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Rick vs Jazz vs Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by greydominion, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. greydominion


    Aug 21, 2011
    I have a 86 Rick 4003 (currently with half rounds, going to switch to flats), a 72 Jazz with flatwounds (that unfortunately has a few dead fret areas) and a 1990 Gibson Thunderbird. Playing music in The Cure/Simon Gallup, early punk/post-punk vibe. Which do you think is best?
  2. sj_bass


    May 23, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    Moody Leathers endorsed artist
    According to this 2004 Bass Player article, the T-bird is his 'favorite' bass...

    The Cure 2004
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I would prefer the Rick. But I also really like jazz basses and t-birds.
  4. greydominion


    Aug 21, 2011
    I put new flats on my Rick today. It's a no-brainer that it's the choice over the Jazz. It has a lot more tone and punch and a lot less problems. The T-Bird is in its own giant mahogany humbucker league...
  5. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    For his tone I could really see any of those working with a decent chorus.
  6. I'm a huge post-punk fan myself. Simon Gallup, if I'm correct, used a Precision bass, which you can get pretty close to by tinkering with a Jazz bass (my personal favorite; turn the bridge pick-up volume half-way, and you can get a very fundamental P-bass sound). Peter Hook used a Rickenbacker copy on most of the Joy Division recordings, but switched to a Yamaha BB series, which is pretty, much a Precision with a preamp. In my own opinion, I'm not one for t-birds at all. I'd have to either go for the jazz or the Ric, given what you're playing, and if that's all you're working on perhaps a Precision would be a good addition to your arsenal, since that was what almost every punk/post-punk bassist used due to it's ruggedness and availability. A Jazz, despite the dead spots would work fine, though. Klaus Fluoride (Dead Kennedys), Steven Severin (Souxsie and the Banshees), and Andy McCluskey (OMD) all used jazz basses prominently. The first bassist from the Sex Pistols (before Sid Vicious), bassist from Magazine offhand used Rics, too. It just depends on what type of sound you're looking for to fit into the mix of things, but either one would do nicely for that genre/period of music. Glad to see there's someone else playing some great music that doesn't get as much attention! :D
  7. greghol


    May 15, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
  8. greydominion


    Aug 21, 2011
    In 1982, I'm pretty sure all they had was a Boss CE-2. But his use of chorus must have been more subtle because I don't hear it all the time and hear more flanger used when he needs an effect. In this video I see the same blue box on the 3 amps (2 are Robert Smith's for his Fender VI and the Jazzmaster). Probably a CE-2...The Cure - One Hundred Years - Echo des Bananes April 11, 1982 - YouTube And you can see his EHX flanger on the floor.

    I have a MXR Flanger reissue and the Danelectro DC-1 chorus, so I'm good there. :bassist:
  9. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    I'm a massive Simon Gallup fan, and reading that interview gives me so much more respect for him than I already had. Seems like a wonderful guy. Amazing player with alot of talent who definitely doesn't get enough credit! That being said. Any of those three basses will do for specific eras of The Cure. Just make the Jazz sound like a Precision. As for effects, at the bare minimum, you'll need a distortion, flanger and chorus.

    Personally, I'm using Tbirds for the 50-60 Cure songs I play at home but am gonna get into the Fender game in 2012 (Roger Waters P or Squier VM 77 Jazz).
  10. greydominion


    Aug 21, 2011
    And how does one go about making a Jazz sound like a P (other than trading it in)? When I put flats on my J, it really made it obvious that it needs a fret job!
  11. Gallup is one of my favorite bassists and influenced me early on.

    On the Trilogy DVD set, they play the entirety of Pornography ( One Hundred Years, The Figurehead and A Hanging Garden), Disintegration (Pictures of You, Longsong and Fascination Street) and BloodFlowers. During Pornograhy, he plays with a Rickenbacker 4003. For Disintegration he moves to a Jack Casady bass and a Musicman. For Bloodflowers, he uses a Thunderbird and another Jack Casady bass. It's a 3-1/2 hour DVD.



    Obviously, he chose a black Rickenbacker. I think you should too. :D
  12. greydominion


    Aug 21, 2011
  13. FenderRick


    Mar 30, 2011
    id go for a rick or a jazz

    depends on the tone i would want

    although i would put rounds on a rick and flats on jazz...so jazz for the thumpy bluesy sound and rick for the squire/geddy like ownage
  14. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    I've owned all 3, a '73 Rick 4001 that I bought as N.O.S. from Mike Lull back in '76 that I kept for 33 years, plus two J's.........Pretty much in the Thunderbird camp for me these days, so there's my vote.