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Rickenbacker 4003

Discussion in 'The Perfect Bass' started by pablobrad, May 3, 2012.

  1. pablobrad


    Apr 13, 2012
    Can NEVER get my bottom E string to 'ring' true like the other 3 strings. It gives a dull, dead sound. Any advice pls?
  2. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    What type/brand of strings are you using?
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  4. pablobrad


    Apr 13, 2012
    I've tried quite a few ranging from mid to high price but always the same thing
  5. pablobrad


    Apr 13, 2012
    Ps: because I have the E string so high away from the pickup, that probably doesn't help either but I do angle the pickup to try to maintain it's effectiveness
  6. Try tightening the truss rod closest to the E string about 1/4 turn. That may do the trick. remember the neck on the Ric should be as close to dead straight as you can get it also.
  7. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    Rics are common for the dead E string... I can attest to that personnally having owned one... I tried everything one could think of and still I declared forfeit, she just did not want to give me that punch !
  8. sneha1965


    Nov 7, 2007
    You might check to make sure the string mute is not touching the string.
    jamro217 likes this.
  9. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    I would try EQ settings. I like my EQ on the Bassy side and find in a live setting I get too much low end and Have to EQ for the High's. I use Stock strings. I would avoid having any string higher than the others to any extreme. It sounds like you need a Pro Setup on Your RIC.
  10. nightwulf


    Feb 27, 2011
    Edmonds Wa
    Rick's are noted for having a "dead E"...you can help it out a bit with good eq....
  11. RJHall


    Dec 25, 2012
    New York City
    I'm 99.9% sure that it has to do with your pickup and/or pole height:
    Pole too close to E causes the string to get caught in the p'up's magnetic field and loses sustain and causes a warbly sound.
    Poles too far away from string won't have enough output.
    You have to find the sweet spot. I had a "distant" sounding E string that was cured by raising the E string pole higher than the rest (but not too high!). This also meant I had to lower some of the other poles too. Only new (200?-current) have adjustable pole pieces, so make sure this is a feature on your bass. This should fix the problem though. Also, you should read more into this at joeysbassnotes.com - he goes into better detail about p'up height and other common setup problems. Good luck!
    jamro217 likes this.
  12. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Some do, and some don't. Neither of mine ('01 4003 & '73 4001) do - now. They both did have the Dead E Syndrome, after I got them off eBay and let them acclimate to Las Vegas for a couple of months. In both cases, loose screws were a contributing factor; especially the tailpiece screws. On the 4001, wonky bridge height screws and the mute touching the E string were the other causes. On the 4003, it was loose screws and pickup height adjustment; that came right after I had to redo them after putting the bridge p/u cover back on. I've also heard that the E string saddle can contribute to this.

    Definitely refer to Joey's Bass Notes; lots of good stuff there. And, as for trying to raise the pole pieces; unless they have a hex wrench hole in them -Don't! The plain ones are not adjustable (unless you're very, very lucky). Generally, fixing this problem takes patience and lots of careful tweaking. Unfortunately, every once in a while, nothing seems to work; hope that's not the case for you!
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Mine don't. You need to adjust the pickup(s).
  14. shameline


    Sep 6, 2012
    Mine does it too!! (2012 4003).

    Would replacing the bridge with a hipshot bridge helps?

    I was wondering if maybe the stone holding the E string gets carved to deep, causing the E string to be muffled by vibrating into the stone...

  15. inthebassclef

    inthebassclef Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    I recently replaced my bridge with the hipshot and it was a major improvement. All the strings have much more clarity and more sustain. Also the individual string height definitely made a difference.
  16. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    It's mostly about getting the Pole piece closer to the E string. You still need the action to be at an acceptable level. Then you can adjust the pickup height.
    jamro217 likes this.
  17. jamro217


    Apr 12, 2013
    The gauges of RIC strings seem to be unusual in that the E is .105, and the rest are really light. If RIC makes a set of strings specifically for their instruments with these calibrations, it must be for a good reason. Using non-factory strings would void the warranty. Supposedly this is due to the ancient truss rod system in the 4001. On a 4003, it doesn't matter. If you use a different brand, the uniformity between strings may seem to increase the volume of the A,D and G, as well as change the action. The alloy used makes a difference, too. Definitely check the pickup height, make sure the bridge mute isn't making contact with the E string, and see if the string height is equal for all four. You may need to lower that one.
  18. Gaolee

    Gaolee The Fat Violin Supporting Member

    Interesting thread. My Ric (1998) has a dead spot on the 7th fret of the D string. So, it has a dead A, kinda. I had flats on it for a while, but putting rounds back on it and messing with the truss rod just a hair (ie practically no turn at all) minimized the issue. Rics are strange animals.

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