Rickenbacker in a drop tune set up

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by casper_morgan, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Any idea how a rickenbacker would do in a drop tune set up? I am un aware of any musicians (that I know of) that has done this and am unsure if ric's are even able to be really set up for a tuning such as drop C or drop B. Would the pick ups sound okay for this? and would the body be able to hold tone if you used a little thicker strings? any insight to this would be great.
  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I asked this question on the Rickresource forum, and in the Rickenbacker forum here on TB. Maybe somebody else who's tried it for awhile will weigh in. There were a few who tried it on both forums, though by no means common. It's a 33.25" scale, so the B might be a little floppy. I think the neck can handle it without difficulty, you will have to file the nuts slots wider though. I used to tune my E down to drop D on a few tunes, and it sounded fine to me.
    casper_morgan likes this.
  3. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
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  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    What does that even mean?
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  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I think he means will it intonate, as Neal points out, you might not have enough travel on the E string saddle to compensate for a B string, in which case you can flip the saddle. Hoping somebody who's done this will chime in, I'd like to try it too.
  6. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Could be. I thought he meant "will it still sound like a Ric, with a .125 on it?" Will it still kick all kinds of butt?
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  7. CBRXJ


    Jul 31, 2010
    Apple Valley Ca.
    i have my 4003 tuned to D standard and use a hipshot d-tuner for drop c.. still sounds like a ric. Kallium for strings. I think .114" for the E string
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  8. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    A buddy of mine only tunes his 4s to BEAD, which include both is Ric and his Ps. Never complained once.
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  9. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Tons of Rickenbacker players tune low. I tune BEAD on one of mine.
    Seen here:

    Al Cisneros from Sleep tunes to C standard, IIRC:

    Aaron from Yob sometimes uses a Rickenbacker, and they're tuned down to A standard:

    As does the dude in Ufomammut:
  10. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    The low B on mine isn't floppy.

    Mine seemed to intonate fine. Can't remember if my tech had to flip the saddle or not, though.

    Yes, it will. I use the gauges 130, 100, 80, 60. The 130 is the same as what D'Addario puts in their EXL-175 set.
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  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses
    Rickenbacker do great with a low B

    4 to 5 bass conversion

    Rickenbacker 5 strings sound better with light strings ...

    I use D'addario Extra light ... with a .125 B ... fatter string don't work as well ... I tried them and it was a fail ...
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  12. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Another down tuner.
  13. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Hm... I must beg to differ. I use a Rotosound 77 low B (.130) and I dig the hell out of it.

    Also, my top 4 are Chromes in a heavier gauge to match the tension, .050, .065, .085, .105
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  14. willsellout

    willsellout I apologize in advance. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Rics do well drop tuned. Not sure why but they really do sound good. I can not confirm nor deny whether the light or heavy string sets do better than the other. I think a .125 B string set would do great with the proper set up.
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  15. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Try the Kalium strings. The tension shouldn't have to be any higher than a regular set of standard tuned strings. kalium tapers the low string, and it sounds clear as a bell. That's one of my biggest gripes with regular B strings, when they're not tapered they have a tendency to sound thuddy and woofy no matter what I do. The Kalium fixes that.
  16. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    I don't know if it is your kind of music or not, but the Tool album "Undertow" features a Rick in drop D if you are interested in a taste!
  17. stacker

    stacker Inactive

    Feb 24, 2010
    WHat about that fella in the band Om? Doesn't he use a .125 on a Rick 4003?
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  18. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I've tuned BEAD for years on them, using a .130 on the B. No problems at all, sounds just fine. Filed the nut to fit the strings, do the usual setup, no problems.
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  19. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Nice! That 1353 file really shows off the lows. Great sustain. I have to use the MOOG pedals for that kind of stuff. Haunting, yet cool :cool:.
    Jeff Scott likes this.