Ear Test: Can you tell the difference between a Fender Jazz and a Rick 4003?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sloppy_phil, May 16, 2021.

  1. A- Rickenbacker, B- Jazz

  2. A- Jazz, B- Rickenbacker

  3. I can't tell

  4. Ugh, a Rush song? Think I'll have some CARROTS instead

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    Right, well, I've thought we could all have a little bit of fun here! A friend of mine and I just swapped guitars for a couple months to mess around, and I've finally ended up with a Jazz Bass in my possession. I think they sound amazing when I hear them played, but I've yet to make one sound good in my hands. So now I've got the chance, and since I'd just got myself some modest home recording equipment, the timing was right, too.

    Been using a Rickenbacker as my main bass for nearly 10yrs now, and of course being a good Canadian boy, I have a lotta love for Rush. So I'd already put together a little play-along video for New World Man using the 4003, and thought if I re-did the song with the Jazz, I could just cut them together and make a little blind A/B test. Which is exactly what I've done!

    I know that, collectively, TB has quite the well-trained ear, so I don't expect to stump too many of you! For me, these two basses sound pretty distinct, but I've always thought a mix was a big leveller, and often masks a lot of the tone subtleties we're chasing after. Since this is a bass test, I've put the bass tracks a bit on top of the rest of the song, rather than right back in the pocket.

    So, we have ourselves a 2015 MIM Fender Jazz and a 1984 Rickenbacker 4003. Both freshly strung with nickel-plated steel strings right before recording, both have their vol/tone controls wide open, middle pickup position. Recorded direct via an Audient iD4 into GarageBand. A bit of EQ and compression applied to mimic the effect of running from an amp, and balanced as best I could for volume!


    So yeah, I thought this could be a bit of good, clean fun! Can your ears tell which bass is which? I enjoyed making this, and could see myself attempting something similar. Maybe with a different genre/style? I know Rush isn't exactly everyone's cuppa Tim Horton's ;)

  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You set them to sound very similar. Either would work, but if it were me producing, I'd go B. An ever so slight amount of extra balls in that take. But A sounded more like a Jazz to me.
  3. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    I voted A is the Ric.
    I'll continue to prefer Ric even if I'm wrong!
    Bozzy, Mili, Flaky Tuna and 1 other person like this.
  4. I don't have decent earphones, but A sounds like the Jazz to me, just listening through my tablet speaker.
  5. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    Haha yeah so will I; I'm enjoying having this Jazz around, but I can tell that this one isn't quite to my liking. Maybe it's the rosewood neck? Maybe it's the pickups. But yeah... the long Jazz search shall continue after this swap!
    LetItGrowTone likes this.
  6. Not that I particularly care (I have both) but I voted A. - Jazz. Honestly, I RARELY ever pick up either of the Ricks any longer. Nothing wrong with them, just not my thing any longer.
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
    smtp4me and tpaul like this.
  7. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I can't tell.
    Not a lot of difference to my admittedly damaged and untrained ears.
    I prefer B, though.
    One Way and bobyoung53 like this.
  8. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I like B.

    But, I think A is the jazz.
    bobyoung53 and MattZilla like this.
  9. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    I thin A is the Jazz and B is the Ric.
  10. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    A - Rick, B - Jazz
    Roger W and Blueinred like this.
  11. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    For the very lowest notes, I preferred B.
    One Way likes this.
  12. Tubehed


    Oct 27, 2011
    They both sound great. I think A is the Jazz but they both sound more alike than different to me. In a typical mix with the bass track less prominent than what you have here, I wouldn't be able to tell a difference.
    bobyoung53, sloppy_phil and 69'Vette like this.
  13. ric4682


    Jul 2, 2008
    I think A=Ric and B=Jazz
    Chad Michael and Blueinred like this.
  14. 69'Vette


    Jan 28, 2003
    Provo, UT
    The first two clips made me vote A on the Ric with a pretty high sense of clarity, but as the video progressed I wasn't as sure.
  15. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Pretty sure B is the Rick, it has that extra depth and compression on the high runs.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  16. CGramazio

    CGramazio www.freebassing.com Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Gilbert, AZ
    It's close. I'm thinking the A is the Ric and the B is the Jazz. The higher runs seem a little rounded/fatter to me on A which makes me think the Ric. The B, to me has more bounce or zing, thus Jazz. But I'm been wrong a thousand times before so you never know.
  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I knew straight away the one on the right with the painted headstock is the Ric. Even without checking the decal I could tell by the body shape and the teeth inlays.
    Ikkir, wraub, gungrog and 52 others like this.
  18. 69'Vette


    Jan 28, 2003
    Provo, UT
    Toddcaster64 likes this.
  19. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka My roadworn is in mint condition Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    The one on the left is the jazz, and the ric has a sticker on it. That almost threw me, as I’m used to the “made in USA” stickers on a Ric.
    Root 5, dbsfgyd1, Mvf and 6 others like this.
  20. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Exactly my experience.
    dkelley, 69'Vette and sloppy_phil like this.
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    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.

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