Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Attn: Ric 4003 owners (?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TCollins, Mar 12, 2002.


  1. TCollins

    TCollins

    Apr 4, 2000
    I finally ordered a Ric-O-Sound kit for my
    4003 -now that I have two amps, I want to try
    my Ric in stereo mode. I have a concern though
    that my bridge pickup seems to sound weak. Is
    this normal (when NOT using the Ric-O-Sound kit)?
    Should I raise the level of this rear PU? Will it
    "kick in" as it should when I get the kit?

    Thanks!
     
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Hmmm. I have a 4001 and have never messed with Ric-o-Sound, and my bridge p/u roars - but I did the bypass mod.

    I usually blend my pickups to about equal volume so I can quickly switch between the bass and treble p/us with no major volume bumps or drops. This normally translates to the neck dimed and the bridge at about 60%.

    Do you know if your 4003 is one of the later ones without the capacitor? An earlier one with the capacitor would probably act the way you describe.
     
  3. TCollins

    TCollins

    Apr 4, 2000
    I got my Ric in 1984. I know nothing about it's capacitors etc.
     
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Anyone know when Ric dropped the bridge pickup capacitor? The answer is probably buried in the mega-Rickenbacker thread, but I don't thave the time to go through all 1,653 pages of posts.
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Found it!

    1987 is when Ric quit using the cap, per Max here .

    A very easy and reversible mod. You simply bypass a capacitor by tack-soldering in a short piece of insulated wire. Takes five minutes to do or undo, and no luthier is needed.
     
  6. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Just pull the guard and look for a .047 capacitor. If it's there, unsolder it, and solder a bypass wire in its place. It will wake up the bridge pup.
    Doc
     
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    You don't even need to remove the cap - just bridge around it with a piece of hookup wire. Electrons are lazy!
     
  8. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Tcollins is talking about his bridge pickup sounding weak. The bypass restores the neck p/u to full strength. I didn't think the capacitor re-route affected the bridge p/u. I would raise it up first a little to see if that makes a difference.
     
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Max -

    No, that's backwards. The cap bypass mod affects the treble (bridge) pickup. I just double-checked the Ric Forum when I got home to confirm. You had me doubting my memory for a while there!

    The way I've hard it, it was a leftover from flatwound days. Way back Ric felt the need to add a little brightness to the treble pickup. The widespread use of roundwounds on the new 4003 made the cap superfluous.
     
  10. I have a new 4003 FG (2004). The standard all-inclusive guitar and bass manual alerts Rick-O-Sound users:
    "Rick-O-Sound is designed to be used only with the equipment (Rick-O-Sound Kit) described above. Use of Rick-O-Sound with other equipment, such as a stereo y-cord, may result in an increase in noise or a significant loss of treble (emphasis mine).

    I hope this helps another Bassist someday. I am grateful to be a newbie on this forum. Great work, all.
     
  11. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    That "significant loss of treble" warning thing is well, a little overexaggerated in my experience. I've used a standard Y-cable with my Rick with no problems. There's nothing too fancy about the internal Rick bass wiring, it's just a standard stereo wiring scheme. But I honestly don't know what's actually inside the actual outboard Rick-O-Sound box, maybe there's some stuff in there that helps to enhance/preserve the signal or something. Anyone have one they wanna crack open? ;)

    It's kinda funny, but the whole "Rick-O-Sound" thing is something John Hall (according to his posts on the Rick Forum) has wanted to get rid of for years, saying it's an archaic holdover from the days when amps had no channel switching (notice how the newer, more modern Rick models like the 4004 basses and 650 guitars have no Rick-O-Sound stereo features), but every time he mentions any kind of intention of doing so, the Rick purists get up in arms. I guess it's just a matter of keeping your customers happy. Kinda like how Fender is locked into the P/J and Strat/Tele thing. He did manage to sneak in and get rid of the .0047 high-pass bridge capacitor though (another holdover from the old days, designed to make flatwound-equipped instruments brighter through the old underpowered amps of the day.)

    That said, I've played around with it and it can have some interesting and fun uses. It's not quite like just splitting a regular mono bass signal, as the two pickups have definite tonal differences and it's fun to mix and match different effects and settings on each pickup. I think Chris Squire even sets up some of his non-Rick basses with a stereo setup. In the old days, Geddy Lee would use it in the studio to record the thick, syrupy neck pickup direct and the aggressive bridge pickup through an amp.
     
  12. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    My '80 4003 had the cap, after removing it the bridge p/u had a higher output than the neck p/u, and sounds great. My other Rics have horseshoes w/o the cap.
     
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Butbutbut... your bass is BACKWARDS!