Bass Purchase Suggestions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pete Crane, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. I am pretty new at playing bass (played giutar for 17 years and just switched over about 6 months ago). I moved overseas for a job and now have the money to actually buy some decent equipment. Only 2 downsides to it.... 1) Nothing I get can weigh over 70lbs and 2) I can't actually play anything before I buy it.

    I bought a Trace Elliot Commando 15, which has turned out pretty well for a small amp. Now I am looking for a new bass around $1000 - $1500. I was really interested in a Ric 4003, mainly because of looks, till I heard about the neck stability problems. There is no guitar store here, no one to help set up a new bass, and no one to take it to if it gets screwed up. I don't know much about adjusting truss rods or any of that.

    I respect the opinions of all the TB crew. So....I would like any pointers on what I should look at buying. The band I am in is doing 70's thru present day rock. So I need to be pretty versitile.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. If I were in your situation, being in an area with no guitar stores around, and a limited knowledge of how to work on an instrument, but with plenty of money to spend, I would buy an inexpensive bass to familiarize myself with as well as a better, more expensive bass. Wow, that was quite a run on sentance.

    Are you planning on buying used, or new?

    You could find a used Ric and buy a Squier for what you are looking at spending.

    You could use the squier to work on, i.e. practice truss rod adjustments, bridge adjustments, etc. and avoid damaging your ric.

    For $150, if you ruin the Squier, not a huge loss. But for $1000, ruining the Ric would be devestating.

    It might help us if we knew where you were located. Shipping overseas from the US can get VERY expensive. Shipping and taxes and customs could cost you nearly as much as your bass!

    Other than the Ric, what other basses were you interested in? There is lots available in your price range. Check out they ship anywhere in the world. I do suggest that you check out other stores in the country you live in. There might not be anything really close, but driving 150 miles to a town that has a guitar store will be cheaper than shipping one.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, Welcome to Talkbass!!
  3. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Sounds like you got some bad information about the Ricks. Their occasional neck problems were on the 4001 models and even then it was rare.

    The 4003 Rick is bullet proof. Great looks, great quality, great sound, holds it's value, and it will come in a nice hard case, not some crummy bag.

    You really can't go wrong with a Rickenbacker 4003.
  4. I guess I could have provided a little more info. I just didn't want to run on for days :rolleyes:

    I live on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. There is no driving 150 miles to a store...the island in only 34 sq miles :eek:

    Shipping is not an issue, as everything comes in by US govt's just a little slow. I have a US shipping address for who ever I buy from to ship to.

    I have an Ibanez that my ex-wife bought for me about 3 years's a decent enough bass, but I would like to get some good gear while I have the funds available. I could practice on the Ibanez, if necessary :D

    I just don't know a lot about high end gear and would love some pointers.

    Thanks for the replies and it's great to be here at TalkBass :)

  5. You might want to consider a Zon or Modulus. Their graphite necks make them nearly maintenance free. Both are very good instruments. You could easily get a used one in your price range. You might even find new at $1500.

    Good luck,
  6. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Just buy the Rick, you won't be sorry.

    The only thing better is something out of the custom shops at well over $2000.
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I'd say go with the Ric too. Great solid basses. I had a mid 80's MapleGlo 4003 that was sweet... till it got stolen :(

    I'm obsessed with G&L stuff lately. A nice L-2000 would be the choice for my money.

  8. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Sorry, but I must disagree. Here as well as on other forums, accounts from many users reveal than when a neck stability problem occurs with a Rick, it is most of the times on a 4003. Neck problems don't seem to be systematic with 4003's, but they are quite rare with 4001's.

    So I double these accounts, being a previous owner of two 4001's that even NEVER required to be setup (!), and also being a current owner of a new 4003 whose neck tends to warp, though my bass is treated in the best conditions.

    The most obnoxious thing in all this, is that the "reinforced" neck by Rickenbacker, though mounted on 4003's but also on 4001V63's, 4001CS's and 4001C64's, seems to cause problems only with 4003's.

    For my part, I'd go with any Rick, but not a 4003. I guess I won't wait the 2-year term (seems 4003 necks stabilize after 2 years), and get a 4001V63 or 4001CS long before.

    All the best,
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Sorry, but I haven’t heard that Ric 4003s suffer from any higher instance of neck problems than any other quality bass. If this were a widespread problem, there would be more people complaining.

    Jean, maybe you’ve run into a statistical anomaly?
  10. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Pete, I'm a major Rickenbacker fan, and am delighted with my 1981 4001. However, my most versatile bass has to be...

    My Ernie Ball MusicMan Sterling!

    My Sterling could very easily be my one-and-only bass. It's capable of an incredible variety of tones due to its three-band EQ and pickup coil switching. The neck plays like butter. The quality of construction is incredible, and it makes your teeth whiter and improves your sex life.


    Seriously, if you're looking for a four, you could do much, much worse than a Sterling. And, if you think you'd prefer a five, the Stingray 5 has more in common with a Sterling than a 'Ray (IMO).

    I wouldn't want to get by with only one bass (More toys! More toys!), but I honestly could with my Sterling.

    Ernie Ball Sterling page

    My baby looks like this, at least for the moment (I change pickguard colors frequently):

  11. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    There were a few threads here in the very last days. One was specifically titled about Rick neck stability (sorry, I don't remember the exact title).

    However, I do NOT say ALL 4003's have problems. I just say that when neck problems occur, they most generally occur with 4003's. And I should specify : only the standard model (I never heard about neck problems with 4003/S, 4003/S5 or 4003/S8 models).

    Time will tell. I heard many times (including from a great luthier, specialized in Ricks) there's a two-year stabilization term on some Rickenbacker's. But I'm really not sure I am willing to wait that long.

    At last, should some people at RIC stop claiming their instruments are inevitably perfect and that no mistake is possible in their factory (which of course is false), I'd probably be more lenient and more patient too. That's also another reason why I tend to recommend a used 4001 instead of a new 4003.

    All the best,
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If you want a versatile bass, you don't want a Ric. I'd suggest a Lakland of one type or another. Either a Skyline 55-02 (Korean) or 55-94 (American) would set you right up. If you're into that four-string thing, I think Lakland's Skyline series now includes them. Here's a look.

  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Agree 100%. I've never found the fit and finish on new Rics to be significantly better than any other instrument in the same price range - and I've seen some real lemons new in box from Rickenbacker!
  14. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Agreed. My first 4001 (purchased new in 1977) was FAR better. I do believe that during these years there was actually NO bad Rick coming out of the factory.

    As Munjibunga said, Rick's are not versatile. You get a Rick because you want THE Rick tone. As I already said in another thread, my distinct projects don't allow me to have ONLY a Rick. I'll soon have to turn my eyes towards very different basses : Fender, Music Man, G&L, Lakland, etc., I really don't know for the moment. I'll take advice in good time.

    All the best,
  15. the answer seems simple to me really, and has already been stated. Get a Zon or Modulus. either manufacturer makes really good basses, and as stated before maintenence free mainly. also if you are living on an island that may get humid or change humidity often, graphite is an excellent idea. Look used, because even used its hard to find any of these basses that are bad, and you'll be able to find one in your price range. I know for certain also there is a used 4 string zon at Bassnw for 1 grand i think. so that'd be my choice if i were you.
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    if you want versatility then a few id recomend are

    Fender MIA Jazz DLX
    Peavey Cirrus
    Music Man
  17. Take a look at . They have excellent basses for a great price! You'll have to wait a few weeks, but it will be worth it. I bought an older model Rumblefish (not XL) from Musician's Friend, and it came setup perfectly. I'd imagine you could only expect better straight from Reverend. I absolutely love my Reverend. I play it through an Eden CXC-300 combo with 2 10" drivers. It sounds amazing! Here's a pic of the Lake Superior Blue Rumblefish XL.