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Rickenbacker 4003 Bridge Pickup Low Output?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by d00dr, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. d00dr


    Jun 25, 2011
    Jamestown, NY
    Hey guys. Just another newbie with a silly question here. So, I recently purchased a 2008 Rickenbacker 4003 and I've been having a difficult time with the output of my bridge pickup. When I adjust the height to where its at the same level (volume-wise) as the neck pickup, the signal is way too hot and clips every time I pluck a string. But when I adjust it to a level where it doesn't clip, its almost not even audible when singled out. I'm not sure if I just need to keep adjusting it until I reach that point just before it clips, or if maybe the pickup is shot and needs to he replaced, or maybe there are some bad solder joints. The signal never cuts out though, ever. I'm new to Ricks and passive basses in general I guess. I've been playing my Warwick Thumb Bass for 10 years now so its a bit of a change for me going from active to passive electronics... any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  2. Augment


    Apr 19, 2011
    I'd suggest taking it to a decent tech if you have one & can spare the cash and time away from it.

    The bridge pickups are generally a little hotter than the neck ones I believe. When I got my 2010 4003, I actually lowered the bridge pup a bit since at equal height it was a tad too hot.
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  4. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    get the bridge pickup so it's not distorting and then adjust the height of the neck pickup.
  5. teleharmonium


    Dec 2, 2003
    When you say it's clipping, exactly at what point in the signal chain is the clipping happening ? It can't be happening in the pickup itself and it's highly unlikely the pickup has a problem.

    If you're using pedals, you may need to make a change to your gain structure, but that sounds weird if you were using active basses before which generally have higher output. Have you changed volume settings on anything between the bass and the amp since switching to this bass ?
  6. d00dr


    Jun 25, 2011
    Jamestown, NY
    Thanks guys! I appreciate the feedback. I'll just do some experimenting with height levels until I find a nice balance and see what happens.

    As far as volume changes, the only thing I've changed is engaging the gain boost switch on my amp when using the Rick. I never have it engaged when using my Warwick as it has extremely hot active electronics. I don't use any pedals either...
  7. steddy2112


    Aug 19, 2007
    Newark, DE
    Eh, if it's the stock MEC's in the Wick...they're not the hottest actives.

    Some passives can be hotter than actives too. My hottest bass is my Ibanez CT with EMG's with the P from hell(it's like on the higher end of 14k xD) but my 4003 isn't too far behind.

    I take it you're playing over the bridge pickup? You could try changing where you're attacking the strings/anchoring.
  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    ^THIS^ the key is balancing the two pups, so get the bridge where you want it, then adjust the neck pup to match.
  9. d00dr


    Jun 25, 2011
    Jamestown, NY
    It doesn't really make a difference white I'm playing on the bass, I still have the same outcome. I think I'm just going to mess around with my pickup heights and see where it takes me.
    Thank everybody! You've made me feel not-so-crazy but I also feel a little dumb for asking a silly question with such a simple answer.
    I'll let you know how it goes....
  10. On a couple devices I've actually had to engage the gain pad (meant primarily for active basses) with a Rickenbacker bridge pickup. They're really high output, even though they're passive.

    Try NOT engaging the gain boost switch.
  11. Quickie


    May 6, 2011
    There's a guy named Ric5 I believe. He does mods and knows a butt load about Rics. I'm sure he will be along to give you some advice. Good luck with it in the meantime.

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