Replacement pickup options: Rickenbacker

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Phantopeth, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey all, I'm looking into upgrading the pickup/electronics on my '80 Rickenbacker 4000. I'm looking around for pickups that are designed for a precise fit in the bridge position, but all I can find is Seymour Duncan's. Are there any other options? I think I've read about Bartolini making them too, but I couldn't find it on their website.

    I'm upgrading hoping for a little more backbone to the sound. Especially when I am playing in the bass' higher register, it looses a lot of clarity and brightness (I think Rick's are known for their inherant brightness, but this one is an exception)

    And if there are any Rickenbacker purists out there, don't fret. Not that my bass is vintage anyways, but I will be going about this so it can be transformed back to it's original condition when I chose to :hyper:
  2. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks, wow, if that was the page I was looking before, which it may be, I don't know how I missed that... thanks!
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    there's a side by side of Ric Barts, SD's, and original Rics I did in FAQ under either the Dimento's J or HB experiment, can't remember which.

    Seems somebody else may have made replacements as well - Nord maybe. They are definitely some Ricker's in the bass forum I'm sured they'd know for a fact.
  4. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    I've tried the SD's and the Barts, neither were much of an improvement. If you're looking for a different sound, you may want to consider adding another bass to your arsenal.

  5. sublimate


    Jan 12, 2006
    Is your bass really the 4000, the one with only the bridge pickup? If so you might want to try a 4001 or 4003 (2 pickups) and see if they have more the sound you're looking for.

    You could add the neck pickup to your 4000, but it'd probably be cheaper, and definately easier, to just trade for one.
  6. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yea it is a 4000 with just a bridge pickup. I do also have a Modulus Q5, so I do have other options for sound :). But the bass has sentimental value, so it won't be traded. And I've played a few newer Ric models and didn't like them, the shape of the neck felt different and it felt uncomfortable to me (anyone know if they have changed, or am I crazy?)

    I was just looking to give it a little kick in the butt, on the off chance I decide to get rid of the Modulus (money-issue)
  7. sublimate


    Jan 12, 2006
    Yeah, the necks got thicker in the late 80's. The early 80's 4003's had thin necks and the 4000/4001's were even thinner.

    Is yours a set-neck or neck-thru?
  8. does the bass have the .0047 cap in it?..if so,try bypassing the cap...I(and many others) have done this to my 82' 4001 with very good results..
  9. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    The 4000 basses didn't have the .0047 cap.

    You may want to consider just ordering a new 4003 bridge pickup from Rickenbacker. I've tried the Bartolini and Seymour Duncan replacements in my Rick, and I ended up just going back to Rickenbacker pickups. But it all depends on what kind of sound you're going for. The Barts and SD's sound similar to Rick pickups, but the Rick ones have more growl and snarl in them (to use a couple nebulous terms), I suppose since they are single coil. The Barts and SD's are humbuckers.
  10. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Getting a new Ric pickup sounds like a good idea, I'll look into that. My Ric has a setneck. And what is this .0047 cap you speak of? Thanks for all the help everyone!
  11. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I can vouch for the SD ric replacements both neck and bridge. Had them in my 4003 and they absolutely sang with deep tone. Best sounding 4 stringer I ever owned.
  12. sublimate


    Jan 12, 2006
    It was a capacitor that cut the bass from the bridge pickup. It was on the 4001s and early 4003s, then Rick took it out, and now they're putting it back in (but with a selectable switch this time):

    My understanding is it was only on the stereo Ricks, so wouldn't be on your 4000. But it's be worth a check. Bypassing it (you don't have to remove it, just run another wire in parallel to it) really opens up the sound on a 4001.

    Here's a thread with more info and some pictures:
  13. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    You've entered the "mud zone", i.e. your pickup is too close to the strings when you play in the higher register. Just lower your pickup.