Pickup options for a Rickenbacker 330?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by jameswelborn, Mar 7, 2005.


  1. jameswelborn

    jameswelborn Guest

    Hi there. I have three guitars -- a '72 strat that I've rewired. A '62 SG, stock. And a 2000 Rickenbacker 330 with the re-issue "toaster" pickups, that i re-wired in the standard, two volume pots, two tone pots configuration. I use Pyramid .012-.054's on all 3 guitars (wonderful strings I discovered from Steve Kimock). Here's my question. The Ric is fantastic for rhythm guitar, but doesn't quite have the necessary "heft" to sound great for lead playing. I'm wondering if there's a pickup I can use in the neck position that will provide more amplitude, but not at the expense of tone. I don't want grain or distortion, quite the opposite. I'm after that "bell tone" sound, but I do need more than the toasters are providing. I don't believe the provided space for the toaster pickup is standard humbucker size either, but I'm' not sure. Thanks very much!
     
  2. amper

    amper Member

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    There are few, if any options for replacement pickups for Rickenbacker guitars. That said, if you're looking for a little more heft, you might want to consider the Rickenbacker humbucking pickups or the Rickenbacker Hi-Gain pickups.

    The only aftermarket pickups I'm aware of to fit Ric's are from the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop (three varieties).

    My 1990 330 is outfitted with the standard Hi-Gain's, and I have to say, I think it's plenty hefty for a single-coil guitar. My 2000 650D, on the other hand is outfitted with the standard Rickenbacker humbuckers, and it's a bit heavier.
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    What amper said. I'd try the Rick Hi-Gain pickup first - they come in two different types, make sure you get the neck one. They're easy to get on eBay, since a lot of people replace them with Toasters.

    I have the Hi-Gains on my 360 too, the neck pickup is very full and deep, not grainy or jangly at all.



    Now for a really unusual idea (probably horrifying to Rick fans... ;)): you can get a Gibson P-90 to fit in a Rick Toaster pickup casing if you cut down the edges of the bobbin a bit :).
     
  4. amper

    amper Member

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    Though many people never consider Rickenbackers, I happen to think that the Rickenbacker neck pickups make some of the finest blues sounds ever known.
     
  5. Funky Chicken

    Funky Chicken Member

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    I think it's tough to get a Rick to do things it really wasn't designed to do, and a Rick that's been modified to accept different pickups is a real tough sell. It is what it is, IMO.
     
  6. amper

    amper Member

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    One of the Seymour Duncan Ric pickups is a P-90 type...
     
  7. jameswelborn

    jameswelborn Guest

    Thanks a lot for all the feedback. It looks like "Amper" offered the most practical solution. Seymour Duncan does, in fact, make custom pickups that fit Rickenbackers -- a P-90 version and a humbucker. What's good about these is that you can get something with an alnico magent, rather than ceramic which is used in the Ric "high gain" pickups. I've never been much of a ceramic fan in pickups or speaker magnets. Too much "bite" and not enough "chime" for me. So, looks like the options are somewhat limited -- essentially stock Ric pickups or Seymour Duncan "custom" variations -- but, that's better than no options at all. Again, thanks for the suggestions...
     
  8. kwaves99

    kwaves99 Member

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    James:

    Welcome to the board! By the way got the Ibanez back with the Z-90's. Now the guitar is unreal! good luck with the Rick.

    Jeffrey
     
  9. Helix

    Helix Member

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    You should also think about having Seymour Duncan do a rewind of your current pickup. I think they start at around $70 or so. Just check out their site and shoot them an email with what your gear is and what your looking for and I'm sure they can help you out.
     
  10. jameswelborn

    jameswelborn Guest

    Hi Helix:

    Since I'm getting the Seymour Duncan (p-90) for the neck pickup, just curious what a rewind of the toaster pickup at the bridge position would achieve tone-wise? Thanks...
     
  11. StAlfonzo

    StAlfonzo Member

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    GTR fetish / GFS has HB pickups that look like the factory Ric Hi gain's, and require no mods to install. I bought a split pole HB from them, and the quality and tone was real nice..http://store.guitarfetish.com/index.html
     

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