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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thrasher, Mar 27, 2009.
Woah, don't start with logic right now, ruin the trolling.
No, not at all.
I'm saying the expectation that each instrument come off the line "exactly the same as the last one they put out" is ridiculous.
I'm saying an inconsistent setup and fundamental variations from bass to bass are common - even for Music Man and Lakland.
If I like the way a bass vibrates, sounds, fundamentally feels and if there are no significantly weak notes, I like the bass and won't worry a bit about it needing neck/bridge/fret adjustments. That's all par for the course.
I will accept that and if the bass speaks to him then he should go ahead and get it fixed. My opinion though is that for a bass in the $2000 range that the company or store should pay for the costs of making that bass right. Especially since it isn't a setup issue.
We're talking about how perfectly parallel a pickup that is normally under a cover alligns within it's oversized bracket.
Like a few Ric guys have said already, you can usually "fix" it by loosening the 2 screws that hold the pickup to the plate, moving the pickup within the tolerance and retightening the screws. That's a LOT less work than NORMAL neck and fret adjustments. What's all the outrage about? Why throw away the baby with the bathwater?
Case in point: Fender Jazz or P-bass. Ever look at how EXACTLY the strings allign between the pickup pole pieces? Not always so exact. That's usually a bridge position or worse yet, a neck pocket issue.
This Ric pickup thing is nothing.
That pickup cover is the first thing to go nearly everytime.
Neck and fret adjustments are something I expect to have to make when a bass is shipped cross-country. Humidity and temperature change virtually guarantee it. Sideways picks...not so much.
Until 1 month ago, the Fender basses you mention were about half the price of the Rickenbacker. Additionally, one of the guys earlier mentioned he has 2 Rics, one with the bridge a 1/4 inch closer to the neck than the other.
I'm still going with "unacceptable" for a $2000 instrument.
I encourage the poster to do what he feels will suit him best, but I would expect more for my money.
Well, sand the finish off a few solid color Laklands and see what you find, but do it outside - blowing your mind indoors sounds messy.
Anyways, if you want an expensive Jazz copy or some other Fender-derived bass with a bolt-on you can get that from a LOT of companies - including Lakland.
If you want a Rickenbacker, there's only one place to go.
But the MM rarely have the pickup poles aligned, is that a manufacturer defect or just sloppiness?
Not trying to be a Lakland fanboy but Dan and the crew handpick all of the wood for the bodies and they are cut by CNC. I doubt you will find what you are describing but I will shoot an email to dan and see what he has to say on the topic.
Also....the fact that you can't get a Ric copy anywhere else is exactly why they get away with sloppiness and high cost. Absolutely no competition keeping them in check.
I voiced my opinion on this in the MM thread about it. The poles not matching up nicely on the dual pickup models is due to the company using a bridge pickup in the neck position. I don't necessarily think it's a defect as it is intentional but I do think it is crazy to see that type of "who cares" attitude going into a high cost instrument.
This is a similar situation here. It does not effect the tone and many don't care but it surprises me that the company has that little pride in what they put out there for that high of a cost.
Bringing us to the more important philosophical question, would a company that produced Rickenbacker-derived instruments purposely assemble them poorly to keep the character and would an aligned pickup be considered a "defect" in this theoretical case?
Screw it. Replace the pups with EMGs.
Well, for that matter, let's look closely at how well Duncan's (or whomevers) pole pieces allign on the Lakland ... How about that bolt-on neck? That slab body?
Maybe not so exact?
If it is exact, well, if your forte is chewing the scraps off Leo Fender's bones for a living, maybe that's all you have to do. Oh, I forgot, they put an oval plate under Leo's bridge. He he.
But seriously, Rickenbacker has THEIR product and it's a totally unique, classic and QUALITY product with a sound, feel and look ALL ITS OWN.
I really can't put any company that makes Fender copies in the same league - even if they make the best Fender of the day.
No one here brought Lakland up. They got mentioned because someone wanted to bring it up i believe because if my endorsement status. I do NOT think that Laklands are for everyone and my endorsement does not mean that I think everyone should bow down to the Lakland shrine. That is fine that you don't like them. If you don't mind waiting years and paying top dollar for a bass with flaws then all is good in the world.
I think Rics are fine basses. They have a unique sound and design. They are not for everyone either. I want to love them because I think they look good but the tone has never worked for me so I don't own any.
So fell free to bash Lakland all you want if it makes you feel better I can honestly say I don't care one bit if you like them.
And BTW just for reference Lakland makes their own pickups. Before that they used Fralin, Bartaloni and Aero pickups. Never Duncans. Also they don't have slab bodies on any of their instruments. Spend some time with the instrument before bashing or be honest enough to say I have never checked one out because they don't interest me. But if you were looking close enough to check out the fit and finish I would assume you would notice some contours on the body.
I had a feeling this was what was driving your opinion. As far as your comments about Lakland, well, I'm a G&L fan (although not so rabid as to ignore or make excuses for an obvious screw up), so say what you want. I'm guessing as your analogy applies to me it has Leo eating himself?
I agree. We just diverge on the willingness to accept that they are fallible. Well, that, and this next point...
Maybe that's why you accept crooked pickups. Me? I'm OK with recognizing a good product that I don't play/idolize.
Actually I hadn't noticed your endosement. WillSellOut brought up Lakland and Music Man in this thread as examples of flawless quality.
Like you with Ric, I have NO beef with Lakland.
I've never owned one but I LOVE the Fender Jazz, P and MM designs. Leo Fender was creative genius and if Lakland makes the best Fender then I'd LOVE Lakland.
Pickup topic aside, I saw a band last night (First in Space from Ohio) and the bass player played a Ric and it did NOT sound like the Rics I have played. IT sounded exactaly the way I have wanted them to. I have decided it must be an issue with just my playing style not jiving with that bass or perhaps my amp setup.
Either way if I can figure it out I may actually end up owning one some day.
Jetglo for me of course.
The more people making Leo's P, J and MM pickups, the better.
Nothing sounds like a Ric, although there are basses that can come close. If a Ric is what you want, then so be it.
Wow, basses in stores need a setup, stop the presses. At least their pickups are straight.
Why is it ridiculous? All these basses are made by machines. If they aren't made by machines then the manufacturer should take a little pride and control the quality. Every Rickenbacker I've found has flaws not normally found on other basses in their range.
I completely disagree but I'd be interested to hear in what ways your basses differ? How does the same bass made by machines feel different? I can understand sounding different as pieces of wood can vary but they should feel almost identical to each other.
All basses that are mass manufactured could benefit from fretwork and a setup. I'm the same way, extremely picky. I do a fret level and crown on every bass that comes to me because most of them can't play the way I want them to play. I'm not asking for perfection, I'm asking for a properly made and consistent product.
It's not the real world according to Rickenbacker because of people like you who say "aww it's OK because its a Ric". No it's not OK. IF this guy is OK with the pickup being the way it is, more power to him. Me? I would return it.
At no time did I say flawless quality. I said consistently quality. All of the manufacturers I mention are consistent. G&L PLEK's their instruments and so does Lakland. I've never encountered a Musicman that would require anything more than a setup to get it playing beautifully. I've never encountered a Lakland with a crooked bridge or a flimsy paintjob. I've never encountered a G&L with a crooked pickup or a misshapen nut. I've found all of these on Rickenbackers. I think a Ric is an incredible instrument when they get it right, but the only world where a bass is uncertain is the world of Rickenbacker. You really never know what your going to get with them.
The bottom line for me is this bass is 2 grand. It's not a matter of being able to play the bass with a crooked pickup. Its a matter of the fact that a two thousand dollar bass shouldn't have this problem. Even if the pickup is correctable, how come it wasn't corrected at the factory? It's poor QC and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts if someone came on and said a Fender had this problem people wouldn't be so apologetic. Rickenbacker is the trend, but don't let their popularity skew the fact that they are producing instruments that don't reflect the price tag.