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Big Rickenbacker Modification

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by amusicalperson, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Hey guys, I know this is going to be a highly controversial subject (I strongly DON'T want it to be) but I was thinking of Roger Glover-ing my Rickenbacker 4003. For those unfamiliar, he removed the neck pickup (supposedly put it where the bridge pickup is) and mounted two Jazz Bass pickups at an angle where the neck pickup is. (I will try and attatch a picture but I'm currently on the mobile site, I've had trouble uploading them before.)

    To get this out of the way:
    - I understand this will highly affect the resale value.
    - I understand this will require a moderate amount of work. (I won't be doing it myself.)
    - I understand, "BUT IT'S A RICKENBACKER!"

    Regardless, I'm not Roger Glover's biggest fan but I just think it's awesome and I love how guys modded instruments back then to fit their needs as players.

    In conclusion, I was wondering if anyone could offer me some sort of techy insight as to how this will affect the tone? I know, I could just go listen to Glover but let's be honest, Deep Purple wasn't the most bass-front band. Also, I would love any kind offerings of advice or support. Honestly, I just want to talk about the idea with people.

    Attached Files:

  2. Update: After doing some VERY extensive research. Supposedly, Glover had a Gibson EB-3 mini-bucker put in the bridge.
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I really want that Coke machine.

    Whoops, sorry - go for it! It's cosmetically reversible, just hold on to the original pickguard. How it will sound depends upon how you have it wired, and which particular pickups you choose. That close to the neck, I would recommend some pickups with a neutral tone.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Also, judging by the picture, it looks like the slant was simply to make the J polepieces line up with the much narrower Ric string spacing.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  5. Years ago I came across his bass techs website. He goes into the mods on that bass and why RG did it, which as I recall, was he simply felt the Rick didn't have enough bass response. I think thats also where I read that RG was somewhat indifferent to his Rick, in other words, he didn't really love the thing.

    Anyway - see if you can find the site, it might be useful.

    The only reason I wouldn't do it is purely aesthetic, I thin it looks awful!! Now - his companion in that picture, on the other hand........
  6. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    It looks cool but I am sceptical of any significant tone changes you'd gain that a) would show in the mix and b) you couldn't achieve with some dial fiddling and eq. Maybe a preamp install/replacement would be more advisable, and would maintain resale price?
  7. Found it:


    The tech has since passed away. This link doesn't have a lot of tech info on the mod - but certainly tells you exactly what he did, and why.

    Perhaps I read elsewhere about RGs indifference to the Rick.

    BTW - I "think" the album Who Do We Think We Are is his Rick, post modification. No doubt Machine Head is pre-mod.

    That said - you never know what they really use when recording. In looking for that website, I cam across a studio pic of RG with a Mustang, looked to be about the time of Machine Head. But again - who knows?
  8. I take that back - this looks pre-Machine Head.

  9. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Id be wary of any mods that would require additional routing at the neck pup, that's an inherent weak point on Rics because there isn't a whole lot of wood under the pup right where its needed most on a neck through bass. I think you should try swapping pups before doing any irreversible surgery. How about Ric HB-1 humbuckers? No hum and bassier by all accounts. Classic Amplification also makes drop-in replacements that they will custom wind to your tone preference. Its your bass, so hack away, but I think there are a lot of less invasive options that will retain the value of the bass, and would be reversible with a soldering iron rather than bondo and maple scraps.
    CosmoReverb and JMacBass65 like this.
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Considering all the other elements of that photo, your wanting the Coke machine creeps me out a little.

    I didn't even see a Coke machine.
    bassbrad likes this.
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Lol, I don't need another hottie, I already have mine. :)
    smithcreek, Joe Nerve and bassbrad like this.

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