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 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 Rickenbackers 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 Rickenbacker 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 Rickenbacker 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 Rickenbacker 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 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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Charlie Welch
Charlie Welch
5/8/2021
I found Rattlesnake Cables on the internet a few years ago. I have ordered many cables (patch, guitar, speaker, effects loop) from them. I custom my orders every time with lengths, patch or angled ends. The cables are high quality and I usually get them within two days. Keep going back and that says... Read
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Rob Cork
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Great product, quick turnaround, excellent customer service!
Don Crum
Don Crum
9/9/2020
Best cables on the planet! I’ve used my cable everyday for approx 4 years with no issues at all. Tough, durable and the sound quality is absolutely top notch. Hank And Co. go above and beyond to make sure that you are happy with their product. I will never own another brand of cable.
Don Crum
Charlie Welch
5/8/2021
I found Rattlesnake Cables on the internet a few years ago. I have ordered many cables (patch, guitar, speaker, effects loop) from them. I custom my orders every time with lengths, patch or angled ends. The cables are high quality and I usually get them within two days. Keep going back and that says something.
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Don Crum
Rob Cork
2/10/2021
Great product, quick turnaround, excellent customer service!
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Don Crum
Don Crum
9/9/2020
Best cables on the planet! I’ve used my cable everyday for approx 4 years with no issues at all. Tough, durable and the sound quality is absolutely top notch. Hank And Co. go above and beyond to make sure that you are happy with their product. I will never own another brand of cable.
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