Can you tell the difference between a Rickenbacker and a Precision?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sloppy_phil, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Darkness = Precision, Robin Hood = Rickenbacker

    80 vote(s)
  2. Darkness = Rickenbacker, Robin Hood = Precision

    102 vote(s)
  3. I honestly cannot tell the difference

    19 vote(s)
  4. This sloppy_phil guy is a complete moron; it's obvious they were both recorded with CARROTS!!!

    48 vote(s)
  1. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    Alright, so just for a little bit of honest interest and fun, I wanted to put the highly trained collective ear of TB to the test. My band just recorded our first album (hurray); we play mostly reggae with a little bit of edge to it, but some funk and hip-hop too. My 2 basses are a slightly modded MIM P-bass and an '84 Ric 4003, and those are what I recorded the album with. It seems to me that the general perception is that these two basses don't really sound anything alike, and that a P is much more naturally suited to the deep and dirty reggae sound. Funk, too. So I have for your consideration two tracks from the album; one recorded with the P, one with the Ric. Both were put through my amp ('67 Ampeg B-18), and though recorded on different days, the mic used was the same, the amp settings were more or less equal, and the DI unit was also the same (don't remember the mic, or which specific Radial DI it was, sorry). On these cuts you're hearing, there is no added EQ on the bass; the engineer preferred the plain blend of amp and DI. I figure that really the best way to test the ear is also the most realistic/practical; basses get played in bands and, to me, sitting in a mix is the best way to judge and compare tones. Also for consideration, my P was at the time strung with GHS flats, and my Ric is/was with La Bella stainless steels.

    So, do your best to identify which bass belongs to which track. I'd love to hear your thoughts on why you feel the way you do about your opinion; do you find it a night and day difference, or is it maybe a littler tougher than you anticipated?

    Track 1: Darkness

    Track 2: Robin Hood

    And, if it's not too much to ask, I'd also appreciate any criticisms on the songs/my questionable playing. There's a small debate in the band about the ending of the keyboard solo in Robin Hood; is it too dissonant? I kinda like it...

    EDIT: For those who are curious, I've posted the answer to the poll. It is response #18 down near the bottom of this page

    EDIT 2 Post #77 (page 4) is an updated version of Robin Hood; the bass has been boosted, so it's easier to hear it now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    It's pretty easy to tell the difference between flats and rounds, especially steel rounds. Perhaps if they had the same strings this would be a more legitimate test of our collective ears.

    I dig the songs though and when I have more time tomorrow I'll listen a little closer and give some more specific feedback.
  3. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    Hard to tell for me, but, at a guess, I'm leaning toward track one being the Ric, and 2 the P-bass. I can't really delineate exactly why, it's not much more than 2 just sounded more "P-bass like" than one to me. I will say, I liked your tone on both, and your playing is good and solid IMO.
  4. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I picked track 2 as being the P-bass as I'm hearing more of a well rounded low-mid tone.

    Track 1 had some upper mid burpiness which I'm assuming are due to the (old?) stainless steel strings of the Ric.

    Then again, I've never owned either a ric or a P, I'm going mostly on what I've read about these instruments and a the few recordings I know which featured each.

    In other words, I guessed for the most part.
  5. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Darkness is a Rick. Robin Hood is a P.

    Nice playing.
  6. I picked Rick for Darkness and P for Robin hood.

    But I guess strings could make a big difference too.
  7. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Inactive

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    REplying with my ear not eye...careful not to read ther responses quick! quick! Darkness is Rick, Robin Hood is P bass to my ear. Darkness is a good song by the way!
  8. Darkness RIC and Hood P. To my ear music sounds good, a kind of edgy reggae blended with ska. Me likey:)
  9. Johanes_H


    Sep 30, 2011
    I can hear some differences but i have never actually played a Fender P-Bass or a Ric, so I can't really tell which track that use the P bass or the Ric :bag:

    Good tracks anyway :D
  10. Signed. Can't tell it now. I want to listen to it on studio monitors.
  11. cracked_machine


    Jan 8, 2010
    Not too sure, but track 1 sounded thicker, rounder at the low end, where as track 2 was thinner some how.

    Liked both tracks though. I almost forgot to listen for the difference. lol.
    I like the keys solo on Robin Hood. I see what you mean about it being a little dissonant. I guess it maybe isn't in standing with the traditions of reggae, but that isn't bad thing in my opinion. Makes the song more unique.
  12. miholc


    Aug 17, 2009
    Epic thread.

    I'd say Darkness is recorded with 4003 but then again, when listening to Robin Hood @3:07+ Rickenbacker's neck pick-up comes to my mind instantly! :D

    I dig the music and your playing OP. Congrats, keep it up!
  13. sharpbass


    Oct 4, 2011
    Robin Hood sounded like a P to me. Leaving the Ric to Darkness, but I am probably wrong.
  14. i honestly am not firmiliar with ric sounds aside from mccartneys and chris squires, and both of those sounds were heavily dependant on strings + amp.

    if i had to guess, track 2 has that P-bassy mids to me.
  15. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Darkness = Precision, Robin Hood = Rickenbacker. Oh yeah, nice playing.
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
  17. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    I voted Darkness-Ric, RH-P Bass. They sound closer than I anticipated for sure. Great playing BTW. Very nice tone and lines indeed!
  18. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    wow, lots of responses... TB really is awesome! And thanks for the positive comments on the tunes/my playing. Coming from this forum, I hold it in high regard!

    definitely some varied opinions thus far. I suppose there is no point to this thread without the answer given, so here.


    Contrary to the leading opinion thus far, Darkness was actually recorded with the Precision, and Robin Hood with the Ric.... :eek:

    In parts of Darkness, I was plucking really close to the bridge in order to get that more aggressive sound from my P. I have a pretty heavy-handed fingerstyle, so where I play can have a big impact on tone. The Ric I tend to pluck b/w the neck and bridge p'ups, so it can be a bit more mellow at times. Also, part of the ambiguity between the tracks is that both basses have the tone knob rolled completely off, so those classic Ric trebles were definitely muted.

    If you read this, please refrain from posting the answer anywhere else; I'd prefer to let the people who still want to guess have a fair shot at it


    Let's keep those guesses coming... oh, and actually it was carrots, not basses!
  19. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    as of right now, I have better ears than 47 voters. :)
  20. boomtisk


    Nov 24, 2009
    Interesting, I seriously couldn't hear the bass in the second song through my laptop speakers so I didn't vote but thought it was unlikely that a P would get lost in the mix like that. Looks like I was right. :p
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