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Questions about Ric 4003 basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RandomBox, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Went to a music store today (second time messing around on the Rickenbacker basses there) and put a 2011 Fireglo Rickenbacker 4003 on layaway.

    I currently have paid off $650 of the $1900.

    Now to the questions. I wanted to know some things about this bass before I finish paying it off.

    1. What is a good way to prevent the neck from bowing up? (heard this happens a lot)
    2.What are some low tension flatwounds that will be good for this bass?
    3. Are there any other issues I should worry about with this bass?
  2. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    1) Use the truss rods, works perfectly.
    Seriously, I've never had a neck issue with any of my Rick basses and I've owned at least one since 1986.
    I have a 2010 4003 that needed only minor tweaking once since I set it up when I got it.

    2)Thomastik Infeld Jazz flats are very low tension, and a lot of folks love 'em.
    Not me, too floppy feeling.
    I could trade you a set for the stock RIC strings when you get it if you like, as mine are cut for a 2 + 2 headstock.
    I had them on my '76 4000 for a while, they're not even broken in yet.

    3)Since you've presumably already played the bass you'll be getting, the only issues that should come up is that the bridge is a pain to intonate, and you may want to remove the pickup cover.
    I assume you've inspected the bass closely.
    Some very good setup and maintenance info at Joey's site here: http://joeysbassnotes.com/

    Feel free to ask any other questions, especially in the Rick club thread.
  3. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Here are mine:


    Left to right:
    2010 4003 MID
    1981 4080 JG
    1976 4000 FG
    1977 4001 WHT
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I've never had a problem with the neck on mine. It's a 1985, purchased in the early 90's.

    Rics sound good with a brighter flat such as Roto 77s (my choice), Chromes, or presumably TIs (I've never tried them on this bass, but have played them on a friend's Ibanez). Since you want low tension, I second kcole4001's suggestion for TI Jazz flats, and since they're fairly pricey, I'd take him up on his offer to swap as well.

    OK, here's mine:

  5. First off, diggin' that doubleneck.

    The place I'm buying it from does setup for free on all purchases. He said they'd set it up once I get it all payed off. After that I plan on getting it checked out and tweaked ever year or so. Hopefully if anything bad happens, it'll be before 2016 (the finish warranty is expired on it already, but the 5 year one is still good for another 2 and a half years)
  6. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Wow is that the best price they could do. Depending on month of manufacture the finish warranty is gone and maybe half of the warranty.
  7. I use Rotosound 77's on my Fender P-bass, but I read that high tension strings can be bad for a Ric neck.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    This. You can order a new Ric from pick of the rics or wildwood for $1590.
  9. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    is that new or used? either way, you overpaid by about $350. they regularly sell new for around $1500-1600.

    D.I.M. beat me to it.
  10. It's actually $1799, Kentucky taxes bring it up to $1900

    Plus I'd rather trust the one I actually played at the store rather than one bought online.

  11. I posted this thread for answers to questions, not for people telling me I overpaid.
  12. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    PITR and WildWood are pretty legit. they post pics of the actual bass they're selling along with weight. and they'll set it up to your specs before they ship it to you.
  13. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I think that was mainly the older 4001's. The dual truss rod system in the 4003 is pretty strong. But I only had the Roto's on it for a couple of years so I can't say for sure. I am thinking of going back to flats on this bass (those are DR Sunbeams in the photo); right now I'm trying to decide between Rotos, or trying something different (I'm curious about DR flats, for one).

    In any event, the TI's are very low tension, bright flats, which is why I recommended them to you. Personally I prefer a bit more tension, which is why I don't use them, but they sound like they could be just the ticket for what you're looking for.
  14. Thanks for the advice. I'll research some more before I pay it off (all payments due by October 23)
  15. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    i've tried a set of DR Legends, which are roundcore flats. they have a really nice slick feel and are quite flexible, but the tone was far too "motown" for me. i may have gotten a bad set, but the E was also quiter than the rest and had noticebly less sustain than the A,D & G.
  16. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Considering it's local and you got to try it out first, I'd say you did alright.
    Hell, I paid full price ($1950) for mine from MF in 2010 because I didn't want to wait until one of the top dealers got the colour I wanted in stock, and I didn't know they price matched.
    Oh well, the money's spent and I have a great bass.
    All good.

    I don't know where you heard the rumor about the necks being problematic, there were really only issues with some very old basses not being able to handle Roto SS rounds back in the 1970s.
    You can't believe every rumor you hear about Ricks.

    Current necks are very sturdy.
    You can put chromes on 'em if you like, I have them on my white 4001.
    It's downtuned to Eb, the neck is stressed pretty much to it's max. but stable.

    You should have no worries with a new bass.
    Much better than older ones in mine and many others opinions.
  17. I actually worried about that, and next time I go to the guitar shop (probably for next payment) I'm gonna ask the dealer if he has any 2013 models, and if I can swap the 2011 for it.
  18. Thanks for the advice. My only worry is that it's 2 years old, so along with sitting in a case for 2 years, the finish warranty is gone, and the 5 year won't last much longer either.
  19. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    The thing about the finish warranty is, if something was going to happen that would have been be covered, it would have occurred by now.
    And unless you're not far from RIC, it's really not feasible to do a return for a minor issue.
  20. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    And the last time I got a quote from Pick of the Ricks (2010), it was $1650 US.

    I don't know what your shop usually charges for a total setup, but the price doesn't sound unreasonable to me, (again) especially since you have been able to personally inspect the bass you'll be buying.
    All the RIC threads since the MF blowout sale in 2011 have featured the fact that you may be buying a lemon.
    You are sure you are getting a good bass.
    Peace of mind is nice to have.