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Anyone play a Rickenbacker 4003?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FloydFreak500, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. I am in the market to buy myself a new bass. I really like the Rick 4001, but i wanted to buy a brand new Rickenbacker. Do any of you have a Rick 4003? and if so how do you like it? what kind of a sound does it have? ect.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    The major difference, I believe, between a 4001 and 4003 is that the 4003 has two truss rods, beefing up the neck a bit and allowing you to fit heavier gauge strings if you wish. The sound of a 4003 is typical Rick - loads of mids, very punchy and "buzzy". If you like the classic Rick sound (like the 4001) then the 4003 does it really well. A lot of people seem to love 'em or hate 'em, with only a small number (it seems to me) being indifferent. Me, I love 'em. :D
  3. Sutton


    Mar 3, 2005
    Plainwell, MI
    I've played one many many times, and I loved it

    The tone was amazing, but the one thing I didnt like was the neck. The back of it has a finish that seems to slow down your hand, apparently, once you get used to it it isnt that bad.
  4. Just a polite correction: both the 4003 and the 4001 used a dual truss rod system. Other people may know more, but I believe the trussrod system on the 4001 was designed before the roundwound string was as popular as it is today. The 4003 system was (supposedly) designed to handle the increased tension of roundwound strings. Many people here, myself included, have used a 4001 with roundwounds with no impact on the neck, so take it for what it's worth. Other than that, the neck seems a bit thicker on the 4003's, but nothing I would call imposing.

  5. apollo11


    Aug 19, 2004
    New York
    I play one, and they are really hard to beat in fit and finish, playability, hardware, killer looks, etc.

    For $1000 brand new, with case and shipping if you buy online, you'll have a bass that is as good as any bass twice the price.

    If you see a Ric in person, and play it, you'll see what I mean.

  6. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Thanks for that Mike - I stand corrected. The neck on my 4003 feels pretty slim to me (but not as slim as a Jazz bass neck). I have played a 4001 a long time ago (it wasn't mine), but way too far back for me to remember enough to compare necks. :(
  7. i have one, i love it so much, i jsut bought it the other actually. i;m ahving some troulbe with the bridge but i think thats only on mine, i;ve never heard anyone esle complain about it. the bass is amazing, plays like butter. the treble to soo nice on it and you can also get a really nice low. it looks even better in person and you just cant beat them... i got my for 950 and for that price the bass is great, alot of others in that price range are good but i love this bass. my MIA is crapped on by my rick.
  8. I've never compared the specs,so it just may have been that my 4001 was "broken in", but I thought I read that there was a slight difference. In either case they are both fantastic instruments. I traded mine to a fellow TBer who could afford to fix the problems mine developed over the years. I'm sure I'll regret it, but I had to choose between a broken bass that I could not fix, or a very usable SR5.

  9. Bob the Bass

    Bob the Bass

    Aug 13, 2004
    +1 :bassist:
  10. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    A 4003 has been my #1 for over 12 years. Other basses have come and gone, and nothing's knocked this one off its #1 spot. Not yet anyway!

    Neck specs have changed a lot over the years. Mine is a '92 model and the neck is fairly slim, but I've heard newer ones in the last couple of years or so have gone to chunkier necks.
  11. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    I have a 90 and a 2003, and teh neck is indeed different. The 90 is skinnier, front to back, than my 72 jazz, although it is a but wider than the j. One thing about the neck, it has very similar dimensions all the way down the neck, unlike a fender, that widens up a lot.
    now, the 2003, it has a huge neck, I'd say similar to a P. The thing is, it is amazingly comfortable. I have very small hands, an the bigger profile feels amazingly good.
  12. mikeluch

    mikeluch Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    Ocala, FL
    I had a 4001 and now I have a 4003. The 4003 seems to have a chunkier neck. Still has that great Rik bite! The neck always seems to stay put.
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    4003's are great basses. From my experience with them, they are built very well, look beautiful, and sound great. I would not choose one of if you play funk rock or something like that but they would be great for rock, classic rock, even metal.
  14. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    All true. Actually, I believe the "roundwound" tension was just a commercial argument for RIC. The 4003 launched the era of what is called "improved truss rod system".

    Hey,for you all to enjoy, here's a couple of pics of the 4003's I used to own :



  15. Walbassman


    Nov 27, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I have had quite a number of Ricks over the years(70 to be exact!) and I currently have a number of 4003's from various years. My current favorites are a Ruby red from 1986 and a midnight blue from 1991. These are both excellent basses and the 'improved trussrod system' has taken any and all of the abuse that I put them through. I have been playing Ricks since i was 16 and so far, there has not been a bass that has surpassed them in playability, feel, or mojo. I do not own a Fender because the Ricks are far superior ESPECIALLY in build quality. Don't take any of our words for it, go play one!!! You can get a really nice one used and it will rock ferocious!!
  16. thanks for all the info. this weekend i am going to make a trip to my local music store and see if they have a rick so that i can try it out.
  17. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    FloydFreak, you should be able to find one in SA but if not, pop up to Austin and check The Bass Emporium, they always have Rics.
  18. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Here's mine: