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Rickenbacker and a Badass


jreed

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Ive noticed some dead spots on my Rick. well, in general the E string sounds a little more dead. But, between the 5th and 8th frets the tone is less 'warm', there is less sustain, too. The notes just seem dead.

I did some searching on this and found that they do make a BadAss for a Rick, and there some good comments about.

I guess my question(s) is/are, Ive had people tell me that some dead spots and tone problems can come from a lesser quality bridge. And getting a better quality bridge will(might) fix those problems. Has anyone had any problems like this with a Rick, or other bass, and had a solution for it?

jreed

jreed00@dcemail.com

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The Badass II is a common replacement for the factory Ric bridge, but that probably won't solve your problem as the Ric bridge is not a bad piece of work. I would first check to make sure the tailpiece is seated properly. Loosen the strings, remove the floating bridge and tighten all of the screws holding the tailpiece to the body (5 on the older 4001, 7 on the newer 4003) and make sure the rubber mute isn't dampening your E string. If everything is right and you still have deadspots, this is something that is rare on a Ric and will likely require a luthier's professional assistance. While more uncommon on a neck-thru Rickenbacker than on your typical bolt-on like a Fender, any bass with a neck made of wood can suffer from deadspot(s.)
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Another thing came to mind - check your truss rods. I've actually heard of cases where one rod was loose and it contributed to a dead spot. If one is loose and the neck relief is still good, just snug up the nut.
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I'm not entirely sure, given your description, that the problem is dead spots. Dead spots are not a matter of tone or warmth so much as a matter of sustain: a dead spot is where the note fundamental decays more rapidly than the normal decay for the instrument.

 

How old are the strings? Were they installed properly? How is the bridge setup? How's the neck setup? How are the pickups adjusted for height? Is the bridge properly intonated? Is the bridgepiece properly seated? And is that mute outta the way? My first thought would be to see if fixing something at or along the E string itself would help. Going for a new bridge should really be a last resort; if something more basic is wrong, a new bridge won't help.

 

If need be, take it to a luthier. Sadly, I have in fact played a Ric that was a total dog! Extremely rare, but I found one. But in fairness I couldn't get into it far enough to tell if it was a setup issue (strings did feel too high), a crap string issue (sounded dull & felt very tight), or just a "bad bass" issue. Knowing Ric, I wouldn't assume the latter.

 

Keep in mind too that, e.g., a C played at the 3rd fret of the A string will sound pretty different from that C played on the E string. This is true for just about every bass, & it certainly is true for the Ric. In fact, people sometimes choose to play money-position notes higher up on the neck just in order to get this different sound, which generally tends to be less sharp & aggressive.

 

I've got a BadAss bridge on a Fender J, & I like it fine. It is clear & has good sustain. But even it does not totally even out the sustain. And it certainly won't fix bad strings or poor setup.

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Thanks for the input, it does help alot.

Im not good with the set up stuff, tried it before and had to take it in after to fix (I think I made it worse). I can play a bass but thats about it.

I know of a good shop in town, Ill have to take her in and have them operate a little.

jreed

jreed00@dcemail.com

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