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Falling back in love...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Roger Haworth, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Roger Haworth

    Roger Haworth

    Mar 31, 2005
    I've been playing bass for 20 years now, in various bands with varying degrees of local 'success', played many gigs, mainly original material heavy/progressive rock bands.

    In the beginning I started on a cheap Washburn B-2, all thin neck, pointy headstock and no tone whatsoever! This was swiftly followed by a Japanese Fender Precision that my skinny hands never got used to and didn't like the barky tone with poor sustain. My dream bass was always a 4001/3, being a huge fan of Chris Squire and loving the tone of them, through players like him, Geddy Lee and Bruce Foxton.

    Well, in the summer of 1990 my wish came true, and I got my new fireglo 4003 from Nevada Music in Portsmouth. I remember the day it arrived - my Dad and I just stared at it for about an hour, not quite believing what a work of art it was. First job was to get the pickup cover off and then I never looked back. That bass went everywhere with me, it even got knocked over once by a drunk girlfriend (no damage thank God) doing gig after gig.

    I got into a new band in 2004 and fancied a new sound. I got a Fender Jazz Geddy Lee and the Rick was put away. The Fender suited the hard rock far better I thought and along the way I also picked up a fretless USA Jazz and then a new Precision with flatwounds, striving for deeper and heavier tones. And those Fenders certainly deliver power in spades.

    But then a couple of weeks ago I decided to take old faithful to practice.

    Wow. My grinding, trebly tone turned the rest of the band's heads. I was grinning from ear to ear like a deranged lunatic as I tore up and down the fretboard having the time of my life. It was everything I'd fallen in love with when I first wanted to play bass 20-odd years earlier when I first heard Yes.

    My Fenders are great and will use them, as each will give a sound for different needs but I've realised my true love is my Ricky, with her aging beauty of tail-lift and yellowed binding. And THAT sound. It is a beautiful, breathtaking instrument and I'm so happy that I've fallen back in love......but did I ever really fall out of love?
  2. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Heh, sure wish I had that same experience with my rick. I have the opposite experience. Each time I take it out and play it, it just jumps back in its case and I hop back onto my Carvin.....

    I will say tho that the last remaining GAS I have is for a 4003FL. My eyes keep getting drawn back to them when they come up on Fleabay and they're getting rarer by the day now that they're no longer produced.

    Getting rid of the frets has helped a bunch on my other basses and I've often wondered if an FL model 4003 wouldn't be more useable than my fretted....

  3. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I've not heard too many people say they play in a rock band and put a Ric away in favor of something else.
  4. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Cool story man.
  5. bamabass


    May 30, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    you know the rules...No Pics...No Awesome Story! ;)
  6. Roger Haworth

    Roger Haworth

    Mar 31, 2005
  7. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    I did when I was gigging, in fact I was desperate for an alternative. Turned out, in one of my bands, which was hard rock, the singer owned a steinberger. I played that the whole time he was in the band and my 2 ricks never came out of their cases until the guy left the band.

    Only my 70's jazz bass was worse when playing live, I eventually pawned it and reluctantly went back to my ricks.

    Now I will say my current 4003 sounds a lot better through a good amp. It can get a fairly decent tone through my current GK rig (when I was gigging I had these awful Sunn amps that pretty much sounded terrible with anything playing through it. So I have to give the rick the benefit of the doubt on that), tho my carvin bunny is just head and shoulders better in every respect.

    Also, I've found the 400* records pretty well, especially if you back the volume of the neck PU off a bit. You can get a pretty good recorded tone. You can also play it seated in a studio setting so you don't have to deal with the neck dive. So it's a fair studio bass.

    Again I still want to try an FL, I've always had GAS for one of those for no apparent reason...


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