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Flats for 2012 Ric 4003

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FunkHead, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Cheers: I wish to put Flats on My New Ric. I will be taking off the OEM Rounds. I would like to have as minimal change as possible. So I want to basically be as close as possible to the same setup as right now. Everything as close as possible tension wise. Intonation wise. Relief wise. etc. I want the boomy bottom end sound you can only get from flats.

    Does Rickenbacker have a "direct" fit Flatwound? Thanks in advance;)
  2. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Ric doesn't make flats right now I believe.

    You could make a set of flats to match the Ric rounds which have unusual gauges 45-55-75-105--I don't think there is an off the shelf set of flats with those gauges.

    I suggest Fender 9050CL strings--very close to the Ric rounds gauge wise.
  3. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    As a guy who used to own a 4001, now owns a 4002, and has set up many 4003's for friends, the conventional change is to a set of Thomastik-Infeld pure nickel "Jazz Flats" to get the "Macca" tone, which you can get on line from Pick of the Ricks. Other possible sets include the new "Optima," which advertises itself to be the successor to the original "Maxima" strings that were OEM in the '60's.

    To get some of the growl as well as the mellow, I also prefer the Fender 9050CL flats, which have similar gauges (45-60-80-105) to the RIC factory strings.

    I do not care for any of the other flats on a Rick bass, for all the same reasons that they sound great on P-basses. The Rick tonal concept is different, and the above listed strings bring that out, where Chromes and similar strings do not.

    Remember that a flat will have more mass than a round of the same gauge, so with any set you choose you may have to tweak the truss rods and bridge compensation anyway. Since the mid '80's the truss rods have been the "new design" that is not so picky as the old ones were, but if there are any concerns, Joey's Bass Notes has the procedure.
  4. Cairobill


    Dec 15, 2003
    Thomastiks sound fantastic but have very low tension so the bass will need a setup. IMO they are worth a tweak to the trussrod.
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  6. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Thanks for the info.
  7. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Any other favourites?
  8. Just put some old 344's back on my 4001. I love it but the guitar player I work with just grimaced when I told him. :p He thinks a Ric should only sound like crunch and zing I guess.

    Great strings, I think you'll like them a lot on your bass.
  9. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Thanks. are they the JF344's? I'm going for more of a McCartney tone Vs. Chris Squire.
  10. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    +1. Be aware the A string is going to feel a little looser than the rest of the set.
  11. ScottTunes


    Feb 7, 2011
    I put Pyramid Gold flats on my 2010 4003 JG, and 2011 FG, and didn't need any alterations. Although I did replace the bridge on the FG. I simply measured the original saddles and copied the settings to the new bridge. Lucked out!

    Even if you must tweak a little, it's well worth the tone! IMO, better than TI JF344, and the tension is closer to the OE RWs... The TIs are just too floppy for me, although they do sound good.
  12. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    So far I have LaBella 760FLs on one Ric and now TIs on my fretless Ric. Neither required any adjustments. I will either adding Roto 77s or DR flats to another Ric shortly.
  13. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Sponsored by The Letter G
    I know iiipopes said that he doesn't like Chromes for a Ric, but I will have to disagree. I have Chromes on my 4001V63, and I think they sound great. They are definitely a brighter-sounding flat string, as has been mentioned hundreds of times here on TB. They are higher tension, though, so you'd have to get a set up, most likely (BTW, getting your bass set up regularly is a good thing to do, anyway--which is why I taught myself how to do it!).
  14. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009

    Thanks for your post. Thanks for your considered opinion on chromes. It is good that there are many different sets of strings available for each of us to use for each particular style and preference. I tend to look for more "growl" in a string, which the Fender flats provide for me. Rock on!:bassist:
  15. I've read many times on here that the new Fender flats ARE Chromes. I guess not. Sounds like I'll have to try these "growly" Fenders. I've been using Chromes fro years..on Ps and Js.

  16. +1. I have TI's on my '10 4003 and love the way they feel and sound.
  17. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    that best match your desires (via the specs).

    Have your bass set up for those strings.

    An occational professional set up is well worth the $.
  18. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Damn urban myths and rumors. They are completely different strings. The Fenders are more grey-ish, and the chromes are shiny. The Fenders are stainless steel, the Chromes are, well, chrome. The Fenders have completely different construction characteristics, especially on the E string construction with a different width of wrap, and completely different tonal spectrum characteristics. Somewhere on the forum is a thread with posted frequency response traces where the chromes peak at @ 200 Hz, giving the combination of ping and thud that a lot of folks prefer, and the Fender flats peak at @ 600 Hz, giving a little more growl for those of us who prefer that tonality.

  19. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the replies. I am torn between the Labella 760Fl's, TI JF344's and the Fender 9050CL's.
    I am playing mostly Blues. ABB, Jeff Healey, Eric Clapton, Skynrd, ZZ top. I dig in really hard when I play. So between the 3 choices, Any preference when considering the type of music? I was a bit Leary of the TI's because of the possible floppiness but maybe they'll cause me to play a little lighter.

    Thanks again for the replies.
  20. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I use the Labellas for my blues gig and they are perfect!

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