I got a september 2011 mapleglo in a trade recently(actually like last month lol). Im not one of those people who thinks that the rick is the holygrail of basses having played afew of them(not too impressed tbh). I just thought I'd just add a rick to my collection since I have stingrays, pbass and jazz on my guitar rack already.
I like my basses to be played so Im fine with some dings and scratches on my axes. The finish was great though, and the bass looks just like a rick should. I couldn't find any particular aesthetic flaws on this particular bass. I have always wanted a fireglo or ruby red rick, and used to think that the mapleglo is the ugliest color a rick can have. But somehow, it has started to grow on me. So much so that Im glad I havent gotten a fireglo or jetglo because it seems like everyone else has one.
The first thing I do with all my new basses is to set them up.
I have to say that this bass is quite a pain to set up. Personally, I like my basses with super low action and even action from the first fret and at first it seemed impossible with this bass. With the saddles bottomed out the strings were still too high. The relief and nut height were fine. Normally, Id shim the neck on my bolt ons. But due to its neck thru construction that is not possible. In the end, I sent it to a pro and have the saddles filed. The action was much better after the filing, however my stingrays' action can go a hair lower without fret buzz.
I removed the pickup cover as well, since its taking up the sweet spot for my plucking hand. I thought of getting one of the treble bezels but hesitated when I find out they can cost up to 40usd( I mean seriously? for the piece of plastic?). Anyways I've been doing fine without it, and I think it looks pretty cool to have that hollow space around the pickup.
The bass has one of the thickest neck I have played. It is about as wide as a typical jazz bass but it is thicker than even my pbass front to back. And it is different in the sense that the thickness of the neck near the nut is greater than in the middle of the neck. Tbh, its not a very comfortable neck to play and I'm a fan of big necks so thats saying alot. And while the lacquered finish looks real neat, it doesnt feel as fast as raw or satin necks. While I have only owned the bass for a short time, it seems to be real sturdy. I can imagine the truss rod staying in its place for a very long time.
I have not noticed the infamous tail lift on the bridge yet. And while I have to say the bridge looks real freakin cool, I find the foam mutes totally useless and not only that, it restricts you from palm muting the strings near the bridge. I have been thinking of getting a hipshot replacement, but my only concern would be the new bridge not being able to go low enough on the saddles.
Next up would be the tone of the bass. The set up is basically vol/vol/tone/tone plus a toggle for bridge/mix/neck. The neck pickup's output was significantly lower than bridge pickup's when set at the same height. You can pull the tone knob up for the bridge PU to replicate the 4001 tone though, and in that setting the volume between the 2 pickups would be somewhat even.
Personally the neck PU is useless for my applications. I play in a rock band and I like to have a punchy sound on my basses, and my favourite setting for this 4003 is basically solo bridge PU and then adjust the tone knob accordingly. I was quite surprised at the amount of low end the bass puts out with the bridge soloed, not anemic in any way. The bridge PU has about the same output as my stingrays and dimarzio'ed jazz. It is definitely louder than your average passive bass. I am pretty impressed with it soundwise.
I havent got the chance to use it in a band mix yet, but I can imagine it cutting through pretty well with enough low end to fill up the low freqs.
One thing about the ricks though, it is definitely an attention getter. I brought it out at 2 different guitar shops, and each time a stranger would tell me 'nice bass man'. And I haven't even plugged in that damned thing yet. I personally feel that my fenders and stingrays look nicer, but all the other folks seem to think otherwise.
I'll prolly keep this bass for awhile. Despite it not being the best player, it definitely has got its own special vibe and it inspires me in a different way everything I pick it up. I hope this review is of some help to all of you folks who have gassing for a rick.
Looks/finish etc. = 10/10
Im not one who's into natural finish but the woodgrain is really beautiful if you're into that sort of thing. Flawless as far as I'm concerned. I gotta say that the fret inlays and the bindings are my favourite part of the rick look. You're gonna get compliments on the looks from strangers.
Playability = 6/10
For a bass at this price, I'd expect it to play flawlessly out of the factory. It is one thing for me not getting used to the neck profile since it is all down to preference but it is unacceptable that the neck angle seemed just alittle off for really low action.
And like I said, while the lacquered fnish looks nice its not optimal for fast playing.
The binding on the body wasnt an issue for me.
I am fine without a pickup to anchor my thumb on, but I can imagine it to be a problem for some people who are so used to doing so. And the fact that the beautiful bridge restricts my palm muting, I have to give it a 6/10 rating
Durability = 7/10
Well I can only give this rating based on my first impressions since I have only owned it for a short time. The neck seems super sturdy and the truss rods turn without any issues. I can't say the same for the bridge and the toggle switch though.
Sound = 8.5/10
Bridge PU is louder the neck PU. If I want a good neck PU tone, Id play my pbass though. The bridge PU is where its at. Killer tone. I wouldn't say its a one trick pony, but a jazz bass is definitely more versatile with a wider range of possibilities when you mix the 2 PUs.
Value = 7/10
Hope this helped