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My Ric has a weak E-string!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ostrobothnian, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Here´s the problem:
    Everything about this bass is excellent except the E-string
    It is kinda weak, empty-sounding. And no, it´s not "the ric-sound", this is just plain wrong. I use 45-105 Rotos. What can be done?
  2. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Nothing. This is typical on the 4001/3. On newer instruments, the PU's are supposed to have adjustable pole pieces; you could raise the ones for the E string and see if that helps.

    The easiest fix is to just use limiting/compression to even it out and that'll improve the sound in general...

  3. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

    What year is your Ric? As unclejane said the newer ones have adjustable poles.
  4. When you say "newer", what do you really mean?

    Does anyone know when they started producing the adjustable poles?
  5. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Key West, FL
    post 2006 I believe. I wouldn't buy a Ric without the adjustable pole pieces. They make a world of difference.
  6. If you don't have adjustable poles, can you raise the E side of pickup?
  7. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Why yes, yes you can. You can also lower the other side so the output is even.
  8. This is a common complaint, and I had the same issue. I have a '05 4003, so no adjustable poles on the pickups. Luckily, I had the right year model and was able to twist/pull the posts and cut them shorter to match the E string. Works absolutely perfect now.

    There's a lot of solutions out there, just have to find the right one for your particular model.
  9. So you drop $3000 and need to modify the pickups... yikes :meh:
  10. $3000? :confused:

    These basses sell for $1600 brand new, a couple hundred bucks more than a USA Fender.
  11. Mine is a 4003 from year 2004 so no adjustable pole pieces here... I´ve tried to use compression and such but the volume from string to string just isn´t even. The E is just being trampled.
    It really bugs me that I love this bass to death but because of its disability im almost unable to use it on gigs...
  12. mac94


    Jun 7, 2009
    Burlington, VT
    If anyone has this problem and has the adjustable pole pieces, try lowering the poles on the other strings instead of just raising the one on the e string. Worked for my 09.
  13. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Trade for a pbass
  14. mac94


    Jun 7, 2009
    Burlington, VT
    And, like other brands, they are in need of a setup when you get them unless you happened to buy from a decent store. Most of the online places don't even open the box before they ship them out.
  15. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Yea, but nobody ever changed anything on a fender. They come perfect from the factory. :rollno:
  16. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Yeah, that'll do the trick....

    That is if you want to sound like all the other guys that take the 'safe' option and use the most ubiquitous bass on the planet. If you want a bit more individuality, as the OP seems to, you'll just want a better answer to your specific problem than just some guy that recommends people simply follow the rest of the herd.

    So, to the OP: My 4001 suffers from a tendency to have a weak E string, especially on the neck pup. Mine is a toaster, which is essentially the same pickup as a guitar. It has 6 magnet slugs that are glued into place within the coil former. They can sometimes come unglued, so if yours is a toaster you may want to check that they're in place. Also you could try what I did an simply place these magnets a little deeper on the E string side. Other than that, there's not much adjustment to be had on the neck pup, as you will know.

    The bridge pup is a different story and you should be able to adjust the bass side so that it is very close to the strings - just don't go too far or you will get too much magnetic pull along with wolf tones and even strings hitting the pup...better to compromise on overall gain and lower the treble side rather than get the bass side too high.

    My Ric also responds to minor tweaks on the trussrods, so if I change the make of string or the guage that I'm using, and find that the string balance has gone out of whack a little tweak on one of the trussrods makes a difference. I don't know why, must just change the resonant frequency of the neck somehow.

    And yes, Rickresource and Joey's bass notes are your friend. it's worth persevering with because, as we all know, the sound of a nicely set up Ric in full flight, has a sound that a P just can't do
  17. mac94


    Jun 7, 2009
    Burlington, VT
    Yup. Forgot I had to do that with the truss rods also.
  18. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Hate to say it, but this is why the other best day of my Rickenbacker career was the day I sold them (the other best day was the day I bought them).

    But honestly, the other guys are right, IMO. It's time to abandon it if a reasonable effort to get it to work for you has failed. Once you start cutting into things or shelling out precious cash for amps, effects, and etc., that's when you know it's time to look at something else. _especially_ if it's draining your wallet.

    I owned a total of 3, a 70's 4001, a 4003s and my current '99 or 2000 (not sure what year) 4003. They all had/have the weak-E problem so it's basically an inherent problem.

    Until I finally had the money to buy something else, I dealt with it at gigs by using compression or simply driving the amp to clipping to act as a limiter. I sold both my gigging Ricks sometime in the early 90's for $400 and had no regrets (that went into the L2K fund which I finally spent in '99).

    So in the meanwhile, that's what I'd do - just run the bridge PU and a lot of gain in the amp.... But I feel your pain, and did for many years and many gigs lol....

  19. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The OP changed from Ric strings to Roto's. As with most any bass, this requires setting the bass up for the new strings. The trussrods need a tweak, and the pups are adjustable. There's no reason to abandon a bass when a little set up work will have it playing perfectly. Jeesh, some of you expect everything to be perfect- but in life, it isn't. Bottom line: change string gauge, expect to need a set up.