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rickbacker pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Nameless bass, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Nameless bass

    Nameless bass

    Dec 24, 2013
    Hi i am new to this page but i have been reading it for years so here is my question

    Since Rickenbacker basses has one of my favorite tones i was thinking i dont know.. if its legal... but since ricks are so expensive could you just buy rick pickups put them on either a rick copy or some other bass would it gain a ricky sound? or is it just pure rick magic that make the awsome?
  2. If you put the OFFICIAL RICKENBACKER HI GAIN PICKUPS on a bass in VERY SIMILAR PICKUP POSITIONS TO A RICK BASS, then yes it will sound very much like a rick. Some people will argue that a big part of the tone comes from a Ric being neck thru and all maple with whatever fretboard they use, but thats 99% just myth/untrue.

    Only actual Rickenbacker pickups will sound like it though, the seymour duncan or whatever other brands replacment pickups will 9/10 times not sound like a 4003.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Don't forget the 33 1/4" scale length, you'll need that.
  4. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
  5. I disagree. Much of the brightness of a Ric is due to the thin rock maple body. I owned an Epiphone Ripper with a thin maple body as well, and it was bright like my Ric.

    I can imagine that Ric pups will give some of its' character, though.

    Dark Seymours. Still sounds like a Ric to me.
  6. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Dave Meros did it with Jazz pups in the Rickenbacker positions.

  7. Nameless bass

    Nameless bass

    Dec 24, 2013
    real ric pickups on a fake ric (mine is a neck thru) would come pretty close to a ric then? is it hard to change pickups?

    Gibson rippper sound pretty good to i have considerd getting one but i ended up with a P-bass. I have a variax that has rick sound. it sound awsome but they look so normal and uninteresting...
  8. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    Ric pickups on a Ric copy will probably get you real close. I think there is something to be said for neck thru, maple, etc., but the pickups and the right positioning of them will get you pretty close. My only concern would be by the time you buy a Ric copy and a couple of pickups, you're probably getting close to what a nice used 4003 sells for.
  9. I don't know, a rick copy would run him about 700-900$ max? The pickups are around 250$ for a pair IIRC. Rics avg. around 1600$ so he'd still be spending 500$ less than a regular ric.
  10. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Agreed. I have a set on my recent build, neck through, maple body, and it definitely captures the Rickenbacker growl. In many ways, I think the Classic Amplification pickups are better than the originals.

    wintremute likes this.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.


  12. David Hayes

    David Hayes Guest

    I once bought a '73 for $500. All original except the tuners. That was a long time ago, but it seems like I saw an older 4001 (possibly a '79-'80) not very long ago in the $1300-$1400 range. Admittedly though I am no Rickenbacker used price expert and it is quite possible you are absolutely correct.
  13. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Neo Maxie Zoom Dweebie Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    North DFW, TX
    Who is Rick Backer?
  14. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I'm about to embark on a build to do just that idea but with SD QP single coils as in Ric5's basses. Details to follow.
  15. Nameless bass

    Nameless bass

    Dec 24, 2013
    ive got the copy for around 200$ dollars the seller had been trying to sell it for a long time så i got it cheap. it looks lika a rick except the volume knobs. The plate says rickenbacker and the seller didnt know what it was exactly but he guessed it was a chinese
  16. The most common Chinese one (Tokai Rockinbetter) is a set neck, and significantly different looking... different pickups, different bridge, different inlay. I believe these parts are all different in dimensions, too. Might take some doing to replace with Ric OEM (or Ric dimensioned) parts. I've heard that a lot of guys that have them are pretty happy with them, from a players standpoint, though... just not too close soundwise. Not bad for a budget instrument, but definitely not a Ric.

    If you can afford a real one, it's a much better way to go. The $1600 mentioned will get you a brand new one. Used is usually way below that. I actually saw one that was pretty beat up go for $500 a couple of months ago. Those don't come along too often, though. From what I've seen, Craigslist prices are usually a lot lower than Ebay, and you can try it out, first - which I'd highly recommend. There are lots of differences from year to year, and until very recently, from bass to bass.

    From what I've heard, the Ibanez "lawsuit" bass is the best of the copies, and the easiest to upgrade.

    Do what you have to do with the budget you've got. But, you should also consider that a copy probably won't relieve Ric GAS. Nothing is a Ric, except a Ric.
  17. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    It can "almost" be done with extreme EQ. Patch 9A in my Line 6 BassPODXTLive makes almost any bass sound similar to a Ric. The patch took about an hour to develop. I rely on this patch in a band setting to be able to cut through ANYTHING at ANY volume level.

    There's a Greco PMB Ric-clone here with Ric pickups that sounds identical to a Ric and a neck pickup was purchased from Ric( http://boutique.rickenbacker.com/Pickups_c_12.html ) to put in a Greco LP clone that is a joy to play.
  18. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    I must not be enjoying the Holiday today - because I'm being negative. As with all instruments, you can capture a bit of the sound of a Rickenbacker by using their pickups. However, the sound of an instrument isn't just the pickups - it's the wood, the neck, the resonances of everything and a bunch of other minute details. If you want it to sound like a Ric, you need a REAL Rickenbacker. I have two of their instruments right now and I can tell you they're fantastic. The workmanship is absolutely superb. They are worth the price.
  19. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    IMO if the Rick pickups are put into a bass made of maple with a maple neck in the same positions as Rickenbacker places them, it should get the Rickenbacker tone, or so very close to it, you couldn't tell the difference in a live situation.

    One day I'll buy another set of Rickenbacker pickups to put back into my '76 4001. I replaced my stock set with the Seymour Duncan direct replacement set in the mid 80's, -and replaced those with the Bartolini direct replacement set in the late 90's. (My original Rick pickups, whereabouts unknown! :( )

    IMO the Bartolini set sounds closer to what I think a Rick sounds like out of the two, but the only pickups that have the true Rickenbacker tone is their stock pickups.
  20. muskyman


    Nov 23, 2013
    I play bass because of Chris Squire and Geddy Lee. Logically, I'm a Rick guy, and am hypnotized by that sound. Sadly, I sold my 4003 because it was a four-string. I went 5, and just couldn't play it anymore (felt like missing a limb?).

    I have a project running (5 string), and would love to impart a little Rick magic. I've always thought that part of the Rick sound is the neck PUP being located right at the neck. Is this a valid idea? If so what PUP would you place right at the neck?