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Ric 4003 "creak"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SlowpokeJoe, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. I took advantage of Musician's Friend Rickenbacker sale and picked up a Midnight Blue 4003.

    I'm loving the bass so far, but I've notice a odd creaking noise now and then, the noise seems to be coming from the end of the fretboard by the bass pickup.

    I can reproduce the noise by pulling lightly against string tension on the neck at the nut and bracing the body with my plucking arm.

    The bass holds it's tune for weeks and there are no buzzes or dead spots.

    Is this a common Ric thing? Is there something going on with the truss rods maybe?
  2. No creaking to be heard in any other Rics?
  3. I can only speculate that it's one of the rods, but yes, for a neck-through bass, that is a new one on me. I own three Rics, no such creaking here.

    Have the rods been adjusted since you purchased the bass?
  4. u84six

    u84six Nobody panic, the bass player is here! Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    I've never heard a creak and I own 2 of them. Is it a new bass? Maybe it just needs to be broken in.

    Oh, and congrats for picking up one of the best basses ever made!
  5. Did you get this back in august or recently? has it always been doing this ? maybe its reacting to changes in temperature.
  6. Does the sound come through the amp?
  7. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i've never had a 'creak' on my five previous rics or on my current two.
  8. I've taken a closer look at my Ric and it looks like I have some cracks forming around the base of the neck! :crying:

    Here are some pictures I took with a camera phone, the cracks should be pretty clear

    I also recorded the creaking noise with the phone (mpeg4 .m4a format)

    I picked the bass up in August and it has always made the creaking sound, but because it holds a tune so well and plays great I sort of left it alone, but it's something I now notice every time I play it.

    I wonder if it got damaged during shipping, I suppose a call to Musician's Friend is in order, I hope it's not too late.
  9. I haven't touched the rods or done anything beyond setting the action height and intonation.
  10. There was a long thread about this lot of basses and the MD Blue Ric/MF Sale. It seemed to me that this lot of basses got handled kinda rough based on the reports and pictures of damaged cases. This is a neck through bass (which might explain why it still stays in tune and plays good), so it may be the wing(s) is no longer tightly bonded to the body and that finish crack is a symptom of something coming loose. And it may progress with time.

    If you are the original owner and have proof, Ric warranty may very well cover this. I can't imagine them disassembling and fixing it, so you may be in for a brand new perfect specimen from Rickenbacker. Or you can return it to MF and work with them.

    Definitely worth investigating your options. That would bug the hell out of me. I wish they hadn't mishandled this lot of basses, they are beautiful. Pity.
  11. I'll give MF a call, and then maybe Rickenbacker.

    I'm pretty sure this will mean I'll be out of a 4003 for a while.

    Thanks for all the replies.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    That is the truss rods ... nothing wrong. If it bothers you adjust the rods slightly.
  13. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    Those cracks look bad to me. My 83 has none there. I would go through your warranty process :crying:
  14. +1

    I mentioned earlier this should be the first step. A good setup by someone competent with Rics is always a good idea.
  15. Wow. Looks like that batch of MID 4003s are a bad lot. Makes you wonder what Musicians Friend knew, and when they knew it. But I'm sure there will be the usual crowd proclaiming the end of Ric quality control. Sheesh.
  16. It's almost like a whole pallette of MID Rics took a bad fall off the back of the truck, or maybe the truck rolled off the road, and MF tried to quickly unload them to customers.

    And yes, the QC bandwagon is never empty around here.
  17. While UPS can be to blame for some of the issues , both MID rics i owned had issues none of my MG ric has , all made within 6 months of each other. Ric makes stuff in batches so the week they were cranking out MID they could very well have had a dip in QC , maybe a worker was absent , quit , etc.

    My 2011 MG ric is flawless and a GREAT bass , my 2 MIDs were shoddy.

    The above however is a guess as to weather its shipping problem or QC , the tail lift , finish orange peeling, tail pitting etc that were found on MIDs was not shipping.
  18. Haven't really heard a lot of these complaints except for the ones from the MF sale. There's always the regular complainers here, nothing new there. But it seems a little coincidental, doesn't it? A blow out price, almost too good to be true, resulting in a rash of issues. Hmmm... What did MF know? I guess there's no way of knowing for sure.
  19. I smell a mackerel too.
  20. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Those cracks look a little ominous.
    None of my basses creak like that, Ricks or otherwise and I've never heard of such things before.
    It may well be a warranty issue, contact MF right away about it.

    My 2010 4003 MID was almost perfect out of the box, also purchased from MF, though a year before the clearance sale.

    Mine was received in the unopened, undamaged, original RIC box, as were almost all of the sale basses from what I read.

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