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Rickenbacker 4003s Stereo mod?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BryceBass4003, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Yes, You should do it

  2. No, Its a terrible idea

  3. Yes, and i want to try this mod too

  1. BryceBass4003


    Nov 26, 2016
    Im thinking about modding my Ric 4003s for a stereo Ric o Sound like option.

    my plan is to:
    - replace the bass pickup tone knob with a push pull knob just like the one for the vintage control.
    -replace the mono jack with a stereo jack.
    - make a tap from treble pickup pin of the pickup selector, through the new push pull to the "extra" pin of the stereo jack.

    when a mono jack is in, the "extra" pin is shorted to ground, but if i keep the pot pulled out, the bass will work like a normal 4003s.
    when a stereo jack is in, and the selector is set to bass pickup, the bass pickup will go out the usual pin in the jack, but the treble pickup will go out the "extra" pin... without volume control.
    i would add a 2nd vintage cap in series with the 2nd output so that i can run it to a guitar amp.

    does this sound like a good or a bad idea to the other mod minded guys out there?
  2. It sounds good, in that it is a reversible, non-destructive mod. If you were drilling the thing out for a second output jack then I would be more alarmed. Whether you utilise a stereo rig at home or on a gig is up to you, and you would place yourself at the mercy of a sound man who thinks bass begins and ends with plugging it straight into a battered Behringer DI box held together with tape... or perhaps you have better gigs than I do?

    I'm not sure about your plan to lose a volume control. Ideally you want it so that if you have a stereo cable plugged in you simply have each volume + tone pair running to the tip and ring respectively.
  3. Jeff Scott

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

    The harness is the same as that for a ROS 4003 the only difference being that the outputs of the two volume controls are tied together to go to the TS output jack vs. the two volume controls going to the T (bridge pickup) and R (neck pickup) respectively on the ROS TRS jack. With a ROS equipped instrument the two outputs are shorted together by a switch on the mono output jack when that jack is used.

    ROS + mono output

    Mono output only

    All you need it a SPDT switch to determine if the pickup bridge (for example) goes to the R on the TRS jack or to be tied to the T connection along with the neck pickup (for example, again). The switch would be after the output of one of the volume controls. The pickup of your choice would always be connected to the T of the TRS jack. The T connection is the key thing here as, otherwise, the switched pickup would just be grounded out when using the TS/mono cable.

    When you want to use ROS set the switch to the "ROS/separate pickups" position and use a TRS cable. For mono set the switch to the "mono/pickups tied together" position and use a TS mono cable. I have been considering doing this to one of my basses.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  4. BryceBass4003


    Nov 26, 2016
    Thank you Jeff. You gave me a much better idea. Instead of purchasing a rickenbacker push pull pot like on the vintage switch, I'm going to buy a spdt push pull pot so the bass looks stock. But runs like a hybrid of Rick o sound and the mono op.
    Added bonus, if I run the mono pin to a bass rig, and the ring pin to a overdrive rig, my push pull can double as an amp switch!
  5. Jeff Scott

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

    How would that work?
  6. BryceBass4003


    Nov 26, 2016
    Ok, so I'm doing what you said. Use a spdt switch to switch the volume pot lead for the bridge pickup from the tip for mono to the ring for stereo.
    Instead of a stand alone spdt. I would use a push pull pot so the bass looks %100 stock.
    When playing with a stereo cord, you can pull for true Biamp operation. I usually run the bass pup to my bass rig, a solid state head. But I run the treble pup in vintage mode to a jcm 800 for drive.

    By using the stereo switch, I can switch from mono and clean to dirty Biamp directly on the bass
  7. Jeff Scott

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

    That makes sense. You would just end up running both pickups through the SS amp when set to mono. What you are doing isn't called bi-amping, it would more correct to call it multi-amping. Bi-amping would require a crossover and separate amps that would go to a woofer and horn/tweeter setup. Bi-amping splits the full frequency range into different bands (low frequencies/high frequencies). And tri-amping, quad-amping, etc. splits the full frequency range into even smaller bands if needed, like in very large PA systems.

    However, it is very likely that the Marshall may produce some (or a lot of) noise, as in this scenario when using a TRS cable, when the switch is set for mono the R connection of the TRS jack on the bass will still be connected to the input of that amp so you would have a nice long antenna (the guitar cables between the bass to the Marshall) connected to the Marshall's input.
  8. BryceBass4003


    Nov 26, 2016
    I usually tie the floating pin to ground through a 100k-1meg resistor. Large enough that it doesn't suck tone, but small enough bleed off some noise. 500k usually works well for other stuff, but many of those devices are buffered. I think it will work...
  9. Jeff Scott

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

    Looking forward to seeing how this works. Then, maybe I will proceed with mine. In my case, it will be a lot simpler, just two volume controls and a S/M toggle switch to a TRS output jack. I'll just decide whether I was going to run mono or ROS and use the appropriate cable.
  10. BryceBass4003


    Nov 26, 2016
    Does your ric not have tone controls? Even if it doesn't, push pull pots will let you mod you bass without it looking modded
  11. I am considering the same thing down the road. I was just going to buy the wiring harness that Aceonbass sells which has the push/pull pot for stereo. Right now its not needed but if the opportunity presents itself later I may spring for it.
    Aceonbass likes this.
  12. Jeff Scott

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

    It's a 4004, so only master volume and tone, along with the selector switch. So, if I do it there would be no tone control (which I almost never use, anyway), just individual volume controls for the two pickups.
  13. I'm curious Jeff do you use the tone controls on any of your 4001/3's? I pretty much leave my full on and just use the pickup selector and the vintage push/pull pot.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  14. Jeff Scott

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

    I do sometimes on the 4001 and the Snowglo 4004L, but rarely on the 4004L SPC. On the 4001, it is a nice contrast of tones with the toaster's tone control rolled down about 180º and the horseshoe's full on. With the 4004L SNG I get a nice somewhat Jaco-esque tone on the bridge pickup with the tone control partly rolled down, and nice pillowy tone with both pickup on and the tone control rolled most of the way down.

    The tone control on the 4004L SPC just takes some of the shimmer off, it doesn't act like a tone control normally would, it mostly works in the mid to upper treble range on that bass. But that bass is primarily for the full on brightness which it has in spades.
    1stnamebassist likes this.
  15. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    I have a push/pull - mono/ROS harness in both my 4001v63s. I got it from @Aceonbass and it works great. I don't use the mono setting, but it's nice to have it if I need it.
    Aceonbass likes this.
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    meh, have you actually heard a bass rigged up this way?

    it's mostly a gimmick, which is why nobody does it that way, or ever really did.

    it loses that nice scooped character of both pickups run parallel in one circuit, you literally just hear the kinda tubby neck in one amp and the kinda twangy bridge in the other amp at the same time.
    you could run it to a guitar amp just fine without the cap by being judicious with the guitar amp's bass knob.
  17. Jeff Scott

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

    Paging @CanadaNeal !
    Aceonbass likes this.
  18. Aceonbass

    Aceonbass Supporting Member

    Apr 10, 2004
    Chris Squire always ran his Rick in stereo, and tubby neck pickup on one side with twangy bridge pickup on the other is not how I'd describe his sound. If you have a Rick that sounds like that, then you've got a lemon. Or maybe you don't actually have a Rickenbacker bass? Scooped mids from running both pickups in parallel? That's not how any of my Ricks sound...unless I turn the low and hi mids down on my amp.
    NealBass and Jeff Scott like this.
  19. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    I like ROS. Mostly, I use it for running an effect on one pickup and the other pickup clean. To me it sounds more like a "kinda tubby(?) neck in one amp and a kinda nasty distorted twangy(?) bridge in the other." Or, a "kinda flangey tubby(?) neck in one amp and a kinda twangy(?) bridge in the other." It makes for some interesting sound combinations, blending a clean pickup and an effected pickup together.

    Google: wet dry guitar rig - for more info.

    Also, for recording, it's nice to blend different amounts of "tubby" and "twangy", after the fact. During mixing, I can decide how much "tub" and how much "twang" I want for the sound I'm after. During live performance I use volume pedals for each pickup to blend the 2 tones to my satisfaction.
    Or, it could just be a gimmick. Nobody ever did this, anyway. Chris Squire certainly didn't......;)

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  20. Jeff Scott

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

    Maybe over this week I will set up a ROS system using my Strymon Flint for the ROS box and added reverbs and tremolos. I will run the magnetic horseshoe pickup in to my Markbass Minimark, and the neck toaster into the Tone Hammer 500 and the two LDS 1106 cabinets. The magnetic horseshoe pickup does not have the .0047µF cap in line, it is running full range these days. This is with the March 1973 4001.

    Photograph Copyright © Jeffrey P. Scott All rights reserved.