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4string4string Frets: 10
edited June 11 in Bass
One of the upsides of being associated with Oil City Pickups is that we see a lot of really interesting instruments coming through the workshop. Occasionally, they are with us because the owner wants to fix and sell.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1brb8gmnk6zqbnv/Rickie.png?raw=1 
To cut a long story short, this 1981 Rickenbacker 4001 complete with original case changed, hands to the delight of both buyer and seller.

Spent an hour on Saturday cleaning it up and changing the rusty strings. Rotosound 105s have been added. Next job to remove the plastic pick up cover (I can't get on with it, as I use my right hand to sting mute - almost impossible to do with the cover in the way. It will need intonating as well, but I need to work out how best to do that with out slackening off the stings all the time - all tips welcome.

And the sound? All I am saying is I am off to find a black suit and white shirt with a skinny tie to go with the growl you get hitting the strings with a pick.   
Chief Bottle Washer @ Oil City Pickups.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32859
    Very cool :).

    4string said:

    Next job to remove the plastic pick up cover (I can't get on with it, as I use my right hand to sting mute - almost impossible to do with the cover in the way.
    The odd thing about it is that I found exactly the same - until I changed my modern 4003 for a '73 4001, with the main difference being the position of the neck pickup. With this one, somehow it seems totally natural to play with my hand resting against the cover...

    4string said:

    It will need intonating as well, but I need to work out how best to do that with out slackening off the stings all the time - all tips welcome.
    You use the two height screws to raise up the bridge as far as it will go - that's why they're so unnecessarily tall - adjust the intonation, and lower it again. It is a faff, but you should only have to do it once.

    I assume you know how to adjust the truss rods on pre-'85 Rickenbackers... if not, don't until you've read up on it!
    "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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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3330
    4string said:
    Next job, to remove the plastic pick up cover
    The cover is for the benefit of players accustomed to having the earlier dual horseshoe magnet pickup design protruding from the middle of the instrument.

    I removed the plastic thingy from my '77 4001. Then, fearing possible damage to the pickup coil, I installed an over-priced plastic accessory to occupy the gap between the bobbin and the metal surround. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • 4string4string Frets: 10
    Thank you @ICBM and @Funkfingers - the intonation tip is welcome. I have been scratching my head on that one all day. The cover will come off, but having played it again this evening, I can see how the 'hand resting on the cover' approach can work. Especially if you lift the string mutes a little.

    However, the bass is for playing with the geriatric punk band I am in, so I need to be able to dig in with a pick. I had also had thoughts about the pickup 'gap' though my plan may have involved the Oil City laser cutter... The joys of co-owning something powerful enough to cut 11mm perspex, and apparently sever fingers. 

    I have ordered a truss rod adjusting wrench (1/4") and watched a YouTube video or two. Anywhere else I ought to be paying attention to before I do any damage? 
    Chief Bottle Washer @ Oil City Pickups.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32859
    4string said:

    However, the bass is for playing with the geriatric punk band I am in, so I need to be able to dig in with a pick.
    That pretty much describes my band (apart from the singer, who is about half our age!) and the way I play :).

    I admit I refitted the cover on my '73 (it didn't come with one) purely for looks originally, just to see what it was like - and was quite surprised to find that it doesn't actually get in the way. The one on my modern 4003 did, and I can only assume it's because the position of the neck pickup is different, which puts my natural picking position slightly further forward.

    4string said:

    I have ordered a truss rod adjusting wrench (1/4") and watched a YouTube video or two. Anywhere else I ought to be paying attention to before I do any damage? 
    The important thing is to release the tension on the rods by manually bending the neck backwards before tightening them. This can be scary, and difficult - by far the easiest method is to lightly clamp the bridge end of the body to a table so the neck is overhanging, then you can bend it down with one hand and tighten the nuts with the other. You will usually have to pull the neck back further than you need.

    The good news is that the old rod design is very stable, and once adjusted right it tends to stay that way.
    "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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  • 4string4string Frets: 10
    Thanks again @ICBM you have validated the method I was going to use. There is a good video on this on YouTube - the guy is very clear and takes his time, which gives me some faith that he was on the right track :-) 

    As for the cover not getting in the way, if I pick behind, it is to nasal and stiff and if I pick in front of the cover the strings ring and ring :-) I am definitely looking for the goldilocks position. 

    If you are looking for a gig in London at anytime, I might have a support band for you ;-) 
    Chief Bottle Washer @ Oil City Pickups.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32859
    4string said:

    As for the cover not getting in the way, if I pick behind, it is to nasal and stiff and if I pick in front of the cover the strings ring and ring :-) I am definitely looking for the goldilocks position.
    I pick in front of the cover. I think I just use left-hand damping more than I would normally on a bass with no obstruction.

    But if it's in the way, just take it off. If you're worried about the pickup getting damaged you can either buy a purpose-made insert, or make one out of some pickguard material - which is what I did on my old one. From memory I spaced it down from the surround using a pair of rubber grommets so it fitted properly.

    4string said:

    If you are looking for a gig in London at anytime, I might have a support band for you ;-) 
    Other way round most likely! We're much more of a support act I think - all covers, although we play them in our own ramshackle way ;).
    "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: 15730
    What is this 'pick' thing that you lot are talking about??!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32859
    What is this 'pick' thing that you lot are talking about??!
    It's what proper bass guitarists use.

    ;)
    "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: 15730
    ICBM said:
    What is this 'pick' thing that you lot are talking about??!
    It's what proper bass guitarists use.

    ;)
    Never seen one used in an orchestra, or a jazz trio, or in a Motown band...

    And if you say Adam Clayton, I will actually get in the car, drive the 8 hour round trip and slap you.
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2424
    Never realised that cover was made of plastic. So it's purely cosmetic?

    OP: I've a pdf of Joey's Rickenbacker Maintenance & Setup pages if it is of use to you. I've found it extremely helpful in getting my ric setup. (It used to be a website but it seems to have disappeared).
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  • 4string4string Frets: 10
    Hi @JezWynd thanks for the offer, I would love a copy. I will PM you an email address. Or is it a bit too big for email? Only knew the cover was plastic when I read about it and realised it did not feel 'cold' under my hand :-)
    Chief Bottle Washer @ Oil City Pickups.
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2424
    4string said:
    Hi @JezWynd thanks for the offer, I would love a copy. I will PM you an email address. Or is it a bit too big for email? Only knew the cover was plastic when I read about it and realised it did not feel 'cold' under my hand :-)
    It's under a meg, 15 pages of very useful info if like me you know nothing about Rics. I'll send it on now.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32859
    edited June 12
    Bridgehouse said:

    Never seen one used in an orchestra, or a jazz trio, or in a Motown band...

    And if you say Adam Clayton, I will actually get in the car, drive the 8 hour round trip and slap you.
    Adam Clayton



    Although he doesn't play any of those things. Nor does Bruce Foxton, and you'd have trouble getting the right sound for some of those Jam songs without one.

    There's more to bass playing than just fingerstyle...

    I was actually hoping you'd rise to the bass "guitarist" bit .

    JezWynd said:

    Never realised that cover was made of plastic. So it's purely cosmetic?
    No, it also adds a little bit of shielding because it's chrome-plated, even though the plastic itself is non-conductive.
    "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: 15730
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    Never seen one used in an orchestra, or a jazz trio, or in a Motown band...

    And if you say Adam Clayton, I will actually get in the car, drive the 8 hour round trip and slap you.
    Adam Clayton



    Although he doesn't play any of those things. Nor does Bruce Foxton, and you'd have trouble getting the right sound for some of those Jam songs without one.

    There's more to bass playing than just fingerstyle...

    I was actually hoping you'd rise to the bass "guitarist" bit
    Don’t worry - you know I’m winding you up. I invested in a few Wegen picks a few weeks back for bass as they are really stable and stiff and have a really good bevelled edge (got some for mandolin before) and I have a habit of splitting picks on flatwounds for some reason. 

    Picks, fingerstyle, all good.

    Slap? Slap can fuck off.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32859
    Bridgehouse said:

    I invested in a few Wegen picks a few weeks back for bass as they are really stable and stiff and have a really good bevelled edge (got some for mandolin before) and I have a habit of splitting picks on flatwounds for some reason.
    I use Dunlop 3mm Big Stubbys for similar reasons - although I use roundwounds, so they simply shred thin picks instead.

    I still play with my fingers too, just not much with this band :).
    "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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