Author Topic: bass cap?  (Read 3253 times)

Pekka

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2016, 12:24:24 AM »
"Going Underground" sounds more like a Precision to me. Of course Bruce Foxton chose the Rick for the video.


Dave W

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2016, 07:33:19 AM »
"Going Underground" sounds more like a Precision to me. Of course Bruce Foxton chose the Rick for the video.

Could very well be, although his tone sounds about the same whatever he uses.

Alanko

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 08:23:15 AM »
Bruce had an Ibanez faker early on, and a later Rick/Faker was modded with Precision pickups at the bridge position. The answer to what bass is used therefore may be both!

bobyoung

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2016, 06:38:20 PM »
I first found out about the cap 10-12 years ago and bypassed it in my 79 4001 and suddenly realized why i had gotten rid of the one I bought new in 1977, the bridge pickup had always sounded tinny to me and didn't mesh well with the neck pickup, one was too deep and the other was too tinny, with the cap removed they blend together very well and the bass has a lot more presence. I also remove the silly cover as it's right over the sweet spot for me.

rockinrayduke

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2016, 12:32:38 PM »
Same experiences as Bob for me, though I've had a few 4001/3 basses it never occurred to me that I could bypass that cap in the pre-internet days, and I'd always sell or trade the bass. Once I bypassed it on the '79 I've had for 6 years the tone opened up and it became a keeper. Such a wealth of info we have at our fingertips now.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 12:40:28 PM by rockinrayduke »

ilan

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2016, 04:05:27 AM »
Here'a Chris Squire's rig rundown, at about 3:00" when he talks about his '64 199RM, he says, "...this back pickup was always never very good (...) you know, it has a very low output, very tinny sound".

A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.

Alanko

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2016, 04:14:42 AM »
I cannot watch the video here in work on my lunch break.   :P From memory, didn't Chris have the pickup re-magnetised at some point and found it was too strong? I recall reading that the bridge pickup on his bass was disconnected, quite purposefully, though some took this to mean that he never used a bridge pickup while others claim that it was only done temporarily when the pickup was too far degaussed to be useable. There is also the fan theory that his original bass had the bass-cut cap removed in the early '90s at least for a short spell. I saw this theory fleshed out on the YesFans page (I think) or possibly on here.

I enjoyed, and was frustrated by, the Chris Squire rig rundown video in equal measure when it came out. He either had the civil servant skill of saying a lot while saying little, and keeping some tone secrets to himself, or he was maybe not the gearhound that some of his fans are. The heart of his rig seems to be an old Rickenbacker and some old Marshall amps. His bass ran in stereo but somewhere was mixed back to mono before hitting the Marshalls, which were used basically to fortify the signal before it hit other amps in turn. He used a few battered old effects pedals, some of which were in the stereo setup at least. Some of his signal chain seems unchanged from the Syn days, and given his state of confusion about the extra pickup on his Jazz bass (where he must be thinking of his Telecaster bass) perhaps he really wasn't hiding anything.

ilan

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2016, 06:17:10 AM »
From memory, didn't Chris have the pickup re-magnetised at some point and found it was too strong? I recall reading that the bridge pickup on his bass was disconnected, quite purposefully, though some took this to mean that he never used a bridge pickup while others claim that it was only done temporarily when the pickup was too far degaussed to be useable.
As far as I can remember without googling it, this story is about McCartney's bass. The horseshoe pickup was dead, Rickenbacker tried to re-magnetize it but it was impossible so they installed a new high-gain pickup, and Paul disliked the sound. Later on the high-gain was replaced with a reissue horseshoe.
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.

Alanko

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2016, 06:46:40 AM »
That rings a bell.  :mrgreen: Paul hacksawed the shoes from the pickup, killing it in the process.

Jeff Scott

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2016, 09:31:44 AM »
Paul hacksawed the shoes from the pickup, killing it in the process.
Oy!

ilan

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2016, 06:32:42 AM »
Paul hacksawed the shoes from the pickup, killing it in the process.
Can you direct me to a source? First time I hear this.

According to Arnquist who worked at RIC at the time, they replaced the pickup only after several attempts to recharge it failed, so the shoes had to be there when the bass came in.

"... At this point a group of guys in the factory had a meeting. This is what was talked about and decided. If we can't fix the 'dead', We can't just give him something off the rack. He is too important to just give what we had. Many of the staff felt we were making something that was less than what we should have been, so we voted on what to make. The first option was to make a split coil pickup. This was due to the favor put upon the Fender Precision Bass pickup. We rejected this as it would sound too different and would not have the classic Rick tone. Arlo in the part dept came up with a coil that was the same but different. He made a coil that was the same dimensions as was standard but with wider pole pieces and he wound it to about 9K. The standard screw /button tops were not used. Instead a similar looking screw with a wider shaft was bought and I remember when he came back from the supplier with them. We all got together to talk it over. (...) Richard Valesquez assembled the bobbin and Arlo wound it. I got the job of re-installing all of the hardware and making a replacement pickguard. We took a tracing of the hole pattern and I drilled them and went over to the wood shop to cut it out. Greg Renois cut out the outline for me and gave it back to me. I took it over to the finishing building and finished the edges. I hope that he likes what we came up with."

Here is another source where he tells the story: "... after sending the cobalt magnets out for charging we got the bad news that they would not hold a charge."
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 06:39:04 AM by ilan »
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.

Dave W

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2016, 01:01:57 PM »
I never heard that story either. Doesn't make sense. You'd have to remove the entire magnet to kill it. If you wanted to do that, it could be easily unscrewed from above and below, there would be no reason to hacksaw it off.  I doubt that a common hacksaw blade could cut a cobalt steel magnet anyway. And while Paul apparently doesn't care about technical stuff, he must know that a pickup needs a magnet to work.

rockinrayduke

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2016, 03:04:08 PM »
Yep, there was no hacksawing. I've spoken with Mark at length about this and it's a fascinating tale about an iconic bass.

Alanko

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Re: bass cap?
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2016, 05:11:10 AM »
The only references to Macca and 'hacksaws' I can find is from Talkbass: https://www.talkbass.com/threads/paul-mccartney-and-his-basses.856808/page-7. That must be where I got the notion from. I read a book about Paul's '70s period and his general DIY outlook then (in all regards), so I took the TB post as gospel. Woops!

The image posted of Paul in that thread shows the bass with a bridge pickup surround that doesn't look like the horseshoe footprint anyway.