Ordered a Rickenbacker 4003 yesterday, any advice?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SweetRizzo, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. SweetRizzo


    Jun 9, 2020
    I found a deal I couldn’t say no to and bought my first Rick. Always loved how they played when I was trying them out in shops but after looking on the Internet I’ve found that a lot of people really dislike them.

    So, do any Rickenbacker owners have any advice on why they like or dislike their products, and what I might be able to do to make it perfect?
  2. JoshS


    Dec 30, 2018
    Chances are, it is pretty close. Don't fix what isn't broke.
  3. FiregloRob


    May 14, 2019
    Congrats on your first Rickenbacker! My advice? Just play the snot out of it and enjoy it!!
  4. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member

    Be ready to love it or hate it.
    If you hate it try loving it.
    If you just can’t love it no matter how hard you try...send it to me and I’ll love it for ya!:smug:
    Apparently there’s no middle ground on these per TB-er’s stories.
    I own a 2009 4003 Mapleglo purchased used which I love.
    Here’s to hoping you love yours when it arrives! ;)
  5. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member

    Replacement Hipshot Bridge is probably the single most/best thing to do unless you just bought a really new one that has the revised Rickenbacker bridge.
  6. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Don’t let your opinion be colored by what anybody else says. They are more idiosyncratic than some basses, but it either works for you or it doesn’t. You are probably better off not hearing the gripes or accolades, a minor “issue” you never noticed is irrelevant if you dont read how you are “supposed” to think about it.
  7. SweetRizzo


    Jun 9, 2020
    I checked the serial number and it said it was produced in March of this year. It’s brand new, so I’m guessing it will have the revised bridge.
  8. SweetRizzo


    Jun 9, 2020
    That’s good advice. I’m pretty new to these forums, are first impressions posts a common thing here? I’d love to give my thoughts on new gear.
    GregC, FiregloRob and B-Mac like this.
  9. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member

    That’s what NBD posts are.

    New Bass Day!

    ...so when you get it...:)
    Pic heavy too!:hyper:
  10. user362432

    user362432 Guest

    Dec 27, 2002
    Good luck to you.
    SweetRizzo likes this.
  11. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member

    Oh, I see you joined TB today, so if no one else has said it yet let me be the first...
    WELCOME TO TALKBASS! :thumbsup:
    Have fun.
    GregC, Pdaddy1978, Socobass and 3 others like this.
  12. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Tone Twins 4.JPG 330 Ric 1.JPG Well, I obviously like them, but they do cause a lot of hate and discontent around here. Some of which is sorta justified; and a lot of which is what I call "the Talking Parrot Syndrome". People - a number of whom have probably never even held a Rick, much less played one - just repeating the hate spewed by other Talking Parrots over and over, ad nauseum. Anyhow...
    - If it's a new one? Fill the warranty card out Immediately, and send it in. RIC warranties, unlike other, saner warranties, start the day the instrument was made. NOT the day you bought it. However... the serial number will tell you what month/year the bass was made, so all is not necessarily lost. If it's used? Warranty is pretty much a moot point...
    - If you have actually played a Rick or two, and still like them? Then, 3 major points of hate & discontent don't apply. A lot of griping is about the ergonomics; the binding hurting people's arms; and the weird, skinny "pencil" neck. Personally? Rick basses fit me like a glove...
    - Truss rod(s). I guess brand new Ricks now have one truss rod, rather than the traditional two. Lots of whining about the 2 rods. Personally, I just adjust mine like the owner's manual says to, and there's never been a problem. There can be a problem getting a wrench/socket/nutdriver on the nuts, though... Personally, the Ric nutdriver works on all of mine...
    - The Bridge/tailpiece. If you got a new Rick, these are supposed to be "fixed" - finally (?). If not? Yeah, the old bridge is a major source of hate and discontent. And, if you like to change strings a lot; like to fool around with stuff; and are constantly trying new strings? You'll probably hate the bridge, too. It is fiddly, and a pain to set up and intonate. But you can do it; and, if you're like me - and leave the thing alone after you get it how you want? That bridge is famous for never needing any attention - ever again. And, no; tailpieces newer than about 8 years old or so, do not fold in half anymore. And, that mute that everyone loves to hate? It actually works; quite well, if you get it set right. I use mine - a lot... But, if it really, really bugs you? Hipshot makes a pretty nice replacement bridge...
    - The bridge pickup cover. Take it off (not all that hard); leave it on - that's up to you. I like them where they are, but lots of people do not...
    - Pickups. Single coils, and unless you do the reverse-wiring mod, they can hum like crazy in the right situation. They seem to be pretty sensitive to height adjustment, too. I have no problems, but again; some people do...
    - Finish. The paint RIC uses - especially the clear coat - is pretty brittle, and lots of people have had problems with it cracking under/around the tailpiece. Jetglo finishes seemed particularly prone to this. Mine is a '73 4001, so the paint is very different. The other one (a COY '01 4003) is a factory custom finish; I have no problems with paint...

    Other than that? Ricks don't really have any problems that any other neck-thru bass also has. IME, anyway; and I have a bunch of the things...:whistle:
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  13. SweetRizzo


    Jun 9, 2020
    After checking the serial code, I found that it was made only a couple of months ago so I don’t think the warranty will be much of an issue unless it’s something ridiculous like 6 months haha. I’d say I have played them for about 5 hours in total, and the pickup cover has never really been an issue for me. Someone said earlier that the latest models have a different bridge to the older ones, but I couldn’t find much on whether the revised bridges are an improvement or downgrade. Do you have any knowledge on this?
  14. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Yes, most people who complain about them have not taken the time to get accustomed to them which is probably the same with Gibson basses. I usually ignore them.
    To make it perfect? Take the silly bridge pickup cover off it, make sure it's set up the way you like it, most new basses are set up kind of mediocre, make sure the nut is cut low enough. And don't be afraid of double truss rods.
  15. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    People have been complaining about the bridge for centuries, it never has bothered me but the new bridge is supposed to be a little more amenable to easy set up, you can move the strings from side to side for example.
  16. Indiedog


    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ

    And just when DID the new bridge show up in 4003's?
    SweetRizzo likes this.
  17. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Typical Rickenbacker complainer: Ooh what a pretty bass, ooh it sounds great too, I think I'll get one, OK got it! 5 minutes later: This thing doesn't play like my Fender, it's a piece of crap! I'm selling it and I'm going to bash these things in every Rickenbacker thread I see for the rest of my life!!
  18. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Or, run before it’s too late.
    shaggy45, Jeff Scott, Phud and 6 others like this.
  19. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Jeff Scott and B-Mac like this.
  20. user362432

    user362432 Guest

    Dec 27, 2002
    Don't worry. It will be either just first Ric or the last one. :)
    FiregloRob and B-Mac like this.