Questions about my Rickenbacker

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bubba_Ho-tep, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Bubba_Ho-tep


    Oct 27, 2006
    Alright, this pacticular rick I possess was made in 1987, and at some point the owner had a BadAss Bridge II proffessionally installed on it. The inlays are a bit yellowed, but otherwise it's in tip shape, and there are paint scratches at the ends of the headstock. except for some slight rust on a few of the poles of the bridge pickups, which doesn't really affect the appearance anyway, cause I use the bridge cover. I use primally DR strings, but occasionally switch to Rickenbacker factory strings because of their nice light guage and smoothness.
    I will list the questions as follows

    1. Does the slight rust on the pickups affect the tone at all?

    2. Was the BadAss Bridge II installation a good decision. Is there any other bridges I should check out?

    3. Are there any pacticular strings that really bring out the tone of the ric? Do flat wounds sound good with it? what about those pyramind gold or Maxima gold string I hear about?

    5. Is there any way to restore the paint where the scratches are? Also, what kind of guitar maintinence polish should I use?

    6. What kind amps sound good with a ric?

    7. I've heard about Alembic making rickenbacker style pickups. Are these available, and if so, are they good? Also, are there any other pickup options out there?

    8. Does Anyone know what strings Cliff Burton used on his ric?

    And last but not least, my biggest question of all. Is it possible to get a jazz bass tone out of it, pacticularly the punchy tone from "the Lemon SOng"? I'm really looking for that vintage tone, specially Jones's. Is there any paciticular amp settings, string guages, etc?
  2. (1) Probably not

    (2) Nothing wrong with the BA bridge...but Hipshot has a nicer one

    (3)DR SUNBEAMS ..I get a very Squire-like sound out of them, and they are low tension, smooth, and stay bright for a looong time(over 1 year on my Ric)

    (4) I guess #4 wasn't that important??

    (5)I use Gibson's polish every time I put my bass away, and wipe the strings with a cloth.

    (6)Mesa Boogie Bass 400(my fave), Ampeg SVT, and GK 800RB, Ampeg Portaflex, Aguilar(there are others, too)

    (7)My suggestion...I am an eternal tweaker, but I would leave those pickups alone, they sound great as is, and are a good part of the "sound" of a Ric.

    (8)No clue, but maybe Rotos? As much as I like Cliff's playing, his tone never really was too apparent to me from a bass player's point of view...

    Lemon Song:
    Did JPJ use flatwounds on it?..and make sure the capacitor is bypassed for the bridge pup, it will give you more bass response...Rics are pretty damn versatile, no matter what people say.

    I have recordings of my Ric through 3 different amp configurations, and each one has a different "Ric" tone...

    PM me on AIM, and I will send you some clips..


  3. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Wasn't Bubba Ho-Tep the Elvis vs. the Mummy movie? Bruce Campbell rules!

    1. The rust isn't a problem as far as tone. Scuff it off with some fine sandpaper and the put a dab of WD-40 on the pole pieces every now and then and the rust won't come back.

    2. The BA-II is OK but I don't like the looks of it. Either swap back to the stock Ric or get the Hipshot direct replacement.

    3. I love flats on my Rics. Pyramids, D'Addario Chromes and LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats all sound good. It depends on the tone you are after. Those are all that I have experience with.

    4. Absolutely not! How dare you! :p :D

    5. Use Maguires Scatch-X and then Zymol wax. An excellent Ric refinisher from the Rick Resource Forum recommends it and it works fantastic. It takes the scratches out and the shine is deep (better than new). Apply with soft cotton cloth and you are golden!

    6. That depends....I love mine (Ampeg preamp with Mesa cabs) but you might hate it. Lug your Ric to some local stores and check out what they have.

    7. Alembic does make a setup....I think it is around $700. Bartolini makes excellent direct replacement p/u's......Ric character with a healthy kick to the lows. I used 'em when I played 4003's and loved 'em. Another option is the Rick HB-1 humbucker which would swap right in. They are standard on 4004 basses (all I have now) and have the same character as the Barts.

    8. Nope.

    No clue on your last question either.
  4. PrimusNut


    Mar 23, 2006
    Nova Scotia
    I use pure carnuba based car wax to polish my Ric. That is what it recommends in the book that comes with the bass, and it works great, really makes it shine. I only use that like once a month, if that. The other times I just buff it with a Planet Waves polishing cloth, or the Ric cloth.

    I have heard the Rotosounds (nickel?) are the strings to use to bring the Ric's tone out, altho I have never tried them.

    There is rust on my pickups too, but I am not sure if it actually effects tone or not. I would guess not, but it won't hurt to remove it with something.

    The amp type I hear a lot about being good with Ric's would be some kind of Ampeg, altho I'm not sure what, someone else will have to tell you that.

    Hope my answeres aren't too much like the others.

  5. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    The BAII is superior to the original ric bridge. Since the holes are already drilled, it's lready taken the value hit. It will hurt when you reselll it but you can't really make it "better" with a different bridge.

    I just installed D'Addario Pro Steels on mine. They are increadbly bright if that's what you are looking for.

    Rics should ALWAYS be played through Ampegs. It's a match made in bass heaven. :D
  6. Bubba_Ho-tep


    Oct 27, 2006
    Hey thanks for all the answers to my questions, even to number 4, lol. It's just that these scratches on the head stock are actually more like scrapes, exposing the unfinished wood.
  7. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I like TI Powerbass strings on my Ric.

    They really make it growl.
  8. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    Argh sorry to go off topic, but my '06 Rick4003 had the wrong color [jetglo] when it was sent to me! so i have to send it back and the guy at is going to send the [fireglo]right color this time lol

    The suspense is killing me!

    Gratz on your Rick OP!
  9. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    There are several links to jones interviews here on TB. Jones did an interview where he said the lemon song was improv'ed. During that time he was using the Jazz with flats. He has said he used Roto flats, but any flat can do. Live he used Acoustic amps with 18" cabs. He said he set his eq basically flat. He did play his jazz with the mutes in place early on, but not sure if he recorded the Lemon song that way. It does kinda sound as if he is using mutes on it.

    A Ric and a Jazz can have a similer tone. Listen to Rush, Moving Pictures. Red Barchetta and Camera Eye. Both those songs are with the Rick. The rest is with the jazz.

    Enjoy your new bass.
  10. Although I like the Ampeg/Ric sound, I think I prefer the Mesa/Ric sound even more - it's closer to the Chris Squire/Paul D'Amour sound....I have a recorded(unfinished) song with my 4003 through my Bass 400 if anyone is interested.
    aim: faithnomore321
  11. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006

    Hm i think i'm gonna go Ric+MESA too, because i totally love Paul/Tool's tone.
  12. Gastambide


    Mar 4, 2005
    I would definitely NOT recommend putting a Ric bridge back on it. I removed mine and replaced it with a Schaller a few months after buying it in '84. Then I just recently replaced the Schaller with the Badass II. HUGE improvement. Actually made the bass useful! (Otherwise the E string was weak.) I am using DR Hi-Beams. Also, I replaced the pickups with the Bartolini Ric pickups. I'm not impressed. But, they're no worse than the originals, and they look nicer, so I just kept 'em.
  13. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    For years I used my ric with an Acoustic 220 amp and struggled a bit with the sound and was always playing with the EQ to get close to what I wanted. Went to an Ampeg and it was instant heaven. The ampeg "thickened" the sound just a tad and made it match the sound in my head. :D
  14. Bubba_Ho-tep


    Oct 27, 2006
    Ok, so for lemon song, flatwounds it is. Thanks for all the tips guys. and heres a picture of me with my baby.
  15. Chronicle


    Sep 13, 2006
    i'll be posting my Rick thread once it comes in the mail this week, be ready for some pants changing!
  16. Hey, if it wasn't a Mesa it would be an Ampeg for me too..I also have a GK 800RB that sounds pretty good with a nice tube-preamp(read: EH English Muff'n)...

    I really like the tones of players like Paul D'Amour and John Wetton, and the Mesa just gives it *that* crunch that sounds like the end of the world:)
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