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

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

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

On the Deluxe RickenbackerTM 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 setups, etc., via our TRS to Dual Mono Splitter. This split signal handling 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 can experiment with a variety of tones. For example, you could route the neck pick-up to a bass amp with the lows on bass, and the bridge signal could be routed to a guitar amp. Going with the middle position, you would blend the two amps and split them. Similarly, you could send the bridge pick-up to an effect (distortion, fuzz, etc.), and the result 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 RickenbackersTM have 2 outputs?

This question is asked often, and this feature is underused but is a fantastic option for these instruments. The two output jacks included a "Standard" and "Rick-O-Sound." The Standard output is a typical 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. You will hear the neck pick-up only if a standard mono/unbalanced cable is used.

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 many RickenbackerTM users are using. The benefit of using a splitter vs. a TRS Y-Cable is options. You can adjust your TRS cable lengths and mono cables with a splitter. You’re not locked in as with Y-cables. The TRS to Dual Mono Splitter will separate the Tip and Ring signals into two mono signals that can be routed to a pedalboard with patch cables or amps with long-run instrument cables.

TRS to Dual Mono Splitter

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

My personal experience

So, I wanted to learn about this personally. I reached out to a good friend Chris Knutson who owns a RickenbackerTM 4001 that dates back to 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 a standard bass setup. 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) sounded amazing. This setup clears the lows and adds top-end break-up. I loved it.

Rickenbacker<sup>TM</sup> 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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Joe Hell
Joe Hell
5/13/2022
I've had my eye on these cables for quite sometime but honestly the price made me hesitate...that was dumb. I've destroyed so many lesser cables with such frequency that I could have bought a quality cable many times over. When I recently caught a glimpse of the tangerine I knew I had to make the... Read
Steve Strock
Steve Strock
11/26/2022
I was shopping for a cable that would look great with my Taylor 522e. The Black Cherry Rattlesnake cable fit the bill. I have seen Rattlesnake Cables in my two favorite music stores both in Montana. I also wanted to support made in Montana products so this cable is perfect. I have used it twice so... Read
jonathan beasley
jonathan beasley
8/17/2021
Rattlesnake Cables are top notch product; both in terms of build and aesthetics, they have it dialed. Add to that, top notch customer service and quick turnaround time, I encourage anyone in the market for quality instrument cables to give em a try.
jonathan beasley
Joe Hell
5/13/2022
I've had my eye on these cables for quite sometime but honestly the price made me hesitate...that was dumb. I've destroyed so many lesser cables with such frequency that I could have bought a quality cable many times over. When I recently caught a glimpse of the tangerine I knew I had to make the move. I made my purchase early on a Sunday morning and by afternoon received an email letting me know that my item had been built and was ready for shipping. The following morning Hank had sent a personalized video thanking me for my order. Two days later a box arrived with the goods. When I opened up the box I discovered something unexpected. Rattlesnake didn't just throw my cable in the box and call it good. They took the extra time and care to carefully package my cable neatly in a cloth bag and included a sticker, a personalized, handwritten note on a Rattlesnake cable notepad, brochures and invoice. This is the first time I've ever opened a package and thought "I just missed an opportunity to do an unboxing video." Next time...there will definitely be a next time!
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jonathan beasley
Steve Strock
11/26/2022
I was shopping for a cable that would look great with my Taylor 522e. The Black Cherry Rattlesnake cable fit the bill. I have seen Rattlesnake Cables in my two favorite music stores both in Montana. I also wanted to support made in Montana products so this cable is perfect. I have used it twice so far and have more gigs before the year is done. Plus, it comes with a cool cotton draw string bag!!
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jonathan beasley
jonathan beasley
8/17/2021
Rattlesnake Cables are top notch product; both in terms of build and aesthetics, they have it dialed. Add to that, top notch customer service and quick turnaround time, I encourage anyone in the market for quality instrument cables to give em a try.
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