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Rickenbacker-style bass pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mr.Thunderbird, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Who would be a good dealer for knock-offs of those bad boys?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Is the look as important to you as the sound? Because my Fakenbacker has Seymour Duncan pups and they sound fantastic, snarly and grindy, but only the neck one looks like the Ric version. The bridge one is two exposed blades on paired long/thin bobbins.
  3. Potaton


    Apr 27, 2009
    I've got the Seymour Duncan SRB1 humbuckers too.Very nice sounding pickups,but don't resemble original toasters or hi-gains at all.
  4. i_g55


    May 26, 2005
    Batolini also makes replacement pickups for Rickenbackers. They have the typical Bartolini looks, sealed black soapbars. The neck pickup has a split-coil arrangement (like the P bass pickup) and the bridge pickup is a double coil humbucker.

    They sound nice, but do not have the typical Rick sound. They slightly lack some treble range, compared to the originals. They kinda "tame down" the aggressive Rickenbacker clang.

    I've used them on my 4003 for 3 years, then returned to the originals...
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
  6. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    We discussed it briefly in this thread not long. At the risk of repeating myself, here are some of your options.

    • Rickenbacker's original Hi-Gains and Toasters, which, IIRC, are single-coils, and HB1 which is a humbucker. Most can fit in either position, I think, though Ric sells separate neck and bridge units.
    • Seymour Duncan's SRB1n and SRB1b, which are both humbuckers. SRB1n is a neck unit, SRB1b is a bridge unit.
    • Bartolini's 6RT, 6RC and 6JH which are a neck split-coil, a bridge full-width humbucker and a special mute-compartment pickup which gives extra "zing", mounted instead of the bridge foam mute and usually wired in series with the 6RT. All humbuckers.
    • Kent Armstrong's got the SRK1F and SRK1R pickups for front (neck) and rear (bridge) positions, intended that way due to differing amounts of wire on each coil. Supposedly humbucking.

    Those are the most common ones - I'm sure there's many talented winders who dare wind their own Ric-oid pickups. The last time someone made a Ric-alike bass, he used a Kent Armstrong SRK1F and a Seymour Duncan SRB1b.

    Ric5 - since you were both here and in that thread, did I miss a spot with one of the comments? Obviously, there's no Ric pickup like the exact Ric pickup, but at least most of these follow the same form factor.
  7. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Key West, FL
    I know Lindy Fralin is recommended by Ric for repairs to pickups. They might have an idea.
  8. Man, a great amount of feedback! I am really looking into most of these and I will tell you guys of my purchase. I am pretty much seeing Seymour and Duncan and Bartollini as a choice for better sound and similar looks, but we shall see. Keep them coming? Thanks!
  9. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    why not go to the rick site and buy the real thing?
  10. ko stradivarius

    ko stradivarius

    Aug 14, 2006
    St. Louis

    IMHO. Don't go with the SD replacements or Barts. If you want the Ric sound you won't get it.
    The Barts are are better choice but still just not there. Decent bottom though.
    I recently picked up an '06 and decided I didn't want to deal with single coil hum even the hi-gains are great sounding. I stuck a pair of HB1s in my bass and couldn't be happier. Again, a little more bottom end, no noise, and I can still dial in what I want on my amp.
    If you have the hi-gains now, the treble pickup plate(newer ones) is already drilled with the right holes in it. Just order an extra from Ric for $6 so you can keep the hi-gain mounted to the other one.
    Also, check these out.
    The guy is making one for me to fit around the HB1/neck higain housing. :hyper:
  11. I just don't have the money to buy the real pickups, being a student and not having a job. I will pay my parents back for sure but they want me to not buy the real thing and a knock-off pickup, it sucks but I have a few other good choices. Thanks..
  12. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    My understanding is that Ric is very aggressive about defending the patent on their pups and that's why there aren't any exact copies around.
  13. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    pick of the ricks sells original wiring harness and pickups. I lucked out and found a used set many years ago. Good luck.:)
  14. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    They don't have any current patents on pickups. In 1934 George Beauchamp got a patent on the horseshoe pickup that was used on Rics for many years. But that's long expired and they don't even make a real horseshoe pickup.

    What they do defend is the trademark on the way the pickups look. So you can't make a toaster neck pickup or horseshoe pickup without them coming after you.

    You can make pickups that sound like the real thing. They are very simple pickups. You just can't make them look like the real thing.

    The Duncan pickups were in response to people who wanted more low end than from the stock pickups.

    There are some Asian companies that make toaster copies, like this:

    G&B Pickup Co

  15. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    I stand corrected.

    Those pups look cool. Is there a US distributor for them?
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I think you can get them from Eastwood guitars, but they don't have them on the website.

    I'm not sure if they sound like Ric pickups though, they use ceramic magnets and I think they are humbuckers.
  17. Subscribing to this since my bridge pickup crapped out and I'm looking at getting SDs.

    It all depends on whether or not Ron at Bill's Music in Catonsville can repair the stock pickup or not, really. Will the HB-1 maintain the Ric tone though?
  18. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    I forget the details now but either WD or Allparts sold a third party replacement toaster pickup
  19. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    WD (the UK site, anyway) sells the Kent Armstrong replacements.
  20. kombi


    Jan 3, 2011
    Dead thread, raise from the graves!

    I'm also looking into Bartolinis. I have a Seymour Duncan SRB1-b, but didn't really like it because it took away my finger resting position. I'm playing a faker and the pickup is a long one, so i could easily rest my finger on the pickup while playing. I can't remeber the sound to be honest and I'm not sure if the bezel's fit the Seymour Duncan SRB1-b, gonna need to measure it on occasion.

    But what i wanted to ask: Did you buy the Bartolini(s)? How does it sound?