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Ric vs Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nico Zottos, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Nico Zottos

    Nico Zottos

    Jul 29, 2012
    Okay so up until now I've floated by on a few Fender Mexican basses but now I'm ready to go for a high quality one. I've narrowed it down to either a Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass or a Rickenbacker 4003...I love the look and tone of the Rickenbacker but I have been playing Jazz basses for almost all of my career as a bassist so the feel is very familiar to me...Any opinions or notes about the two basses that you guys may have? I want to make the best decision because it's not a cheap one.

  2. skiscem

    skiscem Supporting Member

    You should try to play a Ric before you commit to it, Rics are awesome instruments, but they are not for everyone, i own both and i use them both for different projects.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    A Ric + a Jazz makes an awesome combination. I'm just sayin'... :meh:

  4. Yeah try before you buy. For me however I love both Rics and Jazz basses.
  5. Nico Zottos

    Nico Zottos

    Jul 29, 2012
    Thats the big issue, I live in a remote place and there is really nowhere I can go to try out a Ric...no big music stores or anything. I would definitely try one out if I could, that would be the best way to make the decision but unfortunately it's not possible.
  6. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    ^ This, definitely. I like Rics a lot; but if you're real comfortable on a Jazz, the Ric will take some getting used to. I've owned two beautiful Rics that I ended up selling because they just never felt as comfortable to me as my Jazzes and P's. (That's not a slam on Rics. I'm the same way with Stingrays. Great basses, but I just feel more at home on my Fenders.)

    Your experience might be different. Try one out. You might fall in love with the feel. For me though, it just never felt right.

    EDIT: I just saw your post saying that you have no way to try one out. Where do you live? Maybe there is a Ric-playing TB'er near you that would let you play theirs for 20 minutes or so...
  7. Nico Zottos

    Nico Zottos

    Jul 29, 2012
    I live in New Hampshire...I could check around with some local bassists. I'm leaning towards the jazz right now because I am so comfortable with the feel of it that it may make sense to invest in a high quality one.
  8. Rocinante_x1

    Rocinante_x1 Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Washington State
    I've owned 3 Rics. One was a 1976 4001 Jetglo, The other was a 1989 Midnight Blue 4003, and the other was a 2009 4003 Jetglo. They all sounded and felt amazing, however different from each other completely. I loved them but they were lacking in the comfort and sonic department. The best sounding of all three rics was my 2009 Jetglo. unique and melted my soul when i played it because of how it sounded, but Jazzes always do that to me tenfold. They feel much better, less awkward. They are more versatile. But it's all apples and oranges. Someone else may have a different experience than I or anyone else here.
    The one thing the Rickenbacker has over the Jazz is its aesthetics. It looks so much sexier and more exotic than a Jazz. The jazz is sexy in its own right, but not to par with the Ric.
  9. Nico Zottos

    Nico Zottos

    Jul 29, 2012
    Yeah that's really what's giving me trouble. I love the classic look and feel of the Jazz bass but there's just something about the Ric that makes me second guess myself when I look at a picture of it because man it is just so beautiful. I'm definitely not buying for looks, but oh my it's hard to pass it up.
  10. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Definitely try, ricks are very polarizing. I personally can not feel comfortable on them.

    I feel that if you're investing that much money into an instrument, it's worth driving to the nearest location that has a good collection of instruments to try before you buy. Even if it's a whole day round trip, it is really worth it.
  11. I have a Ric and a Jazz. I love them both for many different reasons, but my Warmoth Jazz tends to be my daily driver because it's more comfortable to play IMO. The Ric neck is fairly chunky relative to a Jazz, which is a bit of a turn off for me. But it's worth noting that it is the Ric's only turn off, otherwise it's a freaking magical bass!
  12. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    If you're already comfortable playing (and listening to) a Jazz bass, I'd recommend staying with the Jazz! It has a sound via the bridge p'up that a Rick does not... However, if you rarely use that "burpy" type sound the of the J bridge p'up, then it's more about the left hand feel... The Jazz neck is quite small at the nut, and the Rick is not. The Rick will "out bass" the Jazz... but the Rick cannot approximate the bridge p'up sound pf the Jazz... All of which is worthy of "sight/sound unseen/unheard" thinking... Having had many basses in my life, the 2 brands I prefer the most are Rickenbacker and Hofner. Yet, when I want a "safe" bass for a gig, I take an American Precision with a maple board neck... But I always wish I could take the Rick!! Most of that decision is based upon "Lacie" paranoia, since maple board necks aren't targets, and I could "unbolt" a rosewood board neck with the Fenders... Gubmint officials are pretty stoopid, and therefore can't tell rosewood from any other (except maple), so I worry about losing an $1800 Rickenbacker, as opposed to an $800 Fender (or $300 Fender neck)... I know... silly... RIGHT??
  13. I haven't played a Ric, but I listen to them a lot, in fact just finished. Rics have a growl to them that a Jazz doesn't, to my ear. It's a great sound for certain types of music but not all IMO. And Jazzes have a kind of perfect musicality to them, but aren't everyone's taste for certain kinds of music. As someone said above, a Ric and a Jazz, at least for me, would be different basses for different musical projects. You don't really disclose what you are trying for musically.
  14. If you are able to pick up a used 4003 without first selling your MIM then I say do it. You could always sell it and get your money back if you discover you're just not a Ric guy. All well and good to try one in a music shop but you really need to sit down with one, jam with it, gig with it, get over the honeymoon and really get to know a Ric. They are very different - and as a lot of people have noted - you may actually hate the feel of it.

    FWIW I LOVED my '74 4001. I also prefer the Jazz feel but for me tone is king. If you love the tone, your fingers will get used to a new instrument..... but you may want to keep a cheap jazz to noodle on.
  15. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    .... whatever happened to all the Ric bashers ? They'd normally be all over a thread like this .

    Put me in the Ric fan club , have been using one for years and love it for what it is . You should try one out for a bit , they are not like other basses .
  16. 66Atlas


    May 19, 2012
    As some have said if you're keeping your current jazz why not go for the ric and add some additional versitiliy to your sound? You'll have a lot more options between two more disparate instruements.

    As my father once said, "If all you date is blondes and you marry a blonde, you'll always wonder what a brunette would be like."
  17. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    I've always been a Jazz bass guy, but some young players I know desperately wanted a Ric. I used this year's gig money to get one, and we share it. Some awesome dudes on TB helped me get this 2004 so I could expose the kids to it. I started a thread about that:


    If you lived close, we might be able to work something out where you could try it at a practice or a gig. Maybe somebody near you would hook you up that way. I try to use this one on gigs so I can really get to know it. Here's a shot from the first gig last month (as you can see, I am running sound on this job, too):


    I am still getting used to it. It works great for the rock stuff, but I am in a cover band that does a wide variety of party/dance music. I need to find my way around it a bit. The wider, "clubbier" neck doesn't bother me. It's just hard to get certain tones from it; I think that's me more than the Ric.

    And I don't find it uncomfortable. It's not as "form fitting" as the Jazz, which feels like it's connected to me. Physically, I think I could play any bass for a set. I just need to learn how to work the thing. That said, I would not want it to be my only bass.

    The kids love it, though! Ha!

  18. Eckie


    Jan 14, 2004
    Edinburgh, UK
    Check out Troy on YT - you should be able to get a lot from his channel for comparison purposes. His view is that a Rick tone is unique but a Jazz is more versatile.
  19. This is right. Look at eBay and you'll find that used Ricks go for prices pretty close to (or even above) what you pay for a new one. They hold their value, so there isn't a financial risk if you keep one in good shape.
  20. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Mexican Fenders, if you have a good one, are not tons better than the American ones. If you have a good Mexican Fender bass, no one in the audience or in a recording studio is going to be able to identify that as "less-than" sounding to an American Fender. If you want to upgrade, American basses are better, but not gonna blow you away better.

    Rics, I've owned one in my early youth, perfect for British progressive rock, or Beatles tribute band, just not that relevant to today.... in my not so humble opinion. Just my taste. The styling is a little "George Jetson" 60s hip. I just can't take them seriously as professional instrument.

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