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Buying new rickenbacker 4003 - need advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nimrodstu, Oct 24, 2005.

which should i go for 4003 ...

Poll closed Oct 31, 2005.
  1. 81

    21 vote(s)
  2. 93

    5 vote(s)
  3. new

    50 vote(s)
  1. nimrodstu


    Oct 24, 2005
    hi, i am planning on buying a rickenbacker 4003, i need advice on what year to get, i have seen an 81, 93 or should i get a brand new one? i have read conflicting opions on what is better for sound etc. it is alot of money im spending so i want to make sure i getting the best for my money so any help would be much appreciated.
  2. first off, you're going to be the envy of many a TB'ers. Second, it depends a lot on the condition the instrument is in. I've played a '73 before, but the rick o tone jack was shot. It all really comes down to what you find most appealing, you may love your punchy rick, but i still love my warm thumpy P. try them all out first.
  3. nimrodstu


    Oct 24, 2005
    how about a 75 4001?
  4. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Go for the new. My biggest regret is selling a turquoiseglo I got new with the case candy. It comes with the factory flatwounds. The build quality is going to be the same for any of those years you mention, but to have one perfect as to fit and finish and to be the first to have it: you can't beat that.
  5. nimrodstu


    Oct 24, 2005
    u reckon new will sound as good?
  6. apollo11


    Aug 19, 2004
    New York
    New is the way to go. The cost will be about the same, and the fit , finish, and sound will all be fantastic. If you don't like it you can sell it after a year or two......for the price you paid.
  7. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    A few other things to consider: Rick basses have changed somewhat over the years, in that some eras will generally (weird exceptions will spring out of the factory) have thinner/thicker necks or hotter/softer pickups. My '92 has a slim neck and pickups with crazy output (and generally, early-90's Ricks are like that.) The '81 will probably have a slim neck as well, but it probably has lower-output (but somewhat clearer) pickups. New Ricks have a thicker neck, and I think the pickups are still somewhat hot, but not quite as hot as early-90's models.

    Try before you buy if possible.
  8. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    I would say that if the '93 is totally the color that you want or is significantly cheaper, then go for that one. But it doesn't sound like you want a collectable instrument, you want a player. So I recommend a new one - it seems like they are pretty consistent at this point, and if you take care of it you can probably sell it for a decent amount down the road if you so choose.

    Question for you: have you played a Rick before? If not, it might be a good idea - there's lots of things about Ricks that don't always match what people want - the body's not beveled, where the neck meets the headstock is different than other instruments, etc.

    I've got a 1976 4001 that I love, but I got really lucky - no trouble with the neck, I like the low output pickups on that one, and I'm pretty adaptable, though it's a strange beast to play - no good place to put your thumb (I generally rest it on the pickguard, which is pretty tenuous compared to a Jazz or P pickup). But there's something about a Rick that really appeals to me...
  9. pil


    Feb 17, 2005
    Pimlico, UK
    I voted 'new' - because theres obviously reasons why changes have been made, like the thicker neck for example.

    It must be pretty rare that a manufacturer go backwards in terms of design etc...

    Having said that, i still hate the neck on my rick :oops:
  10. tonrutoo


    Apr 18, 2003
    I voted new because I like to be the one wearing things out,and invoking mojo;plus I'm left handed and selection is limited.
    I bought my Ric 4003 jetglo a couple of years ago new,and it was my first and only bass up until now.The bass is a unique mix of elegance,and rasp.
    I just received my Musicman Stingray-5 last week,which was my looser in the toss up of which to get first.It's a beautifull honeyburst,and maple neck,with a pearl pickguard.
    I know guys that love"used"and I respect that.Personally,I never plan to buy anything that I think I'd sell later.
  11. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Voted new

    My 97 4003 has the fastest neck I've played on a bass that I have owned (Ibanez, Fender, Rick).

    If they beefed up the neck a bit it would be a bit more comfortable so new would be good.

    Their really is no good place for a thumb rest but luckily I have large hands and can rest my thumb on the metal part of the bridge pickup and still hit all the strings pretty nicely but the pickup cover had to go.

    The pickups are pretty hot compared to my Fender Aerodyne and the tone selector is awesome with three tones at the flip of a switch.