Suggestions for my Rickenbacker Rebuild?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jim Near, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Jim Near

    Jim Near

    Feb 9, 2016
    I posted this on Reddit, thought you guys might have some interesting suggestions too.

    So I have an old blonde Univox copy of a Ricky that's in terrible shape because an old friend gave it to me after leaving it in a basement for about twenty years. I've had it kicking around for a while and pretty much everything is shot on it, so I'm planning on rebuilding it and making it into some sort of abomination. I'm looking for suggestions on what you guys think would look cool and sound great, and I'll post the results when its finished, with pics from every step of the process, and audio clip comparisons.

    Firstly, most if not all of the electronics are going to need to go. The pickups are completely rusted out and occasionally produce sound for about a minute before crapping out again, and the PU selector switch doesn't work at all. I haven't looked into this much, so any advice on some decent mid-level PU's would be greatly appreciated. The don't need to be authentic Ricky pickups, preferably not, I want to make this old bass as unique as possible. Ultimately I'm looking for any pickups that are going to fit.

    This bass has no contours to the body at all, making it extremely uncomfortable to play sitting down. I've seen videos and pictures online of guys adding belly cuts and arm contours to their Rickenbacker copies to make them more comfortable. Has anybody tried this or have any suggestions?

    The blonde finish, though it was probably beautiful in its day, is not looking good at all anymore. After looking online at some other Ricky's, I've really fallen in love with the unique look of one I found online, with a black finish, a change of knobs, and no pickguard. What's your favorite finish? Keep in mind I'll be doing this myself, so pretty much anything other than a flat color is off the table, though I've seen some beautiful burst Rickenbackers.

    The action on this bass is borderline unplayable. The neck has a bit of a bow that needs to be fixed. I'm considering turning it into a fretless, and I've looked into it, but haven't made up my mind yet. Either way, the nut will need to be filed down or maybe replaced, and any work I do on it is going to be much harder because it's a neck through design. What do you guys think - fretless or not?

    All the hardware needs to be replaced as it is covered in rust. Any suggestions? Is there anything now designed by Rickenbacker that will fit?

    After all these things are done, I'm going to give it a setup, throw a new set of strings on it, see what it sounds like, and post the results. Any help is appreciated, thanks.
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