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Rickenbacker 4003 - Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by McBraid, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. After saving evry penny for a while i can finally afoard my very own Ric 4003. But I've heard a lot of bad stuff about the newmade Ric's. Things like quality flaws... that "it dosen't sound like a ric shuld" and "If you shuld buy a ric, buy a 4001.. or just don't buy one at all"

    So i need some help to make my self confident about weither i should buy a 4003 or not.

    // McBraid
  2. I'm more than happy with my 4003. I owned a '77 4001 back in the 80s, and the only appreciable difference I've noticed is that the 4003 can handle roundwounds, which I think gives it a nice sound--still has the Rick "growl," but with a sharper edge to it. If I prefer a more "vintage" sound, I can always string it with flats.
    It may well be that I could have strung the '77 with rounds--I've never been sure which model year that became safe.

    And I don't have any of the 4003 problems I hear about at TB. Maybe these were taken care of in the 2002 models?
  3. I dunno...I know Cliff used a 4001...not sure which year though.
  4. My 4003JG is from the 17th week of 2001 (April 23-27, I guess that makes it a Taurus? heh heh). No problems whatsoever, and I have done absoutely horrible things to the neck... and the action is fantastic with no twist, s-curves, etc. The sound is phenomenal. My only complaint is the bridge mute is a total bag to get up, and then even harder to get back down.

  5. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    I am the PROUD owner of a '01 4003 JetGlo, the greatest bass made IMHO!
    Bought her new, no problems at all!
    Go ahead, McBraid. I'm sure you'll have no regrets!
  6. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Rickenbacker GOOD!

    I had a early 70's 4001 once. It was schweet!

    I recently played a 80's fretless 4003? at the GC in VA.It was very schweet!!
  7. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    Hey, eejit!
    My '01 JetGlo was from the 13th week (last week in March, 26th /30th)!
    How 'bout that ****?
  8. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I have had a 97 and a 2001 4003 and they blew the doors off of my 77 4001. It was a dawg and the 4003's were both awsome, well made US basses.
  9. Coolness :)

    So yours is an Aries, and it's my bass's big brother/sister (depending on what you've named it :)... actually, I haven't named mine...)

  10. turkish

    turkish Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    FCCAUSA, or here
    whta the difference between a 4001 and a 4003 anyway?
  11. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    I guess we'd have to say sister, since I either call her "baby" or "b*#ch", depending on my mood!
  12. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    The only "real" difference, other than pick ups, are the neck and trussrod systems.
    4001: thinner neck, weaker truss rods
    4003:thicker neck, stronger truss rods

    Pre '70s 4001 had a "toaster" p/u in the neck position, and a "horse shoe" p/u in the bridge position. In the early '70s, the 4001 switched to "high gain" p/us that are still used to present day.
  13. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Your point is? He also used an Aria Pro II. :)
  14. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I totally agree with Josh. I had about 4 or 5 4003's from the mid 80's to the mid 90's. I've also sold a bunch when I worked @ Sam Ash & I've never noticed any problems with craftsmanship.

    The sound is a different story. :)
  15. I had a 2002 4003 for a short while. Always wanted a RIC. It was flawless and one of the most beautiful sunglo's I've ever seen. The stock case was also much nicer than most cases that come with high-end basses. I miss the RIc, mostly because it was so cool looking, but it developed a wiring problem and the slab body style dug into my ribs, not making it that comfortable. I also found I needed to play it through my outboard preamp to really get the sound I was after. I had to change my playing style somewhat, since it was a shorter scale bass than I'm accustomed to playing.

    I'd buy another RIC but would try out one of the Cheyenne's, I think they may have the contoured body?
  16. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    ...not a problem for someone equipt with the proper size "tool shed"! (such as myself) *grins*
  17. Nah man I was just saying...he used a 4001. But I don't know what year/model it was.
  18. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Didn't the early 4003s also have a pickguard that was two seperate pieces?

    BTW, my old man has a 1976 Mapleglo 4001. He bought it used in 1980 for 300 bucks. All it needed was a screw replacement on the bridge and a metal cover for the back PU. He's played a lot of shows with that bass. :eek:
  19. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA

    The first 4003s ('79-'84) had split pickguards because the truss rods adjusted at the body, not at the headstock.
  20. You call your Rick b*#ch!? How dare you! I'll admit I do occasionally slap mine around a bit, and I hit it pretty hard when playing Cygnus X-1... but never do I call it b*#th!

    Jerk :p



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