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I'm beginning to wonder about Rickenbacker.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Navybass, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I haven't had a complaint with my Ric. I feel the build is far superior and more polished than my MIA Fender. Plus, it has the string spacing I wanted. I feel the build quality is just great.

    Granted, I haven't had to deal with Customer Support and working in a similar vein, I can see where one might get nasty. If you're bombarded with the same question day in and day out, there reaches a threshold where you go "F*** it" and just speak your mind. It may not be right, nor appropriate but some slips do happen to certain difficult customers. We're all human and people deserve to be treated equally despite role of employment. I don't see a reason to be nice, in my job, to someone who feels there's miles above myself and the information (though correct) is true and beyond anyone in the conversations control.

    ...I'm not sure where that rant was going, but in the long run, I haven't had a single problem with Ric or John Hall in my time owning one.
  2. It does and I've been curious to test drive one, though from the specs and pickups, I don't think it would be anything like a Ric tone-wise.
  3. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    It's very bad business to be rude to your distributors, no matter how strong your position in your industry. Many successful companies' arrogance has come back to bite them on the ass when circumstances change.

    I'm not accusing Rickenbacker of habitual arrogance, just commenting on a tendency that seems to exist.
  4. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Gibson the same as Ric ? Oh come on. Gibson's bass QC is about the worst I have ever seen.
  5. sflajimmy


    Nov 6, 2005
    South Florida
    I totally agree. I had a 4003 back in the mid-90's that I paid $695 for and I wish I still had it just for the re-sale value. I had to have one because I grew up in the 70's and that was a popular "tone" in those days. A Rickie pumped through an Acoustic 360....but honestly these days it's not a preferred tone for me, so paying $$$ for one would be out of the question.
  6. Back to the OP.

    There is so much discussion (or should I say complaining) about how Rickenbacker does business, but that the end of the day, their instruments are in high demand and command top dollar. That's the opinion of the "market". If you don't like doing business with Rickenbacker, you have the choice to either buy another bass (there are lots of them out there) or buy a used one (again, there are lots of them out there).

    The main complaints seem to be that Rickenbacker does not make enough product and that they defend against copycats. There isn't anything wrong with either of those - they don't make more product because they know that consistency of quality is the basis of their brand. And they don't allow trademark infringements for that very same reason - they don't want to dillute the brand.

    I for one am thrilled that they protect the quality of their instruments so carefully - my new 4003 has the very same feel as my 1974 4001, but with improved electronics - that's consistency of quality (and improvement where needed) for over 30 years! Excellent.
  7. EclecticElectrk


    Aug 26, 2008
    no, not really..
    hes saying that fender could insanely overprice their instruments (some say they already are) like rickenbacker does- like em, hate em, you cant deny the inflated price of those things. rightly so, for a business, since they are in such high demand. but for a musician they arent worth 2k. if your going to pay that much, i would just get a better bass :bag:

    Hes also saying that fender offers lower end models of everything to trickle down to those who want a comparable look/sound without paying an insane amount of money for it, unlike rickenbacker.

    And finally i think hes saying that fender doesnt maul every company that puts out a j/ p bass look alike. like rickenbacker does.

    you can call that 'uniqueness' but i wouldnt really attribute those things with positive uniqueness. to me, their uniqueness would be in their great sound, great looks, and great craftsmenship.

    im not going to say "IMHO" here because obviously everything anyone posts is their own opinion.:ninja:
  8. This is just part of my twisted personality, maybe Im too proud, I dont know.... but I wouldnt stand for any company rep. dissing me. In that same conversation I would have demanded my money back and have them cancel my order! There are plenty of bass guitars to choose from especially for that kind of cash that are very comparible to a Ric. Or if I really HAD to have one I might buy top notch used, at least Id feel vindicated not giving the cash directly to Ric. but another bass player....in my twisted personality. If we all had my dementia, and started doing the same thing, do you think JH would consider changing Rics. ways?
  9. My first pro bass in High School was a 4003. I get it.
    Their business model is indeed frustrating to get new product, but they've never had any of the Q.C./weird model issues of any of the others. In todays world, we are just not prepared to wait for craftsmanship.
  10. Im still angry! I dont care how good or big a company is, there is NO company without the customer! They want us to buy the product? Demand to be treated as such!
  11. deekay911

    deekay911 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    What amazes me is that such a small company cannot operate any kind of production planning which will tell anyone that orders when they will get their product. Even the most basic production companies run systems and software which plan demand and supply, purchase of raw materials, inventory, resources and logistics. It seems Ric have no idea about any of that, like they are operating in the 1930s. I have 2 4003s and love them, but the things I hear about this company drive me crazy.
  12. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    I bought a brand new Jet Glo 4003 a few years back .It had a ton of swirl and micro scratches in the finish . Rics have a finish that is easily scratched and swirled .

    I called Ric and the guy I spoke to told me in a sh*tty way "it is impossible to have a black bass without swirl or scratches " Like I said , he spoke to me like I was a dumbass

    I did not want or expect zero swirl but mine was over the top . I spent two days with micro scratch remover and turtle wax getting it to a glass finish. ZERO SWIRL and scratches , it was beautiful , It looked the the finish was 10 feet deep! Mirror finish!! If I could do it why couldn't Ric

    I did get the recommended process to remove them from the Ric forums , what bothers me is the fact that non company people helped me solve the problem.

    Rics are just another bass to me, I had bad gas for years and have had two , wasn't overly impressed. I'll stick to musicmans and fenders.
  13. I dont believe waiting for craftmanship was the issue, but rather poor, unprofessional company reps. treating PAYING customers with such disrespect is more the point. I admit it, I dont mind saying so, I expect to be catered to...maybe even have my ass kissed if needed, thats the hallmark of great CS, and word of mouth advertising is way too important to underestimate. The person who initially talkd to the Ric. cs rep. also has customers to answer to, and asking for a simple, possible eta of the new shipment certainly didnt require a snooty attitude. You can bet I would have cancelled my order! Wether it made a difference to them or not.
  14. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Ric has long had a reputation for treating their customers like nonentities. Now apparently, they treat their dealers the same way. I can understand why they dumped GC as a dealer but there is no need to treat the rest of them the way they do.

    I remember once reading a long time ago that in the very early '70's Chris Squire and Pete Townsend were initially denied entry to the factory. I guess that about sums up the attitude they have. I myself have a 4004 bass in my collection; I wouldn't even dream of contacting them if I ever had a problem with it. :p
  15. jambassist


    Sep 1, 2002
    Easton, PA
    That's true for most companies and SHOULD be true for Rickenbacker, but it's often not the case. Had this dealer canceled his order, Rickenbacker would have simply allocated that order to any number of dealers that are waiting for stock. Rickenbacker is not at a loss for customers waiting for a bass. There's a local Rickenbacker dealer in my area and whenever he gets a bass in, it rarely lasts more than a week He's at the point where when they come in, they come in. There's no point in calling them and complaining because there's nothing they're going to do about it.

    The only way supply will catch up with demand is when demand slows down and that shows no signs of happening with Rickenbacker. From a business point of view, you have to admire them especially in this difficult economy. They have more work than they can handle so all their people are gainfully employed.
  16. +1

  17. Rickenbacker has a set production, I doubt they increase it due to more demand (unlike most companies)
    I commend them to the fact they keep the demand by limiting that way.
    That said, I love thier basses but find them overpriced and thier sound not as diverse as 99% of basses at that price range.
    I love my warwicks and I don't care if they have a limited or unlimited production.
    To me a Boutique Bass is JUST as prone to QC as any bass out there (in that price range)
    Fender hasn't limited thier production and they are still in demand.
    My '51 reissue is as good as any basses I have seen Fender produce in the last 20 years.
    Ricks Rock.. but so do ALOT of others... I see Rickenbacker as a Aston Martin type of company (unlike the Bugatti they may think they are)
  18. deekay911

    deekay911 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    Hmmm..if that were the case they should know how many they make in a given period of time, what the order backlog is (FIFO) and then be able to easily calculate when an order might be filled, give or take a few weeks. I think that is VERY unlikely. I think that when they come into work on a Monday they sit around and say - "OK - what do you guys feel like building this week?". Literally it is random.
  19. Navybass


    Mar 12, 2005
    Norfolk, Va.
    I wouldn't say their quality is consistant. I have owned 5 Ric's in the past 6 years and here's what I've noticed;

    1 brand new Ric had the bridge in the wrong place. The "E" string was much closer to the edge of the fretboard than the "G" string. The strings weren't centered over the pickups either.

    2 other Ric's had truss rod anchor bolts that were getting pulled up into the truss rod cavity at the body side of the neck. I bought them brand new.

    2 other brand new Ric 's bridge wouldn't allow the strings to go down low enough to get good action. The bridge bottomed out, but the strings were still kind of high.

    They're a company just like any other company out there, run by human beings, which means that while they may try, they're not going to be perfect.
  20. deekay911

    deekay911 Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Charleston SC
    I agree about the consistency - both my new 4003 rics, made within 6 months of each other are completely different - in terms of precision measurements. I guess this is where the handmade mojo comes in. They both sound great though. The finish quality leaves something to be desired for a $1500 bass...

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