Bought a Ric body, not sure what to do with it

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by monsterfiddle, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Hi all,

    I've always wanted a Ric, but it never happened. Got the idea of searching for a body on Ebay, thinking I could do a restoration project like I did with my RD a while back.

    I found one, reasonably priced I thought, so I quickly bid on it. Then I looked at the seller's other items. They had all the parts for sale, except the jack plate, which someone probably already purchased. I realized this wasn't really a restoration project, it was a perfectly fine bass that they had gutted to make a profit.

    Couldn't back out of the bid, and now I have the body. Looks like maybe it is a B-stock, due to some finish issues on the backside. It has a couple of dings as well, but nothing major. Other than that it looks perfect.

    My original plan was to refinish it satin white with black and checkerboard bindings (it's jetglo with white bindings), with black hardware. Now I'm not so sure. It wouldn't take much to get it in playing condition, just get the hardware and assemble it.

    So what do you guys think? What should I do with it? What would *you* do with it? Looking for ideas here.
    rollie 55 and sing-modulator like this.
  2. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    The vast majority of Ricks are neck-through. So your “Ric body” is, possibly, not really a Ric body.

    Post pics. Others will know more. But though Rick did make bodies with detachable necks at one time, they weren’t all that common.

    The company also doesn’t really do “b-stock.”

    Post pics.
  3. Ok, I was unclear. It's a 4003 body and neck. Pretty sure it's real.





    If you look closely here, you can see the neck beam showing through the finish

    Tried to get a picture of the finish issue on the backside, but it wouldn't show. It's a little bit knurled (orange peel?) along the roundover from the strap pin to the hump.

    Anything else you'd like pictures of?
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Looks genuine to me

    Build it up with whatever parts you want.

    From what I have seen, buying genuine parts is a good way to realize you would have been cheaper all in by getting a whole Ric.
    FunkHead, kesslari, bass40hz and 11 others like this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I would have a tough time convincing myself to do major surgery on that. If it were me, I would gather the hardware and put it together.

    That being said, it's your bass. Do what makes YOU grin.
    JRA, rtav, EatS1stBassist and 4 others like this.
  6. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Be sure to check the integrity of the truss rod(s) before moving too far along. I’m just sayin’.
  7. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Thats real. As others have said, Ric OEM parts are outrageously overpriced , and nearly as pricey used, which is why its profitable to part them out. You can get the Allparts copy of the bridge for around $60, wiring harness around $65, Pickuard $25, the Ric neck pup around $75. The bridge pup is only sold as an assembly with chrome surround for $150. Standard Fender clover tuners wont fit the holes, and look too long. You need either the Ric logo Schaller or the Hipshot HB-5, both run around $100 for a set. As you can see, this adds up quick! I hope you got a good deal on the body. Pick of the Ricks has most of the parts, but not always in stock, you get on their notify list and they email you when parts come in. Other parts pop up up randomly on ebay, Ric is very stingy and random about releasing parts for resale, some people just buy to resell at a profit.

    The place to shop for Rickenbacker Guitars, Basses and Parts

    Hipshot Rickenbacker Replacement Tuner - HB5 - Best Bass Gear
  8. This. You would have to remove the existing binding and replace it with checkerboard. I would leave it as is. But its your project.

    Why the hell somebody would disassemble a perfectly good bass is beyond me. I know, for the $$. But seriously, how much more $$ are you really gonna get?
  9. Good point. They seem to work, loosening and tightening as expected. But I guess I won't know for sure until I string it up.

    Parts aren't cheap, I know that, but spreading the cost over time makes it less noticeable.

    I have fixed up instruments in the past, refin and everything, and I've built a few basses as well. I'm not afraid of a challenge, and I feel confident that I could get good results.

    I bought this as a project, but it is in better condition than I expected, that's why I'm a bit hesitant. Fixing it up as it is would be a lot quicker, but jetglo is a bit boring, so...
  10. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Roughly 40-50% more. Do this 10 times a year and that's a part-time income... :(
  11. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    There are only two sources I know of for the correct checker binding stock, both expensive (see a theme developing?) I bought and installed the Winfield Vintage material, gorgeous stuff, and of course, absurdly overpriced.

    Checkerboard binding

    Shellex used to carry it, not seeing it on their website now, might be worth an e-mail:

    Shop: Perlmutt und Musikinstrumentenbestandteile

    I’ve seen Chinese checker binding pop up randomly on eBay or Aliexpress, no idea about the quality.
  12. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Like others have said, there are lots of options these days to fix that up with new pickups, bridge, etc. Its totally your bass so do whatever you want, but, if you think you might fix it up and flip it, I would keep it the same color.
  13. JaseyT

    JaseyT Guest

    Jun 18, 2009
    Give it a Hipshot bridge, a Dane Wilder wiring harness, stock everything else, and enjoy your nice Ric.

    EDIT: Also, a treble bezel, to fill in that gap around the bridge pickup.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  14. bench


    Dec 28, 2007
    whatever you do, don't get yourself the original bridge...
    JIO, rojo412, SlapaDaBass27 and 8 others like this.
  15. Unless you just have to have a freshly rebuilt Ric,
    you could use this as an excuse to think outside the box.
    There are better bridges than Rics and other pickup options
    that would still have some of the Ric sound because of the spacing.
    EMG, Aero, Darkstar, etc.
    Maybe go active.
    Use some imagination and be a little different.
  16. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I'd put RIC HB1 pickups in it.
    Aceonbass, rollie 55, Dabndug and 2 others like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Before you spend $$$$, make sure the truss rod works. There's a possibility that the guy got rid of it becayse of possible rod issues. I hope it's not the case. Good luck!
    rollie 55 and EatS1stBassist like this.
  18. I like your ideas.

    But you asked what would I do with it?

    I'd send it to Marty Bell in Cali and have him put an outrageous sparkle finish on it. Then I'd spruce it up with the best pickups and hardware money can buy and rock that bad boy.

    +1 to the Hipshot bridge. Even though the stock design is not the demon from hell for me as it seems to be for others, the Hipshot is a little easier to work with. I have never replaced the Ric electronics in any of mine, and I've never felt the need.

    Yeah, you might end up making a significant investment to get it where you want it, but that's the deal when you do a hobby modified bass, right? I'd still predict that if you do a nice job you'll get most of your money back when you let it go.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  19. Skillet


    Nov 25, 2011
    ICM and EatS1stBassist like this.
  20. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Good news - you have the big parts, the body and neck. Provided the neck/rod are good, the rest is hardware.

    I think I'd buy Acme brand parts, finish it out and play it. No need to spend extra $$$ on Ric parts if you can find good serviceable hardware.
    hbarcat likes this.