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Rickenbacker Horseshoe

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hubbertthebass, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. Hey all,
    Any Rickenbacker owners/lovers out there that could clue me into where i could find a horseshoe for my bass?
    I picked it up used in St. Paul, MN. and it didn't have a horseshoe. I know they aren't very popular, but i find more and more that I don't play in that range of the strings, i usually play closer to the fret board.
    if anyone has any insight asto where I might find one of these gizmo's, please don't hesitate to respond!
    (and Audrey (my Rick))
  2. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Rickenbacker used to offer the new version of the horseshoe at a very reasonable price, but they withdrew it as a stock part sometime ago because they supposedly use all of them for the new reissue models they manufacture.

    Used horseshoes are a toughy. There aren't that many to start with, much fewer when you consider most owners wouldn't consider parting with them under any condition.

    I have seen a few of the new re-issues on eBay, but they go for big bucks. Anywhere from $300-500. Kind of silly considering the re-issues don't really nail the older version's tone.

    One solution but not an inexpensive one is Jason Lollar. He's making an exact repro of the original horseshoe for bass and it's a thing of beauty. Much fatter and defined than the new re-issues - just like the old ones. All of Jason's stuff is wound by hand and he might know more about horseshoe pickups than almost anybody out there at this time. He's been making repros of the lap steel horseshoes for quite a while now. They are not cheap ($350 currently), but I don't see how you could touch a vintage horsehoe for much less than double that, much less finding one which is virtually impossible. Jason's website: www.lollarguitars.com.
  3. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Wait a minute; I have a question for Hubert. You say your Rick doesn't have the horseshoe, and you don't pluck your strings where the horseshoe goes, so you'd like to buy one. That makes me think what you're looking at replacing is the missing pickup cover, which would cost a lot less than $350 :) The term "horseshoe" is in reference to the original Rick pickup, which had 2 "U" shaped pieces of magnetized metal surrounding the strings, as opposed to just having individual poles underneath the strings, like the newer pickups. Anyway, if it's just the pickup cover you want, I'm sure Rickenbacker sells them foe under $50.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    don't know that I'm following what's going on here but there's been a rash of the Ric re-issue horseshoe pups on ebay lately. There's always covers for Rics on ebay, don't know if they're any different for the horse shoes or not. Havn'et paid much attention to the covers other than whether they come with the pups or not - which typically they don't.
  5. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999

    For what it's worth to make sure there is no misunderstanding

    This photo is of the standard high gain bridge p/u with the cover in place (as indicated).

    This is a photo of a horseshoe p/u.

    Rule of thumb is that the cover of the high gain p/u is often removed because usually it's in the player's way. It's made of plastic and is there for cosmetic purposes only.

    On the other hand, the horseshoe is made of metal and originally actually helped the pickups magnetic poles to pickup the string vibration. The later horseshoe p/u's (1990 and on) were for show only and did not add to the function of the pickup itself.

    Click on this Link and you'll see the high gain "Treble P/U Assembly" at the top of the page and the horseshoe "Vintage Treble P/U Assembly". The drawings are self explanitory.

    RIC decided about 4 years ago to discontinue offering the horseshoe for sale as a replacement part. Today you can only buy one from RIC if you buy their 4001C64 or 4001C64S basses.

    Because supply is almost non-existant as a replacement part and demand for a horseshoe is very high, they usually tend to fetch close to $350 on Ebay. The plastic chrome pickup cover for a high gain sells for around $20.00 on Ebay. Or you can order a new one directly from Rickenbacker's service dept. The part number is 03315.

    Good luck.

  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I knew originals fetch that kind of coin but I haven't paid any attention to the re-issues. Next time I go into ebay I'll check completed items out of curiosity. From recall, doesn't seem like they've been getting much response but I'll find out.

    Checked and there was only one and is was a re-issue and went for $360 or so. I know I saw several so perhaps the reserve wasn't met a couple of times. Or perhaps the auctions were cancelled cause they were sold outside it - which happens periodically.

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