Rickenbacker Playability + more.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Asomodai, Oct 25, 2006.


  1. Asomodai

    Asomodai

    Jan 21, 2006
    London UK
    Hey guys!

    I have just finalised a trade deal, I am trading a Newish MIJ tokai p bass and a geddy lee jazz for a 2006 Rickenbacker.

    Its the version with the Push pot for vintage controls.

    Anyway, i have never played a Ricky, I have heard they have sqaure necks, how square are we talking about? And is it just on older models or does that include newer ones?

    Describe the neck perfectly to me :D

    Also i have heard that you can get a better sound if you bypass a certain capacitor, What capacitor is it and why is it there in the first place, considering it makes the bass sound not as good?

    I hear not everyone gets on with rickys, how come? And how rattley can they get?

    I'll post pics ASAP.

    -Rob.


    Fake Edit: I havent got the bass yet but will on saturday.
     
  2. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member


    The neck on my 1981 Ric is not square (though it gets squarish near the nut), but rather is a deep, almost semicircle curve (relatively thick from front-to-back).

    Ric is a love it or hate it bass -- string spacing is a little wider near the nut than some people are used to, and the neck has a thicker profile. It also has a tone that people love or hate -- it's definitely unique.

    The capacitor was on the bass (neck) pickup to limit output, as Rics have hot pickups that are powerful. IIRC, in the old days, it was thought that the neck pickup was so powerful that it could damage speaker cabs that weren't capable of handling its power. With today's cabs, it's not an issue, and I had mine removed, and the result was a much better (to me), fuller bass response that gave the Ric growl a nice bottom end. I think the switch on the newer Rics allows you to engage/disengage the "vintage" capacitor, but I'm not sure.

    Others here will have better info than me. I haven't really fooled around on the new Rics, since I have a 1981 here, and am not in the market for a new one as a result.
     
  3. slowburnaz

    slowburnaz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    The neck profile isn't square at all. I find it to be like a Fender P neck, albeit with less taper lengthwise.

    Remember, though, that about midway through 2006 they slimmed up the neck profile to be more like an old 4001. So, depending on when in 2006 your Ric was made, it could have either neck profile.


    With the 2006 models, the capacitor bypass mod you've heard about is a moot point: With the bridge tone pot pulled into the "up" position, the famous capacitor is in the circuit. With the bridge tone pot in the "down" position, the capacitor is bypassed.
    So, you get both variations of the Ric tone, pre- and post-capacitor eras.
     
  4. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    The neck is Pbass sized at the nut but much thinner as you move up. The string spacing across the bridge is only 2" instead of 2 1/4" (fender style). This leads to the strings being a bit more "parallel" along their length. Mid neck and up, you can flat out fly on my Ric (1977).
     
  5. Espidog

    Espidog

    May 19, 2006
    UK
    Square neck? Definitely not. The 4003 neck is "D" shaped, like any other bass. The story goes like this: early 4001s had a slender, shallow neck, with a single truss rod. This was fine when everyone was using flatwounds, but when roundwounds became predominant, players found that it wasn't very good at handling the higher tension of these strings. So, in the late 1970s Ric changed the neck design, adding a second truss rod for extra strength. This meant that the neck had to be made slightly thicker. Later model 4001s (and all of the 4003s) have this chunkier neck. Some players, who were used to the old neck, didn't like the new one, and complained about it not feeling right. They said it felt "square".

    It may interest you to know that recently, Rickenbacker have found a way of slimming down the dual-rod 4003 neck again, and in a year or so, all new 4003s will have this new, slim-profile neck.

    Capacitor mod: you don't have to do this modification. That's what the push/pull pot switch does - it switches the capacitor in and out of the circuit, to give you a choice of tonal characters.

    Rattly? Mine isn't! The only reason for any bass to get rattly is if the action is set too low for your playing style, or the neck is out of adjustment.

    As to whether some people get on with Rickys or not, well it's all a matter of personal taste, isn't it? Personally, I can't get on with the Fender "P" bass, but I don't deny that it's a fine instrument, invented by a genius. Rick 4003s have a lot of twang 'n' clang - they're famous for it. I guess some folks just don't like that kind of sound.

    Enjoy your Ric. It's a thing of beauty. I couldn't imagine life without mine! :D
     
  6. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    To be accurate, the old 4001's have a dual trussrod system, it's just that the trussrods were smaller than the ones on the 4003.
     
  7. Asomodai

    Asomodai

    Jan 21, 2006
    London UK
    Great bit of information there.

    I love Clanky sounding basses. The guy i am buying it off of also has a 2004 rick that he wanted me to have instead claiming it had a thicker neck, So i am guessing the 2006 is a thin necked version. Good :D
     
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI

    The neck?? The neck plays just like a warm stick of butter. It's a good thing, trust me. Rattley?? If you are refering to the "Marbles in a bathtub" sound, that's pure Ric tone. To me a Ric bass sounds like a bass should sound. You can't get that tone out of anything else. Don't sweat the capacitor mod. The vintage tone pot takes care of that. I myself am not a fan of the vintage tone, but others seem to be.

    Ricky's are definitely a love it or hate it kind of a thing.
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I've never heard that before!
     
  10. OXploiter

    OXploiter

    Aug 1, 2006
    Hey dude, congrats on the Ricky... and I don't mean to be a pisser, but isn't it a little risky to have traded away two perfectly good instruments for one that you've never tried and don't know a lot about?

    Don't get me wrong, Rickys are awesome, but as rule of thumb for myself (and generally good trading habit) I would've liked to know as much about the product I'm trading for before pulling the trigger. But anyway, I'm sure you'll enjoy it very much! ;)
     
  11. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    I think it's squareish in the sense that it does not taper as much as other necks (as stated above). Hence the wide string spacing near the nut that was also mentioned.

    Being used to ricks, this is a problem with me when switching to something like a Jazz bass since the tapering is much more prominent.

    As far as the neck shape itself, definetly a nice D.
     
  12. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    The problem wasn't really with the truss rods as much as how people adjusted them. On the 4001 you are suppossed to flex the neck with pressure and then tighten the trussrods instead of moving the neck WITH the trussrods. Many a fender style tech didn't know this.
     
  13. Chronicle

    Chronicle

    Sep 13, 2006
    NY
    i just put my final payment on my brand new 2006 ricky 4003! i should get it next week :)
     
  14. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
  15. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    Actually, it's the bridge pickup that had the capacitor, and yeah, the push-pull switch on the new Ricks does just that; takes the capacitor in and out of the bridge pickup circuit. http://www.rickenbacker.com/news_item.asp?news_id=25&news=recent

    Hmm... if your Rick had that capacitor in the neck pickup circuit, someone screwed up at the factory!
     
  16. Asomodai

    Asomodai

    Jan 21, 2006
    London UK
    Well i would rather trade then fork out £1000 I havent got for a rick! I have never not gotton on with a bass. i have never had any major problems getting used to another bass. Besides i can allways sell up and get something else, In the end none of my 4 strings are being gigged and i am not a picky player at all.

    Now when it comes to 6 strings i would be worried!
     
  17. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    The previous owner had modded the heck out of mine, with all kinds of switches, etc. It was a nightmare of noise, etc. No telling what he did. I had my local guru pull all the wiring, and redo it completely from scratch. It made all the difference in the world in terms of tone.
     
  18. They had the capacitor cause of the "ric o sound",(bass and treble) it is not about the power!!! so they don`t sound the same( more the same)

    I broke off mine capacitor by accident on my 1977 4001, and I preferd the vintage tone..but do somebody know were I can get a new one, and one exact like the orginal one. Spoked to rics-r-us in the U.K., they had some capacitors but they are not like te one I had(even it was the same value), I think that capacitor at Rics-r-us don`t give the bass the same tone as before...now the pickups sounds more alike.
     
  19. They had the capacitor cause of the "ric o sound",(bass and treble) it is not about the power!!! so they don`t sound the same( more the same)

    I broke off mine capacitor by accident on my 1977 4001, and I preferd the vintage tone..but do somebody know were I can get a new one, and one exact like the orginal one. Spoked to rics-r-us in the U.K., they had some capacitors but they are not like te one I had(even it was the same value), I think that capacitor at Rics-r-us don`t give the bass the same tone as before...now the pickups sounds more alike.
    __________________:bassist:
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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