I have such a love-hate thing with my 2012 4003 (Fireglo) - I want to love this bass but it drives me a little crazy because it's so hard to play compared to a couple of Fenders and a Kubicki I have. I don't know if it's the string tension or what, but I feel like I'm fighting the bass rather than playing it. I had GHS Bass Boomers round wound mediums (45-65-85-105) on it, then I switched to the same in flats hoping that would make it a little easier to play (plus I like the sound), but they still feel so stiff. It's hard to explain. I play with my fingers and I just feel like I have to pluck the string very hard. And I can't play with a pick, at least not well enough to play out with one. I have the same strings in rounds and flats on my other three guitars and they all just feel much easier to play - like it requires a lot less effort. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?? I'm thinking of trying a set of lights on the Ric to see if that makes a difference. I've got to figure this out, though. I never even take the guitar out anymore because I don't like to play it, which is a shame. The truss rods are adjusted properly, the action is on the high side but not unusually so...is there a set of strings or a particular gauge that might help?? I'll try anything.