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Another Rickenbcker thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by madfiddler, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. I've read so many contradictory things about rickenbackers I'm not sure what to believe!

    I've got my eye on a 4003 model

    I hear some people wouldn;t play antyhing else and think they are the best thing since sliced bread....then I read others moaning about passive and humming p'ups, about how they aren;t very powerful so you need better amplification and how rubbish they are if you are an "advanced" player...etc..etc.

    So I guess the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I just need to get my hands on one and see for myself, but can any of you give me an unbiased opinion please?! :meh:
  2. rluk


    Nov 4, 2004
    Tallinn, Estonia
    I m GASing for one myself, seems to be that they re surely
    hate them or love them type of instruments, so noone can help
    you there. You have to try one out yourself.
  3. Bob the Bass

    Bob the Bass

    Aug 13, 2004
    You can't get an unbiased reply :-
    Anyone responding who hasn't played one can't help you
    Anyone who has one or more & loves it/them will tell you they are fabulous (as is my opinion) but thats their view, it doesn't help you
    Anyone who has tried them & decided they don't like them for whatever reason - well that is their view, it still doesn't help you !!

    Ignore a lot of the stuff you read about warped necks etc unless you are considering buying a second hand one from way back - the current range (eg the 4003) have outstanding build quality (this isn't a view, it is a tangible fact).
    Bottom line - go try one, if you like it, buy it:bassist:
  4. billbern


    Sep 11, 2004
    Daytona Beach, Fl
    Endorsing: Inearz In-ear Monitors
    I'll start by saying I have owned and loved a 4001 for for over 30 years. I think the love/hate thing is really about styles. For me the 4001/4003 does a coule of sounds really great. The roundwound bite (think Squire) and hollow flatwound (Sir Paul). I have trouble making the Rics do punchy (kick drum like) funk or smooth boutique sounds. I think they do what they do GREAT, but I can see why they're not for everyone.
  5. Alex E

    Alex E

    Mar 2, 2006
    Hello Madfiddler!

    Are you sure you don't want to buy a violin, instead? Only joking. I think the old saying, "The sound is in the hands is very much true".

    I have a 2006 Rickenbacker 4003 and the p-ups are quite a bit louder than the bass it replaces. Volume output is no problem whatsoever! Opinions are so subjective. I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just that many people are loyal to a bass that they really like.

    I went to Guitar Center yesterday just to see what models they had. I was lucky in that they had a 4 string fretted Warwick Corvette for $1,299 and played it for a good 20 minutes. Obviously, that is a very good bass. What surprised me was that its p-ups weren't louder than my Ricky nor were they 'quieter' in terms of hum. Both basses were very quiet in a testament to both having superior build quality. After paying $1,079 for the 4003, that was a relief.

    Another thing is that I had heard that Rickys were very trebly, from a Warwick Corvette owner in fact, and frankly, I couldn't get as deep a bass sound on the Corvette, yesterday. I really do think the Rickenbacker has a better overall deep bass sound and a more pronounced and clearer treble.

    I also played a Musicman Stingray yesterday. Again, it's another great bass for about $1,300. I personally didn't like the bottom end. To me, that particular Stingray was a trebly bass! I think the 4003 is better overall, but I'll tell you, if you are a slapper, the Stingray is probably the bass for you. It sounds very nice when slapped!

    The sound really is in the hands. I think a great bass player will sound superior on any of these basses, plus a higher-end Fender, too.

    Hey, two more things. I left this out initially because the sound is more important, but as far as looks go, if you like the "Cresting Wave" body style of the Rick, it is much prettier that the Warwick or the Stingray, especially the Warwicke model, which was the stained dark wood color.

    Lastly, if you like fretless, I was so impressed with the Warwick fretless model they also had at Guitar Center. That was so cool!!
    Now, I've heard the fretless Rick 4003 is very good, too, but I haven't played one.

    Happy Playing! I love the Rickenbacker, but you probably can't go wrong with any of the ones mentioned above. :bassist:

    If you like the Ricky, I don't think you will regret the decision. Get a new 4003, it is re-wired on the pull treble tone pot to give more deep end!!! Rickenbacker started this modification on 2006 models in response to feedback from 4003 owners who, by modifying their basses themselves, were able to bring out more tonal qualities.
  6. Badmouthing a Rick is like badmouthing sex - the only ones who gripe are those who aren't getting any.
  7. I already have one!...hence the moniker :D

  8. thats an interesting fact...as my experience is not that many UK stores have "high end" bases in stock outside of london, I'm guessing anyone with stock in of the 4003s is likely NOT to be a 2006 model...I'll watch out for that one...
  9. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    Well, read your own post and look at the complaints

    Right away you can tell the complaints are from people who like that serile thin modern tone you get with modern active elecronics and/or pickups. If you want that kind of tone, then Ricks aren't for you. Ricks are growlers, not really a clean sounding bass at all. Yes the stock Pickups hum, so what, no they don't have active electronics (Yuck!), so what? Again, if you want a silent sterile sounding slapper get a bass that does that, there's plenty of 'em out there.

    Yes it's ture, Ricks like tube amps, or atleast tube-y sounding amps (think anything that says Ampeg on it), Keep that in mind.

    The thing about weak pickups is a left over from the 4001 model, which did have fairly low output "Highgain" type pickups (my former '79 4001 had a bit less output than my new 57 reissue P-bass). I believe they were rated around 5 to 6k. The new Highgains are rated closer to 15k +/-, they're monsters. If you want more, plop in a set of the Rick Humbuckers, which are rated around 17k or so. I'm playing my new 4003 through an all tube guitar amp right now. With the mids cranked, I can overdrive the amp at less thatn 50% volume, nice! Can't wait to get a Marshall for this thing ;)

    All this said, they are NOT for everyone, they are not refined sounding in any way, and the look isn't for everyone. The feel too is very different. I know some people who couldn't get used to the neck. To me it's the most unique bass on the market, it's not really based on anything else, and it has features not shared with any other bass out there (bridge design, scale length, pickup placment, just to name a few).

    All this said, don't listen to any one elses opinion, go check one out for your self and let you fingers and ears make the decision. :bassist:

    ~Paul :)
  10. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Great post! :D
  11. JoeYello


    Sep 18, 2002
    New Jersey
    Get it! Rics are very cool basses and are high quality. They are a bargain for what you are getting......a neck through body bass with 2 pickups, great finish and hardware. The pups on the 4003 are plenty loud. Even though I have other basses I will always keep a Ric!
  12. yea i have a ric 4003 and the thing growls like no other basses out there. the quaulity of how they are built, especially for mass production basses, it unmatchable and really consistant. They do though, at least new ones have thicker necks, but i really like it. They defiantly are a more vintage tone bass then the newer active basses out there.

    and i do think there great basses and probably some of the best, i love my stingray as well. but my ric is my main bass and most likly will be for a long time.
  13. Bob the Bass

    Bob the Bass

    Aug 13, 2004
    +1 !! :bassist:
  14. I can only agree with everything that's been said here. Love my Ric, it is it for me. They're extremly well suited to loud rock type music but I've just slapped on a set of groundwounds, which still have that great mid thing going on but with more thump and a tamer treble side, ideal for pop.
  15. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA

    F***ing beautiful!!!!

    I have three Ricks man, love 'em all.
  16. Rics suck!

    ..just like Primus
  17. I heard the new 4003s are a disappointment to many 4001 players. I was thinking of buying one and have read about as many bad replys as good replys!
    So here's my question if you love 'em, why?!? If you hate 'em, why?!?
  18. P.S. my couriousness getting to me... I think I recall John Paul Jones from Zep playin' a ric once er twice. Anyone know?
  19. panic_striken

    panic_striken Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Everyone always forgets Ric-o-Sound!!!!!! Rics have a stereo output jack as well as a standard. You can basically run a stereo y-cable and get output from your neck pup to one rig and the bridge pup to another. So, you can really expand and build a truely unique sound. I run my neck pup, which is the warmer of the two naturally, through my Genz-Benz GBE500 and Ampeg SVT-410. Then, I run the other through a fuzz/flanger/chorus/phaser/envelope filter mix (not all at once) into another rig or house PA. It really lets you use effects without having to sacrifice your "bottom end" or just get a different mix from amp combinations.
  20. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    The 4001 neck is quite different from the 4003 neck. 4001's had fairly thin necks, very thin in some cases. The 4003's neck by comparison is quite big. If you're used to the old 4001 neck the 4003 neck, by comparison, could feel like a baseball-bat. I personaly LOVE the current neck. It actually feels like a 4001 neck but just thicker, same back contour, just more of it. I have compared both a 79 4001 and a new 4003 side-by-side and other than the neck thickness and the higher output pickups, there really is little to no major difference.

    Oh, there's also the high-end sucking capacitor in the treble pickups circuit on the 4001. However the "Vintage Tone Switch" on the newest 4003's alow you to add that back in if you want. Why you'd want to is beyond me, but to each his own. REally my new Rick has one and all the switch does is show you how enemic the cap makes the bass sound, really.

    To answer your question: I LOVE MY 4003, because it LOOKS great, it FEELS great and finnaly IT SOUNDS LIKE NO OTHER BASS on the market. The last point is a biggy, you just can't compare it to any other bass, it shares absolutely nothing with any other bass on the market, it is totaly unique sounding.

    Actually the same could be said about my former 4001, except I didn't like the sound as much, it wass too week. I should have kept it and changed to electronics, but hey, you like, you learn, right?:bawl:

    ~Paul :)

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