Obligatory crappy phone pic^
I play a lot more accoustic-folk music than rock as my main musical activity, and electric instruments are more of a luxury than a necessity. Several years I gave away a much-loved J-bass to Good Will during my last cross-country move. Since then, my life has been meaningless and incomplete, so I took the plunge into the world of bassdom in grand style: a Rickenbacker 4004cii in "Mapleglo."
The bass that I ordered from Pick of the Ricks finally arrived around 5:30 this afternoon. I just took my first break from messing around with it.
Overall, I am gobsmacked at how great it looks in person. I was prepared to be very impressed, but my expectations were, in fact, exceeded. I'll post better pics the next time we get some natural sunlight through the sky lights where I live. (Which might be a matter of months, unfortunately.)
Moving onto the important stuff - playability and sound. Ordering a $2K instrument sight unseen is always a bit of a gamble, and my biggest concern was the neck. And. . . it's fantastic. Yes, wider than a Jazz by the nut, but not uncomfortably so. I really, really dig the very restrained taper up on the neck - it's MUCH cozier to play than my old J bass. The location of the treble pup works wonderfully as a thumb anchor. It also loves to be played with a pick. . . it feels very natural.
Obviously it will take some time to settle in to its new home. The setup is good, but I did need to raise all of the strings a bit to get rid of some fret buzz. It's probably a "medium low" action right now, which I like.
Re: sound. As I am just getting back into bassdom, I don;t have an amp yet. I have a GK 200 watt combo on order; these comments should obviously be taken as initial impressions rather than a thorough review. Through a Vox amplug the Rick sounds.. . . really pretty bad, using both cheapo headphones and audio-technica noise-cancellers. But directly into my PC via a Scarlett interface, it is MUCH better. Probably still not an accurate reflection of running through a decent amp, but very tasty. Unmistakably Rick-like. Even with the humbuckers. Also dead-quiet, as one would expect.
Chris at POTR was helpful enough to install an aftermarket electronics harness with coil taps and jazz-like controls. (A stock 4004 comes with master volume, master tone, and a pickup selector switch). This is my biggest criticism of the bass so far - the stock harness seems unnecessarily limited. Anyways, The jazz-type controls are fantastic, and worth the price of the harness alone. Switching to tapped coils on either pickup reduced the fullness, but (again, without a real amp) I could not hear a great change in the character of the bass. I'll update this part of my impressions once the amp arrives (hopefully next week).
Yeah, I'm absolutely setting off on a honeymoon, but this one feels like a keeper