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Comprehensive Rickenbacker Bass Buying Guide

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SirMjac28, Apr 24, 2019.


  1. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I'm narrowing down my choices for my first Ric and I'm wondering if there is a buying guide that goes over the differences through the years. I really want a vintage Ric and would love to know about neck profiles etc I notice the '80s have a two-piece pickguard and two additional bridge screws I would appreciate as much info as I can get. If you could include your favorite year that would be great.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
    jamro217 and nixdad like this.
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    The closest thing would be Paul's book.
     
    jamro217, nixdad, bobyoung53 and 7 others like this.
  3. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Thanks Jeff forgot about that and what's your favorite year?
     
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Favorite year? 1972, but that has nothing to do with Rickenbackers. ;)
     
    jamro217, nixdad, Manticore and 3 others like this.
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    lol I hear you for me it was 1974 I had one of the cutest girls in the neighborhood her name was Stacy and I was on the moon.
     
    MattZilla, jamro217, nixdad and 3 others like this.
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    As to Ricks, probably early '73 basses, before all the changes in that transitional years in details/features.

    Laurie was her name.
     
    jamro217, nixdad and nbsipics like this.
  7. nbsipics

    nbsipics Ours' is the only Reality of Consequence Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    I thought for sure you had a ric by now. Keep us posted, pics mandatory!
     
    jamro217, nixdad and SirMjac28 like this.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I had one but the neck was cracked during shipping
     
    nixdad likes this.
  9. nbsipics

    nbsipics Ours' is the only Reality of Consequence Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    CrackinRic. Tm. You will have better luck the next go.
     
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  10. Play and inspect ~closely~ before your buy.

    QC for Rickenbackers can be wildly hit or miss.

    I swear I think one or two days a week they let the kids, who normally never get off the bench, have a whack at the assembly line out there at Rickenbacker, and it shows.

    That being said, I have a 4003 (made in 2004) that I am quite pleased with, well.. once I got the dead neck pickup replaced, the neck put back straight and the crappy factory solder points redone properly.

    For the no pic no bass weenies...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Who was better, Stacy, or Laurie?
     
    MattZilla and SirMjac28 like this.
  12. 2tonic

    2tonic

    Dec 22, 2015
    The truth is Stacy's mom has got it goin' on!





    Sorry, couldn't resist. :D
     
    /\/\3phist0, Nedmundo, nixdad and 5 others like this.
  13. I have a 1980 FG 4001. Lately I’ve been singing a bass version of the Piña Colada song to it after trying to “find ‘that’ sound” via a MIM GL Jazz and then an EBMM Sterling 4H. And the neck is TDF. It’s my recommendation.
     
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  14. mikecd1

    mikecd1 Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    You could start with the Ric book, but remember the vintage basses have the early truss rods which were great, but my 72 did snap with the roto rs66's. There were several periods where neck profiles were thick then thin (my 72 is very thin, but similar to some of the recent thin ones). A lot of the 80s and 90s had "baseball bat" necks that were very chunky, but again I'm sure there were a few thin ones in there somewhere. Some of the recent 4003S models have been outstanding in my opinion, but as others have mentioned inconsistent. You may get a great one of those if you search and try a few out. In 1971 I ordered a 4001s and got a regular 4001. They offered to send it back and ask for another one, but after waiting almost a year I took what they gave me. It wasn't even the color I ordered! So even back then there were some wacky things going on, but I love the company, the designs and the people who play them. Good luck and let us know what you end up with!
     
    nixdad, mikewalker and SirMjac28 like this.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I had an '81 that had a nice thin (but not too thin) neck. Had a 2012 that was a baseball bat. I think earlier are better.
     
  16. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    For me it was a '73 chequerboard Fireglo 4001. Out of all of them that was the only one I really liked. Bar the CS, but that was a totally different beast, both in looks, construction, feel, and sound.
     
    Stugilliam, nixdad and SirMjac28 like this.
  17. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Sounds like you can't go wrong with either :)
     
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I disclose nothing
    The newer 4003sw basses would be my choice

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Shlabotnik

    Shlabotnik Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2019
    NH
    I see a lot of talk about fat vs thin necks.

    I've only ever owned one Ric (a 4003s from last year) and so I have nothing to compare it to. I just know that I find it really comfortable to play and I don't have large hands.

    Our of curiosity I'd like to know where my neck falls in the thickness spectrum.

    So, what would I measure to find out whether what I've got would be thought of as "fat" or "thin" and are there any measurement standards to compare my measurements to? Thanks!!
     
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  20. Gizmot

    Gizmot

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    I have a '79 4001 that in my experience has the nicest playing neck of any of the Rics I've tried. On top of the super-nice neck, this bass has been absolutely trouble-free. I can only recall doing a small truss rod adjustment about 15 years ago and have never had a problem with anything else on this bass.

    I've had this bass since it was made and I hope that my decedents enjoy it because I'm not selling it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 11, 2021

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