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!  

Getting a Ric sound...without the Ric $$

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BluesHolyMan, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. BluesHolyMan


    Sep 28, 2013
    Let the blasphemy begin...

    Is it possible to get close to a Rickenbacker sound without an actual Rickenbacker?

    I am new to bass, have a recently acquired Fender Squire Vintage Modified Jazz Bass 70s, but love what I think is the Rickenbacker sound (can't afford that maple goodness yet.) Here are two examples of the sound I think I want:

    Yes - Rhythm of Love, from Big Generator Album

    Joe Jackson - Caravan, from the Duke Album

    I would describe the sound as tight and focused, which to me implies some form of compression to the natural sound of the bass. I know Chris Squire used a Ric, not sure whats on Caravan.

    I guess the question is, would there be a specific set of strings, such as Stainless that would do this sound or close to it on a Squire Jazz bass, and what processing might be needed? I know whatever strings squire used on his Ric will get the sound, but I am asking specifically how to get close on this Jazz bass...

    Upgrading pickups is probably a given for additional clarity...

    < end blasphemy>
  2. I'd say you'd want Rotosound stainless steel strings (66s?). Chris Squire also uses a pick to give him that aggressive attack sound. That's all I gots...
  3. Take any bass with less than 24 frets, then stick a pickup in the 24th fret position.

    (he put the pickup under the pickguard)
  4. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Depends on which part of the sound you're after, but a jazz should get you close (I think that might be jazz on the Caravan song)... I would start trying different strings first, and different playing techniques (a good setup is also important). That's where most of the sound is, imo (and it's the cheapest starting point). Then, I'd try tone shaping (preamp/EQ), to nail it further... compression and different pickups (or different locations) are, imo, optional.
  5. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    You could do what Dave Meros did and add two pickups in the Ric positions (24th and 36th). That way you'd have both the Jazz and Ric sounds available.


  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Chris Squire didn't play the Ric on Rhythm of love ....

  7. By the way, plucking over your fretboard gets a reasonably ric-y tone.
  8. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    My G & L 2000 bass has a fairly Ric-ish tone if I crank the treble and play on the bridge pickup only with brand-new roundwound strings. The true Squire sound is pretty elusive, a combination of his amp setup, old single-coil pickups, technique,etc. His old bass has 60's horse-shoe bridge pickup, toaster front, and was shaved down repeatedly to remove ill-considered paint and wallpaper application. It's funny, Ric put out the Squire Edition bass, supposedly a faithful and carefully researched copy of his original, which Squire then openly described as sounding "nothing like" his bass. People still pay a fortune for them, of course. As you can see on the video, Rhythm of Love was played with a custom 5-string, looks like a Pedulla in the first one, maybe a Ken Smith in the second? A lot of the old Yes stuff was played on his jazz bass, still sounds like Squire, so go figure. He describes his technique on an old "Hot Licks" instructional video you may be able to find on Youtube, wherein he claims to be hitting a false harmonic on every note by choking down on the pick. I can't hear it personally, but that's his story, and he sticks to it.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    That bass is sooo cool ...
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Here's Chris Squire with the mouradian CS-74 bass. It is pretty much a funny shaped jazz bass with pickups in the Ric positions.

  11. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    Last years Gibson Grabber G3, 3 single coils, maple body and about $600-700..
    Can get a decent Ric tone out of em.
    Ric5 likes this.
  12. lasalle69

    lasalle69 "Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride"-H.S.T.

    Nov 21, 2007
    Somerset, MA
    I have a '76 Ibanez 2388b that "looks and feels" like a Ric. I put a real Ric harness and pups in her and she sounds great. However; I have been told by Ric owners that the through neck and woods used on the real ones make all the difference. I guess they are correct, but I got the look and vintage sound for $500, not 2K.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Here's a Fenderbird with pickups in the Ric positions. Rics have a distinctive Hi-mid bark due to the maple, Bubinga construction and the single coil pickup locations. Maple fretboard sounds like bubinga. But this bass here has an alder body. So I put in a 4 band Audere so I can boost the hi-mids to get the Ric tone.

  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Here I have an Epi SG body, it is made of plywood. Plywood is similar in tone to maple believe it or not. I wired it according Ric 4003 schematics. I used a Ric neck pickup. Anyway when it was set up like this it had a good Ric tone.

  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    The G3 totally cops the Ric tone ...
  16. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Funny - For many years, before the interwebs, folks that that Geddy Lee only played Ricks - then it came out that he'd been playing a J bass on a ton of their most famous tunes, sounding good 'n "Rick-Like" all the while.
    The lesson here is that a huge amount of tone is in how you play the instrument.
    Winfred and hdracer like this.
  17. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    A Peavey T-40 with round wound rotosounds will get extremely close. A T-40 in reasonable condition can likely be had for under $500.00, with a case.
  18. LowNotes1


    Jun 8, 2008
    I have one of the Epiphone Limited Edition Rippers from a few years back, and its sound reminds me a lot of the two Ric 4001's I used to own, although I not sure that it's supposed to...... :)
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    A jazz bass can sound like a Ric ...

    Geddy used the jazz on this recording but played the Ric in the video ...

    And on this recording he used the Ric but played the jazz on the video.

  20. +1 Make sure to use that phase switch so you can get that kinda vintage hollow bark. Sounds great. I picked up mine for $289. Lovely bass. Heavy though. Kinda ugly too. Makes me like it more :cool:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.