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The Rickenbacker Club Part Twelve

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


  1. Some people do, but to me the Ric pickups are part of the reason I got a Ric. Only thing I'd swap my pickups for is for another Ric pickup, such as a toaster.
     
    djaxup and PianoOfDoom like this.
  2. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom

    May 30, 2011
    NYC
    No ROS for me. I got the S model :).
     
    woodyng2 likes this.
  3. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom

    May 30, 2011
    NYC
    I'll try to find some demos of the Nordenbacker. Thanks!
     
  4. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are a few great Instagram demos posted by a TB'er in this thread awhile back (I think he posted a separate thread about them somewhere to that could be searched for). In theory I could imagine it would have characteristics of a Toaster and a modern Nordstrand pickup in one (after all a Toaster is just a guitar pickup with Alnico slug poles in the same shape as the Nord- the Nord will probably be more punchy due to higher windings and poles that actually align with the strings)
     
  5. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom

    May 30, 2011
    NYC
    Wow. Thank you for the thorough answer! Would the CA neck pickup be a good match for the stock modern bridge, or would I need to get the whole set to do it right? I don't have any problem with the stock bridge pickup, but then again, I haven't compared, so I don't know what I'm missing. I'll look into the toaster as well. $160 is fine if it's something I'll use and love for a while. Just have to wait a paycheck or two to recover from this indulgence.

    I did just find the right hex key for the neck pickup poles (the one in the case is too small, somehow) and jacked them up a bit. It helped a lot, but I still am open to swapping in some options. I like the idea of RWRP, but the distinctive diagonal poles on the Nordenbacker takes away a little vinatge-y romance. I'd live, but we'll see what I can dig up on all of them.
     
  6. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I personally would want to match the set to get a good balance (he will wind his pickups RWRP as well FWIW).

    The Toaster of course is a matter of taste, just consider that both Chris Squire and Paul McCartney made extensive use of soloed Toasters!

    You can easily make the stock pickups RWRP if you stick with them- you just need to flip the magnet and reverse the pickup leads (at the pickup end so that you are still grounding the pickup cover) of just one of the pickups. There is a thread in the pickups/electronics forum about this with pictures. If you decide to play with adding a stronger magnet(s) to the stock pickup you could do this mod to that pickup (I think the thread specifically shows the mod being done to the bridge pickup instead).
     
  7. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Lower action helps too.
     
    PianoOfDoom likes this.
  8. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Been there done that. The hot ticket for me was a toaster at the neck and the CA Amplification pickup at the bridge. Highly recommended.
     
    woodyng2 and PianoOfDoom like this.
  9. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Okay...out with it...where did you get one the right size? :laugh:
     
  10. PeterH

    PeterH Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2015
    NY
    Speaking of CA, does anyone have experience with a Lollar Horseshoe? Going to get my black 4003 and turn it into an RM1999 via Paul Wilcynzki at Studio California, was thinking of pairing it with a standard toaster reissue. Should I send the toaster to CA to get them vintage-wound to pair better with the Lollars?
     
  11. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've never done the mod. I went the expensive route and got the CA pickups haha! But someone linked to it earlier in this thread. As long as the magnet is long enough to cover the string spread it should work well (though too big and it will overpower the bridge pickup!)
     
  12. I own the Deco and pardon my blasphemy, but it makes my basses sound like G-d.
     
    woodyng2, Guzzi Toad and Savagehenry like this.
  13. Jeff Scott

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

    Apr 11, 2006
    Perhaps, PoD may be better served by leaning the ins and outs of his new bass before spending a bunch of money on replacing pickups and what-not? He might find it to be just fine after getting better acquainted with it.

    I hope you're not in any hurry to get it back from him. Or, has he fixed that problem?
     
    Guzzi Toad, PianoOfDoom and toothguy like this.
  14. PeterH

    PeterH Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2015
    NY
    Not in any hurry, we're still in discussion stages, though I put in a deposit on a spare 4001v63 body that will be swapped with my bass to get parts-transplanted on and modded to RM1999-spec accuracy. Why do ask about time? The issues on my current 4003 Ric are standard paint-related stuff, and a dead spot (sadly), I figured I might as well go the whole way if I'm getting it painted. Besides that, I love it to death but another reason is that I've tried a vintage 4001 neck... my god those are smooth. So it's those two reasons. And the godly tone of a real horseshoe and toaster. So a few reasons, overall ;)

    Now I'm just thinking on the color again... And with Paul, I can get any colour I like... uh oh. :roflmao:
     
    woodyng2 likes this.
  15. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom

    May 30, 2011
    NYC
    My DIY skills are pretty limited, but I may come back to the magnet idea before spending money on pickups. Honestly, I got it to a point that I quite like with the stock pickups (but I still can't resist exploring options). They have a very sweet tone, but the factory height settings were weird for me. I got it to the point that I can put both volumes up with both tones down and it gives me the familiar Labella/PBass sound, but with a touch of extra sweetness (hard to describe). Not that I'm trying to match my P basses long term, because that is pointless given that I have two of them already, but it is a starting point to see what it can do while I'm getting to to know it. I was surprised that the full up position didn't cancel out the low mids - in fact, it seemed to enhance them. Backing off either seemed to upset the warm Motowny balance.

    While I had the Roto 66s on there, it gave me a lot to work with, and I'll need to revisit when I'm working on a song that need rounds. First impression, my Epi Vintage pro TBird with Thunderbuckers did it a little more authoritatively, but I did not do a meticulous side by side. Those TBuckers are the epitome of "piano of doom" sound, but the Rick of course added its own unique sweetness again.

    The conclusion for me is that the Rick has this very melodic and smooth tone that doesn't jump out as strongly with other bass types, even if the macro sound family sorta does overlap sometimes. I especially like playing high up on the neck (too many Joy Division songs today). I want to treat as a lead instrument as much as a bass.
     
    Savagehenry and woodyng2 like this.
  16. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom

    May 30, 2011
    NYC
    I got it pretty low already! The neck seems very straight, and the bridge is dropped almost all the way down. Feels very nice!
     
  17. PianoOfDoom

    PianoOfDoom

    May 30, 2011
    NYC
    Absolutely. I didn't want to sound like I'm eager to rip the thing apart, but I do like to wrap my head around what the options are and what people have found to be worthwhile upgrades.
     
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  18. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Oh, drool!
     
  19. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Many here will agree that there is a particular Rick sweet-spot with both pickups on and one of the pickups turned down just slightly- this position brings back a bit of the midrange clarity and punch that both pickups full-on can cancel out.

    The current Hi-Gains are wound pretty heavy compared to the old ones and so they tend to be darker with more low-mid emphasis, which was why I sought out the Classic Amplification pickups. Having someone unwind the stock ones a bit is also an option (my CA pickups are all in the 7.5-8kohm range, haven't measured the bridge pickup from my 4001 yet).

    Also experiment with pickup and polepiece height- when I still used the stock pickups I found the polepieces worked best thought of as tonal adjustments rather than volume. Raising them and slightly lowering the pickup seems to bring out more clear midrange harmonics, while lowering them and raising the pickup tends to favor a darker and more aggressive grunt (IIRC). I did these same experiments on my old G&Ls alot (also ceramic magnet pickups with adjustable poles).

    I don't think a Rick with Hi-Gains and a P-bass with the split-coil will ever exactly match because of the polepiece orientation- there is a bit of "sag" or give to a P-bass sound due to the split polepieces per string, whereas the Rick just punches hard then decays (which is what I love about a Rick with flats!). A Toaster actually has a bit more of a saggy response (it is actually a guitar pickup with 6 poles under the cover, though the strings seem to balance well when used with a bass), while a single-coil P-bass pickup punches a bit closer to a Rick (though a bit clearer due to the taller/thinner bobbin)

    The RWRP mod of the stock pickups is super easy and requires little more than basic soldering skills. The only thing is to be careful of the fairly weak wire shielding solder joints that come from the factory in the pickup cavities- they are easy to accidentally break apart!
     
  20. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I finally got around to ordering/installing a new Pickguardian back-painted white plexi pickguard on my 1973 4001. I love it! This bass is a treat with TI flatwounds.

    I was considering doing a gold guard and TRC like my 4003, but decided since this was a fairly rare color combo from the factory (white w/white binding and white pickguard/TRC) that I’d keep it that way but without the X-ray quality of the stock pickguard on a white Rick.
    C2AE1C90-281B-4F5A-B2FB-1E85F0A40321. 03FDDA94-0023-4446-B1DA-21A6CC3F5A84.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019

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