Club RickenFaker / FakenBacker - Show Your Fake Rics!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Jan 27, 2010.


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  1. ChickWithaRic

    ChickWithaRic

    Feb 19, 2021
    Oregon
    Just thinking on this, what's the wiring like on these? Most Chinese instruments seem to be using a Les Paul schematic which is wrong, you just just can't achieve the right blend of pickups. I know my Pitbull kit came with a Les Paul style harness, which is sitting in my "big box of things I might use one day".
     
    MirandM likes this.
  2. Aceonbass

    Aceonbass Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2004
    Parkville,Mo.
    About 1/4 of the wiring harnesses I build are for Rickenfakers, and occasionally a customer sends me a pic of the instrument or the loaded control cavity. Lotsa tiny pots and chicklett caps.
     
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  3. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass.

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    The one I got from this seller wasn't that bad, except for the typical wrong placement of the pots and the stereo jack all but being chic-o-sound. The switch is your basic three pin pup switch, not valid for stereo and the mono jack needs to be replaced for that. Ah and of course forget about a vintage pot switch, it's not there. Personally I don't mind that, I don't use it on my real ric so no huhu.
     
  4. ChickWithaRic

    ChickWithaRic

    Feb 19, 2021
    Oregon
    I feel your pain.
     
  5. StudioGC

    StudioGC Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    London
    They do take a bit more money to make them acceptable for me. New harness and I will add a genuine Ric neck pick up. Let's say another $250. So I'll have a decent sounding "Ric" clone that I won't worry about gigging for a bit over $500.
    I've had a Chickenfaker before, so I speak from experience that they are pretty decent instruments. I've posted this before, but here's my "walnut" chickenfaker in action:
     
    405BassGuy, kodiakblair and MirandM like this.
  6. ChickWithaRic

    ChickWithaRic

    Feb 19, 2021
    Oregon
    The switch is usually some kind of no name sealed unit deal that can't ever possibly be "hotel room repaired", too.

    The first thing you need to do with a China instrument is rewire that whole messy mess to genuine specification with quality parts.

    Nobody ever got fired for buying Switchcraft, Sprague, and ALPS.
     
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  7. ChickWithaRic

    ChickWithaRic

    Feb 19, 2021
    Oregon
    Get in touch with David at retrovibe.co.uk, he's a super helpful and nice person.
     
  8. StudioGC

    StudioGC Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    London
    I was wondering about retrovibe pick ups....good prices! Have you used them?
     
  9. ChickWithaRic

    ChickWithaRic

    Feb 19, 2021
    Oregon
    I have the neck pup now, and it really is very good. Paul Gray (The Damned) has been using Retrovibes on his 4003 for some years now.

    Edited this post to add: I bought the hot wound neck pick up to match the hotter output of my Seymour Duncan treble pick up. You can buy Retrovibe in "hot" or "standard" windings.

    I'd recommend contacting David and explaining what you want to do, and he'll have something for you.

    I don't know who makes his stuff, I certainly don't work for him or anything like that, he's just an easy person to deal with and he loves his 'fakers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
    StudioGC likes this.
  10. The American fella didn't have a PG to use for a template, his blue flower P-bass was bought without one.

    David is a good bloke. Think at 1 time I've owned every Retrovibe model and I've currently one of his hush hush Renegades.

    He knows his onions and doesn't sell junk.
     
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  11. StudioGC

    StudioGC Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    London
    Cool, thanks for that. I've just sent him an email. I'm very happy with my original USA Ric 4003 (2015), so if I could get close to that tone with his pick ups, I'd be very happy.
     
  12. ChickWithaRic

    ChickWithaRic

    Feb 19, 2021
    Oregon
    I just wish he'd make a 34" scale Telenbacker.
     
    StudioGC likes this.
  13. ChickWithaRic

    ChickWithaRic

    Feb 19, 2021
    Oregon
    Trust me. You'll get **VERY** close to that tone. Use a Kinman circuit (Google it) on both p'ups vol pots to avoid treble bleed as you mix them down, and you're good as gold.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
    kodiakblair and StudioGC like this.
  14. StudioGC

    StudioGC Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    London
    Dave at Retrovibe is sending along a neck and bridge pick up set....AND also doing a harness for me. Happy days!
     
    ChickWithaRic and kodiakblair like this.
  15. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Aren't the Chickenbackers wired (badly) like a Les Paul? the one I played had the scratchy, crappy pots where 90% of the knob effect takes place in 1/4 of the turn. That's the first thing I rip out on cheap Indonesian basses like my son's Jay Turser beatle bass. The pots, wire and jack were complete junk, $10 in parts and some soldering, voila! Decent little bass.
     
    BassikBrad likes this.
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
    I have never played or owned one of the Chinese Rickenfakers. But I have bought stingray fakers from the far east and I had to rewire both of them. I just assume a bass with a low price will need some work, well for my me all basses need work because I end up modding them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
    Gilmourisgod and BassikBrad like this.
  17. @Gilmourisgod

    Did you send the bill to Jay Turser or JAM Industries ?

    They commission the builds and they set the build budgets. Who is to blame, the factory struggling to turn a profit on a $20 build or the client pocketing $85 and upwards on every sale ?

    I've a Chinese bass, cost £76 brand new. 1000's of hours on it. Had it fst approaching 8 years, never needed to adjust the neck,clean a pot or change a screw. The shop I bought it from operate a low profit/high sales numbers business model.

    It's a win/win/win for factory,store and customer :thumbsup:
     
    MirandM likes this.
  18. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass.

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    I don't think it's a profit war or anything even remotely. I've had good luck with my chinabackers, others have not, I can't say if it's because I chose the sellers wisely through my 20+ years of international buying experience but I do think it has some influence. I can spot junk from miles away and if the seller uses stock photos of original ric's I don't even bother to look any further, scam, junk, turd, :poop: it's sure to happen.
    If you look a bit better, ask questions to a seller and read up on feedback, you may very well end up with a decently constructed bass. It will need work as nearly always with these basses, but to me that's the fun of it.
    I have no need for a perfect copy of what I already own, an original ric.
    The one I ordered is to be defretted to make a fretless chinabacker. Since I have experience in both fields (defretting and chinabackers) I think I can pull this off without too much trouble, and for me that's the fun of it. I wouldn't dare do that with an original ric.
    So I see the chinabackers basically as project basses, not directly playable or as replacements of the original. Just to have fun without breaking your bank account.
     
  19. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    Not so much for the labourers, unfortunately.
     
  20. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I didn’t begrudge Jay Turser the cost of a jack and pots, it’s actually a very nicely built and finished bass, better than the low-end Hofners IMO. They get to that low price point by cheaping out someplace, given the choice I’d rather it was cheap and easily replaceable electronics. If I ever buy a Chickenbacker, it will be a “husk” with no hardware or electronics, but as long as your expectations are reasonable, the standard Chinese hardware is....serviceable.
     
    MirandM and BassikBrad like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 24, 2021

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