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Rickenbacker 4003 or 4003s

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jesuskno, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. jesuskno


    Jun 7, 2010
    4003 or 4003s that is the question.
    Unfortunately I can not try both and compare them.
    I have read reviews about the 4003s is more comfortable, differences of electronic ...
    I listen to advice.
    Thank you friends.
  2. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    The 4003S does not have the binding, the triangle inlays on the fretboard (it has dots instead) or the stereo output. Some find it more comfortable due to the lack of binding. It is also discontinued.
  3. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    +1 on the S being more comfy due to the lack of binding. It doesn't affect everybody, but it does affect me. If you've ever played a Ric and found the binding to be annoying then the S is the way to go, but if the binding doesn't affect you then I doubt it will matter. Of course this is assuming you have your eye on one already, as stated they're no longer being made.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The one you didn't mention is the 4004. Also without binding, stereo out, and triangle inlays, but this is the "modern" Ric bass. Humbuckers, modern bridge, no pickguard, or any huge chrome mass, anywhere. Do yourself a favor, and look into these as well.
  5. jesuskno


    Jun 7, 2010
    There is much difference in sound between the two? 4003s has the classic Rickenbacker tone?
    For me that bass is comfortable is important because I have compartment syndrome in my hands. : (
  6. Yeah, the 4003s has the same tone. It doesn't have the stereo jack, so no Rick-o-Sound, if that's important to you.
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Here's another vote for a 4004. They are even more contoured than a 4003S and are lighter in weight, too, but sound awesome.

    As to the classic Rick tone, which one are you seeking? ;)
  8. jesuskno


    Jun 7, 2010

    Jaja... Good question!
  9. Rickenbass


    Oct 14, 2013
    I seriously disliked the 4004 until I upgraded the harness with a VVT coil tap and 500k Pots. Turned it into a monster that is a serious part of my arsenal.

    I was on the verge of selling her before the modification.

    The 4004 is nothing like the 4003 or 4001. The tone is different and I struggled to hear the Rickenbacker out of it. Sure, it looked like a Rickenbacker. Sound? Not so much.

  10. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    I have the 4003 ( a 1999) and have gigged with it for a long while. Never once used the Ric-O-Sound. There are too many more convenient ways to split your signal and grab effects and what not. I would never refer to any Ric as comfortable. I usually use the Fender Jazz and use the Ric as a show bass for older Rush tunes. Both sounds great but the Jazz is way more comfortable.
  11. woodyng


    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    My vote would be for any S type Rick over the standard 4003. The only real differences are ones that make the instrument more comfortable to play. (Lack of body and neck binding making for more rounded contours there)And you may as well get a Hipshot bridge for whichever one you choose while your're at it,at least if you like to play further back on the body. Also,i don't think the 4003's hot single coils have the "classic" Rick sound,compared to the lower output,cleaner sounding toaster,or even tapped hb1 pickups.
  12. woodyng


    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    Have you tried a 4004? I liked the jazz basses I've owned over the years,which include models from the 60's,70's,and early 21st century,but my 4004 Cii and Laredo are the nicest playing basses I've ever owned in 35-plus years.
  13. whitespikebass

    whitespikebass Boy Orbision

    Feb 19, 2013
    Austin, TX
    I have a 4003S. I LOVE it. It's the only bass I play (I own two, but rarely play the fender). Comfort is subjective. I find it more comfortable than many fenders. A jazz neck is much too thin for me.

    My 4003s has a pretty wide and deep neck, which I like. Honestly, I have only played a handful of Rics, all others being the 4003, and I never liked any as much as my 4003S. The tone seems to be higher output than the vintage 4001s I've played, but it still sounds vintage and "correct" to my ear but with a little more punch. I can easily rock a Beatles tone with it. Just my experience.
  14. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    It will sound the same, except that you can't play it stereo. But few people actually do that, so for most it wouldn't matter.

    You might also want to try a 4004, which has humbucking pickups, so a bit more full sounding.
  15. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    I'm the opposite. I typically find Fenders to be very uncomfortable... after a while my left hand will start really hurting. Comfort is the number one thing for me about playing a Rickenbacker.
  16. jesuskno


    Jun 7, 2010
    I own 3 Fenders jazz bass and a precision bass. When I'm playing the precision my left hand suffers too. I did not happen before, but now with the problem my hands. So I want to change my PB for Rick.
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    The 4003 neck is narrower than a P Bass as you get towards the body but the nut is the same width as a P Bass, so keep this in mind.