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Are Rickenbacker 4003's Worth The Price?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dubadays, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Dubadays


    Apr 4, 2009
    I'm tryin to look at whether or not this would be a good bass for me. For those that have it, was it worth the money?
  2. Disraeli Gears

    Disraeli Gears

    May 29, 2007
    I can't say I have one, but really you should try it out before you buy it. The Ric really is a love it or hate it bass, so it's going to be difficult to know if it's the right bass for YOU unless you try one out yourself.
  3. Yes they definitely are. And especially considering the price increase on Fenders, they're an even better value.

    I do agree that you should try one out first though. They have a completely different feel to them than any other bass I can think of. I love the thin flat body and neck that's the same all the way down.
  4. Dubadays


    Apr 4, 2009
    Yeah, I'm going to try it for sure, but I only have a limited time to try out a ton of basses (I live in a dinky small city, so I have to travel to a bigger city (1 hour and a half away) to get the chance to play basses that are worth looking at), so I'm just trying to limit what I want to look at before the day's end.
  5. Dubadays


    Apr 4, 2009
    I've really become used to Ibanez and Fender necks. I also hated the neck of the newer Gibson SG's. So which does it feel like more?
  6. THATS IT!! i was tryin to figure it out. its the same all the way down. thank you. a ric is a solid investment. i you have the means to get one i suggest you do. if for some reason you dont like it you can always get your money back somewhere down the line. they hold their value well.
  7. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I have a 1975 4001 Rickenbacker and loved it for years. What a fantastic sound and super thin neck! However, they are top heavy with the big headstock and I was holding up the neck all night. They are worth the money and appreciate in value. I switched to a Steinberger back in 1984 and there is absolutely nothing quite like it for balance, sustain, tonality, no dead spots, and easy to play but completely a different animal than the Ric. If you get the Ric, see if they still make the Ric flat wound strings. You will be amazed at the tone they have.
  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Absolutely worth every penny, to me. I've had 8 of them over the years, and currently have 2, a 4003 and a 4004Cii. Nothing else compares, it's an original and very unique among bass guitars, but not everyone feels the same as I do. Definately play one first.
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    For me, no. They were well worth the 1000 they were selling for a few years ago. No where near worth the 2000 they are selling for now. To each his own, but for my tastes, they are overpriced now.
    Gunga Din likes this.
  10. I've never played an SG, so I can't comment on that. They're not like an Ibanez at all. To me, Ibanez necks are shaped like a rounded off V shape, the Ric neck is shaped more like a metal staple (like what goes in a paper stapler) that has been rounded off. Wider and flatter. Fenders are more of a C shape.
  11. Not to jump on the bandwagon, but this is how I feel, too. I sold mine a few years ago and there are very few times I want it back.

    Like others have said, though, if you want THAT sound and that neck, it's about the only place to get them. If you're not stuck on that sound, well, there are a multitude of alternatives in that price range that offer a lot of things Ric doesn't. They might be worth it to you, they might not.

  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    That is a totally subjective question ... some love Rickenbackers and some hate them ...
    Valsmere likes this.
  13. Gin


    Apr 11, 2008
    Manitoba, Canada
    I don't have the luxury of test driving out Rickenbackers here, but I'm going to say yes because I like them as well.:p
  14. mvw356


    Mar 2, 2006
    people say they are overpriced which imo is not true. considering the quality of the instrument it's fairly priced. the rest is imo ymmv.................
  15. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I own one - worth the price to me. But some would disagree, and that's why the answer to your question is very much a personal matter, as I'm sure you'll appreciate.
  16. Rics are the most ambivalent basses out there. You either LOVE them or you HATE them :D
    I wanted one for 30 years, in 2007 I've bought one, now I have four (had five for a couple of weeks).
    I love to play them, I can stare at them for minutes, just to enjoy the look and the sound of a Ric is THE sound :bassist:

    Try one before you buy. But be aware that there are quite different necks, even for the same model (depending on the year of manufacture).

    Join the Rickenmaniacs, we rule the world :D
    drummer5359 likes this.
  17. That's the part I find the hardest to get used to when playing a Ric. I am not sure if I like it or not.

    The Rickenbacker sound? Now....that is sweet.
  18. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    The rick has very much a signature sound, and contrary to what you may hear from time to time, they're very well made. Especially the woodworking, where they use good maple in a neck-through construction. The bridge sucks but that's about it.

    I bought mine for a little less than $1k in 1999, mine was brand new but was a "blem", with a couple little chips in the finish in places around the binding. I think it would have been like 13 or 1400 otherwise.

    At todays prices, I'd really have to need its sound to justify the cost.

    I did drag it out of the case for a little while this morning, I'm currently learning "cupid's dead" by Extreme and wanted to hear what I sounded like on a fretted bass. It was fun to crunch along on the rick instead of the tamer sound of my L2500 FL.....

    But yeah if you like the sound and playability, it's a good quality instrument.

  19. I read that a lot, but I'm not sure how true it is. I like them, but I'm not dropping new Ric money on one. I owned one, sold it and there is a price ceiling for what i'm willing to pay for another. Cheezewiz apparently feels the same way. I think they're just like any other bass in that respect. Some people love them, some hate them, and then there's a huge gap in between of people who may or may not buy one depending on the current market price, their particular bass needs and other factors. I'm like that about MOST basses and I think most of the bass buying community is.

  20. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Like crooked pickups and misaligned bridges? "hand made" is not an excuse for poor quality control

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