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Rickenbacker Blasphemy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrBasseyPants, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. MrBasseyPants


    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    So, I think I have finally brought my rick back from the "dead."

    It started life as a 1976 Jetglo 4001. It was played...very hard or so it seems before I bought it in 1989. It was naturally "reliced" by then (but still looked good) and had an original badass bridge routed in place of the stock bridge and tailpiece (with a white surround..pretty standard in the day I suppose). I was 14, and my parents and I went to a guitar store in Dayton, OH (Ace music) and saw it hanging on the wall next to a bunch of Ibanez basses. It seemed to speak to me even though I had never really played a stringed instrument before (I was a tuba player before that...and still am). At any rate I took it home for $330 and had a cheap Crate practice amp to go with it.

    Over the next few years it got played in HS jazz bands, concert bands, and even in marching band (playing Tower of Power no less...yes outside..in inclement weather). By the time I went to college the pickups (which were going when I got it) finally called it quits. Well, it sat in a case or on a stand from about 1992 to 2002.

    In 2002, I decided it needed a resurrection! I ordered a reissue vintage horseshoe and toaster pickup (the place where I got them was out of hi-gains at the time...figured I'd try something new) and with the help of a TBer installed them. Although they never seemed wired correctly....so back in the case it went until this year. So here is what I have now.

    I have a 1976 Rickenbacker 4001 with a reissue vintage horseshoe and toaster (with the 4001cs style treble pickup ring), hipshot bridge, and the 4003/1 push-pull wiring harness with Rick-o-sound.

    Have I blasphemed my Rick? I still have all of the original parts (except the original bridge, tailpiece, and treble pickup covers). How would this sound compared to a stock 76 rick, 4001cs, or 4003? I haven't had much experience with any other ricks but my own...and this sounds way different than the Rickenbacker I bought 20 years ago. I am sure I have totally eroded the value of the instrument, but I don't know if it was worth anything anyway since it has quite a few nicks and scratches (and the badass mod).

    I am starting to dig the sound...I spend 17 years avoiding the "Fender" thing until 2006....now I like that sound...but the Rick intrigues me again. I do wonder how it would sound if I got my original pickups rewound (which I probably should have done anyway...but I didn't know then).

    I have seen plenty of people mod their Ricks to add other styles of pickups...but what about swapping out components that were just found on other ricks of a different vintage...?

    I guess I am just curious about what other people might think about my mods to a vintage instrument.

  2. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    the mods you describe are the "ultimate" improvements for many players. You cant get the reissue horseshoe pups anymore, and if you do find one, you'll pay dearly for it.

    Enjoy that bass!!!!!!!
  3. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    You do what you need to do so you can enjoy the bass to its fullest. It is your bass and you do with it as you please. Besides, it isn't like the change you made were idiotic.
  4. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Nah, Rick blasphemy involves routing out hunks of wood to install giant mudbuckers... you're fine. :)
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    The BadAss with the white surround was good enough for Geddy Lee so it's good enough for me. The pups are definitely a Chris Squire type of mod. I think that's what's in the CS Signature model.

    This derails the thread, but why in the world didn't they do a Geddy Lee signature Rickenbacker? No two things went hand-in-hand more back in the day than Geddy and a Ric.
  6. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    no pics no bass!
  7. Yodhan


    Dec 10, 2007
    I honestly feel that if it is your bass, you should be able to do what you like with it. If you like the new pickups and like a Badass bridge, go for it. My Jazz bass is far from original. Some players don't like it because if doesn't 'sound exactly like a jazz.' Well, it's mine and I am not changing anything on it due to public opinion. Just wait until they see the PBass I am going to build.
  8. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Or EMGs.

    Seriously, though, if you pushed your Ric to those limits, it's no blasphemy. It's the Holy Hand Rick of Antioch.
  9. Of course it's blasphemy! You shall give this bass to the RickenChurch and beg for a RickenForgiveness!

    Pm me for the RickenChurch address :ninja:

  10. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    You have done well, my son. The pickups alone are worth the ressurection you recieved. Bless you, and play on.
  11. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Because Geddy quit using his Ric way before they started issuing signature series basses.
  12. MrBasseyPants


    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I'll post some pics sometime this evening.

    Right now I am struggling with the new bridge. I haven't adjusted the truss rod in the 20 years that I have had it, and I have no idea how long it has been since it was adjusted before then. It was always really good.....The new bridge killed the top half of the D-string, but a quick height adjustment fixed that no problem....but I want it to be perfect! I think I might actually take it to someone to do a true setup on it...

  13. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    Yea, post those pics. I want to see that baby also.
  14. Frankiebass59


    Feb 1, 2008
    Be VEEERRYY careful with those truss rods. They are easily stripped. Take it REAL slow when adjusting and don't force. Believe me, I suffered the consequences and replacement rods are hard to get. Rickenbacker seems to always have them on back order. Good luck, sounds like a cool bass.
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I suppose so.
  16. MrBasseyPants


    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I plan on having someone with a bit more knowledge about such things handle this for me! :)


  17. Rush-2112


    Dec 14, 2008
    New York City

    I'm dying to see this thing! :D
  18. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    A lot of players mod their Rics. And, if the RI HS was still available in the Boutique, many more would have them installed. As for me, I could only get a toaster. newbass007.
  19. MrBasseyPants


    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Nice Rick....mine looks the same but with the HS cover and the 4001cs style ring....oh and the sweet yellowed binding! :)

    Does your rick have the 4003/1 push-pull wiring harness?

    I really like the push-pull...can give you the classic 4001 sound, but also the more modern 4003 sound too.


  20. Yodhan


    Dec 10, 2007
    Very sharp. I would have gone with a standard B/W/B pg, but thats just me. I find myself wanting a Ric all the time, but I just can't justify it. Maybe after I get my new amp and my P.

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