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Pickups that can get me close to a Rickenbacker 12-string tone

waygorked

Member
Messages
609
I love everything about Rickenbackers except playing them. I am thinking about building a 12-string that I can actually play, with a Warmoth 12 string neck, 1-3/4" nut width, '59 Roundback neck carve, and an alder semi-hollow Jazzmaster body. I have sets of Fralin noiseless P90s and TV Jones soapbar mounts in a drawer, and have been thinking about bagging a set of Lollar Gold Foils as well. Which ones would get me closest to an early '60s Rick 360-12 tone?
 

ToneDeVille

Member
Messages
5,293
Ric now offers a wider neck option for those who find the necks a bit narrow. I've only seen one so far but it was much easier to play than the standard neck.

Also, the 330-12 is slightly wider in the fingerboard than the 360-12 due to not having a bound neck. So you gain that extra width from the lack of binding. For me, it's easier to play than a 360-12. I have an '89 330-12 Jetglo and it's gotten a ton of use...plus I run it thru a Janglebox.

BTW: it's also a great guitar to color tracks with in the studio, even without an amp. Just put a mic at the upper cat eye hole and it adds a cool 12 string percussive element to the mix.

as for duplicating the Ric sound...good luck...get a JangleBox and that will get you pretty close.
 

waygorked

Member
Messages
609
That's good information, but I'm more interested in building than buying. I'm all partscasters, all the time.
 

Rhomco

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Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,065
Telecaster pickups sound awesome in a 12 string. I have built nearly 50 of them over the last 25 years.
Good luck with your project,
Rob
 

Sweetfinger

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,363
the way they're constructed is a good part of the sound. You can buy a set of toasters or whatever Rick pickups you like. That's the Rickiest you'll get without a Rick as far as pickups go.
 

Lemonhand

Member
Messages
906
Sweetfinger has it right. I've thought about doing the same thing but there are way too many variables to try to build a partscaster that will sound like a Rickenbacker. The Rickenbacker body is all maple, usually semi-hollow, fingerboard was bubinga and now is, I believe, chechen. Neck construction, hardware, pickups, string arrangement. It all works to create the Rickenbacker sound. Even Rickenbacker's own pickups are all over the place in terms of windings and resistance, so that doesn't help either.

I contacted Warmoth about their bodies and I do not believe they can rout for Rickenbacker pickups, so Toasters and their boutique equivalents won't work. So I would say you should abandon the thought of getting close to a Rickenbacker sound if you aren't going to buy a Rickenbacker, and build a very cool 12-string partscaster that sounds like a decent 12-string.
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,754
That's good information, but I'm more interested in building than buying. I'm all partscasters, all the time.

If you're not going to buy a Rick, then buy a set of real Rickenbacker Toaster pickups at $160 apiece. That's the best way to get the Rickenbacker sound. You can get them on Rickenbacker's website, or used if you're lucky. They're not cheap, but not super expensive either. Other people make Toaster copies, but I'd stick with the real thing in this case.
 

Highnumbers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,767
The sound of a Rickenbacker 12-string isn’t in the pickups.

That’s why they sound like a Rick 12 whether it’s wearing toasters or hi gains, or even completely unplugged.

Mounting a pair of Toasters on another guitar won’t make it sound like a Rickenbacker.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,504
While I agree that Ric pickups are a minor part of the Ric sound, Ric pickups are thick and are typically mounted on thick rubber pads, and would sit higher than most pickups (even without the rubber pads). So, there might not be enough string clearance on a typical non-Ric guitar to use Ric pickups without recessing body routs to accommodate them.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,589
Don't forget to cut the nut so the bass strings are top side rather than in the traditional 12 string format. It makes a significant difference and Ric are the only major brand that do this as standard.
 




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