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Rickenbacker... 5s?

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I've read that the pickups on 5 string Rics don't sense a wide enough area to pick up the outer strings, so in effect you have a 3-string bass.

Back in the day Al Cisneros was using a few 4-string 4003 basses, including one with a wierd oversized custom pickguard. There is a few live recordings of them, including a live cut 'Sonic Titan' bundled in with some versions of Jerusalem/Dope Smoker. The bass sound isn't really about a solid low-end or fundamental retention as much as a richly overdriven and thick tone, that blends well with the guitar.

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I vaguely remember reading that Jon Shuker had built a couple of 5 string Ric copies, don't know if anyone knows about that? Or if I made it up in my head.

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[quote name='Graham' timestamp='1506881296' post='3381759']
I vaguely remember reading that Jon Shuker had built a couple of 5 string Ric copies, don't know if anyone knows about that? Or if I made it up in my head.
[/quote]

They were 6ers actually, can be seen here:

http://www.shukerguitars.co.uk/pwatson.html

Si

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[quote name='Sibob' timestamp='1506890881' post='3381872']


They were 6ers actually, can be seen here:

http://www.shukerguitars.co.uk/pwatson.html

Si
[/quote]


They're pretty epic! :o

Might try and hold out for a used market then. I'm really not keen on the idea of buying new and customising - doesn't make sense to me.

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Having owned a (modern) Ricky for a while I wouldn’t go B-D on one personally as tonally I don’t find they have enough resonance or beef at the low end. Just my opinion though but Ricky’s are all about the bite, mids and highs for me.
I string both my Precisions B-D though. Wouldn’t have it any other way and find it works beautifully for heavy rock, stoner and doom.

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[quote name='Roland Rock' timestamp='1506791735' post='3381184']
Looks like Jon Shuker has embraced the challenge in the past , and you know it'll be top quality

[url="http://www.shukerguitars.co.uk/customgallery.html"]http://www.shukergui...tomgallery.html[/url]
[/quote]

It's not really a Ric though is it? It's a Shuker bass with a body that is similar in shape to a Ric.

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If you're looking at a conversion - you'd need one of the early first generation 4004's, the later ones have the same neck profile as a 4003 (i.e. narrow not wide).

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[quote name='Sibob' timestamp='1506890881' post='3381872']
They were 6ers actually, can be seen here:

[url="http://www.shukerguitars.co.uk/pwatson.html"]http://www.shukergui...uk/pwatson.html[/url]

Si
[/quote]

Ah man, I've played with that guy before in days gone past. He brought a lot of kit for a small venue and had both of them out onstage IIRC.

Regarding low tuned Rics - one thing to remember is the propensity for tail lift with high-tension strings. I assume with the right gauges it wouldn't be an issue, but at the very least I'd be cautious about converting one with the vintage truss-rods.

Edited by borntohang

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[quote name='borntohang' timestamp='1507041934' post='3382956']
Regarding low tuned Rics - one thing to remember is the propensity for tail lift with high-tension strings. I assume with the right gauges it wouldn't be an issue, but at the very least I'd be cautious about converting one with the vintage truss-rods.
[/quote]

The thicker the strings you use the lower the tension generally - in a standard 5-string set the low B string will by far have the lowest tension, so stringing a Ric B-D rather than E-G would most likely be helping to prevent tail-lift.

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[quote name='borntohang' timestamp='1507041934' post='3382956']
Ah man, I've played with that guy before in days gone past. He brought a lot of kit for a small venue and had both of them out onstage IIRC.

Regarding low tuned Rics - one thing to remember is the propensity for tail lift with high-tension strings. I assume with the right gauges it wouldn't be an issue, but at the very least I'd be cautious about converting one with the vintage truss-rods.
[/quote]
I think they need the extra two screws in the tailpiece to hold it down, or the supplementary string anchor option.

I definitey wouldn't convert a pre-'73 vintage Ric!

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Rickenbacker don't make any 5 strings at present and I don't believe they have any plans to. The pickup width problem was with the 4004/5 basses & I think that's why they stopped making them in 5 string versions (officially at the time this seemed to be a temporary stop). I have a 4003s/5 from the early 90s. The pickups on this are wide enough. I'm pretty sure both 4003s/5 pickups were specially made for the 5 strings - I haven't measured the toaster width, but the bridge pickup has 5 pole pieces and they match the string spacing. Having said that, the string spacing is definitely a little on the tight side. I don't often use it, but really that's because with my current bands I either need a 4 or a 6 string. They do come up used from time to time. I would definitely recommend trying before you buy though. If you were closer, I'd say pop over and try it.

I always thought the JW 4-2-5 conversions looked odd, with the three machine heads on the shorter side of the headstock.

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I remember playing an old Rick 5 string in Denmark St years ago. A white one. Wonderful to look at but awful to play - cramped string spacing and a floppy B string.
That said, Ricks do seem to be very popular for drop-tuning in heavy bands. In my experience this only really works if you're after that roaring, thick overdrive - I tried drop-tuning and kept my usual clangy Rick sound. It didn't work at all.

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[quote name='Meddle' timestamp='1506808182' post='3381315']
I'm guessing that is the guy on Talkbass that posts billions of photos of his weird DIY basses for the most tenuous of reasons?
[/quote]

:lol: :lol: :lol:
I've tried conversing with him before. Didn't get very far.

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I had a look at getting a fiver ricky "homage" made by some of the usual suspects.. My specs were 35" scale, 37 mm string to string at the nut, 70 mm string to string at the bridge. Lots of ideas out there, but the budget (neck through) was sneaking close to £2k, and I realised that the chances of ever getting a significant amount of money back was near zero. There is a "rickenfaker" facebook group, and Dave Koenigs 5 string versions come up occasionally.

I suspect an original 4001/4003 fiver would be horribly cramped, and the B string would suck..

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1507123728' post='3383471']


I suspect an original 4001/4003 fiver would be horribly cramped, and the B string would suck..
[/quote]

Correct!

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I'd much rather enquire as to whether Serek Basses would make a 5 string version of their Sacramento bass:

https://www.serekbasses.com/sacramento

[IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/2q3x7qd.jpg[/IMG]

Si

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[quote name='Sibob' timestamp='1507130729' post='3383528']
I'd much rather enquire as to whether Serek Basses would make a 5 string version of their Sacramento bass:

[url="https://www.serekbasses.com/sacramento"]https://www.serekbasses.com/sacramento[/url]

[/quote]

Quite possibly the worst-played and most ill-chosen sound clips I've ever encountered.

I wouldn't buy a second-hand Westfield based on those clips.

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1507192424' post='3383769']
Quite possibly the worst-played and most ill-chosen sound clips I've ever encountered.

I wouldn't buy a second-hand Westfield based on those clips.
[/quote]

Really? I think they're perfectly fine for what they are. I've definitely heard a LOT worse!
I wouldn't buy any bass off the back of sound clips alone, good or bad.

Si

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The Shuker 6s are mine and yes I used to haul around tons of gear :-D
I really recommend speaking to jon if you want one made

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Saw this on a tweet earlier and it reminded me of this thread:

“Al Cisneros and his @RickenbackerInt electric bass instruments. 5-string maple, 2x 4-string walnut and a 5-string walnut prototype.”839ACB31-3B57-40D7-A3EC-2ADFF8B12EA6.thumb.jpeg.c85f92bcd0e6e2fabf0bea444d3dc5ce.jpeg

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Ah, now that's interesting. The one at the front is the (still completely unavailable despite being promised back in January to be shipping in April) Rickenbacker 4003/S5 which I reviewed for Bass Guitar Magazine.

Well, maybe not THE instrument I played but certainly a close relative.

It would never occur to me to buy a 5-string version of the old-school Ric basses, but that 4003/S5 was an absolute delight to play.

 

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