Author Topic: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker  (Read 8510 times)

Alanko

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Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« on: January 08, 2016, 03:02:31 PM »
Greg Lake played a Rickenbacker for a very brief period, in or around 1974. I've only seen a couple of pics of it ever:



It seems modded out the gate, with a Jazz bass pickup cover over the bridge, revised control layout and custom pickguard. It looks like a mono 4001, which I think is unusual because it has binding and triangular inlays. Any thoughts?

I saw, and stole, an image recently on an ELP fan page on Facebook. Apparently this pickguard was discovered on a shelf, somewhere in ELP's offices. It looks like Danny O'Brien's work for Tony Zemaitis, and is clearly configured for a Rick neck pickup and a Jazz pickup in the bridge, albeit with the pickup much closer to the bridge than the stock Rick position.

I like the Tarkus inlay!



It looks like the pickguard never made it onto the bass, but it is a nice piece of work!

Rob

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 07:34:33 PM »
Last paragraph.
I thought he hated the bridge Pups in Rics.
http://ladiesofthelake.com/cabinet/anyquestions.html

Jeff Scott

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 07:34:46 PM »
Hey!  Greg stole my control harness design!!!  :mrgreen:

I made this in 2003 for my old July '73 4001; a friend of mine has the bass now, but I still have that pickguard with the harness on it.  8)


Paul Boyer

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2016, 08:55:37 AM »
Rick-O-Sound was an option on deluxe-trim 4001 basses until it was made standard around 1968. So this may have been a '68 or earlier. Wonder where it is now?
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"The Rickenbacker Electric Bass - 50 Years as Rock's Bottom"

Alanko

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2016, 04:30:05 PM »
Hello Paul! Whilst I don't own a Rickenbacker I do own your wonderful and very informative book. Believe it or not I've read it in the bath on many occasions... :mrgreen:

I wonder if Greg still has it, or if ELP's equipment is in storage somewhere. Carl Palmer's steel drumkit must be somewhere!

Pekka

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 05:00:33 AM »
The pic is from Melody Maker Poll Winner concert September 1972. It's the only series of pics I've seen Greg using that bass and I also doubt it was used on any album. He didn't like the bass according to a '74 Guitar Player interview commenting that the neck was prone to moving a lot. He of course used Rotosound round wounds so maybe that was one of those old 4001's that didn't like the tension.
If he didn't like the basses original sound I wonder what he thought of achieving with that mod. Pickups more apart I would guess it sounded round but honky with no mids.

Pekka

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2016, 05:07:01 AM »
Carl Palmer's steel drumkit must be somewhere!

I recall Carl saying it on a video that it was bought by Ringo. :)

About Greg's modded Ric: if he had put another Jazz pickup to it (and to the middle position) he had had a 4002 protype. :)

ilan

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2016, 06:14:27 AM »
I'll bet that if it were not for the evil cap, he wouldn't have modded his Ric. But who could have guessed that RIC installed a secret, un-switch-off-able bass-cut capacitor in a bass?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 06:21:02 AM by ilan »
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.

Denis

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2016, 06:25:24 AM »
Wow, I've never seen a photo of Lake with a Ric! He must have tried that after the Jazz bass he used for years but before getting his Ripper.
Thanks for posting!
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Pekka

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2016, 06:51:20 AM »
I'll bet that if it were not for the evil cap, he wouldn't have modded his Ric. But who could have guessed that RIC installed a secret, un-switch-off-able bass-cut capacitor in a bass?

My thoughts too. One might wonder if the cap was still in the circuit and thinning out the Jazz PU? :)

Jeff Scott

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2016, 07:33:19 PM »
...Pickups more apart I would guess it sounded round but honky with no mids.
I can attest, from my experience with Rick basses that have their pickups at the extremes, this is not the case at all.  The 4005WB I had, and with the new 4004L SPC, there is no lack of meaty mids, nor is there any honk to the tone.  :)

« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 12:30:04 AM by Jeff Scott »

patman

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2016, 06:26:56 AM »
I would agree it was probably the cap...

When I first bought my old RIC...$300 at Will's Pawn Shop...it had the CAP

It was useless until I bypassed the Cap...then it roared.

ilan

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2016, 07:57:18 AM »
with the new 4004L SPC
What's the story behind this bass?
A bad day of playing bass is still better than a good day of playing cello.

Denis

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2016, 01:09:33 PM »
My '75 still had the cap in place when I bought it a couple of years ago. Had it bypassed and it's a whole different thing now.
Why did Salvador Dali cross the road?
Clocks.

Pekka

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Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2016, 01:53:41 PM »
I can attest, from my experience with Rick basses that have their pickups at the extremes, this is not the case at all.  The 4005WB I had, and with the new 4004L SPC, there is no lack of meaty mids, nor is there any honk to the tone.  :)

Maybe "honky" is a wrong word, I just couldn't describe the sound of two pickups together wide apart anyway else. :)