The Cheats Guide to getting a Rickenbacker Bass Sound on a Budget. Tips, Tricks ( Heated Debate).

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    In his own words. (About one third of the way down the page.)

    https://reverb.com/uk/news/interview-paul-mccartney-on-his-life-as-a-bassist
    Ah, so he liked the Ric more because it stayed in tune better.....
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2330
    vale said:
    so i like the sound a real lot, but as a thing, Ricky's are just too long (i'm shortscale for life, i have decided), heavy (that's why i want the violin), way too horny (that 'leaping dildo affair' on the top bout) & (obviously) way too over budget.
    The weight issue on the Rick isn't as bad as you might think. I'm similarly inclined towards violin basses and short scale but since moving to a Ric I've enjoyed bass playing (and improved) enormously. Someone on the forum suggested Neotech straps and I invested in one. Best money I ever spent, it makes the bass feel weightless. I've had a few good basses over the years but the Ric stands above any others I've played. The neck is especially user friendly with a very flat back. I rarely use the clanking bridge sound, preferring the richer, more gentle neck or neck/bridge sounds; they're extremely versatile instruments.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    Bridgehouse said:

    FWIW I understand McCartney had the violin as he was in Germany at the time, and what with Hofner being German it’s supply, demand, local market etc etc innit?
    And because it was symmetrical so he could easily flip it round, and because it was relatively cheap - McCartney was notoriously careful with money. Lennon bought his Rick 425 on credit and went back to England before they could catch him!
    "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: 15391
    JezWynd said:
    vale said:
    so i like the sound a real lot, but as a thing, Ricky's are just too long (i'm shortscale for life, i have decided), heavy (that's why i want the violin), way too horny (that 'leaping dildo affair' on the top bout) & (obviously) way too over budget.
    The weight issue on the Rick isn't as bad as you might think. I'm similarly inclined towards violin basses and short scale but since moving to a Ric I've enjoyed bass playing (and improved) enormously. Someone on the forum suggested Neotech straps and I invested in one. Best money I ever spent, it makes the bass feel weightless. I've had a few good basses over the years but the Ric stands above any others I've played. The neck is especially user friendly with a very flat back. I rarely use the clanking bridge sound, preferring the richer, more gentle neck or neck/bridge sounds; they're extremely versatile instruments.
    That's a very good call - I bought a Mono strap - wide, neoprene and well constructed - it makes my P basses wearable all day if necessary, and the Ibanez feels extremely light - by comparison even a decent normal padded strap makes them feel heavy.

    A good wide padded strap like the neotech or mono makes a massive difference to a 8-9lb bass and makes it feel more like 6-7lb on a normal strap.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    FWIW I understand McCartney had the violin as he was in Germany at the time, and what with Hofner being German it’s supply, demand, local market etc etc innit?
    And because it was symmetrical so he could easily flip it round, and because it was relatively cheap - McCartney was notoriously careful with money. Lennon bought his Rick 425 on credit and went back to England before they could catch him!
    Thirty quid apparently..
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    Bridgehouse said:

    Thirty quid apparently..
    Not expensive even then. I wonder how much the shop lost on John's?

    I also meant Rick 325 :). 425 was the single-pickup one George had first...
    "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: 15391
    Reading that interview it felt even more like Paul didn’t choose the violin bass, he sort of just ended up with it - and it caused him tuning issues until it was sorted out much later on. 

    He must have liked something about it as he stuck with it - or it became part of his signature sound and that was that. Either way, I think @vale needs to consider that the violin bass might not be the absolute best option out there
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    Reading that interview it felt even more like Paul didn’t choose the violin bass, he sort of just ended up with it - and it caused him tuning issues until it was sorted out much later on. 

    He must have liked something about it as he stuck with it - or it became part of his signature sound and that was that. 
    The remarkable thing is that George didn't like his Gretsch Country Gent either - especially the first one, which was quickly relegated to 'spare' status when he got the second one, then later fell off the top of their tour car and was run over by a lorry, to much amusement rather than any serious annoyance, and John's Rick suffered from tuning trouble ever since some twit in a Liverpool music shop simply screwed the Bigsby onto it on the front counter - at the wrong angle.

    It was a different world then. Dave Davies didn't even have a spare guitar when his was lost by an airline on the first Kinks US tour - he had to go to a music shop and buy one, and the only half-decent thing they had that he could afford was some weird old Gibson shaped like an arrow...
    "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: 15391
    Just to stoke up the heated debate, most people in the bass world would argue you can use a P bass in pretty much any bassing scenario.

    I would say a short scale P will do the same. So why should anyone (@vale included) bother with the effort of anything else?
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3237
    you can use a P bass in pretty much any bassing scenario. I would say a short scale P will do the same. So why should anyone (@vale included) bother with the effort of anything else?
    The Fender Mustang Bass, Musicmaster Bass and Bronco Bass spring to mind.



    So do the Squier Jaguar SS, Jaguar Bass H and the Mikey Way signature Mustang Bass.



    Those EMG-35 sized soapbar pickups are a doddle to replace.



    Some good ideas in this video. 




    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    For a short scale super light thump and clang bass I’ve always fancied a Musicmaster - a decent mid/late 70s one..

    ..or one of the original early 80s bronco basses...
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  • valevale Frets: 1036
    edited July 11
    In his own words. (About one third of the way down the page.)

    https://reverb.com/uk/news/interview-paul-mccartney-on-his-life-as-a-bassist
    thanks for the link  @Funkfingers ;;;;;;;; have read a few about his gear & that's a good one.

    re exactly when he first used it in the studio, while Paul says in this interview that he doesn't remember the song, only the album, george (harrison) says he remembers it was first used on 'think for yourself' during the revolver sessions to get that fat fuzzbass tone.
    In his own words. (About one third of the way down the page.)

    https://reverb.com/uk/news/interview-paul-mccartney-on-his-life-as-a-bassist
    Ah, so he liked the Ric more because it stayed in tune better.....
    tuning is a state of mind. personally i think it's overrated.

    Algernon: Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?
    Lane (Valet): I didn't think it polite to listen, sir.
    Algernon: I'm sorry for that, for your sake. I don't play accurately - any one can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression.
    As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life.

    (Oscar Wilde 'the importance of being earnest').

    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    FWIW I understand McCartney had the violin as he was in Germany at the time, and what with Hofner being German it’s supply, demand, local market etc etc innit?
    And because it was symmetrical so he could easily flip it round, and because it was relatively cheap - McCartney was notoriously careful with money. Lennon bought his Rick 425 on credit and went back to England before they could catch him!
    both of these, from what i understand according to reading.

    the looks were the big factor initially, rather than the tone. in those early days of electrical guitars i imagine there wasn't as much attention paid to offering broad tonal options, it was more 'will this actually work, will it stay in tune (already covered that one), & will it last more than ten minutes.'

    so i think he felt a bit 'odd-man-out' when everyone else had guitars 'the right way up' & he looked as if he was holding his 'the wrong way up'.
    to a young man wanting to make a dashing impression on the women in the front row, it looking right would been a big deal & rightly so.
    For a short scale super light thump and clang bass I’ve always fancied a Musicmaster - a decent mid/late 70s one..

    ..or one of the original early 80s bronco basses...
    i actually tried a squier bronco a few weeks ago. i couldn't believe my luck on stumbling across it in a local indoor antiques (also junk & clutter) market;
    good condition, black, offset, squier-reliable-eveything & shortscale & under £100. when i first saw it i thought ii would def be taking it.
    & i hated it. the neck was as wide & deep as the chunkiest pbass i have ever tried. 2x2 time. it seemed really heavy too, but i had just come home from blood tests so was feeling even  weaker than usual.

    even for £80 (& could have haggled down) i left it. very surprised.
    i think any guitarist with bass intentions, thinking that a shortscale fender-squier would be a perfect transition bass, would be in for a nasty shock. plankissimo!
    hofner hussie & hayman harpie. what she said...
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    @vale - the original early 80s US made broncos and musicmasters were very different prospects to the squiers.

    The very reason that many hate them and love the squiers may well be the factors that make one work for you.. IIRC the musicmaster I tried was a proper slim jim narrow neck affair that as a fat bugger P bass preferrer was odd to me. 

    I’d happily adapt to thin and shallow tho, as I have basses that are like this anyway - but if you find big and chunky too much then I can understand your reluctance. 

    You’ll note from my original post I specifically didn’t mention the newer squier version of the bronco/bullet/musicmaster etc.. 


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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3237
    You’ll note from my original post I specifically didn’t mention the newer squier version of the bronco/bullet/musicmaster etc.. 
    That was me. I decided to simultaneously run several ideas up a flag pole to see who saluted. 

    I don't think that I have ever seen a Fender Bronco Bass. (The original Fender Bronco guitar was a student model. Imagine, if you will, a Musicmaster but with a terrible vibrato and its lone pickup roughly where the bridge pickup goes on a Mustang.) The Squier Bronco Bass always struck me as a budget reincarnation of the Fender Musicmaster Bass - only not built nearly as well.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • valevale Frets: 1036
    edited July 12
    i think the bronco design was to the mustang, what the bullet design was to the telecaster.
    basically no-frills first-rung fender fun, but a cut above a lot (though not all) of the flash mij tat that would have been competing for the same cash.
    hofner hussie & hayman harpie. what she said...
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--DyJtTOqA--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_620,q_90,w_620/v1516932622/c5vyd17dip6iynyoggti.jpg

    :)

    (That's not the original pickup - someone has replaced the fairly weak single coil with a Duncan Rails by the look of it. I had the idea of doing the same thing but with an EMG...)
    "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: 15391
    ICBM said:
    https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--DyJtTOqA--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_620,q_90,w_620/v1516932622/c5vyd17dip6iynyoggti.jpg

    :)

    (That's not the original pickup - someone has replaced the fairly weak single coil with a Duncan Rails by the look of it. I had the idea of doing the same thing but with an EMG...)
    Duncan rails - inspired ;)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    Bridgehouse said:

    Duncan rails - inspired ;)
    I put both a Duncan Hot Strat Stack and an EMG SA in a couple of original Musicmaster Basses years ago. It's actually a very easy bass to upgrade because any Strat-size pickup will fit. The EMG one was really good, I did that for someone who wanted to be able to DI the bass straight into an old-fashioned PA amp with 1/4" inputs and no faffing around with external boxes.
    "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: 15391
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    Duncan rails - inspired ;)
    I put both a Duncan Hot Strat Stack and an EMG SA in a couple of original Musicmaster Basses years ago. It's actually a very easy bass to upgrade because any Strat-size pickup will fit. The EMG one was really good, I did that for someone who wanted to be able to DI the bass straight into an old-fashioned PA amp with 1/4" inputs and no faffing around with external boxes.
    Very tempted to get a battered musicmaster and doing a proper job on it for the next project.. hmm....
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 4150
    Lowpass out all the attack?
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3237
    For those irrevocably committed to short scale lengths, has anybody tried a Jackson Minion series bass guitar?
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    For those irrevocably committed to short scale lengths, has anybody tried a Jackson Minion series bass guitar?
    Oh dear... I just Googled pics of that.

    They aren't really still putting that pointy headstock on instruments without a lock nut are they? Guaranteed tuning trouble, and that's if the corner of the nut doesn't break off.

    It's 2018, not 1988.
    "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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  • martmart Frets: 2755
    ICBM said:
    For those irrevocably committed to short scale lengths, has anybody tried a Jackson Minion series bass guitar?
    Oh dear... I just Googled pics of that.

    They aren't really still putting that pointy headstock on instruments without a lock nut are they? Guaranteed tuning trouble, and that's if the corner of the nut doesn't break off.

    It's 2018, not 1988.
    That reminds me of the Kramer Ferrington acoustic bass I used to own. 
    https://images.reverb.com/image/upload/s--sYuIDxYq--/a_exif,c_limit,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,q_auto:eco,w_1280/v1486212173/vx01hpbo7zrhwfg7ymj7.jpg
    The insane headstock design actually pulled the nut off the bass.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    Steady on now, this thread was rather good until the pointy headstocks started...!
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3237
    You’ll note from my original post that I specifically didn’t embed photographs of pointy headstocks.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    You’ll note from my original post that I specifically didn’t embed photographs of pointy headstocks.
    But then @ICBM made me go and google it only to discover a page of puke green pointy horror... 

    And then @mart goes and posts that thing...!


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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    In for a penny, in for a pound then..

    I reckon @vale might find a Rickenbacker tone out of these options:


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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3237
    Twiddles thumbs, waiting for ICBM to write a five page treatise, explaining why no amount of modern electronics is an acceptable substitute for RIC's archaic gubbins.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15391
    Twiddles thumbs, waiting for ICBM to write a five page treatise, explaining why no amount of modern electronics is an acceptable substitute for RIC's archaic gubbins.
    I believe that switch 35 in my diagram above would suit - you could have a G&T whilst waiting.. :)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32171
    edited July 13
    Twiddles thumbs, waiting for ICBM to write a five page treatise, explaining why no amount of modern electronics is an acceptable substitute for RIC's archaic gubbins.
    Because switch 17 is all you need. It has two settings -

    On - Rickenbacker
    Off - other

    :)
    "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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