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rickenbacker crooked pickup?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thrasher, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. okay guys i finally got my new fireglo ric 4003!!! its totally great and ive had it for like a week or so. a couple of days ago i took the pickup cover off and noticed that my pickup is crooked! the assembly is straight but the pickup itself is like glued on crooked... does anybody have an idea. i paid almost 2 grand for this thing and they cant even glue on a straight pickup!!!:mad:
    Garret Graves likes this.
  2. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    That's character! I recently bought new pickups for my 74 4001 and the treble pickup was a little slanted on the plate also. BFD. Who cares? The pole pieces line up with the strings and it sounds great. Nobody notices and it aint no thing. if Geddy Lee or somebody had that (and anybody noticed), eveybody would want it. Get on it bro - life is good. You got a Rick!
  3. deekay911

    deekay911 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    Yep, its all hand made, and it shows. I have two 4003's from the same year, and everything is just a little different. For instance on one, the back of the bridge is in line with the edge of the body, on the other it is 1/4 in away. Several little things like that...as I said put it down to the thing not being made by a robot. I don't think your crooked pickup will make any difference to that great Ric tone - you happy with the tone?
  4. yeah im real happy with the tone i was just curious if this was normal... but i guess you guys are right it does add charactor! haha :) thanks bassgrinder
  5. ... the only thing is that i wanted to get a pickguardian bridge pickup plate but it probably wont fit :( is there a way to straighten it to fit???
  6. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    Sure. The pcikup is screwed to a plastic backing plate. Either the holes on the plate are a little off or the holes in the pcikup are a little off. In either case you could make a new plate to compensate. It's just 1/8 in thick (or close to it) plastic. Get a 12 in square sheet trace the old one and you can make a bunch - which I'd need since I'd smoke through about eight before i made a good one.
    I'd leave it all original though.
    Here's a crummy pic of my 74. I can hardly notce the slight crooked pickup.
  7. mmkay thanks again bassgrinder! here i thought it was glued on to the plate. but i mean seriously isnt that just pretty careless of ric put pass a crooked pickup. mines worse than your 74 btw looks straight as an arrow compared to mine!!!
  8. I agree with the idea of character of a hand built instrument and all that, but yeah, that seems like sloppy work.

  9. deekay911

    deekay911 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    At the end of the day all the bs about handbuilt and character is just me trying to rationalise the sloppy build and QA. Quite frankly, for the money it stinks, and they don't care.
  10. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    I guess that pic hides it. From other angles it's more obvious. It's funny, I noticed it when I installed it and didn't really think about again until I read your post. It's really no big deal. I try to blow that little stuff off. It's so easy for me to focus in on random imperfections in my stuff that I'd never even notice in anybody elses. It's all in the frame of mind. It's like when I'll notice anything messy in my house but never notice the same thing in someone else's house, even if it's way worse.
  11. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    Hey a crooked pickup is nothing. You should see what lurks under the solid color finishes. I used to work making Ricks at their factory in Santa Ana, CA. The instruments that had chips and chunks missing from screwups in the woodshop were filled in with epoxy, sanded and finished Black, White and Blue to hide it. It's a fact that the instruments with no blemishes and the best grain get finsihed Mapleglo and Fireglo.
    It's all good though. Ric's are a very quality instrument. It's a great design and you wouldn't believe how labor intensive the finish is. Into the paint room, out, wet-sanded, in, out, wet-sanded ... many times, over and over. I think Ric has the best finish hands down. You don't see them cracked with age like other brands.
    You want a perfectly quality controlled instument? Get a Squire made in Korea. All automated and CNC, with crappy components and a crummy finish.

  12. yeah but unfortunately im one of those obsessive people that get really bummed when they just scratch the finish a little... i just feel like i got ripped... i wanna fix it!!! but you said that you wouldnt recommend it??
  13. demon666


    Jul 16, 2005
    Providence RI
    Thats what the pickup cover is for.:D
  14. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    No, I said I wouldn't worry about it but hey, go for it and make a new plate. It wouldn't be a difficult project. Take the strings off, take the 4 little screws out of the treble pickup assembly and carefully lift it and turn it over (careful, the wire might be short). You'll see how it all screws together and what the plate is like. You can copy it. I think the new ones have moulded bushings where the 2 big adjustment screws go in but the old 70's plates were just cut from a sheet of plastic, drilled and tapped. In fact, you probably wouldn't even have to tap the 2 big holes if you used the right size drill and then just screwed the 2 main adjustment screws in - that would tap the holes in the plastic for you.
  15. okay bassgrinder il see what i can do. thanks for all the help man :)
  16. .... and also..... :(..... when i hit 10 on the g and 12 on the d im hearing like a rattling noise! no not the truss rod too!!!!???? :0
  17. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    While I realize that fixing a new bass shouldn't be necessary this sounds like an easy repair. The pickup is only screwed onto the mounting plate so first you could try loosening the screws and see if you can shift it enough so it is acceptable. If that isn't enough try enlarging each of the mounting holes a tad so you have some adjustment area.

    If you hear a light rattling just snug the rods a bit. It could probably use a setup fine tune anyway.......a good way to get to know your new Ric.
  18. ok it seems like there are wires souldered to the screws??? any suggestions?
  19. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sales Engineer
    +1 to both of these. How many excuses can you make for a company like Rickenbacker? It's sloppy work and don't give me the crap about handmade. There are plenty of handmade basses that have straight pickups and don't need any adjustment when they get to you. There are also plenty of CNC'd basses that are also perfect when they arrive. If it were me, I'd send it back, but that might require a long wait for a replacement. I most certainly wouldn't pay 2 grand for anything less than perfect.
  20. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Are they soldered to the screw or to a connector under the screw? I would guess a connector but I haven't worked on a 4003 in some time.

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