Is a new Rickenbacker worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by megadan, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. I'm considering selling my two main basses (beat up '74 4001 and a 2001 Stingray) which together would afford me a brand new 4003.

    I need a bass that has very low action and plays easily, and doesn't weight to much, while having the best tone ever. I think the Ric 4003 satisfies most of the those conditions (?) but $2000 is a lot of money (to me) for one bass.

    Of course it will be a player, but I also want my gear to remain worthwhile, in case I need to sell it. Will a 2008 Rickenbacker be worth the same or more in the future (my guess is yes).

    I'll be getting a TB membership soon and clearing out some gear, but in the meantime, for a couple hundred deposit I can get a Mapleglo Rickenbacker 4003 on order for delivery next year sometime.
    I'm very good at saving money so that's not so much of an issue.

    I guess the question I have to answer is, will this be last bass I ever need? :confused:
  2. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    What is wrong with your 74?

    Those are some fine basses, and not exactly growing on trees these days. Unless the neck is warped, it is probably as good today as it was 30 years ago. And it is if in decent condition easily worth as much as a new 2008.
  3. Since you asked, I'd hang on to the 74 and the Ray if they are in playable condition. Those two basses offer a wider tonal variety that a 2008 Ric would. You also have the opportunity to switch one out in the future while retaining the other.
  4. The problem with the 4001 is that it has a few sad factors:
    -needs tuning peg(s) repaired
    -truss rods seized and bent, neck bowed to overly high action.
    -small crack in neck due to improperly adjusted rods (which can't be corrected)

    Also it has after market pickups (which sound better and have more options than stock, but people only care about how it looks (original)), and bridge, so I'm worried it may not hold it's value as well.

    I'd like to have the 4001 repaired but there is no one around here that can do it, and truss rods have been out of stock in the Ric store since I've been checking (about a year now).
  5. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    That isn't good, then.

    The tuners can be replaced easy. I had the ones on my '73 replaced about 1990. They have held up wonderfully. But if the truss rods are screwed up and you can't get new ones . . . although what I'm curious about is can you not put some on order?

    Anyway, though if it were me I'd just start saving up and keep the '74 and augment it with a 2008, I guess you have your own set of constraints.

    I myself do not get rid of instruments even if there are problems with them. I put 'em in storage and have them fixed later if I'm not using them currently. I've let guitars go that I later severely regretted selling. But I tend to get attached to my gear. I've had my Ric for 21 years.

    I hear the 2008s are great. Just before I came down to check up on TB world, I was jamming on my old Ric, looking at some of the wear and tear from both the prior owners and myself, and contemplating that I might want to pick up a brand-new model. I have a 2000 Spector, my only new-bought instrument until recently, and it's only got some minor scuffing where I rest my thumb. I think it would be nice to have a Ric that isn't all scarred to hell, and I hear the 2008 has a tone switch that can go between classic and modern very quickly. So, go for it.
  6. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    As much as I love the 2008 Rics, swapping a Ray and a 74 Ric is just too much for me.

    If there aren't any reputable techs in your area, shipping it out to someone probably wouldn't be too much more expensive.
  7. MrPrashant

    MrPrashant Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    if you are gonna sell that 74 let me know!

    although I fully regret selling my 73 and 78.

    two of the stupidest things i have ever done.
  8. gcb34


    May 9, 2007
    Spencerport, NY
    The House of Guitars in Rochester New york. I bought a 2008 JEt Glo for $1500
  9. ustabawannab

    ustabawannab Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race. Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Greenfield, WI.
    Ever since the big price bump last year, the market's kind of softened.

    If you spend 2000 now, you may get 1600 to 1800 (if it's perfect) a couple of years from now.

    I bought my 07 for 1300 (put a deposit on it before the bump) and sold it for 1700 recently ... and it had a toaster! That's it for the days of making money on them anymore.

    The 06 through 08 4003s are wonderful. Thinner necks, excellent workmanship and versitle sound. Buy it and play it and don't worry about the investment. As a player you'll be surprised how good it is compared to your 4001.
  10. ustabawannab

    ustabawannab Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race. Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Greenfield, WI.
    Your kidding. Brand new?

    Who'd you have to sleep with?
  11. xring


    Sep 16, 2003
    This kills me. I sold a mint fireglo in '05 for 700. I did fine on it. I've said it before. After owning 4 Rics, I believe it to be a 1K bass (today). Pay what you will. I won't anymore.
  12. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Hm I would just keep what you have right now, get a nice set up, maybe some new pups in either or both and just go from there.
  13. I don't think Ric prices will stay at the current level.
    We currently see a high demand (or even a hype) and a shortage on new instruments. But the hype will go sooner or later.
    Compare the prices a couple of years ago and now. Before the hype started, you could easily get a Ric for less than 1k$.

    I've bought my new 07 4003 for 1350$ and got a used 4004 for 900$ last year. You'll find relatively cheap Rics if you are patient. Mike has a 4003 Amber Fireglo in stock for ages now, it seems to be to expensive and people are NOT willing to pay "any price" for a Ric....
  14. bassmachine2112


    Mar 23, 2008
    hi,i too have the ray n ricky all they need is a major service just like a classic car.keep them on the road.they deserve some can,t replace classics like these.with proper maintaince they will last your lifetime and give you pleasure.i regret selling my 79 ricky and will not sell my present one,as for the ray well it is the most versitile bass going,leo hit the spot with this one.go for the new ricky as well.look around as you will get them for less than you,ve been quoted.all the best
  15. 4003's don't sound like Rickenbackers...not a bad sound, but not the "Rick" sound at could maybe go for the Macca 4001 re-issue?
  16. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    That's just not true. 4003's certainly do sound like Rics, they ARE Rics flagship bass. As to the OP's dilema, I'm not sure what I'd do. Obviously you know what to expect with a new one, but 2 for 1 is the part I don't like. I just hope in the end, whatever you do, it works out like you want it to, so best of luck to you.
  17. jakeox


    Feb 15, 2007
    Whaa? Don't get me wrong, the 4001c64 reissue is great, but the 4003 can absolutely dial in the classic Rick sound.
  18. Thanks for all the input.
    I WOULD like to keep the 4001, and the Stingray, which is quite a nice bass.
    I really want to get the 4001 fixed, I have just had absolutely no luck finding someone to repair it. The closest person I have found so far is in California(!) (which is about as far from Halifax as you can get on the North American continent).

    To answer the above question, there doesn't seem to be anyway to order an out of stock part from the Rickenbacker store, John Hall claims that out of stocks are "temporary" and updated in "real time" and to just keep checking, but they have not been there since I began looking.

    If anyone ever seems them in stock or seems them for sale anywhere else (ebay, etc.) please let me know right away.

    I guess in the time it takes to get a new Ric I may be able to find someone to finally repair the old one. So I will hang on to both basses for now, play the ray and pray for the Ric ;)
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    I wholeheartedly disagree. I think the new 4003 basses sound better than the old 4001 basses.

    The Macca reissue (4001c64) is essentially a modern 4003s bass with a neck toaster pickup and a re-issue horseshoe pickup that sounds pretty like the 4003 high gain pickup.

    I played a lot of old 4001 basses ... 1968, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, etc ... They are fine basses but the modern 4003 basses from 1986 to present have better pickups, better necks, better truss rods. And the newest models have the full width inlays, walnut headwings, and the push pull vintage tone circuit. The modern 4003 necks are nice and flat and easy to play.

    My complaints about Rickenbackers is they are priced a little high and they don't make a 5 string bass or an active bass.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    If yu want to fix the old 74 4001 then go to the RickResource forum there are some good Ric luthiers and repair guys over there.

    It is a good forum until you criticize Rickenbackers or John Hall ... they seem to always want to take the company line over there.