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Rickenbacker strings on Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Facebook user, Feb 14, 2016.


  1. Facebook user

    Facebook user

    Feb 14, 2016
    Hello,

    Just got my new Fender Jazz bass imported in from Japan. I have both MIM and MIJ Fenders and I really feel like the MIJ are a step up and they cost the same new, with shipping, to import. Anyway not super happy with the strings on it and not looking forward to trying a dozen different kind either so it occurred to me that I really like the strings on my Rick, why not just use a set of those?

    My understanding of Rickenbacker guages is that their strings are designed to have balanced tension and the reason that most basses don't do this is because early Jazz basses had lower volume on the A and D strings so they used larger, higher tensioned strings there. Is there any truth to this? Is this still an issue?

    Does anyone use Rickenbacher strings on other basses to good effect? Seems like most guys don't even use them on Ricks.

    Also just for clarity I'm not after a specific sound. I am interested in versatility more than a specific genre and I.just really like the feel and sound of new Rick strings, so taking into account all that do you guys have an advice or recommendations for me?
     
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    You're referring to the 45 55 75 105 gauges right? If so these gauges aren't really balanced. They are much lighter on the D and A string than the G and E strings. You can use that setup on a jazz no problem.
     
    Facebook user likes this.
  3. Facebook user

    Facebook user

    Feb 14, 2016
    I wasn't sure about that myself but I've heard it several times.

    I just think with new strings my Rick has this really sweet sound and I was hoping that other people liked Rick strings too and could tell me about their experiences with them on other instruments but as far as my internet searching shows the only people who like them are me and the guy who designed them.
     
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    It's worth a try!
     
    Facebook user likes this.
  5. Facebook user

    Facebook user

    Feb 14, 2016
    Didn't really think it through, if I don't like it I can always take them off for later use on the Rick.
     
  6. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    I have the Rickenbacker Light Nickel Rounds (40-95) on my '01 4003. They aren't my favorite-ist strings, but they're on there mainly to make it sound a lot different from my '73 4001. Which it does; especially with the cap cut out of the bridge p/u circuit. For various other reasons, that bass doesn't get played much, anyway. Also, I find Rick strings a little too bright and "twangy" for most of what I like to play. But, when I do want "Bright & Modern", they certainly deliver (and, they were marked waaay down when I bought them, too)...:rolleyes:
     
  7. Welcome to TB!

    The reason Jazz basses had/have a lower volume on the A and D strings is because while the fretboard is radiused, the pickups are not. So the A and D strings are further away from the pickups than the E and G strings. If this is the case with any bass, RIC included, it is recommended to use slightly thicker strings (more mass) for the A and D strings to help compensate...

    To me, in theory, these strings would actually be unbalanced, since by increasing the mass, you also increase the tension on the A and D strings.
     
  8. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    It's often a trade off. Balanced tension may cause unbalanced string response. Traditional sets we laughed at because the tensions were all over the place typically sounded pretty even. When I experimented with balanced tension it was on a P Bass where I could radius the pickup by raising the middle and on an Ibanez with curved soapbars. Now back on PJs where the J is flat I am tending back away from balanced tension to traditional sets like 40-100s and 45-100s. The difference in feel string to string is a lot less noticeable than the difference in sound was here when I goofed around with gauges to make tension more even.

    The whole Balanced Tension thing seems to have died down a bit since a few years ago, likely many went around in a circle like I did. Even after all the hype very few manufacturers released tension info and even fewer made special sets. To further rehash an old topic I found a .045 at a certain tension didn't feel like a .080 at the same tension because of other factors like mass and flex. Still, I have to fight myself from looking too hard at absolute tension numbers these days when picking sets.
     

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