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Rickenbacker p/u replacement options

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nil, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. My poor 4003's bridge pickup died the other week, only giving out a really weak tinny signal now. :crying:

    What options are there for pickups that'll fit right in and give a similar kinda tone?

    Failing that, does anyone have a Ric hi-gain pickup (or even - yeah right - a horseshoe) for sale?
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004


    this first thing I would do is make sure it's the pickup becuase pickups a very reliable and the least likely source. If the pickup was determined as the source, I'd have a close look at it cause the problem is usually in the leads which is repairable.

    You could have the pup rewound for about what a replacement set would cost. Duncan and Bartolini are the only makers I know of who make Ric replacements and from what I hear from Ric owners, they don't sound like original Rics. I have both a set of Duncan and Barts replacements and they're decent pups but haven't had a set of original Rics to compare them too.

    The advantage of the replacement is there's no hum, they can each be wired series/parallel, and they don't have 4 single poles so the strings can be bent with no volume drop.
  3. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    My 4001 has had the Seymour Duncans in it, I now using the Barts. My personal preferrence of the two is the Barts. IMO their tone is more faithful to the stock pickups.

    I agree with nil, chances are you have some kind of wiring problem instead of a bad pickup.

    - Art
  4. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    As mentioned above, double check to make sure the wiring for the pickup isn't shorting out for some reason.

    You can buy a new RIC replacement high gain bridge pickup for your 4003 from any authorized RIC dealer or from RIC directly.

    You can contact RIC through their website at www.rickenbacker.com/service

    Forget about even trying to find a horseshoe bridge p/u. RIC withdrew them from the parts aftermarket about 3-4 years ago. If you do get lucky and happen to find one for sale, be prepared to spend $400-500 on it. That's what they've sold for on Ebay.

  5. It is also possible that your pickup selector switch has become worn or dirty. I had a similar problem once that was solved by cleaning the switch with Radio Shack contact/control cleaner and lubricant. You should definitely check the wiring and the switch before unnecessarily buying abother pickup.
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I've tried both Seymour Duncan and Barts in my Rick as well, right now I prefer the Barts. I might try out the SD again, just for kicks. I just have the bridge pickup though, I've never tried SD's neck Rick pickup.

    As far as the Barts go, they do sound a lot like the stock, but I've come to the conclusion that they sound a little less aggressive and a little cleaner than the stock ones. Not good or bad, just a little different. A lot less hum though. ;)

    The SD bridge pickup sounded good too, and I seem to recall it had a really sweet midrange spot. Also, that pickup sounded great with its two coils wired in parallel on my bass. Very Stingray-ish.
  7. Kurt, I agree with your description of the Bart to stock pickups sounds in Rick basses. The Rick pickups do sound a bit more aggressive, however the Barts are nice and quiet regarding hum.

    I could never get the Seymour Duncan replacement pickups to sound good in my 4003. No matter what the setting was, parallel, series, together or soloed, etc...they always sounded dull. I was surprised since I do like other SD pickups.

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