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Ric' Conversion Mod

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Count Bassie, Oct 28, 2018.


  1. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Greetings.
    I've got an old severely modded set-neck bass with DiMarzio pjs, and want to put in a set of Rickenbacker p'ups in their place.
    I have questions about where exactly to put them as the scale length is a little different- and also about the wiring scheme.
    The bass is Mahogany, so I'm sure there will be an affect on tone that's different from a Ric, but I know it's not going to be a Ric...
    Any advice would be gratefully accepted and appreciated! Thanks for looking in.
     
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    What's the bass you want to mod? Pics, please. What's the scale length, too?
     
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    To get the same relative location as a Ric, you have to measure from the nut to the pole center of the pickup. You would then use that measurement and the scale lengths of the basses to develop a ratio for the pickup placement. Just to grab some numbers and give you an example:
    Rick scale length 32", nut to pole center of pickup 26"
    Mahogany scale length 30", nut to pole center of pickup = (30/32) x 26 = 24.375"
    or
    Mahogany scale length 34", nut to pole center of pickup = (34/32) x 26 = 27.625"
    If you have two pickups like a Ric, you'd have to compute that again for the 2nd pickup.
    I have no idea of the scale lengths of either bass or pickup placement of a Ric, you'll have to get the correct numbers and plug them into the formula.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Rick scale length is 33 1/4", nor 32".
     
  5. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    I'm leaving the make out of the formula just because I don't want to hear it- already had enough of that. However here's a shot of it... it's 34" scale length, p'ups and harness pulled out, ready for filling in old cavities and routing new.

    FB_IMG_1530790627400.
     
  6. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Love the neck on this bass, and the light weight. May be the easiest player I've ever owned.
     
  7. Leave it as is, wire it stereo....dial in your sound/tone.
     
  8. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Nope, already started!
     
    MattZilla and Engle like this.
  9. Cool! Pics as you progress!
     
    Count Bassie likes this.
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Here’s what I would do. Get a flat shot of your bass. Cell phones cameras and most cameras with built-in lenses can introduce distortions, so if you are not a hobbyist, contact a friend who has a real camera and use a macro lens. Macro lenses are used for copying, so they have the least amount of linear distortion. Make sure the camera is centered over your bass, and is parallel with your bass.

    Grab a flat shot of a Rick, perhaps from their website.

    Using Photoshop, layer the two shots together with the top one at 50% transparency. Scale the Ric pic up so the nut and twelfth fret aligns precisely with that on your bass and see where the pups land!
     
    rocknrollmouse and Count Bassie like this.
  11. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    interesting idea!
     
  12. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    The neck pup will most likely wind up right against the fretboard.
     
  13. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I'd put one as near to the end of the neck as you can and the other either right where the J PU is or in between that and the P PU.
     
  14. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Ric has several models, each w different p'up specs and placements. I only am familiar with the 4001 and 4001s though.
     
    MattZilla likes this.
  15. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    I seem to recall that Rick bridge pickups (quoting what I remember from my 4001) are centered at 1/8 the scale length from the bridge, and the neck is at 1/4 of the scale length. Part of why Ricks sound different is because those pickup positions are different - Fender stuff, for example, is in different locations.
     
    Count Bassie likes this.
  16. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Nice info- makes placement easy... thanks!
     
  17. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    At some point in the process, assuming you're doing things precisely, you'll get to the point where you realize that your G string is shorter then your E, and wonder where to start. I always use the G bridge saddle as zero. If you're looking for a valid reason why this makes sense, I don't have one, but so far, this hasn't resulted in me being sucked into a black hole or anything, so I continue to use that criteria.

    OK, it is the string with the least compensation. So there's that.....
     
    Count Bassie likes this.
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I've played and owned various Rick basses with pickup locations in several different places; they all sound like a Rick. YMMV.
     
    Count Bassie and mapleglo like this.
  19. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    You don't measure from the bridge, those distances are subject to change. You measure from the nut, because it is stationary.
     
  20. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    This was my thinking as well, after reading the @micguy comment. Still as useful! But right, I'm with the static point for zero...
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018

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