refitting a '72 Rickenbacker 4001 - piezo / pups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FretGrinder, Mar 4, 2001.

  1. i have come into posession of a 72 Rick' 4001 with what appears to be fender humbuckers and some really messy electronics (being gutted and replaced as i type), and am considering replacing the pickups.

    I play the majority of the time with a pick, and want to be able to get a nice bright "grinding" sorta edgy sound out of this old workhorse, but also be able to get a nice smooth tone out of it for our quieter songs. Any suggestions? Will changing the pickups be worth the money, or should i put it towards a new stingray :) ?

    Also does anyone have an opinion on whether fitting a piezo kit to this bass would be a bright idea?

  2. I'd just put in the Bartolini Rickenbacker replacement pickups. You wanna sell me the big old Fender Humbucker? I love those things.

  3. It's gonna cost around $500 australian (about $240 US) for the bartolini's ... think it'll make enough difference to be worthwhile?
  4. okay, the Bartolini's are going in ... man i can't wait to get this baby back :)
  5. I too have been thinking about changin p\u's in my far as I know there are only 2 companys that make a replacement for ric's....bartolini &seymor duncan...just wonderin if anyone has put either of these in their basses and what are the differences between the barts & duncans (tone and output).I saw one review at harmony central about the duncan but it was real vague.any info would be welcome.thanx in advance
  6. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i'm in your condition too....every comment on rick replacement pickups is really needed. thanks
  7. I put Bartolini pickups in my Rick ('79 4001). I absolutely love it! I did look into the Duncans too at the time, but I never tried them. I can say that the Barts are a giant improvement over the stock Rick pickups and I would assume they'd be better than some old Fender pickup not designed for that bass. I'd suggest going for the Barts if you're putting new pickups in a Rick.

    I'm considering the idea of installing a Bartolini preamp in the Rick as well. It works great as it is, but I also have a Zon with active (Bartolini)electronics and I'd like to boost the output level of the Rick to match that of the Zon. I haven't done it yet, but I've been thinking about it for a long time. Any opinions on that?

  8. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    thanks Brian! i have another question about the Bartolini pickups that you are using on your rick, are thay similar in the look to the original ones? is the replacement possible without routing or trasforming the body? is it possible for you to post a pic of your bass with the new pickups, just to see how they look? and how much did you pay for them? thanks again, you are really kindly.
  9. The Rick replacement pickups from Bartolini are designed as direct replacements and do not require any modifications to be installed. I don't have a good closeup picture of the bass, but here's a link to a pic of me playing it.
    They look good in the bass. They're just black covers and are like the originals without the pole pieces showing. I think you can look at them on their website. I can't remember what I paid for them. But whatever the price, I'd say it's worth it. I wish I could help you more.
  10. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    great that all black ricK!!! very very impressive. Mine is mapleglo with white pickguard. going back to the sound, could you help me more trying to let me know how are the improvments confronting the bartolini with the rick stock pickup? i mean, what about the bottom end, do you have more attack (for me the biggest fault of the rick..)? thanks again, brian
  11. Bart improvements over stock Rick pickups:
    Where once there was a weak sound, there is now a strong punch.
    Where once there was a weak low end, there is now a beautifully blossoming bottom.
    Where once there were wimpy clicky highs, there are now clean clear high frequencies.
    Where once there was a pathetically weak output signal, there is now a good strong signal.
    Where once there was an old beat up Rick, there is now a killer instrument with a great sound.

    Just play any bass with Bartolini pickups and you'll get an idea. The thing with the Rick replacements from Bartolini is that while the sound quality is improved, it still sounds like a Rickenbacker bass. You still have that classic Rick sound, only better.

    That's my opinion at least.

    Thanks for the comment on my bass. It's a nice one. It used to have the original white pickguard until my guitarist knocked it over on a concrete floor (sorry, I know it's painful to think about). The pickup selector switch smashed through the pickguard which cracked into pieces. I went through hell getting it replaced. I went through three that wouldn't fit right before I eventually had to order a new one without the pickup holes cut in it so it could be cut custom for that bass. So since I was getting a custom guard made I got a black-white-black one with a beveled edge which leaves a small white pinstripe around the edge of the pickguard, which matches the white body binding perfectly. I've always wanted to get a black nameplate for the headstock to match, but I don't want to lose the "Model 4001" designation on it. I guess that's silly though. _I_ know what it is! :)
  12. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia sound more and more interesting! are these bartolini pickup active or passive? and the control pots of the ricks change or remain the same?
    thanks again

    i visited the site of your previous band and the dite of your actual band. great that you can play your favourite kind of music in such band! i like a lot metal, maybe not progressive, but i have a lot of familiarity with it because i write for a national magazine dedicated to this kind of music here in italy. i do reviews but mostly interviews, but i play in a pop rock band. even if i know that this is not my fave style, here it's difficult to gig in a rock or metal band. so i had to reinvent me as a pop bass player and i have a lot of difficulties to keep my fingers quiet...
  13. The Bartolini Rick replacements are passive and can be wired into the existing electronics without modification. You don't need to swap the pots out, it's only the pickups themselves that you'll be getting.

    That said, I have heard from others that, especially if you have an old Rickenbacker (pre-80's) that you can get a large improvement in sound by swapping out the entire wiring harness with a new set ordered from Rickenbacker. I have yet to do this with my bass though so I can't tell you first hand. My bass sounds great as it is. But you'd imagine that new pots and fresh wiring would have a positive impact. But I wouldn't do that if you're happy with the sound you have from it, because it might change slightly.

    Re: my bands
    Ion Vein is great. You should check it out. I've heard from metal fans in Italy who love it. And the album "Beyond Tomorrow" is recorded entirely with my Rickenbacker and its Bartolini pickups. There are some sound clips on the website and you can check out if you want to hear it. Or better yet, buy the album! It's only $10 US. Great progressive metal.
    DSG is a step beyond Ion Vein for me. It's a whole other world. We're busy writing right now and trying to line everything up before we take the band public. It's going to be a big deal when we're ready to go with it.
    I hear what you're saying about having difficulties keeping your fingers quiet. I'd be miserable playing pop songs. I've always been into flashy extravagant over-the-top playing. You've got to stay within your boundries, but you've got to be able to let loose when given the chance! I enjoy having that chance quite often! :)

    Barroso, just do yourself a favor and order those pickups from Bartolini, get a good tech to install them and give your bass a setup with a fresh new set of strings, then plug that thing in and jam! You'll thank me later.
  14. Ive been waiting about 3 months (ie my rick has been in the shop) for Bartolini to ship the pickups .... man am i tired of waiting.
  15. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    no one have experience with the seymour duncan. the bart are not available here in italy. thanks
  16. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    I think Alembic also makes a Rickenbacker direct replacement...
  17. Has anyone else had experience with the SLOWNESS of Bartolini's service? It's been months and the distributor here says they're terrible about punctuality..... stupid Bartolini.