Ricky bridge pickup low volume

Hi Guys!

I haven’t posted or logged into the forum in a while! Work is taking up a lot of my time, even to play

I wanted to ask for some advice from those who know more about electronics and pickups than I do
For those who don’t know, I built (semi-built) a Rickenbacker-like bass with original bridge pickups and a very good facsimile neck pickup. I did all the electronics myself, being guided by a schematic from a guy online who himself had built a ricky from scratch.

It always sounded good and balanced but I’ve been hearing for a couple of weeks now that the bridge pickup is much lower than the neck pickup (obviously both at 100% for purposes of comparison)
I looked at the wiring but apart from a ground that hadn’t set right I didn’t see any loose threads. Assuming that it may well be a wiring problem I wanted to ask if you had experienced similar problems and how you solved them. Because if you tell me that 80% may be some bad wiring I’ll take a closer look.

I don’t think it’s a problem with the pickup, because if I turn up the push-pull (as there is on the rickenbacker 4003) it can be heard just fine. If anyone can help me identify the cause, it would be a great help <3


My first thought is double check the height of the pickup itself. Gravity, vibrations, humidity, gremlins, schnauzers and alignment of planets can all cause a bit of a drift in all the parts of a guitar over time. That even counts for new guitars as things settle a bit after building. Heck, even changing the brand of strings can require a slight adjustment to the entire setup and that slight difference can have a huge effect on things.


Even when proplery set, my bridge pickup on my Ricky is a bit lower … ooomph, and thinner sounding which can lead to thinking it is weaker, but it isn’t. Closer to the bridge, vibrations are less, therefore thinner/lower sound. If you want them to be equally loud, raise it up as @mr.crispy says, but, normally the bridge pickup on any bass is a bit weaker than the neck in a normal set up.


Generally speaking, the bridge pickup colors the neck/middle when playing. On a PJ I usually have the bridge J around 20% volume and the neck P at 100%. When my mustang was stock, it had a 3 way switch and no balance control, it was neck, bridge, or 50/50. And the bridge pickup was abnormally weak by design.

I’ve never played a Ric, but this seems to be common to me.