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Approaching the Richard Sinclair sound with a modded P...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Nashrakh, Apr 2, 2013.


  1. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Hey guys,

    the modding bug bit me again and this time I'm aching for a second pickup on my MiM Precision. Mods already done are a PU swap for 62s and an added diode distortion (Germanium) which I like blended in 50% but eh besides the point innit! Of course, TI flats on this one.

    Anyway, I've recently fallen in love with the sound Richard Sinclair gets on the milestone Caravan albums, most notably 'If I could do it all over again, I'd do it all over you'. Awesome growl, lots of definition without being clanky or obnoxious. Sounds to me like flatwounds also.

    From what I've gathered (live footage etc), he plays a Jazz and sometimes a PJ. My question is, would a bridge pickup get me in the ball park? Click here for a sample of what I'm looking for.

    And if adding a bridge pup is the way to go,the big question is, what do I go with? My first thought was, of course, a 62 Jazz bridge pup. However, I don't quite like the looks and would like something that looks unconventional (says the guy playing a P!) but should it come down to it, sound has priority...

    My dream pup would be a Dark Star, both sound and look wise. But try to get ahold of one in Europe, let alone cheap - the Curt Novak version would be another candidate, although I don't quite have the money for either anyway :crying:

    I'm thinking of a Rickenbacker HB-1 because I think Doug Ferguson (of Camel) played a Ric and I dug his tone also. I guess what it comes down to is, to approach Sinclair's sound, do I need a Jazz pup or does the HB-1 also work? Or would any bridge pickup work, for that matter? If so, I like the looks of Thunderbird pickups also...

    I'm a bit concerned about what I hear about PJs though when both pups are dimed, you know, the midscoop thing. I get the feeling Sinclair gets the opposite, a mid boost, or am I wrong? Does he have his Jazz wired in series, perhaps?

    Ah, so many questions... any help would be appreciated.

    Edit: To clarify, I love the P sound or else I wouldn't play one. However, I want more definition and growl, as a bottom line.
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A slight hint here...it ain't the gear. Jaco, Larry Graham, and John Paul Jones all had nearly identical basses and amps.
     
  3. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I'm not debating that. You could actually consider it part of the question because if it's the fingers, what exactly does he do? In the mentioned three players you can pick their style apart to show the reason why they sound like they do, at least I'm a firm believer in that (there rarely is unexplicable mystery behind it).

    However I just want more grr in my P :crying: and want to know if this is viable to get in the ballpark or at least, what I have to expect it to sound like. Maybe I should just get a jazz lol! (Note how my OP is littered with ifs and question marks... I'm not out to copy but let's say it's a direction I wanna go in... kinda like how you would tell some to learn how to thump and pluck when he's into Graham? :\)

    I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm of the firm conviction that the player makes the sound, but the rationalist materialist in me says there's gotta be something about the bridge pickup that contributes to his sound.
     
  4. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Okay, maybe I gotta put the question differently.

    Like, if I have a P and want some throaty burp to it, would adding a bridge pickup, like a jazz pup, do the trick? And since I'm interested in the Ric Hb-1 especially, will it get me there? Sound research would tell me yes definitely but maybe someone has some experience with this.

    Please? :(
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've got J pickups on most of my P's, and if you solo it or bring the volume of the P pickup down, you can get the Jaco throaty sound, but running them both together gives it a midscoopy sound in comparison to the P or J by itself. No exp. with the Ric pickup, sorry.
     

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