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Is the Rickenbacker pickup cover really that bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hamlet7768, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I've heard maybe three people say they liked the pickup cover on the Ric. As someone who has severe GAS for a Ric (probably bad considering my new-ness), this worries me a bit.

    Is it really so bad as to prevent playing fingerstyle? I wouldn't mind too much, but...okay, I would mind. :meh:
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I really dislike all pickup covers.

    I played this bass here for many years and I learned to hate the horseshoe pickup.

  3. NightTripper


    Oct 20, 2011
    No worries. Get the Rickenbacker! If you find you don't like the pickup cover, you can just take it off.
  4. I take mine off right away. If you're playing finger style close to the neck it shouldn't make any difference. But even if you don't like it, it's not that hard to remove.

    Btw, why is buying a Ric bad because you're new? A Ric makes an awesome addition.
  5. I thought the pickup cover would drive me nuts because I play fingerstyle, but it's quite comfortable to play.

    To reiterate what others have said, it is quite easy to remove the cover. There's at least one youtube video that takes you through the process step by step.
  6. Do you get along well with pickup covers on other basses? If so, you may be able to adjust to the Ric PU cover. It's purely a personal preference. The cover is easily removed if you don't like it for whatever reason. But I've also known players who liked the looks so much, they actually adjusted their playing style in order to leave it on.
  7. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    Mine is showroom new and if and when I sell it then the next owner can wreck it if they want to . Get the bass first and do what you want..................:)
  8. How does taking the pickup cover off "wreck" the bass?
  9. I just took it off and saved it.
  10. I'm probably one of the three people who didn't mind the cover when I had a Ric. I played just in front of it so it was a good rest when using a plectrum or fingers.
  11. jedw


    Jun 5, 2010
    Preston Uk
    I bought my Ric used, the previous oner had taken the cover off. I put it back on because I wanted it to look stock.

    I play exclusively finger-style - never ever had a problem. I play mostly in front of the cover (i.e. nearer the neck)
  12. BassPenguin22


    Jun 5, 2010
    Exactly, just take it off, put it in a baggy with the screws and put it somewhere were you aint gonna lose it. I have a small box full of amp nameplates, unwanted pick guards etc
  13. Cairobill


    Dec 15, 2003
    I play my Ric with a pick between the neck pickup and the neck using the guard as a rest. It takes a short while to tweak your technique but it sounds great and feels extremely comfortable to play it that way. I play my other bass (j bass) with fingers over the back pickup most of the time. The Ric is a different kettle of fish so to speak but an very tasty one ;)

    I do wonder if a lot of the negative comments about Rics come from people trying to play them like a j bass. When you go with the flow they are one of the most comfortable basses out there.

    However, if I had very tricky music to play (or jazz for that matter), I would not use my Ric.
  14. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Yes, they are that bad IMO.

    Most people take them off for a good reason, they are exactly in the way of the sweet spot.

    And if you do take it off, you either have the gaping hole around the bridge pickup or get to spend money on a plastic surround that might or might not look a little better.

    The fact is, that pickup cover is plastic and is merely a kitzy decoration trying to imitate the look of a vintage horseshoe pickup.

    And while a real vintage horseshoe pickup may have a coolness factor, a plastic imitation that gets in the way and that requires quite a bit of disassembly to remove leaving a gaping hole, is not.

    Oh yeah, I wanted a Ric bad when I was a youngster, loved all that chrome on the bridge cover and tailpiece, thought a Ric was "so much cooler than a common Fender" and all that.

    Mowed lawns, saved my money, got a pretty Jetglo 4003 when I was 16.

    Ironically those pretty chrome things were the two pieces of that bass that aggravated me the most. IMO, YMMV, blah blah etc etc. ;)
  15. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Thats a horseshoe pickup and that has to be there, right? Not a higain like that are on most 4003's?

    I took my cover off my 4003 but I "could have" played it fingerstyle with it on. It was a snap to take it off, if I could do it anyone can.
  16. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    The original horseshoe has magnetized shoes. Those large pices of metal were prone to loosing their magnetism, hence had to be re-magnetized.

    Today, Ric offers a Re-Issue HorseShoe. The RIHS has magnetized pole pieces instead. Some say the metal "shoes" affect the field, hence the sound somewhat, but the jury is still out on that. But those shoes can be removed. The pickup itself is quite different than the Hi-Gain and has different sonic qualities.
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    No screws to put in the baggy, just the cover.
  18. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    Tube Ampology makes the Rick Trebel Bezel, a small plastic piece that fits inside the hole of the bridge pickup surround. They make versions with inny and outy thumbrests.

    Rickenbacker 4003

    Pickguaridian.com also has plastic pickguards you can replace the whole chrome pickup surround with.

    Pickguardian Bridge Pickup Plate

    I had these put on my five stringer:
  19. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Right, the screws that hold it in place are the same screws that hold the pickup in place.

    I tried keeping the cover on (it just looks so cool!), but alas, I just couldn't bear it after weeks of trying. So I took it off and put in one of those black plastic bezels, which fills the hole around the pickup and also provides a thumb rest.

    Obviously, I kept the cover, but I cannot foresee ever putting it back on. It is so much more comfortable for me to play now. Comfort outweighs looks by far, IMO.
  20. starmann

    starmann Flats and Fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    The least of your Ric issues will come from the p/u cover.

    And there is NO problem "plucking" with it.

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