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Rickenbacker 4003 - E string hits the pickup

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CptPopsicles, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. CptPopsicles


    Mar 22, 2013
    I've been playing bass for off and on for 15 years, ranging from MIM Precision and Jazz Basses and a 6 string before that, but nothing that would be considered high end. I felt it was time to upgrade now that I can afford it.

    Local music store has a used Rickenbacker 4003, early 2000s. First time played one and it sounds like the tone I've always wanted - straight out of Moving Pictures. The A D G strings sounded amazing even on a practice amp but when I played the E string it sounds like pud. If I hit it with even the slightest aggression, the string hits the neck pick up. The other strings I can wail away on and they seem to sound better harder I attack.

    I would have put down the 1500 bucks right there if it wasn't for the E string issue. We tried raising the action a little but it just made it harder to play, and it still hit the pickup. :meh:

    Is this a common issue on the 4003s with some fix or do I just have to play one string super light? That would be a deal breaker.

    Any input would be appreciated!
  2. Can the pickup not be lowered at all on the E string end?

  3. CptPopsicles


    Mar 22, 2013
    I don't know if it can be lowered - the guy at the store (guitar guy) said it couldn't be lowered any more unless he adjusted the springs or something. He seemed more interested in making the sale and pressuring me than fixing the problem though.
  4. Kingbreaker


    Feb 12, 2013

    Avoid. You can get a new one under warranty for about ten bucks more.
  5. RJHall


    Dec 25, 2012
    New York City
    This is not a common issue at all from what I know. On most 4003s made in the last decade you can even adjust the individual pole pieces... maybe the E pole is high—which also doesn't make sense because I have mine pretty high w/o issues. IMHO I'd ignore the p'up issue and walk away because of the price. You can get a BRAND NEW Rick for $1500. That's what I paid for mine... no taxes... setup perfectly... shipped. If you do your research Pick of the Ricks and Wildwood Guitars will come up frequently regarding get a great Rick at a great price.
  6. I'm pretty sure most any pickup can be lowered enough to sufficiently clear a vibrating string. I just lowered one yesterday that was contacting the E string on one of my fretless basses--it would only touch when playing at the very highest end of the fingerboard. Don't play there much, so never noticed it before.

    About a half-turn on two screws did it.

    Some pickups may be much more involved to adjust, but it makes no sense for the pickup to always be in the way of the string path. Just because a sale is at stake is no reason for him to ignore it either--rather, if the sale is important to him, your problem should be his problem.

    All the best,

  7. GG7


    Mar 14, 2013


    Wildwood Guitars, $1499.00! Ask for Troy!

    They have two FireGlo 4003s they just got in right now! Price includes a professional setup and free shipping! :)

    Great people to deal with. I just bought a brand new 360/12 from them today and saved a bundle! :)
  8. CptPopsicles


    Mar 22, 2013
    Thanks a bunch! Very helpful - Wildwood website looks amazing
    My last question would be has anyone here slapped a Ric? I do some slapping and wonder if the pickups (when adjusted properly) lend themselves at all to slapping.
  9. Kingbreaker


    Feb 12, 2013
    MarloweDK of YouTube fame slaps his Ricks and they love him for it.
  10. GG7


    Mar 14, 2013
    lol! ;)

    Glad to be able to help you find a good place to buy a NEW 4003 with full warranty and a professional setup by long time Rick dealers! :)

    This forum turned me on to them recently, so I am just paying it forward! :)

    If you like the FireGlo finish, you could have your new 4003 by the end of next week! But don't wait too long to decide. There is often a multi-week wait for a 4003 if you want a recent production model and a specific finish. FireGlo is a very popular color, so I doubt those two basses they just got in stock will last through the weekend.

  11. Yes - I learned to slap on a Ric 4003! It is not what they are commonly used for, but don't let that put you off if you love 4003s! As far as the suitability of the pickups is concerned, it would all depend on the type of sound which you were aiming for, but I would be willing to bet that with careful tweaking of your amp's EQ, you could dial in a sound that you loved.
  12. Kopfjaeger

    Kopfjaeger Guest

    Jun 3, 2011
    Like the others have said, walk away from that bass and the store it was for sale in. The salesman does not know his ass from his elbow!! The pup can easily be lowered with a Philips screw driver. I seriously doubt it was anywhere near it's lowest point of travel. From what it sounds like, it was near it's highest point of travel.

  13. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Besides, the springs are only on the bridge pup, not the neck.

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