Ricky basses, are they as bad as this guy suggests?

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    prowla said:

    On the minus side, though I like its quirky design, I think the build of the bridge is poor and they really could have and should have sorted it; I've got a Hipshot on one.
    I agree. The fundamental problem is that the type of metal alloy just isn't good enough - combined with the thin-wall casting, it isn't strong enough to resist the upward pull of the strings and will usually eventually lift at the end. Straightening them doesn't work well - there's a good chance of cracking them, and even if you get away with it the problem comes back… mine did.

    Because I didn't want to replace the bridge, I came up with a different solution - I made a sort of miniature 'Fender bass bridge' from some right-angled aluminium strip, cut so it fits inside the space in the Rick tailpiece, and is screwed to the body. The strings pass through it and transfer the tension down to the body so the back end of the bridge is now being pulled down rather than up.

    In the interests of full disclosure for Bork ;), there are three other mods/improvements to my 4001…

    Pickups as already mentioned - Rickenbacker HB1 in the neck, and Kent Armstrong mini-humbucker in the bridge.

    'Vintage/modern' tone circuit - Rickenbacker now fit a pull-switch to the bridge tone pot to give either the 'vintage cap' bass-cut, or 'modern' without. This is useful, but since I never used the bridge tone control I just changed it into a rotary control to do the same thing, and which also gives all the tones in between (which are very useful).

    The fingerboard lacquer has been stripped off - before I got it. I'm not sure whether I prefer it or not, but I certainly don't mind it. I know a lot of people don't like the lacquered board.

    So perhaps they are not quite perfect as stock :). But even stock, I wouldn't play anything else by choice...

    By the way, I'm not questioning John Hall's credentials - just his attitude to criticism, including of things like the bridge quality. It's particularly frustrating when RIC go out of their way to block third party replacement parts - Hipshot only seem to get away with theirs because it looks so different.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 455
    That's an interesting workaround; perhaps even a wrapover tailpiece attaching to the strap button might work.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    edited August 14
    Controversially, and also predictably, I have to state, you don't need to apply any workarounds to a Precision. 

    My 64 is stock, as it was when it left the factory 53 years ago, and it still does everything perfectly well with no signs of issues or wearing out. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    Controversially, and also predictably, I have to state, you don't need to apply any workarounds to a Precision. 

    My 64 is stock, as it was when it left the factory 53 years ago, and it still does everything perfectly well with no signs of issues or wearing out. 
    Unless someone trips over the cable without having it run under the strap, and breaks the pickguard. Still the major flaw in the P-Bass design.

    One-all, I would say :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    ICBM said:
    Controversially, and also predictably, I have to state, you don't need to apply any workarounds to a Precision. 

    My 64 is stock, as it was when it left the factory 53 years ago, and it still does everything perfectly well with no signs of issues or wearing out. 
    Unless someone trips over the cable without having it run under the strap, and breaks the pickguard. Still the major flaw in the P-Bass design.

    One-all, I would say :).
    Smoothhound wireless. No tripping over any cables...

    Your score is disallowed on a technicality... try again ;)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    Bridgehouse said:

    Your score is disallowed on a technicality... try again ;)
    A P-Bass has only one pickup, with two coils in series. A fault in either coil kills the output stone dead. (This does happen, sometimes.)

    A 4001/4003 has two pickups, two sets of controls, and two jacks. The only way you can't get at least one pickup working is if the switch completely disintegrates - and even then you could bodge it at a gig, if you had to.

    That's actually a very practical reason I like the Rick, and why I don't even have a spare bass.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    Your score is disallowed on a technicality... try again ;)
    A P-Bass has only one pickup, with two coils in series. A fault in either coil kills the output stone dead. (This does happen, sometimes.)

    A 4001/4003 has two pickups, two sets of controls, and two jacks. The only way you can't get at least one pickup working is if the switch completely disintegrates - and even then you could bodge it at a gig, if you had to.

    That's actually a very practical reason I like the Rick, and why I don't even have a spare bass.
    Twin Mono bag. Spare bass slot. Excellent quality spare P (MiM classic = £500)

    How much were those Ric basses again, and how much did the necessary "mods" cost again? ;)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    Bridgehouse said:

    Twin Mono bag. Spare bass slot. Excellent quality spare P (MiM classic = £500)

    How much were those Ric basses again, and how much did the necessary "mods" cost again? ;)
    Nothing. There are no necessary mods, just a few upgrades I happen to like. A stock Rick is fine, and if you need the RWRP mod that's free too.

    Mine was £900, although that's a while ago now.

    How much is a Twin Mono bag? ;). They also weigh a ton when you've got two basses inside :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    Twin Mono bag. Spare bass slot. Excellent quality spare P (MiM classic = £500)

    How much were those Ric basses again, and how much did the necessary "mods" cost again? ;)
    Nothing. There are no necessary mods, just a few upgrades I happen to like. A stock Rick is fine, and if you need the RWRP mod that's free too.

    Mine was £900, although that's a while ago now.

    How much is a Twin Mono bag? ;). They also weigh a ton when you've got two basses inside :).
    Are we really going to do a big long "my bass is better than yours!" thread? ;)

    There is merit in both, and both are iconic basses. Iconic sound, used by many artists and both very well respected.














    My bass is better than yours tho.. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    lol

    OK then…. mine's better than yours nah nah nah nah nah.

    :)

    I do like Precisions a lot too, but this is a thread about why Ricks aren't crap so get your own ;).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    ICBM said:
    lol

    OK then…. mine's better than yours nah nah nah nah nah.

    :)

    I do like Precisions a lot too, but this is a thread about why Ricks aren't crap so get your own ;).
    My own thread or my own ric? ;)

    I actually don't think they are crap - and I have actually played one (a walnut 4003 and it was really nice) 


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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    BTW - this is about the most lively bass related debate I've seen for years... normally bass discussion goes along the lines of 

    "Yo, check out my new xxxxx bass"

    "Cool man, I bet that grooves"

    "Yeah, yeah it does"

    "I've got a xxxxx bass - that grooves too"

    "Nice man, yeah I bet that grooves too"


    NOTE: Apart from MM Bongos. They are just bloody stupid.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    Bridgehouse said:

    My own thread or my own ric? ;)

    I actually don't think they are crap - and I have actually played one (a walnut 4003 and it was really nice) 
    Both :).

    I did sense a wind-up :D.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    My own thread or my own ric? ;)

    I actually don't think they are crap - and I have actually played one (a walnut 4003 and it was really nice) 
    Both :).

    I did sense a wind-up :D.
    I'd have a 70s 4001 if I could find a corker at some point in the future

    I'm not sure if I need a Ric or a semi like a guild or harmony to fill out territory that the P can't do tho. 

    And dont say Jazz - I just can't compute Jazz necks. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    To be honest, probably a semi - Ricks and Ps aren't *that* different really, they're both punchy and midrangy. The Rick can do the deep neck-pickup thud, but so can a P with the tone control rolled down. The real difference is the cap on the 'bridge' pickup (which is really a middle pickup, like the P) on the vintage 4001.

    70s 4001s also tend to have narrow necks - not as skinny as a Jazz, but significantly so compared to your P. If you want a Rick with a wider neck, you actually probably need a 4003 from around 2006 onwards - I had one of those before my '73, and the neck was a lot wider and slightly shallower.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    ICBM said:
    To be honest, probably a semi - Ricks and Ps aren't *that* different really, they're both punchy and midrangy. The Rick can do the deep neck-pickup thud, but so can a P with the tone control rolled down. The real difference is the cap on the 'bridge' pickup (which is really a middle pickup, like the P) on the vintage 4001.

    70s 4001s also tend to have narrow necks - not as skinny as a Jazz, but significantly so compared to your P. If you want a Rick with a wider neck, you actually probably need a 4003 from around 2006 onwards - I had one of those before my '73, and the neck was a lot wider and slightly shallower.
    Yeah, I've been spoilt by those 1.75" P necks. Didn't realise the earlier Rics were narrower. 

    Then again, I guess I'll have the same problem with a lot of early semis as well. I'd go for an Epi Rivoli but they are stupid slim nuts
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 2691
    ICBM said:


    Bork said:

    When was the last time anyone saw someone slap on a Rickenbacker?  It sounds dreadful not only due to the electronics but also the string spacing.
    Slap sounds dreadful, period. Don't blame the bass ;).

    Wisdom just for this.

    What's worse is when you try and watch a bass demo on Youtube and some showoff spends the whole thing playing slap, and you have no idea how it would sound in the real world playing stuff you would actually play.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    crunchman said:
    ICBM said:


    Bork said:

    When was the last time anyone saw someone slap on a Rickenbacker?  It sounds dreadful not only due to the electronics but also the string spacing.
    Slap sounds dreadful, period. Don't blame the bass ;).

    Wisdom just for this.

    What's worse is when you try and watch a bass demo on Youtube and some showoff spends the whole thing playing slap, and you have no idea how it would sound in the real world playing stuff you would actually play.
    I personally hate slap. Hate the sound, hate the proliferation on bass demos. I stop watching a demo if it starts with slap.
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2154
    FWIIW, I think that slap is a technique that is a *lot* removed from music.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 1683
    crunchman said:
    ICBM said:


    Bork said:

    When was the last time anyone saw someone slap on a Rickenbacker?  It sounds dreadful not only due to the electronics but also the string spacing.
    Slap sounds dreadful, period. Don't blame the bass ;).

    Wisdom just for this.

    What's worse is when you try and watch a bass demo on Youtube and some showoff spends the whole thing playing slap, and you have no idea how it would sound in the real world playing stuff you would actually play.
    I personally hate slap. Hate the sound, hate the proliferation on bass demos. I stop watching a demo if it starts with slap.
    Agree. But I wonder if that's because I'm crap at playing that style. It still sounds horrible though.
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  • BorkBork Frets: 79
    Slap sounds great when it's done with taste.  But the endless barrage of Mark King clones competing with each other at guitar shows does get tedious.
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  • dogloaddogload Frets: 1268
    edited September 2
    crunchman said:
    ICBM said:


    Bork said:

    When was the last time anyone saw someone slap on a Rickenbacker?  It sounds dreadful not only due to the electronics but also the string spacing.
    Slap sounds dreadful, period. Don't blame the bass .

    Wisdom just for this.

    What's worse is when you try and watch a bass demo on Youtube and some showoff spends the whole thing playing slap, and you have no idea how it would sound in the real world playing stuff you would actually play.
    Nontheless


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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 3794
    Mmm, chorus as well!
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 455
    Controversially, and also predictably, I have to state, you don't need to apply any workarounds to a Precision. 

    My 64 is stock, as it was when it left the factory 53 years ago, and it still does everything perfectly well with no signs of issues or wearing out. 

    As is my '64 Ric.

    (It is used/worn, of course...)
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 1489
    Mmm, chorus as well!
    Good enough for Barry Adamson.  ;)
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26318
    prowla said:

    As is my '64 Ric.

    (It is used/worn, of course...)
    Does that have the solid aluminium tailpiece rather than the weaker alloy one?
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    prowla said:
    Controversially, and also predictably, I have to state, you don't need to apply any workarounds to a Precision. 

    My 64 is stock, as it was when it left the factory 53 years ago, and it still does everything perfectly well with no signs of issues or wearing out. 

    As is my '64 Ric.

    (It is used/worn, of course...)
    Ah now a pair of 64's would be a great little collection ;)
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