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My low-level G.A.S. took over me...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., May 14, 2006.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    ...and bought this!


    It actually arrived last Tuesday, but I lent my camera to my brother, so I couldn't take any pictures before. After selling my Carvin BB75 I made some calculations and realized that I could buy one of these beauties, which I've always liked, although never played or even seen one in person before. After five days, I can give my impressions:

    First of all, and as I said some time ago in another thread, I'm definitely a Bongo guy. That bass is the most powerful and awesome beast ever created to me and it will remain as my main axe for a looong time. The Ric lacks certain things that have been very important in a bass for me like a 24-fret neck and active electronics, but anyway right now I'm living a honeymoon with my new baby because:

    - It's a BEAUTIFUL instrument. I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the case. And that smell... wow! Bongos don't smell that good when new.

    - OK. It's passive. Single coils (read "hum" at certain positions). That's true. But anyway, this bass has such an unique character. When plucked hard, it responds with such a strong attack that I've hardly heard in other basses. Besides, it's a really loud passive instrument (the loudest I've played).

    What I like the most from my Ric is it's uniqueness. I think no other instrument has such a personality. I mean, I've played basses that try to duplicate the Fender or MM character, for instance, but I've never heard something like this before. I'm not thinking of using it for my tropical gigs or for doing "fancy" slap or tap stuff. Right now, this bass is synonym with ROCK'N'ROLL and GEDDY LEE to me. I'm having a great time playing my favorite Rush tunes with this. Now I understand so many things about Geddy's tone. In my opinion, he has to process his Fender a lot to get his signature tone. The Ric, on the other hand, is the raw, natural Geddy Lee character (I'm putting aside his awesome technique and style, of course).

    Now, my opinion about some things that have been talked about Rics here so many times:

    - The bridge pickup cover: I also bought the Pickguardian stuff after reading all those stories about the cover getting in the way. For me, it's true that it's placed in the exact spot I normally play, but it hasn't been a problem to move my hand a bit towards the bridge. The only thing that makes me feel uncomfortable (as I was afraid of) is that I don't have a pickup (or anything) under my fingertips that works as a ramp. There's so much space between my fingertips and the bass' body and I don't like that, but honestly, and please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think that the Pickguardian cover will be the solution, since I feel very similar when trying to play over the (uncovered) neck pickup. Besides, that plate is the perfect forearm rest for playing two-handed tapping stuff (although I don't plan to use this bass for that) and it works the same when playing with a pick (which I seldomly do). I'm not planning to use the Pickguardian cover. I'm working on my right hand technique in order to get used to that big gap between my fingers and the body. Other than that, there's nothing wrong with the bridge pup cover for me (and I love how it looks!).

    - Uncomfortable for slapping? C'mon, guys: The space between the end of the fingerboard and the neck pickup is perfect for popping. I can slap my Ric perfectly. Again, the metal plate isn't a problem. Now, about the tone: Not bad. I mean, it's OK if you aren't used to the MusicMan slap tone. In other words, while the Ric's slap tone is OK, the Bongo slap tone is GLORIOUS.

    - The dual truss rods: My Ric arrived with a bit more relief than desired and I was afraid of messing with the truss rods after reading so many horror stories, but after some research in the setup forum (thanks Joshua) I decided to adjust them to my taste: Removed the truss rod cover (my all time favorite) , less than 1/4 of a turn for the low side rod, same with the other... and I was greatly surprised of how smooth is those rods' adjustment! No force needed. They turn really easy and the changes were reflected inmediately. Now my Ric's neck is perfect for me.

    - Best tone for me: Everything full. Both pickups working and full treble. I don't care about the vintage tone push/pull knob. Maybe it's great with the Rick-O-Sound feature, but I don't think I'll use that. The only thing I dislike from the Ric tone with everything full is that I find the harmonics particularly hard to make ring loudly, something that can be easily achieved with the bridge pup soloed. That's harmonics' "normal behavior", but it isn't that hard to get the harmonics in my Bongo with both pickups full. Had to lower the bridge pickup a bit from the bottom side because the E and A strings were clicking against the polepieces.

    - The bridge: Haven't messed with intonation yet (nothing wrong). The mute system works fine, although the first day, after raising the pad for the first time, I had to loose the bottom side's screw with a wrench because it got stuck. It's fine now.

    And that's it for now. Some of you may say: "Why haven't you posted a similar review about your Bongo?" My answer is: Because I think that everything has been said about the mighty Bongo. The only controversy point is its looks (a controversy that seems to have cooled down, fortunately), but I don't have anything new or different to say about the Bongo. On the other hand, there are lots of different opinions about many aspects from Rics, and now I can give mine. Again, what I love the most is its uniqueness and it's DEFINITELY NOT a bass for anybody. Maybe that's what seduces me the most. I think I'd feel remorse if it sounded similar to my Bongo or a Fender, but right now I think there's no other thing that gets close to a Ric. The Bongo is (or should be) a great instrument for any bassist IMO due to its amazing versatility and power, but the Ric may not work for anyone. For certain things, it did for me and I'm really happy with my purchase.
  2. d-basser


    Nov 20, 2005
    I saw Muse yesterday an Chris played a bass just like that, sounded great
  3. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    Sweet man, enjoy!
  4. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    they should make a 6 string version :bassist:
  5. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Awesome... this makes me want a Rick more!
  6. i wanna hear more about the vintage tone selecter, im still waiting on my rickenbacker 4003
  7. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Excellent glad you like it! Can't go wrong with FireGlo.

    (welcome to the darkside)
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hey! Now I'm playing Motörhead's "Ace Of Spades" with my Dunlop Stubby pick and my Boss Turbo Overdrive (for guitar). Lots of fun! :bassist:
  9. whats the vintage tone pull like?, nice tune by the way
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    When you pull the bridge pickup tone knob, there's a big reduction in the bass' low frequencies and the instrument gets more of a "honky" tone. I tried it and again, not impressed, but maybe that's a big strength when bi-amped.
  11. Nice Bass, enjoy !
  12. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    So that's the 3rd time i've seen a new thread of yours, and again, you have a new bass!

    You sir, have the worst GAS i've ever seen :p

    Congrats! looks killer.

  13. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    And it's all TalkBass' fault. :D

    Thanks, man!
  14. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Wait, by low-level do you mean low in price?

    I definltey don't think it's low in price, but if you think it is, you can send me one in black whenever you please! :smug:
  15. RandallFlagg

    RandallFlagg Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Kansas City
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Rickenbacker!! I love mine and am sure you will love yours as well!!
  16. RSchuster


    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    Oh my god, that Ric is gorgeous! I LOVE that they brought back the walnut headstock wings! Congrats on your purchase. They're amazing basses. I would never think of getting rid of mine.
  17. Jiggybass


    Nov 15, 2005
    Sudbury, Canada
    GAH!!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!, I'm still kicking myself, since I had the chance to buy one of these, same colour, and gah!!!!!, o well, maybe next time......:meh:
  18. hooligans


    Aug 2, 2005
    great review! hopefully, one of these days, I'll get to try one out and buy one as well.

    also, I didn't know rics has a mute? does it work the same as a gretsch mute?
  19. Damnit I love Rics.
  20. throw_this_away


    Mar 30, 2006
    Very nice... gotta love fireglo. Such a beautiful and unique finish.

    I used to be a jazz bass addict... until I got a ric. Now anything else is uncivilized.

    I leave my pickup cover on, and play either just in front (anchor thumb on pickguard edge) or just behind it (anchor on screw).

    Try putting all your knobs on full... then roll back on the neck pickup volume just a bit. I find that is my choice setting.

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