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Rickenbacker pickups on a precision?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ron Berenato, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Ron Berenato

    Ron Berenato

    Mar 26, 2017
    I love the Ric tone but I am not fond of the bass itself (I had a '70's 4001). I'm thinking about installing the Seymor Duncan Ric set on a precision body - figuring that the extra weight and density of the pbass would add dimension to the tone. Any thoughts? I'd like some advice before I spend the money.
    BrentSimons and wizay like this.
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth

    Jan 2, 2015
    heart of darkness
    byoung93888 likes this.
  3. The pickups are only one part of the Rickenbacker tone. The scale length, woods, and construction are significant.
  4. BeauZooka


    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    The string spacing on a Rick is tighter than Fender, so the pole pieces won't line up with the strings on a P-bass.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  5. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    Well, you're certainly not going to get the Rick tone from those pickups, regardless of what bass you put them on.

    Hope this saves you some money (the bill for my advise is in the mail........... ;))
  6. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth

    Jan 2, 2015
    heart of darkness
    You can't even see the pole pieces in a HB1, so I still say it's your huckleberry:

  7. Ron Berenato

    Ron Berenato

    Mar 26, 2017
    Thanks fellas. I thought that the heavier wood of an old P Bass would give the Ric pickups more depth and a meatier tone - maybe a little darker. Sounds like I'm better off pursuing something else.
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth

    Jan 2, 2015
    heart of darkness
    It's only a $100 experiment, come on...

    My concern is, how are you going to mount the RIC pickup in the Precision?
    BrentSimons and byoung93888 like this.
  9. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    Back in the early '80s I put a hi-gain pickup in the mid/neck position of a 1972 Jazz Bass along with a Schaller 3D bridge. A fiend of mine has had the bass for a couple of decades, now.
    BrentSimons and byoung93888 like this.
  10. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    That's what people tell me, but my experience differs.


    Fender style 34" scale bolt-on neck. custom Ric style body - walnut and maple, with Classic Amplification Ric style pickups. Totally cops the Ric sound.
    Count Bassie, Saint, Picton and 20 others like this.
  11. Chicory Blue

    Chicory Blue

    Oct 9, 2016
    Rickenbacker? I hardly know 'er.

  12. Charlzm

    Charlzm Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was contemplating a custom build where I would get a body shape that was more ergonomic than a Rick but try to copy the Rick's materials and construction in all other ways.

    Then I just bought a 4003.

    Now I'm thinking about that custom build again.

    I love the 4003 tone but I'm not totally in love with the actual physical instrument.
    BrentSimons and Zane DeBord like this.
  13. ReiPsaeg


    Dec 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    A big part of the Ric tone, or any bass tone for that matter, is the pickup placement, which I'm sure you could approximate on a 34" bass if you get your ratios right.
  14. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    Stu Cook of CCR added a Rickenbacker pickup to his P bass back in the day.
  15. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I think you should try it. I'd imagine if you can take some measurements from a Ric and get the pickups in the same locations it could be an interesting bass.
    Count Bassie and BrentSimons like this.
  16. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    I used a Seymour Duncan Rickenbacker neck pickup in a sub short 28 5/8" scale bass, I had build to me out of Warmoth baritone parts, and in my opinion it sounded just amazing!

    I at least can only recommend the neck pickup, it gave me a really clear, beautiful, crisp almost piano like tone, for the application I used it for.

    Never heard a bass with that kind of tone ever before.

    In fact I ponder at some point to squeeze a Seymor Duncan Rickenbacker neck pickup in my Ibanez Mikro in the far neck position after the P pickup.

    A bit of a tight fit, but just possible.

    Not sure if I'll ever end up doing it, but I do seriously consider it at least.

    Point being, if I were determined to swap the pickups of my P out with a pair of Rickenbacker style pickups, I would have no second thoughts using the Seymour Duncan neck pickup one at least.

    Can't really speak of the bridge pickup though, never tried or heard it.

    Also I am pretty sure the Seymour Duncan Rickenbacker pickups are rail pickups, so I wouldn't worry too much about pole pieces.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    Count Bassie and BrentSimons like this.
  17. Zane DeBord

    Zane DeBord Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    Brubeck Institute

    I think that this is something that so many TBers have considered that someone just has to do it to shut everyone up about it. I'm planning on getting a cheap precision to try a bunch of mods out on, including this one, and it'd be interesting to see how you plan on going about it.
    Count Bassie, ialma and BrentSimons like this.
  18. Matches


    Mar 17, 2012
    Portland, Or
    If you don't mind, can you shed some light on this bass? It looks amazing.
  19. YosemiteSam


    Jun 8, 2005
    Chatham, MA
    I did a similar thing a few years ago. Sat down and worked out the perfect bass from parts, exactly what I wanted. Got up close to $1K, and at that would have still had to put a finish on it. Ended up getting a used Lakland in exactly the configuration I wanted, used, for $450.
  20. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    I've always wondered what this sounded like.


    Another option.

    Axstar, Zane DeBord and BrentSimons like this.