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ricky bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by steviep, May 24, 2011.

  1. steviep


    May 23, 2011
    HI all,
    I am a new to the forum so not savvy with how this works.

    I have a ricky bass 4001 that I bought in 1965, I used it in my early years then went onto other basses.
    It has been in its case for the last 30+ years at my Dads place.
    I recently used it and noticed that the bridge pick up is nearly silent with only very quiet treble, also the neck needs straightening but I am frightened to attemp this as the bass is so old.
    any advise guy's!
  2. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    take it to a reputable tech in your area - especially one who specializes in vintage gear. if you don't know anyone personally, try some YELP reviews to get an idea of who is legit or not.
  3. Hifiguy


    Jul 9, 2008
    I'd be inclined to contact Rickenbacker and ask for their recommendations.

    At the very least, do some research in the intertubes to locate a well-regarded luthier in your area and have him look the bass over and recommend a course of action.

    The renovation and maintenance necessary to get an instrument that has been sitting unplayed for this long back in shape is NO project for an amateur.
  4. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Difficult to say without looking, but the quiet pup could be something as simple as dirty connections on the selector switch or dirty pots after all this time...output jack could also be a culprit.

    Then again, if it's a 65 it will have a horsehoe bridge pup and IIRC they had a habit of losing their magnetism and needing regular regaussing

    As for the neck, it is possible to straighten it with your own trussrod tweaks but if it were me I would look for a tech who was very familiar with Rics

    These links may help

    Joey's Rickenbacker Bass Guitar Maintenance, Setup and Wiring Diagrams

  5. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Where are you located?
  6. Conallo


    May 10, 2011
    Best advice has already been given. Find a local reputable tech, preferably one who knows Rics. Reasoning being the truss system can be weird. I forget when they started using the dual truss rod system, but better safe then sorry. Also it does sound like the pickup is dead, or dying. Probably need a new one, which you can get from Ric, but you need to send the old one back. Ric is SUPER anal about replacement parts, particularly parts that are very Rickenbacker (ie name plate and pickups). Contact the company and they will let you know who to work through if you don't have a good dealer around.
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I used to own a 60s 40001 bass. It was my main bass for 35 years.

    First ... The horseshoe pickup from that era will quite often degauss and either be weak or dead. Also there is a .0047 capacitor wired in between the horseshoe pickup and the volume pot. This capacitor removes all bass and low mids from that pickup.

    Second ... the neck on a 60s 4001 is quite slim. These necks usually don't completely flatten out. But with a good adjustment the neck will be playable. Now remember the 60s 4001 has the old style rods. This means that to adjust the rods you have to loosen the strings and loosen the rods, and then move the neck by hand. Then you tighten the rods and tune it up. Repeat the process until the neck is good.

    My 1968 4001 got a truss rod adjustment in 1973 and never needed another adjustment.

    If I were you I would put in modern 4003 pickups in that bass and get the neck adjusted. Actually just replace the bridge pickup and remove the .0047 capacitor and it should be fine. The neck should be fine as long as there are no cracks in the glue joint where the fretboard is glued on.

    If you live near Denver Colorado then bring it by my workshop and I can help you.
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Also the old horseshoe can sometimes be recharged. The problem with the old horseshoe pickups they have magnetized steel shoes. Modern pickups use ceramic or alnico magnets that will last for decades. Steel does not hold a magnetic charge very well. So even if it is recharged it will degauss again.
  9. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Heed this advice! These are not like most truss rods. If you try to adjust them like you would a Fender bass, you will pop the fingerboard off or split the neck!

    Can't say I agree with this advice, though. As Ric5 pointed out in a follow-up post, the horseshoe magnets can be recharged. An all-original 1965 4001 in almost any condition is a valuable instrument... with modern pickups substituted, it will lose a lot of monetary value, and also lose the classic sound.
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    You can put the weak original pickups in the case and put new good sounding pickups in the bass so it sounds good. That is if you want to play it. If you want to sell it and make money then make it all original.

    My 68 4001 really sound a LOT better with modern pickups. I put the old weak ones in when I sold it.
  11. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i've never come across a vintage ric bass neck that i couldn't straighten. the worse case scenario is to replace the truss rods, which i find to be a pretty simple procedure if you know what you're doing. my '66 horseshoe eventually degaussed and became super weak. while i was getting it remagged, i had a '72 ric bridge pickup on hand and ran it with that for about a year before re-installing the horseshoe.

    it was an awesome bass that i owned for 30 years, and i regret selling it 7 years ago.
  12. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    ...and when will you not be at home?
  13. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    ...and will you just give me the bass to avoid the hassle of theft and followup police paperwork?

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