Attention All Rickenbacker Owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scott D, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey, i'm thinking of becoming a proud owner of a 4001/4003. I just have a few questions...

    1) How is the sustain on the low E if you drop it down to D?(my band is pretty much always in Drop D)

    2) How does the rick-o-sound (stereo output) work?? does it split the pickups? (I.E. 1st output is neck, 2nd is bridge) or does it just work like 2 regular ouputs?

    3) Can someone tell me what controls are on this bass? i knew at one time, but i forgot...

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    P.S. what kind of rig do you guys run your rickenbackers through? do you think it would work well with an ampeg svt-III pro and a hartke 4x10 XL?
  2. kutz


    Mar 19, 2003
    Get one, you'll love it. I'd suggest a mid '70s 4001 because of the thin necks or a new 4003 because of the super hot pickups (the neck is quite a bit thicker than the 4001.) If you want to order a new bass and feel like waiting for a year or more, check out the 4004 models.

    1) Sustain on the dropped D is no different than if it were tuned to E. You'll probably have make some slight setup adjustments.

    2) Don't even bother with the Rick-o-sound. It's just an outdated p.o.s. You'll need the Rick-o-sound box or a stereo Y splitter cable to get it to work. It will split the output of the pickups into 2 signals so you can use 2 amps or 2 channels on the same amp. It's really just more trouble than it's worth.

    3) Controls are a 3 way pickup switch, and a Volume and Tone control for each pickup.
  3. rumplebunny

    rumplebunny Guest

    Jul 8, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I run my Ricky 4003 through a Hartke 3500 head and an XL 4x10 cab (really I've had this same setup for ten years.) Sounds great, lots of punch.

    I haven't really messed around too much with dropped-D or other tunings on it (I have a Carvin LB76 6-string for extended range needs) but I've never noticed anything amiss when I did so.
  4. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Just about the amp.

    Rickenbackers sound great with most Ampeg amps. I can see no reason why this shouldn't work with an SVT-III Pro.

    As a personal taste, I prefer 15" speakers than 10's. They add bottom end to the mid/trebly tone of the Rick. But that's just what ***I*** like.

    Hope this helps,
  5. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Regarding drop D, original Tool bassist Paul D'Amour played a Rick, and, at that time, all of their songs but one (Prison Sex, which was in drop B) were in drop D. Take a listen to Opiate or Undertow and decide for yourself. I think it sounds great. And certainly not lacking in low end.

    On a side note, I hope a Rick is in my future at some point. I wish they made a 6-string. Or maybe they do... [off to do research]
  6. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    The band I play in tunes down a half step to Eb (and sometimes drops the low string down to C#) and I find my 4003 does not like it at all. The strings get pretty squirrelly and the tone gets very clacky. The Ric sounds much better in standard tuning.

    Another issue I have with my Ric is a weak E string. The low string is noticably lower in volume than the other three strings and does not sustain as well. I can't seem to reconcile the problem by adjusting the bridge pickup or changing strings. The neck pickup is unadjustable and I believe that's where the volume discrepancy problem is rooted.

    So bottom line: It's pretty commonsense, but make sure you try the Ric out in whatever tuning you're planning on using before you buy it and check out the string-to-string balance.
  7. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Depending on what kind of sound your after, one of the more common uses of the Rick-O-Sound is sound the neck pickup to a bass anmp and the bridge to a guitar amp, with or without distortion.
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i used to play my ric a lot, back in my 4 string days. the rick-o-sound was happening for me - i would biamp my rig around it and it was choice.

    don't forget the "Cap-mod" for tone enhancement, really opens the thing up, imo. i also replaced the 3 way switch with a knob to pan between the pickups. this way i could balance them with each other based on their output.

    god, i WISH i could get a ric-style 7, with all that happeneing chrome. wooo!
  9. I agree fully. My 4003 definitely does not enjoy being drop tuned. The E is not particularly strong even in standard tuning, either. However, that doesn't stop me from loving the bass for what it does do well!

  10. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    cool guys thanks.

    hey JT, what are you talking about with the cap mod thing???

  11. Rickenbacker put a capacitor on the output of the treble pickup that recduces its low end output. There are any number of theories as to why they'd do this, but my personal favourite is that back when flatwounds were pretty much the only bass strings out there, Rickenbacker wanted to boost the punchy, trebley output of their bass, which has always been its characteristic sound.

    Now that many of us use roundwound strings on our Rickenbackers, we want some more low end, so those with the third capacitor in their older Rickenbackers bypass them.

    I'm not sure of the exact time Rickenbacker stopped putting in this third capacitor, but I got my '01 4003JG brand spankin' new, and it wasn't in there. It sounds absolutely awesome.

  12. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    Ric stopped putting the .0047 capacitor in the 4003 around 1993. Since then they've installed a shunt to replace it.
    If you buy a 4001 or a 4003 bass with the .0047 cap, you can easily bypass the capacitor in less than 5 minutes. It's really very easy and simple.
    The result is amazing.
    All Ric basses wired stereo before 1993 have this 3rd capacitor in them as standard.
    FYI, the 4001v63 and 4001S models do not have the .0047 cap in them because they are wired with mono outputs.
  13. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    I thought it was around 1986. I had a 1987 without it in there. Could have been removed though.
  14. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    You and your damn "bass avatars".

    Screw you, dood.

    :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: :bawl: ;)

    I wonder if my parents will get me a spankin new rick (Or the used white one of my dreams) for graduating.....
  15. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    No 6 string rick, and also...

    Paul played an ovation,,,ovatoin,,,,ovition....

    Well, he didn't play a rick on most of Opiate.

    That is a rick (Maple glo,,,,,,) on Undertow...

    Sure sounds alot alike to me, though.

    I belive he used Mesa amps.
  16. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    ... so due to the advice, this wouldn't be good for drop d sustain? i had a MIM P-bass, i put some basslines in it, and it just wouldn't sustain at all on the drop D. it would like sustain for like 2-4 sec. which was just horrible. i'll just have to try one out in drop d i guess.

    but thank all you guys for the input and help.
  17. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    Well, the dropped D string wouldn't sustain as well as the other 3 strings _on the Rick_; however, as far as comparing a Ric to a MIM P, you're going to get much more sustain out of the Ric -- that's one of the calling cards of the 4001/4003: endless sustain.
  18. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the same bass will sustain a drop d very differently depending on the strings you use. not all low e strings handle detuning well.
  19. Good point. I'd use the heaviest gague you can stomach when drop-tuning a Rickenbacker. I tried DR HiBeams (when I was in my brief "Obsessed with the Matthew Good Band " phase) in their heaviest guage once, and they drop tuned pretty darn well - MGB does most of their stuff tuned to Eb, and it sounded very tight on the Rick with those strings.

  20. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    I went up to a 110 gauge E and still had problems, but I tend to smack the crap out of the bass. A less heavy-handed bassist or maybe just a bassist that has some skill might fare better.:D