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Fender Jazz/Rickenbacker 4003-4001

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AstralTraveler, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. AstralTraveler


    Jun 23, 2004
    Ok I posted a thread the other day declaring my love for Geddy Lee's mid to late 70's bass tone. I have an american Precision, but I'm really not liking the tone I'm getting from it. It's not clear and bright enough for me. Too much boom boom boom. I read a few responses and some people said that Geddy has been using a Jazz bass for awhile now. I've always heard that Jazzes don't cut through in a hard rock scenario, maybe I'm wrong...after all I'm switching from guitar to bass, so I don't know too much about it. Is there a way to make a Jazz have that thick cutting, clear tone that floats on top of everything but still supports it like the Rickenbacker does? Also, what's the difference in tone between solid state and tube in bass amps. Gallien Krueger vs/Ampeg?
  2. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    Well, I have both a Geddy Lee Jazz, and a Rick 4001. Geddy used a Pbass early on, then a Rick. He then switched to a Jazz for Moving Pictures, then back to Rick for Signals. Then Wals And Steinbergers after that. Then he went back to the Jazz for his solo album and tour after that. The Jazz is unique in my opinion. It really blends well in the mix. It cuts through, but in a really subtle way, if that makes sense. The amp question....that's hard to put into words. You really have to try them both and decide which one you like.
  3. i would say get a geddy lee jazz, and if you want to cut through even more, get a sansamp bass driver.

    i say the jazz because imo, although the rick has a really unique sound, i'ver never heard one cut though the mix when the bass player's volume was at the same as the rest of the band's volume (as opposed to if the bassist's volume was cranked while the rest of the band was not cranked up). the jazz can cut though if you don't mind playing with the eq settings.

    i was just at a concert the other day, and i was pumped that the bass player had a rick, but i couldn't hear it, but it probably didn't help that there were three guitar players as well though!
    it could have been the sound mans fault too though.

  4. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    In that recent Bassplayer inteview Geddy said that his jazz bass had screwed up pickups giving him that Rasp he is known for. He used his Rickenbackers because they sounded similar.

    In fact his Fender sounds so "Ricky" that many people assumed that he used a Rickenbacker when he didn't.
  5. He had a Ric before he had the jazz.

    So I don't think he would try to emulate basses he didn't already own.
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Very true. I own a couple of Jazz basses and a Rick. Before I swapped the Rick's pickups, they sounded similar. IMO the Jazz has a rounder, fuller low end, the Rick has a bit more mids, but not by much. You'll definitely have to try them side-by-side.
    I agree with the post that a big part of Geddy's tone is the growly, slightly distorted sound he gets. He usually has this sound regardless of which brand of bass he uses. Some of it comes from his touch; It sounds to me like his basses have a low action, so there's some fret noise (or string rattle) that's part of his tone.
    I was a huge fan until 'Grace Under Pressure', I haven't really kept up with his set-up since. But early on, he used a Traynor amp, then a Sunn. He then added an Ampeg SVT. He ran his Rick in stereo; the bridge pickup went to the Sunn, the neck pickup went to the SVT. He later switched to Ashley preamps and BGW poweramps. But the amazing thing to me is that his tone was pretty much the same.
    So to make a long illustration short: IMO his basses and amps weren't as pivotal to his tone as his touch was (and still is).

    Sidenote: Geddy was influenced by John Entwistle and Chris Squire (amongst others) who both used Ricks, Precisions, and Jazz basses during their careers. Of course, the Rick is still Squire's main bass.
  7. Good point. Living in the same geographical area, and having owned several Rics, the climate may have played a role in his switch back to Fender and to the Jazz bass. The older Rics required constant adjustment.

    For me, his tone on "Power Windows", "Hold Your Fire", "Presto" and to a lesser degree "Roll The Bones" is what first got me interested in Wal, but that's for another thread.
  8. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I play bass because of Geddy Lee. When I got turned on to bass, I was certain the Rick was the ultimate bass because Geddy played one as well as Chris Squire. But being a broke teenager, I could only afford cheesy Fender knock offs. Well, after a few years of playing, I finally got to try a real Rickenbacker and was totally psyched. But ya know what? To my shock, I found I didn't like it all that much. I found my Jazz-type basses fuller sounding and definitely more versatile. The Jazz can definitely cut through in a mix with that bridge pickup and the neck pickup can certainly add the needed bottom.

    You can rock out on a Jazz, get funky, go Latin and/or jazzy on it. It’s comfy to play and has classic good looks. And keep in mind, Geddy himself has played both a Jazz and a Rick (and a host of other pricier axes) and he's come back to his old 70s era Jazz bass. Why? Clearly the guy can afford to have anything he wants. I reckon the Jazz just gets the job done better.

    I say, go out and get one of those Japanese made Geddy signature models. The pickups certainly cut; it already has a Badass Bridge. At worse, you might want to smack some new tuners on it. It’s got one of the comfy-est necks I've ever played on a Fender. And hell, the price is right.

  9. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    He also said that he's a little nervous to bring any of his Rick(s) on tour.
  10. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Really? I've read interviews with Geddy Lee from the previous and current tour and he's made no mention of the old Ricks. I read he's touring with his original black 70s Jazz which he says sounds like no other he's played. He also brings along two Fender custom shop Jazz basses.

    I recall he gave up the Rick for his Jazz on Moving Pictures. I remember being crushed when I found out that kick-ass tone didn't come from the bass I'd always associated with Geddy Lee (his black 4001). I think he then moved to a Steinberger (hey it was the 80s); he said the Steinberger made it easier for him to get around all those keyboards (I was still crushed seeing him play that thing!). He then discovered the Wal bass that belonged to either a producer or engineer while working on an album in the late 80s/early 90s. He dug it so much he had one build for him in black. He later picked up a red one with 2 octave neck then a 5 string (I've never seen him playing a 5 before!).

    Then Rush decided to cut the slick keyboard stuff and rock out again with Roll the Bones and Counterparts. I think it was on one of these albums when Geddy switch back to that Jazz bass and apparently he's been using it every since along with the Fender Custom Shop basses. I don't think I've heard him mention anything about the Rics being too precious to tour with.

    I really used to love that black Rick bass and really wanted one of my own. I still dig the looks, but the Jazz is simply more functional.

  11. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    I'll go did up/scan the interview I read that from as soon as I get home.
  12. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I just re-read my reply to you and feel like I need to clarify myself a little. I think with the way I worded it, I might have come off as I if think yr wrong about Geddy not wanted to risk touring with the Rics. That's not the case. I'm not doubting you, brother. I just meant I had not read that Geddy was all that attached to the Rics anymore. Sorry about that. I belive ya!

  13. I thought Fender wouldn't allow him to go on stage with anything but a J bass these days...

    Maybe its that too.
  14. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    haha, I took no offense. Your post did not seem like that at all :) I just reread the "Bass Guitar" interview (which is now sitting next to me) and its not in there. Must be online somewhere and i'm pretty sure that he loves his Jazz but was a little worried about bringing the rick ontour and another thing that makes me doubt what I was thinking was that he mentioned that everytime they are in the studio, he always goes back to the jazz. :smug:
  15. Perhaps you're mixing the Geddy interview up with comments Roger Glover made. He said that he moved to Vigier basses because he found the Rics to be just a bit too finicky on the road.