I just bought a Ric 4003 used from Guitar Center and I have some questions. I know it's a love it or hate it kind of instrument but I had such a ruff time playing it at my first gig I almost regret buying it. Man is it heavy. I want to play it because I love the sound. Without thinking about the string gauge. I had the tech put flat wound Roto Sound standard strings on it and take off the pick up cover. The E string was a 105. My old bass was a Curbow with a 95 as the E string. The Curbow is a short scale bass and the 95 seems super light. I don't use a pick either. I play finger style. After the first set I had blisters on my calluses and the long scale neck was really stretching my playing hand. So my question is... could the strings really make that much of a difference in playability? My second question concerns the Ric-o-Sound. I have the cable situation figured out but a lot of players have said they use a guitar amp as one of the two amps. I always heard you can play a guitar out of a bass amp but never a bass out of a guitar amp. So my second question is in Ric-O-Sound can I play the bridge pickup through a guitar amp?