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Rickenbacker Parts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smtp4me, Nov 21, 2018.


  1. smtp4me

    smtp4me

    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hi - I own a 2017 Rickenbacker 4003s, purchased new. I've always been a fan of the 60's era Rics with the toaster neck pickup and horse shoe bridge pickup. I recently began searching for both pickups to buy as possible mod to my bass, and I would prefer them to be either genuine/made by Rickenbacker, or made to the original specs by an OEM. (I guess another option is to simply look for a 4001C64 reissue, and either trade or sell my bass and use the money for that one).

    Any suggestions where to get these pickups? I stumbled upon the "Pick of the Ricks" site, who has them for sale.

    (Edit): Additional question, for anyone who has used these pickups and played a more modern Ric with the newer pickups - is there a noticeable difference in tone? I ask because I have no way to A/B compare them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  2. msb

    msb

    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Rickenbacker sell them through their boutique ... Pickups
     
    smtp4me likes this.
  3. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Yes, the toaster and horseshoe pickups provided a more aggressive sound overall. I switched them over before I converted my Jetglo to a 5 string. It started life as a 2013 stock 4003.

    Jetglo1600.
     
    smtp4me likes this.
  4. smtp4me

    smtp4me

    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks for the tip!
     
    mapleglo likes this.
  5. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    If you’re looking for more of the older traditional sound,think about a RIC scatterwound Toaster for the neck pickup.
    For the bridge pickup,the RIC reissue horseshoe sounds pretty similar to a current higain. (Hot)
    I went with a Classic Amplification “60s spec higain-type pickup,matched to the toaster’s 7.5 k output.
     
    smtp4me likes this.
  6. smtp4me

    smtp4me

    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks for the reply and recommendation!
     
    woodyng2 likes this.
  7. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Rickenbacker pickups are surprisingly expensive, though used examples turn up from time to time. A used 4001C64 is going to cost more than a 4003S. If you want to spend the sort of money Rickenbacker ask for then I would look for something like the Classic Amplification pickup set. The bad news is that Rickenbacker protect the appearance of the 'toaster' pickup, so any reproduction that is accurate internally is going to look different externally.

    The reverse is also true. You can get £20 'toaster' pickups off of Ebay from time to time. I've owned two. One was a crude, unpotted pickup with a coil of wire wrapped around a ceramic bar magnet. The bar wasn't wide enough to sense the outer strings on my project bass. The other pickup was a bit more cunning; a humbucker with two very thin coils, albeit not mounted sturdily inside the pickup and prone to being microphonic. Any toaster that offers miraculous four-wire hookup options will be of the latter design.

    I think the current Rickenbacker horseshoe pickup, if they are even making them just now, is actually nothing of the sort. An original horseshoe pickup had magnetised shoes, which were an integral part of the pickup. This design was ported over from earlier lap steel pickups. As such, the toaster pickup was a guitar pickup (with 5 alnico rods under the cover) and the bridge pickup was a reworked lap steel pickup with a capacitor wired in series with it to cut low frequencies! Not a bass pickup in sight.

    The repro horseshoe is, from memory, a normal HiGain bridge pickup with a different surround. the 'shoes' aren't charged. People do occasionally scavange lap steel pickups for either the surround (the '60s Rickenbackers don't have a rectangular baseplate but something more trapezoidal in shape) or for the whole unit. As such some people take modern 4003S basses, or the various reissues, back to '60s specs with these pickups. Jason Lollar was building true magnetised-shoe horseshoe pickups for a whole but Rickenbacker weren't happy with this, stepping up the heat on Jason for building a version of a pickup they don't even currently make.

    And, to provide some balance or fresh air to this discussion, I've seen some people say that the original horseshoe pickups were no good anyway!

    All the above is why the Chris Squire signatures don't sound like his original bass, by the way. The sigs were basically 4001C64 basses with a cream finish. The cap wasn't included in series on the bridge pickup, and the bridge pickup was of a different design anyway. People claim that Chris's original bass was shaved down every time it was refinished, but if you remove the reported 1/3 width off a Rickenbacker bass you could probably read a newspaper through the thing. The pickups and circuitry was different in the sigs (and the sigs didn't come with Eddie Offord on mixing and mastering).
     
    smtp4me likes this.
  8. smtp4me

    smtp4me

    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks! I took @woodyng2 's suggestion and checked out Classic Amplification. I actually emailed them, told them what I'm looking for regarding tone, and I'm waiting for a reply. I think their Classic Rick 400x bridge pickup replacement will work, now I need to decide what I want to do with the neck pickup.

    My personal holy grail of bass tone (both Rick tone and bass tone in general), is a mix of Chris Squire and Geddy Lee from the Exit Stage Left live Rush album. I'm a life-long Yes and Rush fan, and Rush's ESL live album is what inspired me to buy my first 4003 (new) in 1983. I bought that bass and my recent 4003S because I want that quintessential Rick tone, and I've discovered that the modern pickups just don't do it for me. I've been playing for 40 years, so I am aware that many factors affect tone, and electronics/pickups are a big piece of it.
     
    woodyng2 and Axstar like this.
  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Classic Amplification makes great pickups, highly recommended. I have a set in my Fenderbacker.

    fenderbacker.
     
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  10. smtp4me

    smtp4me

    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Read your comment a second time and noticed this. Kind of makes one shake one's head. Jason Lollar was obviously making these pickups because there is/was market demand for them, and there is an easy solution - Rickenbacker could produce similar pickups and earn more $$. Sometimes I wonder how companies make money in spite of themselves.
     
  11. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    MA
    It appears Lollar may still make them...but at a price! Horseshoe Bass
     
  12. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    That is cool! Good news for Jason and horsey fans. I wonder how good it sounds with this: The Broiler
     
  13. TinIndian

    TinIndian

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    I read an article way back by Chris Squire's tech and he said in that article that he did in fact shave the body down once. That was needed because Chris had put Wallpaper all over the bass and it was the only way to remove it all. Never heard of multiple times nor that it was 1/3 thinner than a normal Ric. My impression was that it was a fairly small amount taken off.
     
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  14. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Re: horseshoe pickup. The modern RIHSPU is very different in design compared to the older, magnetized HSPU of yore. The RIHSPU does sound great (I have owned a couple of them, and have recordings with mine, as well as recordings of my own HSPU), but there are tonal differences between them.
     
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  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Exhibit A:

    Chris-RM1999 small 26.

    It really doesn't look any thinner than stock. If anyone can see that it is, your eyes are MUCH better than mine.
     
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  16. smtp4me

    smtp4me

    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    $600. Ouch!
     
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Check our how much real, vintage HSPUs are going for.
     
    Axstar likes this.

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