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Replacement pickups for Rickenbacker basses

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tormato, May 25, 2004.


  1. tormato

    tormato

    May 25, 2004
    I was wondering about these replacement pickups...will they still give me the same tone as the origionals in my 4001? I was thinking about replacing them because I was told that it would sound "better". But does that mean different? Or just like, louder/clearer, etc.?
     
  2. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Love the "Tormato" Yes is my favorite band! OK, first of all, I've had the Seymour Duncan direct repalcement pickups in my '76 4001, I then switched to the Bartolini direct replacement set, somehow over the years I lost the stock pickups :crying: ! IMO the Barts sound closer to the original pickups and do a respectable job getting the Ric vibe, BUT my bass doesn't sound exactly like it did with the stock pickups. At times I regret changing out the pickups, but the Barts do sound really good, just different from the stock sound. IMO the Duncan's sounded much different from the stock Ric pickups. If this interests you, check Bartolini's site. They also have a small high output single coil pickup that you can install in the bridge where the string mute sits along with their neck and bridge models for extra mids & highs. I went with the neck & bridge pickups only, but I've often wondered how that extra pickup would effect my tone.

    I guess I'd say "don't do it!", but if you do, would you like to swap? :D
     
  3. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    What year is your 4001? It might have a capacitor in the bridge pickup circuit that is decreasing output and "squashing" the tone...all you'd need to do in that case is solder a bypass wire.

    It's been discussed a few times, here's one of them:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69883&highlight=rickenbacker+capacitor

    Might be worth a try...it's a cheap way to change the sound without changing pickups.

    Welcome to Talkbass.

    Marshall
     
  4. tormato

    tormato

    May 25, 2004
    I have a 79' Ric. Which leads me to another question actually. I have been told that Ric's basses have been quite heavy up until the 4003's came out. My bass is supposedly a 4001, but is surprisingly light! Could this maybe be just about the time that they made this change, or did I get ripped off? I got it off of E-bay, so of course there are no garuntees, but there was a serial number indicating that it came out in January of 79'.
     
  5. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    I have the Bartolinis in my 4003. I tried the S-D Basslines, but they just weren't quite what I was looking for.

    I really like the Barts. They do indeed sound a lot like the stock pickups, but with a Bart vibe. Much quieter as well (well, they are humbuckers after all...)

    I have the mute compartment pickup on special order right now (from BestBassGear, highly recommended.) Bartolini is pretty backlogged from what I've been told, but I'll report in with a mini-sorta-review once the pickup's in and installed, and I've had a chance to put it through its paces.

    The Bart 6RC bridge-position is a dual-coil with four conductor wires, so you can wire in a toggle switch for series/parallel/split wiring (which is what I've done, replacing the pickup selector switch on the bass. Right now the controls are bridge volume, neck volume, master tone, and one more, currently-unused, volume pot that will be for the mute compartment pickup. Rick-O-Sound is gone, but I never seriously used it anyway.)

    The 6RT neck position is a split coil, series humbucker with one conductor plus shield, BUT, if you're feeling a little saucy (as I did), the pickup is pretty easily modified to a parallel wiring for more treble output, or for soldering a four-conductor cable in place of the single-conductor cable that comes with it. The terminals for both coils are on the underneath the pickup, making wiring mods easy if you know what you're doing. But they'll probably void your warranty. ;)
     
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Thanks Keb, I was'nt aware of all the wiring possibilities! I'm looking forward to your review on the new pickup when you finally get it.
     
  7. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    does anyone know what kind of pickups lemmy has in his ric?
     
  8. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Not exactly sure, but I believe they're Barts.
     
  9. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    If a Ricky aint broke..don't fix it.
     
  10. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs

    4001 has single truss rod, 4003 had double if i remember right

    Cheers
    PB
     
  11. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    My '76 4001 has dual trussrods.
     
  12. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    Indeed, 4001's have dual trussrods like the 4003's. The 4003 models just have an improved design.
     
  13. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    Well, it came in and I installed it, and played around with it for awhile.

    Given that this pickup is intended to add some treble bite to the overall tone, on its own it's pretty thin and twangy (which is a given since it's so close to the bridge saddles.) When blended in, it does add a bit of treble definition and bite, but it's pretty subtle. May be useful when recording, but I'm pretty sure the subtlety would be lost in a live setting. I suspect it could make a bigger difference in tone if this pickup had its own output (such as... one channel of the Ric-O-Sound) and separate track on the mixing board where you could dial in twang without it interacting with the other pickups. I may try that out when I feel like rewiring the instrument's guts again.

    EDIT: Just to amend what I've already posted here: Pickup height makes all the difference! ;) The bridge Bart pickup is so powerful that it tends to want to drown out the other pickups when it's at a "normal" height. Lowering it a tad gives the mute compartment pickup some space to "breathe" and add more to the tone. Now with the bridge and mute pickups on equal volume there's more of a difference, a more scooped, zingy, brighter sound than that very subtle sound described above. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to just lower the bridge pickup in the first place. :p
     
  14. you could always try brand new Ric pups.the new ones are very hot..my '03 4003 is way louder than my '82 4001..and it has more lows and overall punch..in fact they're almost as hot as my active barts in my modulus genisis 5...and I doubt if the SD's or Barts are going to be a major improvement.especially if your lookin for that "Squier,Geddy,Glover,Lemmy" kinda snarl. the "bypass" surgery" works real well on older Rics,I did that to my '82 4001 and it was a major improvement in the overall sound of that bass,but,the new Ric pups really kick a$$..jut my 02 cents from a lifetime Ric player