Which Ric to buy to get close to Geddy's Red Barchetta sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by him666, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Which one to buy? Just a '74 Rickenbacker 4001, or will a 4003 do the trick aswell? And did he use Sansamp bassdriver for overdrive?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    He did not use the Sansamp until the 90s.
  3. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Actually, "Moving Pictures" was recorded with a Jazz bass. Get a Geddy Lee Jazz instead.
  4. He used his Ric for Red Barchetta and Camera Eye
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Get a 4003 and put in the "vintage" pickups. Old 4001s have unreliable truss rods for modern string tension.

    From the Rickenbacker FAQ:

    "The string tension of a round wound string, especially a nearly
    pure iron string like those in the Roto Sound class, is almost 100
    lbs. greater than a typical flat wound string.

    The 4001 neck was designed in 1956 for the only type of strings
    available then . . . flat wound . . . and since the design favored
    a slim neck, the neck strength was right on the edge of the
    envelope. Round wound strings took many of these instruments
    beyond their rated capability for string tension, resulting in
    various problems. But of course there are many types of strings,
    not to mention that every piece of wood is different, so plenty of
    4001's have been used with round wound strings for decades with no
    ill effect.

    The best advice on these older basses is to use the light tension
    string you can stand.

    The 4003 has a completely different truss rod design and can handle
    any type of string you prefer.

    Fretwire has nothing to do with any of this, as we've always used the
    hardest alloy available. But it is true that a round wound string will
    tend to wear down any bass's frets faster."

    [John Hall, ceo@rickenbacker.com, 12/17/1998]
  6. I think he got the overdrive from a taurus pedal.
    A sansamp should do a pretty good job of replicating it.
  7. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    My understanding is that the entire session for "Moving Pictures" was the black '70's Fender Jazz bass...sounds like an slightly overdriven (the SansAmp will help) Jazz on the bridge pickup to my ear!
  8. Hmzz. Ok. That Geddy Jazz is a great bass, which i would love to own someday. Anyway i like the live sound of Geddy better when he is playing his Ric. Is that truss rod thing really a big issue on the 4001s? Where can i buy those vintage pickups to put them in a 4003?
  9. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    One of the best bass tones of all time is Geddy Lee's tone on "Exit Stage Left" which IS a Ric (most of his early recordings were on Jazz basses, but he often played a Ric in live shows, so he's often more associated with the Ric -- more pics of live shows than studio shots).

    It's incredibly growly -- the version of "Red Barchetta" on that album has incredible tone. I used to call it the "hide the children" bass tone.

    I can get that sound out of my 1981 Ric 4003 when it's a little overdriven, but finger technique is a key component. Geddy sort of "plucks" the strings rather than just "fingering" them, which is a big reason why his tone is so aggressive. I can get a little of that sound by sort of "plucking" the strings, but I can't do it at anywhere NEAR the speed Geddy does. That's one of the most remarkable things about his playing style -- the ease with which he digs in so aggressively.

    Bottom line: As always, the right equipment can only do so much. Technique is probably the biggest part of it, and that just takes LOTS of practice. :meh:
  10. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002

    The link is to an interview with Geddy. He says that "Red Barchetta" is all Rick!

    Next point. Geddy used a Precision for the first album. He used the Precision on a couple of other songs, but he used the Rick foremost till "Permanent Waves". Various sources have said that there were a couple of songs on there where the Jazz is used. "Moving Pictures" is mostly Jazz except for the mentioned songs were he used the Rick. Signals is all Rick except for "Digital Man" that is the Jazz. Then we get into the Steinberger, and Wals, and then we are back to Jazz basses stating with "Counterparts".

    The Concert I was at for the "Exit Stage left" tour, he played the Jazz. They also played three songs from their upcoming "Signals" album. The show ROCKED!!

    It really does not matter which bass he plays, he always sounds like Geddy. I do like the Jazz bass the best.
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Did you even read that link?

    Here's a quote...

  12. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005
    I used to be a huge Rush fan and saw them on 'A Farewell To Kings' 'Hemispheres' and 'Permanent Waves' tours.

    All Ric all the time ('cept for some keys)

    I never saw or heard of him using a J 'til after 'Moving Pictures', as the article points out.

    I also remember reading him say he used a pick in the studio and fingers live! Don't crucify me for saying that - may have only been in a certain context, but I quite distinctly remember him saying that.
  13. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    Yes I read that link! There are a couple of Points here. One is the fact that Moving PIctures is not all Jazz bass, he did use the Rick. That was the mian point in linking that article.

    The second thing, Someone said Geddy used a Jazz in the studio but not live. I will have to dig up the other interview, but I've read Geddy saying he found his 72 Jazz in a pawnshop around the 1978 time frame. He found it in Wisconsin, and paid 200 USD for it. I've read that on Permanent Waves he used both basses, and that was the first album that he had used it on. I can not verify this as I've not read that article myself. That is why I do not provide any proof for that statement.

    I can, and did link the interview to verify the Moving Pictures info. There are probably links within Talkbass to various articles online about this subject, as it comes up kinda frequently. I may have linked them myself, but honestly I find this subject as trivial as maple or rosewood, P or J.

    The original topic was what kind of Rick to get. Get a 4001, 4003 it does not really matter. Put old pickups or leave the new ones in. You will never sound just like him, even you played his bass. You will always sound like you. You can get close by studying his style and thats not a bad thing. Whether you want to sound like Geddy, Jamerson, or whoever your personel deity is. You will still be you. Who knows, with some hard work you may become the player who 30 years from now, someone wants to copy.
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Words of wisdom. Think of it in reverse: We have heard Geddy playing Rics, JBass, Wal, Steinberger, and it ALWAYS sounded like Geddy. Most of the sound is in his hands, in his approach. He also recorded with tons of gear and spent countless hours getting that tone on tape, using gear he doesn't use live. The live recordings, are ALWAYS reprocessed after the fact, channel by channel, to get the sound.

    I played a Ric for years, and not ONCE was able to approach his sound. I took great pride, however, in my ability to play some of his parts with the same "accent" he has when he plays. That is where the truth lies. And I'm pretty sure he'd be the first person to tell you that were you able to sit and chat with him.
  15. 8guy


    Jun 19, 2005
    Madison WI
    The second thing, Someone said Geddy used a Jazz in the studio but not live. I will have to dig up the other interview, but I've read Geddy saying he found his 72 Jazz in a pawnshop around the 1978 time frame. He found it in Wisconsin..

    Um I live in Wisconsin and saw Rush On the Waves tour, I was up in Green bay for it, You mean I was that close to owning that bass!!!!!!, I picked up a black Jbass with a white pickguard that day, but it wasnt that great, so I didnt bye it

    The leson is is that Geddy took a so so bass and made it with moding it his.

    Just like any other great bass player its all from the heart and touch.

    I can give a grizzly bear a custom six, and nine out of ten he is going to scratch it to heck.

    That being said I got a great Geddy sound out of a Jetblack 4003, but did it in a odd way.

    I put it into a 50 watt bassman head though a homemade cabnet , but in betwen I ran it into a boss compresor and a Dunlop Wah to control the tone.

    A poor mans Geddy lee setup :meh:
  16. Thanks for the replys so far. Nice to get such information :)
    Can someone tell me if a 4001 sounds really different from a 4003? I heard someone saying a 4003 is more like a Precision :rolleyes:
  17. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002

    I had my state wrong. Here is one of the interviews where he talks about getting his jazz. It was in Michigan not Wisconsin. That is the reason I like to have my sources to quote. I like to keep my facts straight. I did not have much time today to just surf the web looking for old interviews. I did happen to remember about this one. Anyways, there are other sources out there about his equipment.

    There is also a good John Paul Jones interview at that site.
  18. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Here's an excerpt from the Geddy interview in the June 1980 issue of Guitar Player:

    Tom Mulhern: Do you have any Gibson basses?
    Geddy Lee: No, but I recently lucked out and found a '69 or '70 Fender Jazz Bass in a pawnshop for an unbelievably low price of $200. Some Jazz Basses have chunkier necks, but this one is thin and smooth. It was in beautiful shape, and I just love it. In fact, I used it on about half of Permanent Waves.

    I think he was just guessing with the "69 or 70" remark, I guess before he found out when that bass was really made.
  19. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.

    Doesn't the set neck also contribute to this "issue"?
  20. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    A Taurus pedal is actually a bass pedal synth, made by Moog. On the old Rush records, when you hear that low synthy sounding "bwwwaaaaammmmmm" (it's pretty obvious in the instrumental section of The Trees), that's the Taurus.

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