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NBD - 1977 Ibanez Rickenbacker lawsuit copy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lazarus.Bird, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Stay away Rick purists, I have a strand of garlic! :bag:


    Just picked this up this morning. I'm a big Ibanez fan and have liked the Rick look and sound for quite awhile. Found this on CL a couple days ago. The guy had owned it for 17 years but was mainly a guitar player so he decided to let it go. It's a little dinged up but in pretty fantastic shape all things considered. The previous owner took some fantastic pictures before I purchased it, so I'll post some of them here.


    I'm in love... this is actually the first passive bass I've ever owned. I just played it through my Fender Rumble 15 (the old Squier package amp) and it sounded terrific!! Can't wait to hear it through my big boy rig at the practice space today.

    Now a couple of questions, from someone who knows nothing about passive pups, Ricks, old instruments, or much of anything else...

    I'm assuming the switch is a pup selector, with neck, blend, and bridge. Is this correct?

    Would maxing both the Bass and Treble volume pots cause a mid scoop? What exactly do the two tone knobs DO?

    Obviously I can play and get an idea of how they affect the sound, but what are they doing?

    It doesn't look like this thing has a truss rod. Is it just hiding or does it not have one? I'd like to take a little bow out of the neck as the strings at slanting upwards towards the bridge creating a higher action. Will I have to somehow lowered the bridge to do that?

    The frets seem quite low compared to any other bass I've played. Is this just because it's 30+ years old? It doesn't bother me, in fact I might actually prefer it, but just curious.

    I like to anchor my thumb and really dig into the strings sometimes. Seems like that's difficult to do on this because the edge of the pup housing thing is so far away from the E string. How do people typically anchor their thumb with these?

    And I've read about neck dive but never experienced it. Most of my basses have sat pretty balanced. This bass seems to want to sit parallel to the ground when I let it hang naturally. Is there something I can do to improve that?

    Thanks and enjoy the pics. :D
  2. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The bass (neck) and treble (bridge) knobs are actually passive volume pots for the pickups. Each has it's own tone knob, like on a Les Paul.

    Sweet looking bass. The reason they were sued is because they hit too close to the mark!
  3. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Look under the cover on the headstock for your truss rod or rods (it may have two).

    The switch is a pickup selector, up should be neck, down should be bridge, and middle will be both.
    Ricks use small frets, so presumably did the Ibanez copies.
    Tone pots should do exactly what any other passive bass' tone controls do, roll off high end.
  4. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Actually, the reason they were sued was because they were (and still are) a violation of trademark.
    They do seem to be the best of the copies made, both in quality and accuracy.
  5. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    Glad to know you pulled the trigger on the bass. May it serve you well. Like others said each pickup has its own tone knob and volume knob and the switch is a 3 way pickup selector. In my opinion the bass has the strongest output with just the bridge pup selected, and the weakest with just the neck pup. The bridge is the clearest and most aggressive with articulate high mids but it isn't annoyingly clanky... I play with my fingers and never use a pick and I favor the medium output and round tone I get with both pickups on and every knob maxed out. I sometimes use the bridge pup and dime the tone pot a bit to my taste. Congrats and enjoy the bass.
  6. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Just played it a couple hours at practice. Took me awhile to dial it in but wow! Love the sound of this thing. Going to take me awhile to adjust to the passive pups. Seems I'm getting a very peaked volume in my attack. Definitely needs new strings and a good setup.

    Garmenteros, where do you anchor your thumb? I was switching between the pickguard at the neck and then the housing of the bridge pickup but couldn't get very comfortable with either spot.
  7. Looks awesome!!!

    A lawsuit Ibanez Jazz is #1 on my GAS list.
    BlueAliceOasis likes this.
  8. Aww man, that thing looks fantastic! You gotta get some clips of it.
  9. wow it actually is NEARLY identical to a proper ric

    the only 2 diffrences i can see is its mono and the ibanez logo

    ill give you £100 for it
  10. merrill2121


    Jun 8, 2007
    In regards to thumb anchoring, you could move that thumb rust up into a position most comfortable for you
  11. beautiful. congrats.
  12. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Can anyone tell me how to adjust the string height at the bridge on this?
  13. You don't have individual saddle adjustment. The two allen screws on the ends of the saddles are used to "tilt" the bridge from side to side. The basic saddle heights are matched to the curvature of the fretboard. If individual saddles need to be adjusted their slots will need to be filed. This is best left to a tech with experience.
  14. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Thanks for the info! I plan on having someone set it up for me but was trying to make some little adjustments myself.
  15. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yo Braymer what u doin lurkin TB?
  16. i suddenly want an Ibanez Ric, how much did this bad boy cost you?
  17. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Haha hey Nick. I've been posting here for a few months now.

    And I paid $550 for it. I didn't really have room to haggle as the seller told me he got a lot of interest and he was selling to the first person to put cash in his hand. Given the condition and rarity of the bass and how much I'm enjoying it I'd say it was quite worth it!
  18. I want one of these babies in Red now.

    youve gotten me jealous dude.
    dekideki likes this.
  19. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    These little triangle saddles are kind of wacky. Seems adjusting them affects both intonation and string height at the same time! I've got it set up pretty well now. I had been a bit nervous as I loved the sound but wasn't sure about the feel. It plays like a dream now. Soon as I break the brightness out of these new strings I'll be good to go. Might look into one of those thumb rests you can install on the neck pup to be a little more comfortable.
  20. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great bass! I have a similar era Ibanez Lawsuit P coming to match my Ibby Lawsuit Jazz from the same era!

    I did a setup on one of these for a buddy of mine- the screws behind each saddle change intonation, and the two screws above/below the bridge change overall height (no individual height adjustment without filing each saddle down). Unfortunately, the material of the saddles on his was really dried out and broken down with many string changes leaving some deeper grooves on a couple of the saddles which made the height of a couple strings a bit off from the others. He gave me the go ahead to groove the others deeper to compensate. It came out really nice, though his pickups were pretty microphonic (luckily he is a fan of feedback!).

    You could probably find better metal replacement saddles that would be compatible from some newer bridge system, like a Gibson Les Paul bass style bridge for example, but you would probably also have to replace the intonation screws and DIY the heights with a file. I would probably just replace the bridge with a Badass or something if I got one!
  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.

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