Question about Rickenbacker pickup cover

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by prawnbait, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. prawnbait


    Aug 20, 2017
    Hey everyone,

    Last week I finally made a 10+ long dream come true of owning a Ric 4003. One thing I was curious about is the treble pickup cover. It seems to have some give/wiggles a little bit. Is this normal? I looked at the diagrams of the pickup assembly and it looks like it's held together with rubber and springs so some give would make sense. I just wanted to confirm with other Ric owners in case its a real issue and I need to exchange it.

    woodyng2 likes this.
  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The pup cover travels up and down with the bridge pup, hence the springs. It's purely decorative, like the "ashtray" covers on Fender basses. If you decide to take it off for better string access, this video is a good demonstration :

    A lot (most) people take the cover off and infill the hole around the pup with a Tubeampology treble bezel:
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    It boggles my mind that RIC uses that strange contraption to install the pickups :confused:
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  4. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Tone Twins 4.JPG As Gilmourisgod said, it's perfectly normal - as long as it just moves a little bit. If it flops around like a fresh caught fish? That's not normal... As for the cover itself? It's a perennial bone of contention around here. Some like it where it is - me, for instance - and some can't get it off fast enough. In any case, it's easy enough to remove; just don't lose the springs, and don't forget the ground wire.. Personally, I play mine the way they were originally intended to be played; between the pickups, with a pick. I use the mute, too... As for how the pickup height is adjusted? I think having it travel up and down on a little elevator is kinda cool, myself...:thumbsup:
  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I tried playing behind the bridge pup cover like Chris Squire, a little too stiff and trebly for my taste, unfortunately the cover is right over my "sweet spot". Near as I can figure, the cover was designed to look like the older V63 horse shoe pup, which does look cool as hell. They do make a nice hand rest if it works for you.
  6. Hurricane Jimmie

    Hurricane Jimmie Supporting Member

    I'll leave mine on...who am I to fool with their design?
    Phud likes this.
  7. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Some wiggle is normal, but I always took mine off because it covers the sweet spot in my opinion.
  8. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    If you take it off, then change your mind, it goes back on pretty easily. The guy I bought my 4003 from (the Desert Gold one) never played it, apparently - but did manage to lose the cover...:rollno:. The other one - a '73 4001 - had the snot gigged out of it most of it's life; and that's the original cover. Never been off, till I removed it for maintenance/cleaning. Different strokes... You can buy a new one from Rickenbacker for.. $35 !?! They used to be $20... anyway, they also fit a 4001, if you're wondering...;)
  9. prawnbait


    Aug 20, 2017
    Thanks for all the responses!

    After playing with it extensively for the past few days I think I'm going to try sans cover. I ordered a bezel and I'll have it put in when I take it in for a setup. I'm more of a finger player and it seems like there's not much real estate with the cover on.
    Gilmourisgod and Marikk like this.