What Is Rick-O-Sound? And what do you need?

What Is Rick-O-Sound? And what do you need?

What is the Rickenbacker Rick-o-Sound (Ricko sound)?

On the Deluxe Rickenbacker models, they introduced the Rick-O-Sound circuit in their instruments. The Rick-O-Sound separates the two pick-ups (bridge and neck) into separate, independent lines that require a TRS (aka Balanced or Stereo) cable. You can then use these individual lines and send them to specific amps, pedal set ups, etc. via our TRS to Dual Mono Splitter. This is managed via a separate output jack but is not required to be used.

What is the benefit of using the Rick-O-Sound?

By separating your pick-ups you have the ability to experiment with variety of tones. For example, on base, you could route the neck pick-up to a bass amp with the lows, and the bridge could be sent to a guitar amp. Going with the middle position, you would have a blend of the two amps and to split them. Similarly, you could send the bridge pick-up to an effect (distortion, fuzz, etc) and the effect is only "on" when you select the bridge pick-up. Routing options to mixing console or front-of-house board could be interesting as well.

Why do Rickenbackers have 2 outputs?

This question is asked often and this feature is under used, but is a fantastic option for these instruments. The two output jacks included a "Standard" and "Rick-O-Sound". The Standard output is a regular mono output and when in use, the pick-up configuration is as you would expect. Both pick-up signals are routed through a single line. The "Rick-O-Sound" output jack requires a TRS/Balanced/Stereo instrument cable to work properly, where the TIP is the neck pick-up and the RING is the bridge pick-up. If a standard mono/unbalanced cable is used, you will hear the neck pick-up only.

Who uses Rick-O-Sound?

Some of the most notable users of the Rick-O-Sound would be Geddy Lee of Rush and Chris Squire of Yes!

What gear do I need to use the Rick-O-Sound?

For the most flexibility, we recommend using a splitter to manage the signals. We offer a TRS to Dual Mono Splitter which is what many Rickenbacker users are using. The benefit of using a splitter vs. a TRS Y-Cable is options. With a splitter, you can adjust your TRS cable lengths, and/or mono cables. You’re not locked in as with Y-cables. The TRS to Dual Mono Splitter will separate the Tip and Ring signals into two separate mono signals which can be routed to a pedalboard with patch cables or to amps with long run instrument cables.

TRS to Dual Mono Splitter

Of course you will need a quality TRS cable going from the Rickenbacker to the TRS to Dual Mono Splitter and that should be it!

My personal experience

So, I wanted to personally learn about this. I reached out to a good friend Chris Knutson who owns a Rickenbacker 4001 that dates back March 1992. Chris used this bass in the killer band International Playboys so this bass has some miles on it.

I used our TRS to Dual Mono Splitter and TRS cable and split the neck and bass pick-ups to 2 separate channels on my Matchless HC30 head where the neck goes into Channel 1 and the Bridge goes to Channel 2. To create some variety, I adjusted Channel 1 to have a clean, rich tone and it sounded great for standard bass set up. Channel 2, I increased the treble and raised channel volume, so it was getting a great gravely/medium-grit tone for the bridge. Switching between the two via pick-up selector was great, but the combination (middle position) it sounded absolutely amazing. Clear lows, with the top end breaking up. I absolutely loved it.

Rickenbacker 4001 What is a rick-o-sound


Related Products mentioned in this article...

Standard Rattlesnake Cable
Standard Rattlesnake Cable
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TRS Rattlesnake Cable
TRS Rattlesnake Cable
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TRS to Dual Mono Splitter
TRS to Dual Mono Splitter
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Ron Thompson
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I LOVE my new Rattlesnake Cable. It feels well made and sounds awesome. Thank you guys for a great product!!! Ron Thompson..Texas
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I’m a touring musician in a band out of Texas and I was on the search for the ultimate cable company that could build me high quality, touring grade cables for my Sennheiser wireless belt packs. I was recommended by a friend from Nashville to go to Rattlesnake Cables in Montana as he uses them... Read
Doug Swanson-Bass Player
Doug Swanson-Bass Player
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I purchased a Blue Bass cable with a right angle from Rattlesnake Cable Company a few years ago. Very well made product and was delivered in a cloth bag with stickers. High Quality instrument cable! Two thumbs up!! I will definitely buy from them again :)
Doug Swanson-Bass Player
Ron Thompson
8/9/2021
I LOVE my new Rattlesnake Cable. It feels well made and sounds awesome. Thank you guys for a great product!!! Ron Thompson..Texas
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Doug Swanson-Bass Player
Tim Stephens
9/8/2021
I’m a touring musician in a band out of Texas and I was on the search for the ultimate cable company that could build me high quality, touring grade cables for my Sennheiser wireless belt packs. I was recommended by a friend from Nashville to go to Rattlesnake Cables in Montana as he uses them personally and said that their customer service, integrity and excellent quality cables are second to no one. I sent an email to Hank to enquirer about building me some custom cables and he was extremely helpful AND knowledgeable in every aspect of the build. When I received the cables I had a few fly in shows in California to try them out and they are absolutely superb cables, built like tanks and great looking too, which I really like. In short, Rattlesnake cables are the very best and nobody could convince me to go anywhere else for my cable needs. They blow the mainstream plastic cable companies out of the water and I love to spend my hard earned cash on a great American made product! God bless you Hank, and I hope to be in touch again soon for some other custom looms. Tim
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Doug Swanson-Bass Player
Doug Swanson-Bass Player
9/17/2020
I purchased a Blue Bass cable with a right angle from Rattlesnake Cable Company a few years ago. Very well made product and was delivered in a cloth bag with stickers. High Quality instrument cable! Two thumbs up!! I will definitely buy from them again :)
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