Author Topic: bass cap?  (Read 2980 times)

Fretless

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bass cap?
« on: March 26, 2016, 06:04:26 AM »
At the risk of getting flamed and my credentials as a bassist being pulled and being forced under pain of death to play nothing but guitar for eternity, I have to ask: What is this bass cap in a Ric that y'all are mentioning from time to time? I have only played one Ric in my short but miserable life and loved/hated it with a passion! Loved the way it played, but hated the fact that whatever I did to try to get that punchy 'Ric' tone, I failed! Wore blisters on my index and middle fingers in a 2 hr jam session. Forgive my ignorance, but I gotta know! Curiosity is gonna kill me one of these days... :P
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Thornton Davis

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 06:38:04 AM »
I think you're referring to the .0047 cap that's positioned between the 3-way toggle switch and the bridge p/u. It cuts 50% of the low tone out of the signal for the bridge p/u only.

Lot's of 4001 owners will either physically remove it or "bypass it" by simply soldering in a piece of wire at the same contact points (switch and p/u).

When bypassed or removed, the bridge p/u comes to life adding lots more bottom end from the bridge p/u.

The newer 4003 models have the push/pull function on them to give the player the option of either setting.

TD
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Bert

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 06:39:09 AM »
It is a capacitor which cuts the bass of the treble pickup. Ages ago this was ment to be used as a solo kind of sound. A lot of people dislike the capacitor. I like it a lot when both pickups are engaged.
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ilan

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 09:03:37 AM »
RIC removed that bass-cut capacitor in 1985, around the same time they replaced the "hairpin" expansion truss rods with standard compression rods.
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Fretless

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 11:59:10 AM »
Thank you all! I have never been able to afford a Ric, so to avoid excessive GAS, I tend to avoid music stores that sell them. Even so, I loved the action and feel of the one I did get to play. The guy that owned it practically insisted I use the bridge pup exclusively(better tone, saith he), and now knowing about the bass-cut cap, I wanna try another one! But, that will lead to me wanting one...my, my, we are in trouble, aren't we? :o
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Highlander

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 12:27:19 PM »
Tried one when I was 21 (and settled for a 12 string acoustic - gift, with the cash, from my parents) but never played one since... same story here... always been just that step too far when the time was right...
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nofi

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 12:37:55 PM »
i had a couple 4001s but they were never comfortable to play with fingers. that big , chrome pick up cover? was always in the way. no problem with the tone.
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Jeff Scott

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 05:12:32 PM »
I think you're referring to the .0047 cap that's positioned between the 3-way toggle switch and the bridge p/u. It cuts 50% of the low tone out of the signal for the bridge p/u only.

Lot's of 4001 owners will either physically remove it or "bypass it" by simply soldering in a piece of wire at the same contact points (switch and p/u).

When bypassed or removed, the bridge p/u comes to life adding lots more bottom end from the bridge p/u.

The newer 4003 models have the push/pull function on them to give the player the option of either setting.

TD
Bypassing the cap with a piece of wire works great for this, but simply removing the cap will leave one with no bridge pickup at all!  :mrgreen:  If doing so I would suggest a piece of wire as a replacement for the cap.  8)

Highlander

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 05:44:25 PM »
(post two ;))
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Dave W

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 08:10:15 PM »
At the risk of getting flamed and my credentials as a bassist being pulled and being forced under pain of death to play nothing but guitar for eternity, I have to ask: What is this bass cap in a Ric that y'all are mentioning from time to time?....

Never any harm in asking a question. The cap issue has been well known in Ric circles for many years, but that's just a small part of the greater bass community. No surprise that you didn't know.

i had a couple 4001s but they were never comfortable to play with fingers. that big , chrome pick up cover? was always in the way. no problem with the tone.

It is removable, you know. A lot of Ric players remove it, and now there are a couple of aftermarket covers on the market that fill the big gap around the pickup when you ditch the cover.

Alanko

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2016, 12:34:41 PM »
I quite like the cap.  :sad:

In my head the cap it is a throwback to the '50s and '60s, when guitar manufacturers figured that the consumer and artist would prefer to dial through preset tones, rather thanhave  the straight outputs of each pickup and the ability to blend the full output of each at will. I sometimes get the impression that until Larry Dimarzio and company came along people didn't really think too much about the pickups and wiring in their instruments; unless something went wrong. Players back then seemed to consider their whole rig as one single entity, from bass to amp to speaker, though there were exceptions! Even Gibson's 'Rhythm/Treble' naming convention on their pickup switches doesn't allude to the actual function of the switch, and other manufactures like Burns, Hofner and co would use similarly named switches to route the pickups through a phalanx of capacitors and resistors to otherwise shape the tone before it even reached the output jack. Pickups lurked under chrome covers out of sight, and you couldn't buy replacements at your local music store.

In a weird way the trebly, bass-free tone of the bridge pickup with the cap would be more useful in the '80s with fusion players. Perhaps a slightly lower corner frequency wouldn't hurt so much either. I've also read that the cap makes the bass respond differently to different amplifier impedance, which may throw another curve-ball. If you were using the Ric-o-sound output and running in stereo then you could always back bass off on the bridge pickup amplifier, and it is always nice to have a full tonal palette to meddle with, rather than one that already has a lot missing.

I was playing a fretless 4003 at the weekend that had a faulty 'vintage' switch, so the cap was always in the circuit on the bridge pickup. In that configuration it was a total nuisance, as the bridge pickup solo'd was totally gutless. However in the middle position I liked the combination of fat, rubbery neck pickup and sizzling bridge pickup; again my personal preference. Without the cap I can't help but think that modern Rick pickups just sound too warm and bassy anyway. The bridge pickup, minus cap on a modern 4003, is bassy enough for most uses, testament of the fact that it is already in the 'sweet spot' the pickup of a Precision bass occupies. In that scenario the neck pickup is redundantly bassy, and doesn't really counterpoint the other pickup very well. By contrast the early '70s 4001 I played last year had a lot more snap and snarl to the pickups, and less of the dark, rubbery tone I associate with modern Rickenbacker basses. For being 'hi gain' they don't seem to push useful frequencies a lot, in my opinion.


nofi

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2016, 04:19:08 PM »
i removed them. still felt uncomfortable.
"life is a blur of republicans and meat"- zippy the pinhead

Dave W

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2016, 08:32:26 PM »
i removed them. still felt uncomfortable.

Then it's just not for you. Nothing wrong with that.

uwe

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2016, 04:56:33 PM »
No other bass says 70ies rock and "I wanna be heard" like a Ric 4001/4003. It's an epitome of an era.













« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 05:53:37 PM by uwe »
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Highlander

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2016, 01:13:38 PM »
Nice how you managed to sneak Purple People in... :mrgreen:
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