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Rickenbacker pickups in a Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by christpncher, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. christpncher


    Mar 25, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    hey all,
    i somehow ended up with an extra set of Rickenbacker 4003 hi-gain pickups (new from Rick).

    im thinking about selling them but have lots of different basses and bass parts lying around and figured maybe i can make something cool

    i have an epiphone thunderbird, never been a big fan of the pickups.

    Anyone know what i can expect if i fitted those Hi-gains in my T-bird? (assuming string spacing is close enough).

    the T-bird has a Badass II bridge but i have a knock-off 4003 roller bridge that i could install.

    i play alternative rock
  2. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    You never know what's going to happen until you try it out - it might be great, but it could also be crap.
    Will the Rick pickups fit into the Thunderbird without having to widen the cutouts? If so, then give them a whirl and see what happens. I wouldn't cut anything or screw anything in until you know if the sound will work for you.
    Let me know if you decide to move the 4003 pickups
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    The Rick pickups can be made to work in a t bird. They are not a direct drop in replacement thing. The Ric neck pickup is made to be screwed in place to a pickguard. But you can strip the threads on the pickup housing and get a Rick foam pad and make it a wood mounted pickup. This pickup has a smaller footprint than the t-bird pickups have so it will be smaller than the wood hole. The Ric bridge pickup has the whole metal surround thing. To install that will require removal of wood. Another ponit to consider is the t-bird pickups are in jazz pickup locations. To put the Ric pickups in Ric locations you would need move the wood route about 1" towards the neck. Since that can't be done easily then try making your t-bird a fenderbird, and change the neck route so the neck will sit 1" closer to the bridge. This will also require you to move the bridge. As you can imagine this whole process is getting to be a frankenstien project.

    Here is a 5 string fenderbird bass with a Rick neck pickup and a Rick bridge pickup surround.

  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Here's another fenderbird ...

    saved likes this.
  5. mikeldtl


    Oct 23, 2005
    Portland, OR
    My word those are beautiful instruments......
  6. Blue Moose

    Blue Moose

    Oct 8, 2009
    Ric: That is just wrong. Beautiful and very cool, but still wrong;).
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Thanks ...
  8. Ric5, what happened to the infamous carpet?
  9. christpncher


    Mar 25, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    i think im gonna scrap this idea afterall. either going to put the pickups in P-bass which i dont feel bad about routing, a teisco project im working on, or more likely, put them on ebay or craigslist to get me money back
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    It is in my dining room.

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