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Played a rick for the first time today

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by drewphishes, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. drewphishes

    drewphishes Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2017
    I get it. But a couple things. What are the controls exactly? It was a 4003

    And are they ever not over a thousand bucks. Id love to get obe
  2. Shadoof


    Mar 9, 2014
    Controls are bridge pickup vol, bridge pickup tone, neck pickup vol, neck pickup tone. Three-way switch. Modern 4003s have a push-pull pot (I forget which control) which changes some cap values, sort of sounds like a bass boost.

    I paid $999 for mine brand new, but that was in 2000 and like a month later they bumped the price to $1400. These days, pretty unlikely to find a used one that doesn't have serious issues for <$1000.

    Are they worth the price? That's up to you, but there's really nothing else like them, and there's a lot of basses out there that cost a whole lot more.
    JJR58, mikeyjm2, Sartori and 2 others like this.
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    It's a bass cut for the bridge pickup. When the switch is in the down position it bypasses a small value capacitor that is in line with the bridge pickup; when the bridge tone control (Treble Tone) is pulled up, the cap is now part of the bridge pickup wiring and reduces the bass from it, more or less mimicking the tone of two pickup Rickenbacker basses (4001) up through the early '80s when the cap was removed (replaced by a piece of wire) from the harnesses. The VTC was introduced sometime in the mid '00s.
  4. Shadoof


    Mar 9, 2014
    Ah, I had it backwards - more bass when the switch was in. Been a while since I played one with the VTC. Thanks for the correction and clarification.
    Sartori likes this.
  5. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Only thing to add is that the tone controls can feel interactive/overlapping when blending both with the selection switch in the middle.

    4003 under $1,000 is unlikely in this day and age. Might have better luck finding it locally priced low in CL. All the online postings I've seen (Reverb, eBay, TB) generally have them over $1k. Might be worth looking at the 4003s to save some money. Wildwood has been known to have good pricing and good sales. I got my new 4003 for close to the used prices I've seen at their holiday sale.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  6. wait until you try a 4004 model, and those are $2k

  7. Back in 1976 I had a 4001, I had to install a toggle switch to bypass the bass cut cap.
    By the way, back then the Ric's were damn heavy, and were unbalanced, head stock heavy, are they still like that ????
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I tried a 4003s about three weeks ago and loved it. It $1,425, I think.
    nixdad and monsterthompson like this.
  9. YMMV of course but I never found anything of what I'm looking for in a Ric when I played a 4004.
  10. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 27, 2012
    Never encountered a 4000-series Rick bass that was more than 10 pounds, never experienced imbalance or neck heavy. Maybe the 3000 series was heavier but don't know about balance issues.
  11. I'm the opposite, never played a 4003 that I liked, but 4004 changed my view 180 degrees
    although, I like:
    no pickguard
    normal bridge
    alaskaleftybass and joebar like this.
  12. Basically the same controls as on a Gibson Les Paul or SG style guitar.

    Tone and volume for each pickup, and a pickup switch. Pretty simple.
    JJR58 and rbuchholz like this.
  13. I have two Rickenbackers. One is a 75, and is heavy. The other is a 2014 and isn't noticeably heavy.

    Neither neck dives. Maybe you were wearing yours too high.
    JJR58 and SirMjac28 like this.
  14. My 75 4001 is about 11 lbs.
    JJR58, eigentone and SirMjac28 like this.
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Toggle ... neck volume ... bridge volume ... neck tone ... bridge tone ... they are labeled

    Pull up on the bridge tone knob and you engage the vintage capacitor which eliminates the bass and low mids from the bridge pickup.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  16. rodv66

    rodv66 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2016

    I got mine used and previous owner put different tuners on to stop the neck dive. Dive isn't a big issue with me and maybe one day, will put old ones on. Will have to Terrill original holes for the screws and that is concerning, so would want a shop to do it
  17. drewphishes

    drewphishes Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2017
    Yea was confusing as they were labeled bass tons and treble tone and bass volume treble volume
  18. flatfender

    flatfender Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit Supporting Member

    My 1975 4001 and my 1989 4003S are both 9.1 pounds.

    For live use I have the volume & tone controls wide open and the pickup switch in the middle.

    Recording them it'll vary on the settings.

    I bought them both many years ago used for less than $500 apiece.
    Charlzm, Sartori and TJH3113 like this.
  19. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    That's almost as anachronistic as the labeling on the pickup selector switch of a Les Paul:

    "Rhythm" or "Lead" pick one!
    Sartori and Coolhandjjl like this.
  20. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Yup, the "s" models are a great way to get into a Ric if price or comfort was an obstacle.
    Pet Sounds likes this.