Ibanez Ric Clone...worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Flyingfrets, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Got an option on a '74 2388B Ibanez Ric clone.

    Fireglo finish w/checkerboard binding.
    Pickups, pickguard, tailpiece & wiring harness replaced with Rickenbacker hardware.
    Bone nut.
    Bass originally non-stereo, but rewired for it (dual jacks - yes works as expected).

    All in all, looks and sounds the part. Not mint condition given its age, but overall, very close. Bass has lots of vintage mojo I can't exactly define, but I'm seriously interested.

    Only concern is the bolt-on neck.

    Guy's asking $700 firm w/ HS case. Not sure of the value on these, but does this sound reasonable, or a little out there being that it's a lawsuit copy?

    Still have a real '77 4001, but getting to the point of paranoia about it traveling anymore (hence the search for a considerably less expensive stand in).

    Appreciate the wisdom of the TB community who are always in the know about these things...;)

    Thanks for any info...
  2. jbd5015


    Nov 23, 2009
    Boalsburg, PA
    judging that its less than half the price of a new 4003...how could you go wrong if you really like it? Sounds like its the best compromise you can find with all the guts being Ric.

    id say if it plays well and sounds the part, youre in good shape. ibanez made some really great instruments during that law-suit era. ive got 2 70s matsumoku made basses and the only real issue they have is electronics, and they are just dated, not that they dont work. the build quality and playability of them is far above most 70s american instruments ive played.


  3. I love lawsuit era Ibanez. And I bet the finish won't bubble on a 40 year old ric clone. :bag:
  4. BoomBoomOGTL

    BoomBoomOGTL Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    York SC
    I wouldn't do it simply based upon it's a bolt-on. Are you going for the Ric look or the Ric sound? If it's just the look, then yeah, this model would work great. the neck thru (IMO) is a big part of the Ric sound and feel. I've got an early '73 that I do bring out of the house (but not on airplanes as my band is local).

    If you're worried about bringing yours on the road b/c it's vintage and not the monetary value itself, pick up a 2nd hand 4003 in the $1100 range. They are out there.
  5. I would do it in a heartbeat, wouldn't even think about it!
  6. beaver_luka


    Sep 30, 2011
    Didn't play one, but there was this band that broke up recently. Bass player played The Ibanez rick clone through Littlemark II and it sounded amazing! I would buy the bass if I were you.
  7. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I had one many many years ago. If someone offered that to me at that price, I would be all over it. If you don't want it, have the seller contact me. I would love to have it.
  8. hairyhaw

    hairyhaw Inactive

    Mar 23, 2007
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    Go for it - I had a bolt on Ibanez that I only got rid of to fund my 2005 MG 4003. Sounded more like a Ric than my Ric in some respects until the Ric was properly set up.
  9. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Been looking for some justification to pull the trigger on this...think you guys have given it to me!

    BTW: the bass has the cap bypass (push/pull vintage switch) so I'm guessing the pickups are the hi-gain models for a 4003 so this mod would've been fairly recent, correct?
  10. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Inactive

    Jan 20, 2011
    Vintage MIJ clones are bomb
    do it &don't forget to post pics
  11. hairyhaw

    hairyhaw Inactive

    Mar 23, 2007
    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    Oddly enough my Ric was the last year before the 4003's got their cosmetic makeovers, so push/pull pot would probably make the guts from anytime after 2006, assuming all the PU's and control harness were sourced from same place/time.

    Glad you're leaning toward going for it. You've certainly got me thinking about my old Ibanez - I wish I'd never parted with it!
  12. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    Good luck with the Ric copy. I would still have mine if not for some long complicated personal saga which I won't get into. I loved the one I had.
  13. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    No Way!
    I bought a very nice '85 4003 for $850
    I see 4003's selling for around $1000 all the time.

    Get the real thing unless it's under $500
  14. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    That was my intial thinking, but having looked up the prices the Ibanez lawsuits have gone for the last few years ($400 - $600 inc. cases with stock hardware) and knowing their quality is a known commodity...and finally knowing what Ric pickups go for, I started thinking $700 w/case was a lot fairer than I originally thought.

    Is this the right way to look at it, or am I nuts?
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    I would not pay $700 for that bass ... There are some neck through clones that are good copies and play nice and cop the Rick tone.
  16. cangaroo


    Aug 13, 2009
    go for it !! ibanez ricks are soundwise the closest sounding rick clones.
  17. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Careful. Ibanez made huge jumps in quality between the 1970s and 1980s, when they reacted to Fender and Gibson quality being very low. But some 1970s material is very questionable, including Stratocaster clones with plywood bodies.

    At a minimum you want to have high-resolution photos of the neck pocket, that's where most of the dirt is hidden - such as plywood.

    On the bright side even worst case you would get better pickups than current Gibson Thunderbirds :D
  18. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    That's what I thought too, but you gotta take the Ric fanboy into account when running the numbers. Ric fans have been overpaying and tolerating design flaws for years. That is not meant as a slam, but as an observation. As someone who wants to like Rics but never played one I liked the thought of paying 700 for a copy with a bolt on neck seems absurd. That doesn't mean its not a great bass, just overpriced. For a few hundred more a real Ric seems way more appealing.
  19. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    That's a good way of looking at it, but $700 is still way too high, IMO.

    Any vintage bass that's had the electronics and hardware replaced has been devalued, even if it's a clone. If the hardware and electronics are 100% certain Rickenbacker, then there's value there, but if you remove it, the bass loses all its value. And value is something you have to consider if you're paying $700 for a vintage instrument. I'd follow the advice above that suggests you wait for a nice, original neck through clone.
  20. It seems a bit high to me, but if you love it then get it. Rick pups and electronics matters WAY more than bolt on versus nt.

    Does it have the filter cap etc design uniqueness of a real rick? Does it do mid forward piano grunge yes and rush sounds? Does it do thick wings stuff?

    Then get it. But do go over it very carefully and check truss rod ability to turn a tiny speck (not enough to mess up setup though!)