Not to put more fuel on the fire, and this is just my opinion/s but, I think Rickenbacker is more the mystique then anything else for some. Owning one is like owning the Holy Grail or Excalibur. I've had conversation over the years with many who have drooled and gassed over these, yet have never held one in their hands; something that has alway raised an eyebrow. A year or so ago, the music store I frequent had a black and white 4003 come in. I was told that it had been ordered almost two years ago and just received. The sales rep said this was normal for Rik, and the reason that they keep only one if that in stock. He also mentioned that if you order a semi custom piece, you're looking at 3 1/2 years minimum to receive the product. The rep stated Rik is one of the worst companies to deal with when attempting to get delivery dates, or estimated time of arrivals. The staff at Rik can be quite a pain in the glutes. I'm North American service manager for a company who manufactures medical equipment for a specialized field. We are the leader in a field that has very few companies to compete with. If you order a system from us, it is not built and delivered at the end of the week. Depending on location, facility, and the doctors needs; the process can take up to 2 years. Calls to our service center are placed by doctors (who when in a specialized field, think their above the rest), or managment coordinators for a major research facility (imagine all the big name hospitals and universities you've heard on tv and the movies); these people are "snotty" with us. None of my team would ever reply to a client with the same attituded. I agree with some of the earlier posts, what is said to you on the phone will opinionate most about the companies attitude and how they do business with clients. Word of mouth is a very powerful sword. Lastly. I played the 4003 for a solid hour and a half through as many amps and settings I could. The feel and tone for me was not my thing. I'm still one of these fools that will purchase an insturment because it feels and sounds good in my hands, not because the masses tell me it's the best. It's always amazed me when I hear someone is gassing over a signature or specialty bass, and then when they have it, their dissapointed because it doesn't sound the way they though it would.