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pickup switching

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tormato, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. tormato


    May 25, 2004
    Hey everyone. I was wondering if it was possible to install rickenbacker bass pickups into a fender jazz. obviously there would be some cutting and stuff involved, but is it possible? and if you could, would it make a big difference? would it sound like a ric? i was thinking about doing this wiht my old 4001 and then replacing the ric's pickups wiht some replacements or something.

  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Could it be done? Yes
    Would it make a big difference? Probably
    Would it sound like a Ric? I doubt it. I remember a Bunnybass interview with Rickenbacker, and (I'm paraphrasing here) Ric said that they believe the Ric neck construction and wood has the greatest impact on the Ric sound.
  3. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    What david said. I've tried a few different pickups in my Rick and no matter what, it still sounds like a Rick. There are tonal differences between the pickups of course, but this experience put me in the "woods and construction have the greatest tonal impact" camp.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Was just wondering, what other pickups did you put in the Ric? Ric replacements?
  5. phatcactus


    Apr 2, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I wonder if the Ric pickups are wide enough to provide full coverage of the jazz bass's strings. They're quite small, aren't they? I was going to use some Ric-shaped Bartolinis in a project, but I think I'm going to go for some EMG HZs instead, just because of the width issue.

    Anybody know the string spacing at the bridge of a Ric? Am I worrying over nothing?
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Good point. Definitely worth confirming before cutting a bass up :)
  7. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Yeh that's an excellent point - I'd forgotten all about it. I ran into that with Ric Duncan replacements - the original Rics may be worse yet. You've got the Rics so you can measure the poles. The Duncans are blades.

    What I did with the Duncan bridge, and I understand you can do the same with the Rics, is remove that bass plate and just use the same screw holes to attatch a thin piece of wood so you'll have mounting for it. You can do it so you don't make any permanent mod to the pup and you can put it back like it was when the time comes. That way you don't have to make that goofie routing (or trash the value of that pup). You can just make a humbucker type routing.

    May basses have a 3/4" x 4" x 7" routing and the only pups I have had any problem with are the Ric (too wide) and original MM (too thick).

    I've got schaller roller bridges on all my basses and for that Ric neck had them as close as the outside rollers would go in - and it barely made it. Had a similar problem with the Gibson EBO. Neck pups with pole pieces are the worst.

    If original Rics (which I've yet to try), are anything like the Duncans, I'd be willing to bet you'd get a Ric-like sound out of that transplant. Different bass so it won't be the same as the original but the sound from both the Duncan neck and bridge pup is unlike any other pup I've run across. It's a shame the spacing is so narrow at the neck cause I really would like to have seen what it was like moving it down. I thought about picking up another one and trying them P style - but had actually forget about that till now.