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Rickenbacker 4003 nut width of 1.5" ??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SactoBass, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    In 1975, when I was 19 years old, I bought a brand new Ric 4001. I played that thing for about 15 years.

    In 2000, I bought a brand new Ric 4001CS (Chris Squire). I played that for a few years in a YES tribute band (fun!)

    In 2010, I bought a brand new Ric 4003. I played that for a year or so.

    As many of you already know, most Ric 4003 basses have a 1 and 11/16" nut width. The '75 I owned might have been ever-so-slightly narrower than that, but still more than 1 and 5/8ths wide.

    I have also owned many other basses over the past four decades of playing bass, and I have found that I have a strong personal preference for basses that have a 1.5" nut width. It's just more comfortable for me. At the present time, I do not own any Ric basses (even though I love Rics dearly), but I do own four basses, all of which have a 1.5" nut width.

    Okay, with that background info, here is my thought:

    For folks who prefer a 1.5" nut width (of which there are many such folks based on what I have seen on TB over the years), why the heck doesn't Rickenbacker make a 4003 with a 1.5" nut width? :meh:

    It seems to me that it would be perfect for those folks (like me) who love the sound and looks of a Ric, but who also love a 1.5" nut width.

    Yeah, I know all about John Hall and his insistence on doing things the way they have always done it. I "get" that. But I still wish they would make a 4003 with a 1.5" nut width. I would have my VISA card ready to go in a heartbeat, and I would venture to guess that I would not be alone in that regard.

    I guess this post falls in the "wishful thinking" category.
  2. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

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    for now, most likely yes. but John Hall won't be in charge of the company forever, maybe the next in line will be willing to change up the game plan every once in a while. The W-series is nice, but maybe down the line we'll see some more significant chances being taken
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

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    One of many possible answers is the neck near the headstock would get weaker as more wood is shaved off. We wouldn't want Gibson Syndrome, would we? ;)
  4. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Yeah Jeff, I thought of that. But I have four basses with 1.5" nut widths, and they are strong as an ox. (Of course, I don't drop them). Two are jazz basses, and two are P basses with jazz taper necks. Brands are US Fender, Lull, and US Lakland. If they can do it, why can't RIC? :meh:
  5. Grissle

    Grissle Supporting Member

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    Your not alone, this has kept me away from Ricks as well. In fact even my P basses have 1.43"-1.5" nut widths.
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

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    They only have 1 truss rod vs. 2 in a Rick.
  7. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Yes, that is true. So if that is indeed the reason RIC needs the neck to be a certain minimum width, then why can't RIC make a neck with only one truss rod and a 1.5" nut width?

    (yeah, I know......they just don't want to).
  8. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Comfy!
  9. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

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    It is just a part of their DNA; they do their thing and others can do a different thing. What could be interesting for someone (not me) to try is see whether a Fender style neck can work on a bolt-neck Rick body. Some minor mods may need to be done but then you could have the best of both worlds. I find my 2030GF to be a great classic Rick sounding bass with zero noise and hum; one of those could be a good candidate for transforming it into a Fenderbacker type of bass.
  10. rupture

    rupture Supporting Member

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    i'm with you on this. I own 4003, love it. Have no problem playing it. But play better on smaller necks
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    Get a 2030 ... they have a neck a lot like a jazz bass. The nut is about 1 1/2" and it has the Rick tone.

    [​IMG]
  12. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Thanks Ric5. Yeah, I have seen those. IMHO, they just don't look as attractive as a 4003. I want a 4003 with a 1.5" nut width, and I'm just not gonna get it. :bawl:
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Yeah, it's not that I couldn't live with the wider nut width. As I stated in my OP, I have had a few Rics in my day. But I just find the 1.5" nut width so much easier to play (for me personally). It's a comfort thing, and at my age (57), I like comfort. :D
  14. EagleMoon

    EagleMoon Supporting Member

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    I don't see why they can't do it either. They don't have the dreaded tilted back headstock like Gibson has, so it wouldn't be the fear of it breaking. I always thought it was odd that they had to have two trussrods when other basses get along fine with one. Maybe they want to just stick to what they have so that they don't have to revamp things and get even more behind on production.
  15. Sartori

    Sartori

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    Because then the neck would be a bit more tapered. For a lot of us, one of the things that we like about Rickenbackers is that the neck is only very slightly tapered.

    I suspect that Rickenbacker doesn't offer 4003 basses with a 1.5" nut width for the same reason Fender doesn't make any P-basses or J-basses with necks that feel like a 4003's (to me).

    Not every product is for every person. What would be an improvement for you would be the opposite for others.
  16. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Spaulding get your foot off the boat! Supporting Member

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    Have you tried a late 80's Ric with a 1 5/8" nut width, then cutting a new nut to 1 1/2" string spacing? That may be as close as you are going to find. The new Ric nuts they sell are really easy to sand off the existing slots then cut new ones because they are so tall.
    I've already tried it. Works perfect for the spacing, but there is just a little extra neck wood outside the E and G strings. May be something to consider.
  17. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Oh yes, I completely agree with you, Sartori. I'm not just thinking of little ol' me. As you can see in just this measley thread alone, there are others who would enjoy a 4003 with a 1.5" nut width. And this thread is but a small sample of the world's population of bassists. I would venture to guess that there is a significant number of people on this planet who would welcome a 4003 with a narrower nut than what is currently provided by RIC. That is, in fact, the reason I created this thread......to provide an opportunity for TB'ers to "raise their hand" and say "count me in!" :)
  18. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Yes, DJ, I have indeed thought of that many times over the years. That is why I was interested in that late 80's Fireglo with black trim that you were selling that had a 1 and 5/8ths nut width. I'm sure the new owner is enjoying that bass! :smug:
  19. DJJazzV

    DJJazzV Spaulding get your foot off the boat! Supporting Member

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    No new owner of that bass. It's back in the closet for now. My 2 other Rics are also 1 5/8" nut. That's the most comfortable neck to me on a Ric.
  20. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBass - PlayBass! Supporting Member

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    Here are some useful measurements:

    Early '73 4001 - 1 19/32"
    Mid '93 2030GF - 1 5/8"
    Late '11 4004L - 1 21/32"
    Mid '13 4004L - 1 11/16"

    I have had quite a few Jazz Basses or other basses with Jazz dimensioned necks (over a span of 4 decades). I used to like them but I find the thinner necks to not be curled up hand friendly anymore, possibly age related, but real, nonetheless. I used to prefer thinner (side to side) necks but I now find moderately wider ones to be more ergonomic, YMMV.

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