Hi all, I'm a bassist/guitarist/drummer and I've been playing an old '67 Kalamazoo bass that's really pretty dinky and I definitely need an upgrade. Chris Squire being my favorite bassist with my favorite tone, I've always known a Rickenbacker would be my ideal. "Siberian Khatru" just doesn't sound the same without it. I'm wondering about the 4003 vs. 4001 thing - is there any difference between them besides the fact that the 4003 can deal with all kinds of strings and has the stereo sound (assuming I am correctly informed)? I played a 4003 in a store and it was an amazing bass with perfectly balanced, gorgeous tone. I played a vintage 4001 soon after and while that particular bass wasn't as good all-around, but it's tone was somewhat more nice and "growly" in the classic Ric way. Is this just the individual basses, my imagination or a difference in the construction? Because I love that really growly sound. To put my question in a nutshell, should I: A) Get a new 4003 B) Get an old 4003 C) Try to find a recent 4001v63 (what's up with these?) D) Get an old 4001 Obviously it depends on an instrument to instrument case, but if anyone could tell me info on the differences between the above choices it would be extremely helpful. I've been leaning towards an old 4001 because that may be the cheapest of my options. Money is definitely an issue as I am an unemployed student, but I am willing to wait to save up the money IF it means the difference between "okay" and "great". I am hoping to purchase my ultimate Rickenbacker. Another question - I've heard Rics are heavy, does anyone know the exact typical weight? This sucks because I am small and weak, I was hoping it's not TOO heavy. Maybe I'll just play it sitting down :-\ Another quick question! Does it change the tone to remove the pickup cover and leave the pickups exposed? And ANOTHER quick question. I've heard complaints that a Ric is not the most playable bass and isn't very "user-friendly". What is the reason for this? When I tried it out in the store it didn't seem especially difficult for me to play it and my Kalamazoo is weird because it has a small scale for smaller hands (I am a 5'1" girl, after all). Sorry if this post is long, but I wanted as specific answers as possible. If anyone can enlighten me it would be wonderful! Rock on, -Nell P.S. ONE MORE QUESTION! I've heard that the necks are the most breakable part, are there specific signs of trouble I should look for there when checking out used basses?