String guage choice for a Rickenbacker

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by nil, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. I've only ever played 45-105 guage strings on my Rickenbackers, but have often wondered about other guages (+ mixed-guage strings like the Rotosound Billy Sheehan's).

    I'm usually running red-label Warwicks (cheap), but sometimes string up with Rotosound swings.

    What do you lot use on your Rics, and how does it sound?
  2. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    This is a question that gets asked a lot.
    I use a slightly lighter string on my Rick,
    the 40-100 set works best for me. I use
    the Rotosound SM66 "Swingmaster" set. They
    work great.

  3. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I use 45-105. Used Rotos but got some DR highbeams on it now. I was told lighter the better on Rics? The necks like to warp with larger gauges? That's what I heard.
  4. I think that was true for earlier Rics without the improved truss rods.

    I've thought about lighter guage to get a bit more bite, or maybe heavier to get a bit more thud. I guess I should move butt and get a couple of different sets and try 'em out, eh? ;)
  5. I like the TI jazz flats on my 61 4000 rickenbacker!

    These deliver a nice clean thump!

  6. Gotta be roundwounds for me...flats don't have nearly enough bite I find.

    What guage flats are you using?
  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I'm scared to put flats on my 4000 for some reason, I like the cut of the roundwounds. What do or would you use as far as roundwounds on your 4000?
  8. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    The 4000 series was originally designed for
    flatwounds (so says the factory) It's not really
    a matter of string type; the more important
    things are string guage and tension. The older
    (pre '84) Ricks use the older truss rod design
    and thinner neck, and were more prone to problems. Although I've had no problems with
    my '77 using regular gauge strings, I find that
    my bass plays and sounds better with slightly lighter strings. This is more pronounced with
    roundwounds; the lighter gauge adds more snap,
    grind, and sting. The Thomastiks are great flatwounds, and I do use them from time to time,
    but I don't think they make a stainless roundwound, and I only play stainless rounds.
    I use the 40-100 Rotosound "Swingmaster" rounds which
    work purrrfect on my 4001; they also make a flatwound in that gauge and I use those too,
    They are a nice change of pace from the rounds
    and Thomastik flats; they're a LOT brighter and
    stiffer than the soft, buttery Thomastiks if
    bright flats are your bag. Your best bet would
    be to try as many sets and gauges as possible
    to see what best fits your sound and style of
    music; it's experimentation really, and takes
    a bit of time to find out what you like best.

  9. The TI power bass series will work as far as a round wound strings. I have used these also.

    The guage


    jazz bass flats are....


    With TI's you can custom order your own sets.. if you prefer!

    Tension it a factor!

  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Thanks a lot Treena, I have been looking for input on that for a while now!
  11. benjamin


    Apr 12, 2004
    this topic is a year old, but i have a similar question. i want to get strings that are as close to the strings that come standard on my fairly new 4003. i think ill get the TI power bass series... but what gauge should i get? or, what gauge is the closest to what comes standard on my ric? the strings on my ric are just right, and i just need a replacement A string for a show in 2 days (after that im ordering ric strings).

    thanks a ton
  12. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    The 4003's have an improved truss rod system and a beefier
    neck, so they're more forgiving than the 4001 when it comes
    to string guage and tension. You might try the TI powerbass;
    The regular guage should work fine..
    I really like the 40-100 guage Rotos on a Rickenbacker. The Rotosounds in this guage are great for getting the Geddy/Squire tone. You might even try the TI flats if bright
    stainless rounds aren't your thing. Rickenbacker strings
    are also available, you just have to call around or have
    them ordered. Try one of our TB vendors!