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Rickenbacker pickups on other bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Nellsalot, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. I was just talking with a long-time vintage guitar seller and luthier and he discouraged from getting a Rickenbacker because of their sometimes faulty necks. I told him that I'm pretty set on a Ric and I like the sound and he said that it comes from the pickups and putting the pickups on another bass would give me something very close. Does anyone here know if this is true? I'd be surprised if you really could get that real Rickenbacker tone and sustain from another bass.
  2. Thats not true of faulty necks. The only necks that had any real problems were ones from the 70's. Even then it wasnt as big issue as some make it out to be.
    New Ric necks are solid as a rock.

    I believe there is alot more to a Ric's sound than just the pickups...maple body/neck...position of the pickups...neckthrough..etc etc..

    Dont worry about the crud of the weak necks...get yourself a Ric..you wont be sorry ;)
  3. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    B'Aces High is correct....the 4001 series basses had a single truss rod and the necks were a little thinner overall so when people started putting more modern strings with higher tension on them the fretboards would sometimes delaminate from the rest of the neck and on some, the actual neck would crack (pretty rare). When Ric switched to the 4003 in the early '80's the neck was made a little thicker and dual truss rods were added thus no more neck problems. By the way, most 4001's around nowadays have gone through years of the extra stress that caused some to fail so they are likely strong enough to survive for many more.

    I also disagree on on the luthier's pickup comment. 4001/4003 models have neck through constuction, a thin body, and a bridge design with minimal string contact. The pickups are a part of the sound but the construction/hardware plays just as much of a role (IMO). If you do buy a Ric and need anything done to it, take it somewhere else.

    There are no real problems with Rics that aren't encountered with any other $1000 production bass (probably even less) and they hold their value better than most. Good Luck!
  4. This is what I thought might be the case. Thanks for the backup.
  5. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>> 4001's also have dual truss rods; the delamination of
    the fingerboard is more often caused by someone who doesn't understand how to adjust them by cranking down on
    the adjustment nuts and...POP goes the board. My 4001 is approaching 30 years old and I've never had a problem with the neck and I've used all different guages and types of strings. I generally won't go any heavier than 40-100 guage: the bass plays better, feels better, and sounds better with this slightly lighter guage.

  6. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Of course, if you want something that can do the Rick thing plus a whole lot more that's updated for the new millenium without the fuss & worry, check out the Vigier Excess basses.
    I leave my 4001 at the studio these days; it's semi-retired.
    Good Luck

  7. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    John Hall, CEO of Rickenbacker, stated in an interview (I think on the old Bunnybass site) that most of the Rick's tone comes from the woods and construction methods (maple neck and body, neck-thru, laquered rosewood fingerboard, thin body, the placement of the pickups, etc). After trying a few aftermarket pickups in my own Rick, I'm inclined to agree with him. The Bartolini and Basslines pickups I put in injected their own personalities, but the instrument still sounded like a Rick.
  8. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>> Yep, I agree.
  9. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Probably a later model Ric is the ticket (seems, I've heard the later model pups have higher output as well). But the following may or may not be of interest.

    For the last couple of years I've been progressively and systematically breaking down where the tone in the bass itself comes from. I'm inclinded to agree with some of what everybody's said in this thread so far.

    I'm guessing if you stuck Rick or Rick replacement pups in a bass with the right neck, if you could'nt nail the tone, you'd get close enough to your satisfaction (see "Tone is in the neck" in the luthiers forum to understand the rational). The strings will affect tone also but it would be no different than using the same on a Ric.

    I've yet to have a set of Ric pups but I've had pups that put out a Ric tone and I've got a set of SD Ric replacements (you can remove that pain bridge bassplate of theirs without harming the pup). Can't say as I've nailed a Ric tone but no particular tone has been a focus and I've settled on my bass of choice regardless - so I'm not changing the neck, at least at this point.