Ric Fiends: 4003/S8?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I've been intensely interested in eight and twelve string basses as of late. This all started because a local shop ordered in a Hamer Chaparral for stock. The thing sounds like a freaking orchestra!

    Twelve is a bit much for me, though. I'd like to try an eight to see if the magic is there for me. I know Dean is making an eight string version of the Rhapsody, but it's the Rickenbacker 4003/S8 that's really getting my panties in a wad.

    Who out there has one of these beasts that can give me some insight into their playability? Also, are the octave strings above or below the root strings (i.e., if you were to strum from E to G, would you hit the root of each pair first, or the octave)?

    (On edit: I've seen references to Ric eights being set up both ways - maybe there's been changes? Also, are all eight tuners the same, or do they have four bass and four guitar machines?)
  2. Kubla Khan

    Kubla Khan Guest

    Jan 29, 2001
    Heavy D,

    I have a 4003/S8, natural maple. It's a beautiful instrument, well made. The specs, neck are the same as the 4001, but with 8 tuners, all the same size (called mini Schaller's, but pretty standard size). A bit neck heavy with those extra tuners, but not bad. The Ric homepage details all info on the bass.

    The standard stringing on the Ric is low string is struck first, then high octave string following. This seems contrary to all other 8's/12's I've seen (Hamer, Modulus, and Dean, I believe).

    As I've been playing mostly fingerstyle with the instrument, using a bit of nail, it's not too much of an issue with the string order. A friend of mine plays one, but he restrung his with the octave first and then the bass. I'm sure the nut could be modified, or another ordered from Ric regarding string order. I think you need to try one, see how it feels.

    It does require a different technique. Not as much string bending ability. Playing with a pick works well too, but I think it comes down to you're playing style. Some might want a more dominant fundamental, some may prefer the octave first. I'll probably keep my this way for now, seems to do the trick.

    They are less money than some, but more than others. If you play/like a 4001, you'll probably dig the 8 string version. It creates a monsterous huge tone, I totally dig the sound for some variety. Sounds like a guitar and bass duet. Also sounds great through 4x12's, 15's, a little effects here and there...a very unique instrument!

    Hope this helps,
    Kubla Khan
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I need to find one to try out!

    I'm a fingerstyle player, and the way the Ric is set up with the octaves closer to the floor seems best for me. I need to spend some quality time to be sure, but I'm GASsin' in a major way.

    Thanks for all the info!