do 4003 rickenbacker basses now have cream binding?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bon viesta, Jan 2, 2022.


  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    this past year, and late 2020, rickenbacker has been making a whole bunch of model changes. i’ve been GASing for one, and i’m just trying to sort of get my bearings on what’s what with their current models so i can know what i’d be getting myself into.

    so… applying to all models, i know there is no more fretboard finish. got it. also applying to all models, black knobs and an updated bridge. also got it. but i’ve heard stuff about cream binding? is the binding cream now, instead of it’s usual white?

    here’s a few images i just got of someone’s bass (with all of the current updates, so it’s a very recent model) posted early last month, saying they just got it, and it seems to feature stark white binding.

    but there’s also a thread a few months back talking about how their new jetglo 4003 has cream binding, and the comments say it’s the new norm.
     

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  2. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    bump
     
  3. Warpeg

    Warpeg

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    I can’t give you a definitive answer, but here’s some input that may help:

    My 4003 MBL was made the 26th week of 2020. Notice in the picture that the binding is noticeably less white than the pickguard. Is it cream? Is it just a different shade of white? You be the judge.

    20CAADEC-7982-4A10-9FCE-B658D9209159.jpeg
     
    bon viesta likes this.
  4. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    seeing a bunch of other rickenbackers of the current batch, late 2021, i think your bass may be some kind of outlier. i’m not sure how rickenbacker does their finishes, but your bass may have been more yellowed than the others around the time because all the other examples don’t seem to be so cream.
     

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  5. Warpeg

    Warpeg

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Really, I hadn’t thought to look at the binding color until I saw your post. It’s such a subtle difference that I may have never noticed.
     
    GodsLove66 and jamro217 like this.
  6. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    me neither!! but when i saw a forum post talking about their opinion of “rickenbackers new standard cream binding” i was like “wait… huh? not another design change!”
     
    jamro217 likes this.
  7. Warpeg

    Warpeg

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    I gotta’ say though, I’m loving the v2 bridge and unfinished fretboard on mine. Those are two changes that make me love this one over older Rics I’ve owned!
     
    jmattbassplaya and bon viesta like this.
  8. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i don’t mind those two as much. at first i was miffed about the fretboard, because i always thought that was the coolest thing ever. it made it feel really special. but then i started thinking about how impractical it is to refret (and how yucky it must get after you play it forever) and how there were probably tons of guys in the 70s who took their ric for a refret and kept the board unfinished. i’ve heard comments about how much better their bass played when they did it.

    though, do the inlays get messed up now when you play with rounds?? i imagine the finish had some level of protection for them.
     
  9. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I’m holding out until Rickenbacker offers the 4003 with cream filling.
     
  10. Warpeg

    Warpeg

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Unless a player has a fretting hand technique that includes mashing the strings down unnecessarily hard, the strings shouldn’t really touch the inlays. Case in point: Do you see Jazz Basses with damaged block inlays?
     
  11. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    true! didn’t think about that. but then again, fenders are fenders. i saw a video the other day of a guy talking about how he ran over his precision bass from bridge to nut in his truck. the frets were all but dead, but when he played the dang thing it was still in tune! :bassist:
     
  12. ac100X

    ac100X

    Apr 6, 2003
    California
    I’m holding out until Rickenbacker offers the 4005 with cream filling.
     
  13. TTA

    TTA

    Jun 10, 2021
    I bet it was my thread.

    cream is maybe a strong word… but it is somewhere between white and cream on my early winter 2021 jetglo. And good photos from the likes of some big online dealers were the same. Maybe it was a temp thing to use up supplies (same binding on my 2020 limited run 4003 with a toaster, cb binding, and flamed maple body with amber monty brown.)

    at first i was upset because i wanted that black white look… even if i knew the binding would eventually yellow. But quickly it was a non thing. I like the modern changes.

    i will be curious if they again swapped back to “white” binding. But i warn this: i can make it look white or cream based on how i photograph it. An the op photos are not high enough quality in my mind to judge.
     
    bon viesta likes this.
  14. TTA

    TTA

    Jun 10, 2021
    I was initially turned off by the “unfinished” fretboard… cause rics have finished fretboards. That lasted 24 hours. Now i prefer the look. I wish all my rics were unfinished.
     
    bon viesta likes this.
  15. prowla

    prowla

    Aug 19, 2004
    Maybe they're pre-ageing the binding...

    Blue Ric 78 - Front - 180310.jpg
     
    Raw N Low and bon viesta like this.
  16. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO the cream/off white binding looks way better than the super white pickguard. It's been a long time, but pretty sure I had a parchment pick guard on my 4001 before the mods. Now it's black :cool:.
     
  17. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Real “cream” binding is that hideous “ Caucasian Baby Doll Flesh” color you see on some Gibsons. Almost a pink color. I’d call that Ric binding “ivory”, but if you order “cream” binding you might get either one, the term being flexible by vendor. It may not be the binding at all, but the clearcoat. I don’t know if it’s true, but supposedly they finally dropped that UV clearcoat that’s been peeling off for 10+ years. If the new clearcoat has any ambering effect, that might be what we are seeing. The old 60’s and 70’s clearcoat always yellowed like that over time, sometimes the binding looks bright yellow. I like it, the stark white binding looks good on a Jetglo, maybe not as good on transparent finishes like Fireglo. Or the Walnut basses. The heavy laquer on the board looked nice… for a while. It always eventually started separating away from the frets through inevitable difference in expansion/contraction. They couldn’t crown the frets because the finish “ramped” up the sides, so they filed the fret tops flat. Oddly, they carried that crappy flat fret filing onto the new unfinished boards because…. Ric. After decades of tiny, incremental changes, this counts as an avalanche. Now if they would just ditch that crappy double trussrod system in favor of a single modern DA rod……..
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2022
  18. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    well you know, i saw yesterday a guy who contacted rickenbacker about the current use of black knobs. interestingly, rickenbacker replied not by saying “this is a new design feature”, but instead saying that because of covid’s effects on getting necessary supplies, black knobs will be used until further notice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2022
  19. TTA

    TTA

    Jun 10, 2021
    I had my shop contact ric for clarification also… what i got was “design features have changed”


    But if it truly a supply issue… i have a limited run collector “covid bass.” Score!!!

    Also, if many complain about the changes… ric will swap back
     
    bon viesta likes this.
  20. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    looking at tons of pictures from the 70s with geddy or whoever else using rickenbacker basses, the binding already looks slightly tinted yellow. so, if it’s yellowed a little i don’t think it’ll be a huge issue for me personally. i wonder if it really is the clear coat.
     

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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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