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Rickenbacker String Volume Problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by metron, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    I have a Paul McCartney model Rickenbacker at my disposal to use whenever I want. Its a nice bass, classic sound and all that but I can't bring myself to use it. The problem with it is that there is an imbalance in string volume that I cant seem to cure and it makes the bass nearly unusable IMO. If I set my amp volume such that I can hear the E and A strings, then the D string will clip out my preamp in a big way. If I adjust the volume such that the D string is not too loud, the E and A strings have very low volume, sound thin, and get buried easily. The G string is ok.

    I have adjusted the pickup height with slight improvement but thats not going to be a fix even at an extreme setting. The string heights are all perfect and even as well. Beyond that, is there any fix for this problem? Anyone else have it happen to them? Its a nice bass and I would like to play it but I simply dont want to with the problem it has.
  2. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    Wanna sell it?
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I don't have a link, but check out joey'sbassnotes.com. He's probably the webs most knowledgable Ric expert, and all too glad to help you, or anyone else out with reguards to all things Rickenbacker bass. I think there's a pretty simple fix for what you've described. Good luck.
  4. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    LOL if it were mine I would sell it but it belongs to my guitar player. :D

    Thanks RickenBoogie Ill take a look over there and see what I can find.
  5. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    Rickenbacker will never admit it, but it's at least partly due to the mismatched radii of the pickup poles vs. the fretboard. I have the adjustable-pole Hi-Gains in my '05, and it's made all the difference.
  6. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    I think you are right. No adjustable poles on this one. Oh well...
  7. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    This is the primary reason why I decided that Rics aren't for me.
  8. p0k

    p0k I play the bass and design things.

    Feb 6, 2007
    Brockton, MA
    i had some trouble with that on a 4001C64 i had...i found when i lowered the pickups (as strange as that seems) it helped even things out a lot. i eventually decided Rics weren't for me though.
  9. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    Hmm... all I did to adjust the pup was to raise the bass side and lower the treble side a little. Perhaps lowering it altogether can alleviate the imbalance a bit at the expense of some output. Thanks for the suggestion!
  10. p0k

    p0k I play the bass and design things.

    Feb 6, 2007
    Brockton, MA
    yeah, i tried what you said and found it didn't help, and someone on the ric forum told me to lower the whole pickup and keep it level. hope that helps!
  11. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    I had a 4001V63 with an uneven volume E string which sounded dull, dead and with no life at all. I tried everything, from changing strings, pickup heights, bridge adjust, etc. and it never worked. I got another 4001v63 and she is perfect !

    Rics are known for that problem.
  12. I recently restrung two of my 4003's.

    I went for a quite light gauge set on both and the E string lost all its punch through a 15" cab (fine thru a 6x10 setup though.... :meh: ) on both of them. Lesson learned...

    It made them just about unusable on the night and I took them both out with me!!!!
    Panic stations!

    It may be that going with some mid gauge strings and tilting the pickup beefs it up a little.
    Hope that helps.
  13. I also once had a Rotosound E string which I presume the core had broken on. Absolutley no resonation there whatsoever. Not through an amp - and definitely not even a jot when unplugged..... just NO twang whatsoever on a new string.

    I took the bass into the shop I got the strings from and when I demonstrated the problem, the guy behind the counter actually told me that the Ric was probably a piece of crap.

    I asked him to break open a pack of strings and he nearly refused. I told him I would buy the whole set anyway... if it made no difference. The new string - same make, same gauge, sang like a bird and the guy in the shop held his hands up in defeat and was educated in the fact that you can get duff strings in some sets.

    The shop completely lost my custom after that little exchange.

    I would never let him set anything of mine up, seeing as he knows sod all!
  14. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    Lol good story! Im going to toss on a fresh set of strings as well as a setup since they are original. Hard to believe it left their QC this way. Thanks again for the suggestions!
  15. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    Does your guitar player wanna sell it?

  16. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    I wonder if it is not just the Rotosound strings?

    I put a set on one of my basses and the E boomed like thunder! Before all strings sounded fine, equal output and all. But with this set, the E was like a thundergod ad the A D n G strings were noticeably quieter.

    So I dropped the pickups (both of them) on the E side and it is better, but the E still sounds louder........I may try a new set of strings....any thoughts...

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