1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Bartolini Rickenbacker pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jrock111, Jan 26, 2001.

  1. jrock111


    Oct 10, 2000
    I like the sound of the stock pickups, but I was wondering if anyone uses Barts in their Rickenbacker. Is it a big improvement in the overall sound? I put Barts in my P-bass and it was a major improvement and sounds great, although the stock pickups were crappy to begin with. Just curious.
  2. 00soul


    Jan 4, 2005
    seal beach, ca
    i have a question about BARTOLINI pickups and ricks but didnt want to start a whole thread about it. anyways, im getting a ric very soon and i was wondering about the BARTOLINI mute pick up. does the pick up slide under the bridge? do you have to modify the bridge? is their routing or modification to the body envolved? do i have to add extra knobs or anything? anyone got pics of one installed?
  3. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I've had a set in my 4001 for quite a few years. Prior to them I had the SD direct-replacement pickups.

    They offer more output and a slightly thicker tone than the stock single coils. I can't remember right off the top of my head, but I think they're both humbuckers, so they don't produce the noise that the stock single coils sometimes do. They still have a Rick-vibe, so you don't completely lose the Rick tone.

    The downside in my opinion is my Rick doesn't sound 'stock' any longer-duh! :p But I was willing to give up the stock tone for a slightly fatter sound at the time I had them put in.

    I can't remember who the TB'er is who is also using the Barts in his Rick, but he has his pickups wired with a series/parallel, switch and some other wiring options. This is something I'll have done if I ever start playing my Rick alot again. It would really make it possible to change the sound quickly.

    To answer the other question on the Bart high-output single coil pickup (that goes in the bridge mute rout), my guess is that you'd have to replace the bridge. I don't see how the pickup would be able to work 100% being underneath the tailpiece cutouts for the foam mute pad.

    I thought the Bart catalog showed a picture of a Rick with one installed, but it's been a long time. I'd also guess you could wire it to concentric knobs for volume and tone adjustments.

    I'd like to see some pics of it installed too.

    Best regards, -Art
  4. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    You definitely do NOT have to buy a new bridge. If the mutes can raise up high enough to touch the strings, I bet the pickup can, too.
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    From what I've read, no replacements sound like originals but are either quieter, louder, different in an okay way - but not authentic, like say MM's tend to be.

    I've got a set of Duncan Ric replacements and just the Bart Ric Neck.

    To me the Duncans are interesting pups - neck and bridge, both together and seperate, just sound different than other pups. They're both 5 wire HB's so offer a myriad of wiring options (if you like 747 cockpits). The bridge has serious gonads and easily a stand alone pup as is the neck pup. I think a pair of the neck pups in a split P config would be worthy. Haven't played them lately but they're in a bass hanging on the wall so maybe I'll pick it up today. They're decent sounding enough to leave them in a bass as a mainstay - which is the exception and only 1 of 4 (working on 5) of some 50 plus pup sets that I've played through.

    Don't have the Bart set but neck pup is typical Bart not different Bart - in other words exactly what you'd expect a Bart to sound like. It's a single cause it's two wire (3 post) and sounds like a single. I expect the bridge would pretty much be matching (perhaps HB but probably single) but who knows, maybe they put a spin on it for something different. Perhaps AuthurUPoon will respond as to the tonal similiarity between the Bart neck and bridge pup.

    Since I've yet to sample Ric originals, I'm up for a set of late model originals. So if you decide to chuck the originals, you can chuck 'em this way. For that matter, in this case, if your up for it, I'll temporarily swap you the Duncans and we can both see if we need to look any further. I had to remove that funky SD bassplate on the bridge to install it in may bass but everybody with a Ric bitches about that thing anyway so you may be able to drop the bridge in just as I have it.
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    That's me. ;) Or rather, it was me. I've gone through a couple of different wiring/pickup configurations, and right now I have just the Bart neck pickup installed in the bridge position, and the mute compartment pickup installed (and a small piece of pickguard material attached underneath the pickguard to cover up the hole created by the vacant neck pickup position.) I really like how the neck pickup (which is a split coil in a P-pickup shape under the cover) sounds in the Rick bridge position, it sounds a lot like a classic Rick pickup, but with no hum. The Bart bridge pickup, which is a dual-coil like a Music Man, is pretty versatile with its wiring options, but I just really like how the neck pickup sounds in the bridge spot. I'm thinking of putting the bridge pickup in the neck position, but I just haven't gotten around to it (partially because I rarely play with the neck pickup on anyway.)

    The mute compartment pickup can be a little tricky. In theory it's not too difficult to install; remove the bridge, unscrew the mute contraption, unsolder the bridge ground wire in the electronics cavity, pull it out, and screw in the pickup in its stead. But the instructions warn that you may have to route out a little room in the cavity in order to make it fit properly (Ricks can vary a lot depending on when it was made.) And in my case, I indeed had to remove a small amount of wood in order for the pickup wire to fit around in the cavity (it's quite snug.) It's useful for adding a different dimension to the overall tone. On its own, it sounds too twangy and thin (unless you're going for that sound as an effect or something) but mixed in with the bridge pickup it sounds nice.
  7. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Maybe so, but I'm wondering if the metal tailpiece running over it could somehow have and adverse effect on the pickup's sound. I'm not an expert, but it's just a thought.

    Do you have one installed in your Rick? If so, please post some pics of how it fits and give us your thoughts on how it sounds.

  8. does anyone know of a replacement pickup that will give me a rickenbacker sound. or even close to it?
  9. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    For those of us not in the know, what's a mute compartment pickup, is it a Ric-specific thing and what's the point in (not) wiring it up it? How is a typical Ric as a whole wired?
  10. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Ric bridges have a couple of holes just on the pickup side of the bridge saddles and a shallow route in the body below that. There is thin metal bar covered in foam (like a carpet underlay type foam) that sits in this space. The bar has threaded holes on either side and there are supposed to be a pair of thumbscrews that pass through the brodge, engage in the threads and allow you to wind the foam up underneath the strings to damp them - a far more elegant arrangment than what people used to do wodging big lumps of foam under a Fender ashtray.

    My Ric doesn't have the damper anymore. I took it off because I only used it a few times in many years, and the screws cut into your hand when palm damping.

    I've never seen the Bart pickup that people are talking about, but I guess it's a thin pickup that fits this space. I will have to investigate it, but I've always felt that this space, being so close to the saddles, would be an ideal place to put a midi pickup

    As far as the OP is concerned - I have experimented with Barts, and with Seymour Duncans - way back in the early 80's I even took the original bridge pickup off it's carrier and glued a hot Di Marzio Jazz Pickup in it's place to try and get more balls from the bridge PU (that was before I heard of the mod to take out the capacitor). Thankfully, all of those mods were reversible because to my ears it sounds best with the original Ric pickups (minus the bridge capacitor)
  11. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah, it's a small, narrow humbucking pickup Bartolini designed specifically to fit into the mute compartment. A MIDI pickup there is an interesting and intriguing idea -- a perfect, semi-hidden place for it.

    Wow, old thread! In a followup to my ancient post above, I've since gone back to stock pickups in my Rick, and I've installed a Hipshot replacement bridge which has no mute cavity (thus no more mute compartment pickup...)
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    The only good replacement pickups are made by a guy in Portugal ... Sergio ...

    The Seymour Duncan Ric replacements are real tone suckers. The Barts are ok but they are a downgrade from the Ric pickups. Both the sd and the barts are humbuckers. Both are kind of sterile sounding. They don't have the edgy single coil sound that the stock pickups have.
  13. Any picture of that mute compartment pickup installed on a Ric?
  14. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Does this portuguese fellow have an email addy or a website to link to? I'm most intrigued.

    Edit: whoah. I just noticed this was a thread resurrection. ><
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    PM me and I will send you his email address ...

    Also on the reasons people like the sd or bart replacements is in the process of installing them they remove the .0047 bass cutting capacitor. Just removing this capacitor alone will improve the old 4001 sound a lot. The 1986 and later basses don't have the capacitor.
  16. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Hmm. That's interesting info. So basically, any 400x Ric can be converted to a three-pickup model with much better sound due to both the mute-compartment pickup and the removed .0047 cap.

    Maybe it IS time to get that Shine RK2000NT... Damnable GAS.
  17. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Not quite. If you look at the schematics of the Ric 400x wiring on thie Ric site http://www.rickenbacker.com/pdfs/19507.pdf

    You will see that smack in the middle of the page there is a .0047 capacitor (c3) that is wired in series with the bridge (treble) pickup. I think that back when the 4001 was designed this cap was included to give a bit more attack to the flatwound strings that were the only strings available at the time. It achieves this because the cap effectively as a high pass filter, attenuating the bass frequencies and giving a clicky, very toppy sound.

    It does indeed make the 'treble' pickup, much more trebley, but it also reduces the output of the pickup. Subjectively, it cuts the volume of the bridge pickup to about 60-70% of the neck pickup and sounds pretty thin. I found the sound to be virtually useless on it's own, only useful to add some attack, and difficult to get a good pickup balance.

    By the 1970's when my bass was built, the world was switching to roundwounds, so the cap was no longer needed to add extra clang but was still in there like an appendix.

    Having the cap in there is like having an engine with a throttle restrictor. If you take it out, the bridge pickup is suddenly capable of pushing out it's full range of frequencies and it's full output. Much more useable.

    Rick themselves realised this and took the cap out, so some Rics will already have the full fat bridge pickup as standard, Then they realised that some people wanted the option and made it switchable.

    So the short answer is IMHO you don't need an extra PU or barts or seymours (as has been pointed out they're humbucking and change the sound completely)...all you need to do is find out if your Ric has the cap and remove it if it has
  18. Hahh! I found by myself, interesting looking one... Note that it is not a Bartolini yet but a Hi A (or whatever the name was)

  19. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Best bridge compartment use. Ever.
  20. bridner2112


    Aug 3, 2011
    i replaced my 4003 pickups with Joe Barden pickups. They market a direct replacemnt set for the Ric, They are incredibly quiet and retain the stock sound.

Share This Page