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Rick 4003 vs. 4003S regrets?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by marathoner, Sep 13, 2019 at 2:48 PM.

  1. I have a chance to buy a 2015 4003S for around $1,200, owned by a keyboard player that bought it new and never got around to learning bass. I'll get to see it and play it for the first time tomorrow. Based on other threads here, I am hoping I could get a new 4003 for around $1,500-1,600 if I am patient and shop around.

    I have never played a Rick and at $2,000, have just assumed that they are out of reach. At $1,500-1,600 for a new 4003, I am wondering if I will regret buying the 4003S used.

    For those of you that have owned both, would you regret buying a used mint 4003S if you could afford a new 4003?

    EatS1stBassist and AHaze like this.
  2. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I would rather buy the S model. I have both styles, and the no-body binding is way more comfortable.
    I also have no use for the stereo out on the 'regular' 4003.
  3. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I prefer the looks of a 4003, with the fretboard inlays, but prefer the feel of a 4003s with its more contoured body. 6 of one, half dozen of the other.
  4. gwangi

    gwangi Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Also remember, buying used, the depreciation hit has already happened.

    Play the bass and see.
    Aqualung60, Rezdog and marathoner like this.
  6. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Yeah, play it and see. I’d never buy one new if I could get a nice one used. I personally prefer the look of the 4003, but the 4003S body is a bit more comfortable to play because of the rounded edges. I have one of each and don’t have a problem with either.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    IMHO, always best to try before you buy. I have played a bunch of Rics, and many of them were dogs. If the 4003S plays sweet and sounds nice, jump on it.
    TAZ, EatS1stBassist and marathoner like this.
  8. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Buying for looks, 4003. Buying for a functional bass guitar that you actually have to have strapped to you for more than an hour at a time, P bass.

    4003s reminds me of veggie burgers. Get a proper cheeseburger or have a salad.
  9. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Play them if you can. They vary. I am on my third . First two were meh. The one I have now is it. I'm talking about neck shape ,not tone.
    It could be a placebo effect, but I've read the the necks are cnc and then hand finished (shape).
    Not sure how accurate that statement is.

    I am a hobbyist (I suck at music , but my kids don't, so I've been an effective influence). I do love the tone I can get out of it ,its not all clank.. I've never used the stereo out.

    The 4003 has a hard edge, depends on your style as to whether that's gonna bother you.

    If you buy used and get it right you'll easily flip it without a loss. New ,you will take a hit.
    marathoner likes this.
  10. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Does the S have the push pull vintage option?
  11. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Um... before you consider either of these purchases, GO PLAY A RICK. They are very... different than other basses in almost every way.
    Wasnex likes this.
  12. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida

    I have a 4003SW and love it. Comfortable to play and prefer the dot inlays.

  13. Rezdog

    Rezdog Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada
    Greetings from the North,

    I find the 4003S more comfortable to play and loses nothing sonically to the 4003 except for stereo capability. Also people will think that you know what you're doing without those big ole sharks teeth fret markers to guide you when playing ;-)

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 9:04 PM
    marathoner likes this.
  14. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    Sold my P, still have my Ricks.
  15. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    plenty of people eat veggie burgers.
  16. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    No sharks teeth inlays = no Ric in my stable... of one - I learned on a Thunderbird style with a near flat fretboard (has NO inlays/dots), so the Rics I've played don't really feel unnatural in my hands.

    The one 4003 I played at the last local TB-GTG even cut thru the sounds of at least 20 other bass players boomp boomp thuump'n in the same back warehouse room of a brewpub :bassist:
  17. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Buy a 4003 used.
  18. Yep, I'm playing it tomorrow.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  19. I played a bunch of both honestly the stereo input is something I only use at home, bringing out 2 rigs to places is something I'm not down to do, even though it integrated into a rig unleashes some amazing capabilities running different effects at the same time. The binding really isn't all that cumbersome on a 4003, at least to me. My biggest thing was neck shape when picking my Rick, I almost gave up because the necks on newer Rickenbackers are just downright uncomfortable to me. I was lucky enough to stumble upon an '85 in a rare color, honestly it could have had any color painted on it and I would have still bought it. The neck is much slimmer on the one I bought compared to the chunkier necks on newer Rick's. I've posted mine a million times but here she is again! IMG_20190317_191914.
  20. peter nicholas

    peter nicholas

    Aug 1, 2019
    ma, usa
    there are three differences:

    1) binding vs. rounded edges
    2) sharktooth inlays vs. dot inlays
    3) "stereo" "rick-o-sound" output vs. regular mono output

    i have several of each. IMO the first two points are cosmetic and irrelevant. that leaves the question: do you need the "stereo" output jack?
    Gizmot likes this.

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