Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

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Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (Laird) » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:48 am

I just bought a 2013 Ruby 4003 with the ugly as sin "potato" double-hump excuse for a pickguard. The Ric online store "boutique" section shows the replacement pickguard shape as that same abomination as previously described. But the newer basses since around 2015 have returned to the lovely, graceful shape of the past. I have that new shape on my 2017 4003S, so I know they're making them right again. I'm going to assume the site photo is ancient. I'd prefer to order a factory part rather than go the Tony Dudzik route, but I'm concerned that while the factory is using new correctly shaped guards (updated or backdated, whichever you prefer), the online parts shop will have a stack of old-stock pre-2015 potatos ready to mail out. Yes I've tried contacting Rickenbacker about this and still haven't had any replies after almost two weeks. My questions are.......

1. Has anyone on this forum actually ordered an authentic replacement pickguard from the Rickenbacker online Boutique section of their site since 2015 (or later)?

2. Did you receive the "Double-hump Mr. PotatoHead"? or........

3. Did you receive the nice one we're now seeing on the 4003 and 4003S's of the last 4-5 years?
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (ilan) » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:08 am

Try fitting the guard from your 2017 to the 2013 Ruby to see if the screw holes line up. If they don't, you need a custom made guard.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (Laird) » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:26 pm

Yes, the screw holes not lining up is almost certain. I can fill those and start new ones for the replacement as the previous holes will be unseen. I've already spoken with Tony at Pickguardian and the surest way to get a guard with perfect hole alignment is to send him my 2013 "potato" guard and have him cut one to the shape I want. To be honest, I'm not real keen on sending any original guitar part off in the mail, let alone a Ric pickguard. I would also prefer to not remove the guard from my '17 4003S. I bought my first new Mapleglo in 1975, and my experience has been that aside from basic maintenance and initial setup, the less you take guitars apart and flex solder joints etc., the better. That 4003S plays and sounds great, and I've thought about removing the pickguard and using it to trace it's outline onto the back of the potato guard from the 2013, but I'm hoping to just get the right shape guard from Rickenbacker and deal with screw hole alignment if necessary. By the way, I read your post about meeting Paul McCartney. Very cool man.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (aceonbass) » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:10 pm

When RIC finally revised the 4003 guard, they kept the 8 screw holes in the same place. However you can reshape the double-humpty-potato-looking guard to resemble the current guard if you have a drum sander or Dremmel with the sanding drum attachment.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (Laird) » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:32 pm

Ya, thanks Dane. I think reshaping the existing potato guard is a good option. Back in the 70's I actually made a new guard for my '75 Mapleglo from a blank sheet of black plexi. I don't have a drum sander or even a dremel but I thought I might be able to re-shape it by hand like I did back in the day. Going slow with a small sanding block etc. I was just hoping someone would chime in and confirm that the current stock of Ric guards are the new shape. I'd order one just to avoid having to re and re the one on my 2017 4003S. Gotta say it again though, having loved the beautiful aesthetic of the 4000 series basses since I first saw one on the inside cover photos of Deep Purple's "Machine Head" album and owning several over the years, I can't understand why on earth Rickenbacker started using that weird mis-shapen pickguard and kept using it for so long. It's not like they were making them by hand one by one and the odd one got by on the assembly line. They were all ugly like that for quite a while. Like nobody at the company looked and said "That looks atrocious and we have to fix that right away before anymore go out the door like that". How did they not see how bad it looked?

I sent another communication to a different department of the Mothership and I'll wait and see if I get any response. Eventually, I may take one for the team and just order one to see which one I get. If I do, I'll post about it as "Enquiring Minds may Want To Know".
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (aceonbass) » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:18 pm

We need a "LIKE" button, cuz the last comment would get a bunch! Since it's been 5 years since the guard shape changed, I'm guessing they are the current shape.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (Gilmourisgod) » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:25 pm

Or have Pickguardian make one, and have him bevel the pickguard edges while he's at it. I always found the sharp edge on the factory guards a little uncomfortable.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (squirebass) » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:43 pm

Hehe... Potato guards -- never heard them referred to that way until now, although it fits as a description! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (Korladis) » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:17 pm

Laird wrote:Ya, thanks Dane. I think reshaping the existing potato guard is a good option. Back in the 70's I actually made a new guard for my '75 Mapleglo from a blank sheet of black plexi. I don't have a drum sander or even a dremel but I thought I might be able to re-shape it by hand like I did back in the day. Going slow with a small sanding block etc. I was just hoping someone would chime in and confirm that the current stock of Ric guards are the new shape. I'd order one just to avoid having to re and re the one on my 2017 4003S. Gotta say it again though, having loved the beautiful aesthetic of the 4000 series basses since I first saw one on the inside cover photos of Deep Purple's "Machine Head" album and owning several over the years, I can't understand why on earth Rickenbacker started using that weird mis-shapen pickguard and kept using it for so long. It's not like they were making them by hand one by one and the odd one got by on the assembly line. They were all ugly like that for quite a while. Like nobody at the company looked and said "That looks atrocious and we have to fix that right away before anymore go out the door like that". How did they not see how bad it looked?

I sent another communication to a different department of the Mothership and I'll wait and see if I get any response. Eventually, I may take one for the team and just order one to see which one I get. If I do, I'll post about it as "Enquiring Minds may Want To Know".

I honestly think most people don't notice. I certainly don't unless it's specifically pointed out.

I think some of the people on there and TB really exaggerate how big of a deal it is. I don't really know which kind my 4003 has.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (bassduke49) » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:44 am

I have seen hundreds of Rickenbacker basses in the last 15 years and I still have difficulty identifying this "double hump" or "potato" pickguard. A also don't see why such a fuss is made over it. But I've been around long enough to realize that there will always be people who obsess about something, anything, or everything. If the company makes subtle changes to the shape of the instrument or one of its components, there will probably be a few people who will throw bouquets and maybe just as many who will hurl brickbats. Life gives us plenty of significant problems to solve and obstacles to avoid. This ain't one of 'em.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (kennyhowes) » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:04 pm

I’ve never heard of this. Photos?
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (aceonbass) » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:53 pm

Here are both guards side by side. I don't know how it's possible that some can't tell the difference.
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (henry5) » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:17 pm

aceonbass wrote:Here are both guards side by side. I don't know how it's possible that some can't tell the difference.


Ditto. But I was an artist long before I was a musician. It still amazes me when people watch tv in the wrong aspect and can’t tell. :wink:
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (bassduke49) » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:17 pm

aceonbass wrote:Here are both guards side by side. I don't know how it's possible that some can't tell the difference.


And I don't know why the difference matters to some people. :roll:

henry5 wrote:Ditto. But I was an artist long before I was a musician. It still amazes me when people watch tv in the wrong aspect and can’t tell. :wink:


Ah, but that DOES drive me crazy! Guess we all have our peeves. 8)
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Re: Pickguards from the "Ric" Boutique

Postby (jps) » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:22 pm

henry5 wrote:
aceonbass wrote:It still amazes me when people watch tv in the wrong aspect and can’t tell. :wink:

Like, watching a cinemascope film with a regular (non-anamorphic) lens on the projector? :lol: BTDT, on purpose. Kind of like tripping, but with no drugs involved. :mrgreen:
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