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Rickenbacker 3001 ('78) vs. 4003 ('08)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by faceman, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. faceman


    Jan 10, 2009
    Evening all,

    I'm sorry for yet another 'vs' thread but you guys are such good at answering them. Basically, I've got the opportunity to make my bass dream come through and get a Rickenbacker. I've got some money that I'll never have again and I want to get the thing I've always wanted through all the trades of basses.

    The two I've got to choose from is a Walnut 1978 Rickenbacker 3001 and a 2008 Blueburst 4003 but I was wondering everyone's thoughts on each one? Both of these would have to be bought unseen, as no one has Rics in stock any more and both are coming from distances. I'm liking the 3001 because it's more unique, looks great and I've heard nothing but good things as well as the fact the dudes from Monkeys and Franz play them. However, it's an instrument from 1978 so I'm not sure how well it's going to hold out to the rugged environment of playing, practising and recording this summer. From what I've seen, it's got some buckle wear but apart from that, not too shabby at all with nothing major on the front of the body. Comes with the original hard case too with new latches. This one is going to be from the old USA to England.

    The 4003 is your standard Ric, it's a few years old and it's coming from a dude who is retiring from playing bass. It's in very good condition and obviously has much less wear and tear. Nothing much else to say apart from it looks fantastic!

    Pricing wise, the 3001 is going be around £950 ($1300) and the 4003 is going to be £1,500 so there is quite a difference between the two. Have any of the Ric plays had experiences with these two and any thoughts on which one to go for? I've heard the 3001 is more P-bassy but retains some of the growl, and maybe more versatile?

    I've also attached images of both, thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sales Engineer
    If it were me I'd take the 4003. They are really versatile, despite what some people say and it will probably be made a bit better. I know next to nothing about the 3001 though.

  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I used to covet the 3001 back when I was obsessed with shortscale basses, but I have only read negative things about the tone and overall quality. At this point I would only buy a 3001 if I was a hardcore Ric collector or a hardcore shortscale collector, or if I got to play one in person and decided I liked it. It doesn't sound like any of those three parameters apply to your situation, so...
  4. faceman


    Jan 10, 2009
    Just a quickie - the 3001 isn't shortscale, that's the 3000. And I think you are right Dan that the neck through will be made a little better! Thanks for the advice bongomania, although as I said it is longscale, not short!
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Ah yes, you're right, I was thinking of the 3000. FWIW I just Googled the 3001 and found this '06 thread about them where a collector was saying he thought $750 USD was a fair price for a non-rare color.
  6. faceman


    Jan 10, 2009
    Well I'm hoping I might be able bargain down a little. I was quite set on getting the 3001 but I'm having second thoughts. How well would it hold up to live playing and getting a battering around do you think?
  7. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    4003, no question. And man what a color that baby is. I say go for the 4003. The 3001 looks like my grand dad's bass.
  8. Bassmingo


    Nov 6, 2008
    a friend has that type of 4003 (except its a 70's model) pictured, and while he knows what he owns he doesnt baby it too much and its stood up to a lot (nothing stupid though) and one of its pickups isnt up to much (he's threatened to fix it for years now) and i love the sound of it. it records brilliantly and i love the neck, but how i play and the where the bridge is placed doesnt work. i'd cut my hand open on that bridge before too long, which is a pity as some of my favourite tones back in the day (cliff burton, paul d'amour) are on a rick.

    the 3001 looks interesting, but i'd be going for the 4003
  9. The 4003 is a killer bass, I have one and love it!

    What I have read about the 3001 is that it really does not have the classic RICK sound, but is more like a Fender P bass. But I don't know for sure.
  10. well you said that you are going for your dream bass... thats exactly what what i did when i got my 4003. trust me man it will not dissapoint! :)
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The 4003 is the choice between the 2. The 3000 series was an attempt at "budget" Rics, way back when. The 4003 is a winner, and Blueburst is a color of the year, making it more valuable, down the road.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    I have a friend of mine here in Denver he has an 80s 4003 and an 80s 2030. The 2030 playes better, and sounds better.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    No musical instrument is going to hold up well to getting battered around. Far better to treat one's instruments with care - and make a purchasing decision based more on musical criteria.

    That said, the 4003 is a superior instrument to the 3001. They're from the same manufacturer - but they're not in the same league... :meh:

  14. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    You've obviously never read any of my comments on the 3001 I used to own!

    Wait, you said it was an '08, how can it be "a few years old"?

    Get the 4003. Better bass if you're gonna use it, better resale value if you're not.
  15. Go for the blue one!!!
  16. pringlw


    Nov 22, 2008
    Seattle Area
    Get the 4003. Personally I wouldn't spend 5 minutes thinking about the 3001.
  17. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I have that 3001's twin!

    I tend to be the 3001 advocate around here. I like the tone & playability, but they do lack the panache of the 4000 series. I feel the 3001 is a tougher, more durable instrument than the 4001/3, but if you're looking for the classic Rick tone & are concerned about resale value I say go for the 4003.

    Good luck to you...

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