

    Photo © Jeffrey P. Scott 2009 All rights reserved.
     

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  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    The Reissue Horseshoe pickups have Alnico slugs and aluminum "shoes" that can be removed. The original horseshoe pickup had magnetised steel "shoes" that were prone to degaussing.

    I prefer the high gain pickups to the horseshoe pickups.
     
  18. Flyingfrets

    Flyingfrets

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    Wow. Why would Ric reissue a "horse-shoe" that wasn't a functional design?!!?

    Can't imagine it sounds much like a vintage one...which makes me doubly sad that I junked mine when I had the hi-gain installed. Probably not a big deal to have them properly repaired these days...:(
     
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    People want their bass to look like Paul McCartney's 4001 or Chris Squire's 4001.

    I played a 60s 4001 for many years and I learned to really hate the horseshoe pickup and the mechanical mute.

    Now I play 4004 basses and I am happy.
     
  20. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    Yeah back in '84 I stripped my 4001 fireglo to mapleglo ... whoops!
     

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