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Rickenbacker 4003 concerns....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mind Eroded, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Im in the process of getting used to my new Ric that i bought a few weeks ago. One thing i noticed is that the neck pickup output is very very weak when compared to the bridge. Is this normal on Rics? the model i have has the adjustable pole pieces, maybe raising the pickup up will do the trick?
    Im loving this bass and all, but I already have several set up problems with it(such as the string height adjustment screw on the bridge being stripped on one side) so i am considering just bringing it in to a reputable guitar repair shop with a list of grievances....kind of a bummer considering the money i just shelled out on this thing, but it is probably the correct way to go about the situation:meh:
    Any Ric owners here with similar problems?

  2. mark-oj


    May 26, 2006
    sydney australia
    hey man..loook..i have the same problem.with my neck pickup..its pissweak..but..i dont ever use it by itself..unless im doing gigs where i need the sound of a double bass..then i just turn up my amp a little..im most of the time just on my bridge pickup using my fingers..anyway..otherwise slapping with both pickups on..man bummer to hear about ure action adjustment screw being worn..that sucks man....thats why i would never purchase a second hand rick..theres just to many things that could be wrong with it......rickenbacker forever my friends
  3. The only problem I had with my 4001 was that some previous owner fancied himself to be a master luthier and figured on lowering the action by hacking up the nut. Sent it off to Pick-of-the-Ricks to get a new one and to have it all set up.

    Ricks have special truss rod/neck adjusting methods---send it to someone who knows Ricks.
  4. Most likely all it needs is a decent setup. I would advise you to take it to an authorized Rickenbacker dealer. You can find one if you go to the RIC corporate site, www.rickenbacker.com. There is a dealer finder on the site. Also, if you haven't already, do send in your warranty card. If the bass was brand new it should have come with one. An authorized dealer will know how to properly set the bass up, and if they don't have the parts you need on hand, they'll be able to order it at a lower cost than if you ordered it yourself.
    Don't worry, it'll get squared away right. They just need setups when you get them.

    Sorry if this sounds like the overly obvious information it may be.
  5. bobalu

    bobalu Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    I have a new 4003 that I bought this past Fall. Ric basses are not overly complicated to set up, but they aren't quite as convenient to work on as a fender P or J. As you know, the bridge height adjustment screws are very tiny with a fine thread, and you can't adjust them under string tension or they'll easily strip. You really need to loosen the strings to safely adjust the bridge, a real pain. I also experienced the weak neck pup syndrome. I noticed that you can't really adjust it high enough, there just isn't enough travel. The adjustable pole pieces are an improvement, but the pup itself really needs to be raised. I'm trying to think of a non-damaging way to modify this myself. I hope Ric does something about this. The neck has a double truss rod, which is excellent. You just need to make sure you have equal tension on each truss rod nut so you don't introduce any twist in the neck. The truss rods are replacable as well. The Ric neck design is really good in this respect. If you're not comfortable adjusting your bass yourself, by all means take it to a qualified tech (just make sure he is familiar with Ric setups).
  6. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I think it's part of the design - all new 4003s are like that. I also never use the neck picku by itself, is 99% both pickups on, and with the adjustable pole pieces I get perfect balance on all strings.

    I had a '90 4003, and those pickups were incredibly hot, both of them, but again, I never use the neck pickup solo.
  7. Kindness


    Oct 1, 2003
    It is definitely part of the design, for better or for worse. Add onto that fact that the typical factory setup from Ric is atrocious and you've got most of the obvious and recurring Ric problems covered right there. Take it for a good setup. It is conceptually no different to set up than any other bass, so if your tech understands what he's doing, it'll be a non-issue. If the tech just does what he does because that's how he knows to do it, don't bring him your Ric.

    Once your bass is setup, there should be no issues.
  8. tercesyrev

    tercesyrev Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Please be careful to keep the guitar in a temperature controlled environment. Those damn necks warp like 2x2 studs. The trust rod design in those suck. I had a luthier remove the fret board and replace the trust rod with another design. Worked flawlessly afterwards. If you ask me Ricks are the most overated, over priced bass there is. Sorry.
  9. Ya......I am going to have to disagree with that statement from my experience. I bought 2 4003s last year and I am playing them as they arrived. The only thing I had to do was adjust the poles on the neck pick up of my Jetglo.

    As to the comments about the neck pick up being weak....take it for what it's worth but I use the neck pick up alone pretty much exclusively.

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