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The Rickenbacker Club Part Twelve

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smperry, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Aceonbass

    Aceonbass Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2004
    The new owner is having a reproduction pickguard shipped to me from Pickguardian. I'll be supplying a pair of HB1's, a new wiring harness with coil shorting for each pickup, Rick-O-Sound outputs, and hopefully an Alembic style functional XLR output in place of the weak low-Z out these came with. The build quality and pickup placement on these basses was excellent, but the pickups weren't that great. Not that I would mod an all original 4002, but once the neck binding and frets have been replaced, this will be a much better sounding bass than it was. The whereabouts of the original guard, pickups, and wiring are unknown, but there's no proof they were ever "destroyed". Even with the work this bass needs, the owner probably won't end up having more than three grand in it. Sounds like a good deal to me.
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I have not tried any other Strymon pedals. The steel player in the last band I was in had a Mobius and a Big Sky,
  3. Guzzi Toad

    Guzzi Toad

    Mar 10, 2019
    Thank you. The Deco caught my eye, in part, because its another one that can be used in "stereo" - in lieu of a Rick-O-Sound box.
    I'm not a big effects person but the compression and saturation seemed like they may be useful and fun tools.
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  4. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    What would you all estimate the pickup setting were for Geddy Lee and Chris Squier were on most of their recordings (I realize they likey had different, preferred settings from each other). In other words, do you hear more bridge pickup vs neck or vice versa (or both pickups full-on), tone knob settings, etc. Just curious....
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I don't think any of us will really ever know what settings Chris used, but every time I saw him perform he was twiddling knobs and switching to different pickups a lot.

    But, IIRC, he rarely solo'd the horseshoe pickup.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 2:40 PM
  6. Kevin Teed

    Kevin Teed

    Mar 8, 2013
    IMO, most of the goodness in the old Ricks comes from the Toaster full on, with varying degrees of bridge pu added in for flavor.
  7. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom Supporting Member

    May 30, 2011
    4003s just arrived, and is now wearing LaBellas. Sounds great! Black pickguard on the way.

    Attached Files:

    rickreck, djaxup, toothguy and 15 others like this.
  8. byoung93888

    byoung93888 Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Nice, congrats!
    toothguy and PianoOfDoom like this.
  9. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    black rickenbackers yay!
    IMG_1337 copy.JPG
  10. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    That looks Schweet! Long may you Spank the Plank.
    PianoOfDoom likes this.
  11. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom Supporting Member

    May 30, 2011

    Anyone know of a place to get a black truss rod cover without spending a fortune? Or should I just paint this one?

    I'm loving this so far. What threw me at first when doing a side-by-side recording with a P bass was that to get the old school Labella/tone rolled off motown-ish sound, I needed both pickups rather than just the neck. Makes sense looking at the relative pickup positions, but I expected more ooomph from the neck alone. Doesn't matter in the end, but it was surprising. I'm glad they included the push/pull tone knob. I like the modern setting quite a bit.

    Does anyone know if a Rick was used when recording Serge Gainsbourg's Melody Nelson? I was reminded of that sound as soon as I put the flats on.

    My only pet peeve so far is the proprietary strap buttons. I normally use the cheap rubber washer style and never had a problem. I guess I could spend even more money and try the Schaller, since the price of 4003s only covers half of the locking system.

    I really want to try these Rotosound 66s, but I'm having too much fun with the flats right now.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 4:52 PM
  12. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    It was a Burns Bison on Melody Nelson, which are very cool basses even quirkier than Ricks. I love the bass tone (and lines) on there. I think they are semi short scale?
    PianoOfDoom likes this.
  13. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom Supporting Member

    May 30, 2011
    Oh wow, I wasn't familiar with those. I suppose it kinda looks like an actual bison.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 5:45 PM
    sunbeast likes this.
  14. thiocyclist


    Sep 19, 2012
    New 4003AC in the house. Not a lot of time to play it right now unfortunately but here is my report from the first 20 minutes:

    *Slightly slimmer neck than a 4003, profile maybe a bit different, but not a huge departure.
    *Slightly lighter than a 4003, but not by much.
    *Both pickups sound amazing. I love neck pickup only and both pickups on full. Neck pickup gets close to a P Bass, but keeps the Hi-Gain character. This is why I bought the bass - I am so glad Ric brought this pickup spacing back.
    *I don't care about a little bit of a tailpiece lift, but I can see absolutely none with this tailpiece.
    *Bridge design looks quite good at first glance. The G saddle bottoms out just low enough to provide a rather low action (1.75 mm at the 17th fret).
    *Setup seems to be very good out of the box.
    *Hums just like a 4003, but not loud (in my space) and no electronic noise I could hear.
    *With the thumbrest, I do not mind the pickup covers. It's comfortable to post up by the neck and the tone is great there. (I play fingerstyle jazz, rock and R&B most of the time.)
    *Beautiful walnut. Somehow, the bass looks better being wielded by somebody than in the case.

    In the coming weeks I'll try to find time to share photos and sound clips.
    ivorytower, rickreck, 9c1ny and 9 others like this.
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I knew her in college, can't say any more................
    Kevin Teed, BK bassist and toothguy like this.
  16. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom Supporting Member

    May 30, 2011
    Are there tricks for getting the neck pickup to be more present and interesting, or is it just the Rick thing? The difference in output is pretty radical and would require a major change in height to get them balanced. I'm guessing the modern tone setting on the bridge pickup makes it even stronger. Also, the neck pickup adjustment doesn't seem to go very high. Just want to make sure this is normal. Do people normally upgrade the neck pup?
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Usually, just lowering the bridge pickup works. Try raising the pole pieces on the neck hi-gain. Another thing you can do is the slice the Gromit * grommets in half to make them thinner and/or remove the four screws in the corners of the pickup and use thin wire to secure it all together; both of these tricks will get the pickup a bit higher, just be careful to not crack the pickguard from over tightening the height adjustment screws.

  18. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom Supporting Member

    May 30, 2011
    Sounds slightly easier than building a rocket, I suppose. I have the black pg coming tomorrow, so I'll mess around in there this weekend. Glad it's a normal thing.

    I'm used to Fenders, where even expensive models can benefit from a pupgrade. I'm curious if Rick users generally play around with different pickups as well.
  19. Mertle72

    Mertle72 Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2013
    Go ahead and throw in a Nordenbacker neck pickup and a Aceonbass harness while you’re switching out the pick guard. You’ll be glad you did. It gave my 4003 a sonic revolution.
  20. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    The output imbalance has alot to do with the neck pickup having a much smaller magnet than the bridge pickup, so no matter how much you were able to raise it the neck would always be quieter. An easy mod a few around here have done is to pick up a neodymium bar magnet to add to the pickup (a thin Neo magnet with the same general footprint as the stock magnet will add significantly more output)- you can either replace the stock magnet entirely or just add the neo magnet to the bottom of the stock one. This is an easy and reversible way to boost the output. Adding the neo magnet may effect the power of the stock magnet so if you are worried about making it stock again at some point it might be best just to swap the magnets entirely.

    I have Classic Amplification Rick pickups in two of my Rics, and one of the pluses of his pickups is that he uses individual ceramic magnets per polepiece and the same magnets on the bridge and neck pickups so they can be balanced much more easily. He also uses custom tall pickup covers for the neck pickup that raise them higher towards the strings to make up for the limitations of the pickguard mounting situation. You can actually buy one of these covers separately on his site so you can get a bit more height on the stock pickup (will require taking apart the stock pickup and swapping chrome covers). His pickups are wound to 60s-70s specs, and are clearer in tone than the modern Hi-Gains.

    My Rick with the stock pickups is a 1973 4001 with a Toaster pickup in the neck position. I am really really fond of the Toaster, and while it doesn't solve the output imbalance issue the tone of it really makes up for it. The stock modern neck Hi-Gain feels a little weak against the bridge pickup, whereas the Toaster just feels warm and woody and a better complement to the stock bridge pickup of the 1973 IMO. This was my first extended experience with a Toaster in a Rick bass and I find it much easier to nail alot of classic Rick tones that I've loved (many of the classic Rick players had early basses with Toaster pickups). It should be noted that the stock bridge pickup in a 1973 is wound much lighter than the overwound modern Hi-Gains, and does sound similar to the Classic Amplification pickups in my other two Ricks. The worst part of the Toaster is the price- $160 new for a single pickup! Thats why I never picked one up until I got a bass that had one stock

    The Nordstrand NordenBacker looks cool as hell and is made for exactly the problem you are experiencing- a more balanced and complementary output with the bridge pickup plus it is would RWRP to the bridge pickup so you will have humcancelling when using both pickups (the stock pickups are wound the same as each other so middle position is actually noisier than either pickup soloed).
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 8:49 PM
    PianoOfDoom likes this.

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