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What am I missing out on with not having a Rickenbacker?


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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just installed a pair of Classic Amplification pickups into my 4003... VAST improvement on the tone. It's a cliché but it's like taking a blanket off the speakers. 

I've now got all the clank I could ever want - with everything on full in vintage mode it sounds like Jon Camp, real presence and growl. I am very pleased.

The only downside is a slightly lower volume on the E, thanks to the non-adjustable poles, but I'm hoping a tweak of the action and pickup height will remedy this.

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30 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

I've just installed a pair of Classic Amplification pickups into my 4003... VAST improvement on the tone. It's a cliché but it's like taking a blanket off the speakers. 

I've now got all the clank I could ever want - with everything on full in vintage mode it sounds like Jon Camp, real presence and growl. I am very pleased.

The only downside is a slightly lower volume on the E, thanks to the non-adjustable poles, but I'm hoping a tweak of the action and pickup height will remedy this.

I've never heard of these pickups.  Often thought about installing the guts of a Rickenbacker into another bass, but never got around to it.

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I installed a set of the Gemini Pickups WaveRider's in the walnut Faker (see avatar). Sound great to my ears, and seriously considering putting a set in my 4003.

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4 hours ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

I've just installed a pair of Classic Amplification pickups into my 4003... VAST improvement on the tone. It's a cliché but it's like taking a blanket off the speakers. 

I've now got all the clank I could ever want - with everything on full in vintage mode it sounds like Jon Camp, real presence and growl. I am very pleased.

The only downside is a slightly lower volume on the E, thanks to the non-adjustable poles, but I'm hoping a tweak of the action and pickup height will remedy this.

I bought a CA treble pickup for a project I had a few years back, but the project  died a death (long and highly unpleasant story) and I donated some of the parts to the repairer involved who’d lost money on it (no fault of mine, I lost even more), so never got to hear it. I wasn’t 100% sure CA were still in business, so that’s good to hear. 

Did you change to tone pots to 500k too? That should give you even more top. 

Edited by 4000
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1 minute ago, 4000 said:

I bought a CA treble pickup for a project I had a few years back, but the project  died a death (long and highly unpleasant story) and I donated some of the parts to the repairer involved who’d lost money on it (no fault of mine, I lost even more), so never got to hear it. I wasn’t 100% sure CA were still in business, so that’s good to hear. 

He's retiring later in the year, I think. I'm thinking of getting a set in 4004-style covers for a future project.

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2 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

He's retiring later in the year, I think. I'm thinking of getting a set in 4004-style covers for a future project.

I think he's retiring in 2023 but there's a 90 working day lead time so, there's not much time left to order a set.

He also does some cool custom pickups; building his RIC pickups into different covers if you wanted to fit a set into something other than a Rickenbacker.

The build quality is in a different league to Rickenbacker's standard pickups and Brad is a nice guy to deal with.

 

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14 minutes ago, Madein1962 said:

I think he's retiring in 2023 but there's a 90 working day lead time so, there's not much time left to order a set.

He also does some cool custom pickups; building his RIC pickups into different covers if you wanted to fit a set into something other than a Rickenbacker.

The build quality is in a different league to Rickenbacker's standard pickups and Brad is a nice guy to deal with.

 

Well I love the old screw-top treble pickups on my ‘72s (and the Sergio Silva pickup in my replica) but I might think about getting one (or maybe two?) for future projects. I’m happy with Rick neck toasters so don’t need anything there. 

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31 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

He's retiring later in the year, I think. I'm thinking of getting a set in 4004-style covers for a future project.

BTW, noted your earlier comment about the ergonomics. I must have the weirdest body in the world as I find them pretty much the comfiest thing out there! Although I did learn to play on one…..

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11 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Well I love the old screw-top treble pickups on my ‘72s (and the Sergio Silva pickup in my replica) but I might think about getting one (or maybe two?) for future projects. I’m happy with Rick neck toasters so don’t need anything there. 

To be honest; if I had a'72 I wouldn't be messing with it either.

I have a'78 that's completely standard and which I've owned for almost 40 years.

I also have an '82 4001S that had already had some bits swapped when I bought it. I'm planning a top to bottom custom project for it. It'll either end up with the CA pickups or possibly a humbucker set from the Creamery.

 

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16 hours ago, 4000 said:

Did you change to tone pots to 500k too? That should give you even more top. 

I didn't think to change the tone pots... I'm very happy with the new pickups though, I'd be surprised if I could get more treble out of them!

16 hours ago, 4000 said:

BTW, noted your earlier comment about the ergonomics. I must have the weirdest body in the world as I find them pretty much the comfiest thing out there! Although I did learn to play on one…..

It's certainly not as bad as I remembered it! I think I was unconsciously trying to come up with reasons to dislike it as I had a chance to sell it, and the lure of cold hard cash is hard to ignore! Having played it again I realised it is certainly odd, and very different to all other basses, but not 'uncomfortable'. 

But that's the Rick - a jumble of oddball ingredients that probably shouldn't work, but combined makes the most incredible sound.

With these new pickups, it's finally giving me 'that' tone that I've always wanted from a Rickenbacker. CLANK. I HIGHLY recommend them!

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21 hours ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

I've just installed a pair of Classic Amplification pickups into my 4003... VAST improvement on the tone. It's a cliché but it's like taking a blanket off the speakers. 

I've now got all the clank I could ever want - with everything on full in vintage mode it sounds like Jon Camp, real presence and growl. I am very pleased.

The only downside is a slightly lower volume on the E, thanks to the non-adjustable poles, but I'm hoping a tweak of the action and pickup height will remedy this.

Update: I've just slightly tweaked the action - lowered the E and raised the A and D a hair - problem solved!

 

Happy.

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20 hours ago, Skybone said:

I installed a set of the Gemini Pickups WaveRider's in the walnut Faker (see avatar). Sound great to my ears, and seriously considering putting a set in my 4003.

I did consider the Geminis, as a luthier friend recommends them and they are certainly much less expensive  than the Classic Amplification set I went for, but the demo vids didn't fill me with confidence - one set weren't in a Rickenbacker and didn't sound very authentic, and the other clip was too distorted to give an accurate idea of the tone.

Both clips sounded good, but I was chasing a very specific tone, and Brad was on the same page from the off.

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25 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

Update: I've just slightly tweaked the action - lowered the E and raised the A and D a hair - problem solved!

 

Happy.

Do you have the new bridge, or possibly a Hipshot? That’s one of my least favourite aspects of the traditional bridge, having to recut the bridge slots to adjust individual string height. 

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24 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

I did consider the Geminis, as a luthier friend recommends them and they are certainly much less expensive  than the Classic Amplification set I went for, but the demo vids didn't fill me with confidence - one set weren't in a Rickenbacker and didn't sound very authentic, and the other clip was too distorted to give an accurate idea of the tone.

Both clips sounded good, but I was chasing a very specific tone, and Brad was on the same page from the off.

That’s what I’ve also thought with those sound clips. I know from previous discussions we’ve had that we both seem to have a pretty specific kind of tone in mind, Rick-wise. 

And speaking of Jon Camp, it’s yet another excuse to post this:

 

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34 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Do you have the new bridge, or possibly a Hipshot? That’s one of my least favourite aspects of the traditional bridge, having to recut the bridge slots to adjust individual string height. 

Oh, definitely a Hipshot! It took seconds to tweak the action.

Another bonus since fitting the new pickups is that the bridge pickup is straight and the bezel now fits properly!

20210615_120514.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

Oh, definitely a Hipshot! It took seconds to tweak the action.

Another bonus since fitting the new pickups is that the bridge pickup is straight and the bezel now fits properly!

20210615_120514.jpg

Result!
How do you find the Hipshot? I keep hearing reports of rattling saddles or not being able to get the action low enough, which kind of put me off (particularly the last, given that my action never goes above 2 mm 12 fret E and is frequently half that). 

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3 minutes ago, 4000 said:

Result!
How do you find the Hipshot? I keep hearing reports of rattling saddles or not being able to get the action low enough, which kind of put me off (particularly the last, given that my action never goes above 2 mm 12 fret E and is frequently half that). 

I can't fault it. I do like low action, although not quite as low as yours so I can't guarantee it would manage that, but it goes low enough for me. I suppose the saddles could be filed if it needed to go lower.

The saddles don't rattle at all - I think the early models did but if you look closely at my picture you'll see the saddle sit in grooves now on the baseplate.

I need to be able to palm mute as well so swapping the bridge was a no-brainer for me. It's a complete improvement over the original. 

IMHO of course 😉

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24 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

I can't fault it. I do like low action, although not quite as low as yours so I can't guarantee it would manage that, but it goes low enough for me. I suppose the saddles could be filed if it needed to go lower.

The saddles don't rattle at all - I think the early models did but if you look closely at my picture you'll see the saddle sit in grooves now on the baseplate.

I need to be able to palm mute as well so swapping the bridge was a no-brainer for me. It's a complete improvement over the original. 

IMHO of course 😉

From what I’d read the issue was there was only 1 groove, not two, but I don’t know how true that is. I play so lightly it’s potentially a non-issue anyway.

I don’t really palm mute, I have my own weird damping system. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
52 minutes ago, ProfJames said:

This thread changed course but and however...........when I dug this out today.....I realised.....I really don't think I am missing anything!!!!  How lucky am I?

image006.jpg

Haven't seen one of those in a fair old while !....

I still say you need to go and play a Rick or two somewhere, you'll always be wondering otherwise..  ;)

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Just got back from rehearsal... BRUTAL tone from the new bridge (middle?) pickup alone, the clank and growl I've wanted to hear from my Rick for ages! The band were getting annoyed by the sheers aggro coming out of the speakers but who cares.

That pickup alone is a bit middy so I had to crank the lows but I got away with it. As soon as my stereo splitter is repaired I'll be unstoppable!

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On 15/06/2021 at 12:36, Cosmo Valdemar said:

Oh, definitely a Hipshot! It took seconds to tweak the action.

Another bonus since fitting the new pickups is that the bridge pickup is straight and the bezel now fits properly!

20210615_120514.jpg

The bridge saddles positions look rather odd to me; is intonation at the 12th fret spot on for all strings?

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On 19/05/2021 at 19:24, ProfJames said:

Begs the question.......I am fortunate to own a pretty good collection of basses that push my skills.  Two Shukers, Ovation Magnum, couple of Sandbergs, couple of MM's ..........but what am I missing with Rickenbackers?

 

If you're (not) buying a new Fireglo 4003 from PMT, you're missing out on having a hole in your finances £3,349 deep...

Have you seen those two Rickesque basses Jon made a few years ago? Just a thought... 🙂

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