Rickenbacker 4003/s vs Geddy Lee USA?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PeterH, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Rickenbacker 4003

    52 vote(s)
  2. Rickenbacker 4003s

    33 vote(s)
  3. Fender Geddy Lee USA Jazz Bass

    38 vote(s)
  4. All/Fender + Rick

    28 vote(s)
  1. PeterH


    Dec 31, 2015
    Not New York
    Hello everyone! The most indecisive man on TB is back (actually, I'm not sure about TB) and I'm looking to get another bass in the soonish mean time which can finally scratch that itch.
    Right now, I have a Tony Franklin Fretless P/J and a Am. Standard Jazz Bass- however, it is most likely going to be put in storage as I don't want to lug 3 basses around. (not touring or gigging or anything, just in general)
    So I'm in a dilemma. You know the rules. In love with Chris/Paul/Geddy (oh Geddy)/John Camp/....Jaco and stuff. Yeah. Anyways, vote!
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  2. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I can't vote until I know what bass(es) you already have. Or you could include an "all of the above" option.
  3. PeterH


    Dec 31, 2015
    Not New York
    Good point. Editing.
  4. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I voted Ric 4003. It gives you the most differentiation from the current basses you have. In the long run I would probably sell the AmStd and end up with the US Geddy as well. I think you'd find a reason to keep all three (4003/Tony Franklin/US Geddy) on hand giving you a fantastic palette of tone goodness.
    djaxup, Spectrum, Andre678 and 5 others like this.
  5. PeterH


    Dec 31, 2015
    Not New York
    I kind of feel the same way but I'm sort of worried about how rock solid it's going to be, and without a lot of confidence in my maintenance skills... I'm probably overthinking things because I'm in upstate new york where the weather really shifts.
    To be honest, I will get another chance to look at both basses in like 2 weeks however; I tried a Rick in NYC a couple months back and it might have been the amp or dead strings but I was leaning towards the Geddy. Though I run into another dilemma of Jet Glo or Maple Glo...
  6. PeterH


    Dec 31, 2015
    Not New York
    Speaking of which, what are the main differences between a 4003 and a 4003s? I always hear thinner neck and asides from looks and no stereo I wouldn't really know.
  7. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Not sure about the thinner neck thing. The S model doesn't have binding. It also has dot markers, instead of triangles and it has a mono jack. I'm also not sure what you mean about maintenance skills and rock solid in colder climates. I'm in Ontario and have owned a lot of basses. My Ricks are the only ones I set up and never look at again. Mine don't even go out of tune.
    I agree with Digitalman, get a 4003, also sell the Am Standard and get a Geddy, All your requested bases will be covered ;).
    Jon Camps Rocks, btw :thumbsup: :cool:.
    woodyng2 and Gilmourisgod like this.
  8. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The S models are more comfortable to play for most people, the binding never bothered me, but some people find it chafes on the forearm. The Ric and Geddy are both trebly, growly basses, different , but in the same tonal ballpark in some ways. That's a tough choice, but id go for the 4003 to get the push/pull tone switch and option for "stereo" output. Most people play them mono, but that misses the Secret Sauce of a Ric. Have you played both in person? The necks vary in depth noticeably (and randomly) in Rics, the Geddy's vary by model.
    Spectrum and woodyng2 like this.
  9. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    If you like Jaco and stuff, forget about a Rick. That is just a totally different animal.


    You don't need a Geddy Lee bass to sound like Geddy Lee. Even if you get one, you will be surprised to find out that you actually don't sound like Geddy Lee at all. Its all in the fingers and sound setup. Which brings me to my point.

    You already have the Am.Std. Its passive - so what, get a pedal preamp. You already have a fundament to get to towards the Jaco or Geddy Lee sounds (its still the same bass guitar we're talking about here - Its still all Jazz Bass). You can do certain things to alter the tone of a Jazz Bass up to a certain point. But its all minor things - the base of the sound still stays the same. Then its the use of strings, etc.

    Based on that, I would go with a Rick if you really dig its tone. For rock and drive gain stuff, the bass kills. Actually it sounds nice played softly or while banging it. At the end its all about digging the tone.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    I voted USA Geddy Lee Jazz.

    Personally, I find Rickenbacker necks very uncomfortable, and I think the bodies feel uncomfortable as well, and the ones I've played are quite heavy. IMO, definitely do not buy a Rick without playing it first.

    You already have a Jazz, and assuming you like that, go for the best Jazz Fender currently produces. Plus '70s spacing is how fretted Jazz basses always should've been made. Plus the necks are somewhat similar, and for me, the feel of the neck is numero uno.
    Moosehead1966 and Fluid Power like this.
  11. PeterH


    Dec 31, 2015
    Not New York
    I completely understand what you mean- and I can cop some pretty good tones/playing styles on any bass but as you said there are somethings so fundamentally different that I'd need a Rick/Jazz to really nail.

    That's very true which is why I need to go out and play one again in a GC or something. The Geddy, when I did try one, was basically butter and the nicest jazz I've played. Was surprised at how thumpy it could be too. But I'm at odds with the Rick still. It's probably to the point of which do I get first or whatnot...
  12. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Having recently owned all of them.... and being a TB resident bass glutton.... I saw all of course. The US GL is a primo US Fender Jazz, I love the 4003 as a player but prefer the looks of the 4003s. Cant go wrong with any of them.
  13. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    Well it basically depends on the bridge being used, wood selection etc. If you have a rosewod jazz bass than you will have a harder time to get to that geddy lee bass sound but other than that, you can get by.

    With Jbasses its really basically about the next things - Maple vs rosewood and 60's vs 70's pup spacing. Everything else is basically hardware related which can be modified with aftermarket parts if you so desire. Ok neck thickness is also a thing but that really only exists to make your hand more comfortable while playing. Some prefer thickness, some can't live without a slick thin fast neck... Up to you.

    IMO, if you are not a collector it makes no sense to have multiple Jbasses at home. You will realise you will main one anyways and shelf the rest. Unless you are rich. Otherwise maintaining a number of bass guitars with strings is an expensive thing.

    Let me tell you something else - if you really dig the geddy lee tone, get yourself a geddy lee bass. Jbass afterall is the more versatile instrument of the two. Then sell your am std and save some more money and go for the rick aswell.

    Now, I don't know what music you play mainly and what are your future plans with bands and your sound expectations and that may also affect your decision.

    You won't go wrong with neither of the listed bass guitars but if playing versatile music is more your thing rather than sticking to one specific genre with your only band the Geddy Lee bass will bring you more bang in general.

    I myself am a professional bass player and would love to have a Rick too, but only as a specific bass for specific things. Making it more of a side project. Believe me, I brought Yamahas, Musicmans, Ibanez basses etc. etc. to the different bands gigs and rehearsals but always got the best compliments for the tone and "fitting" of the tone while playing on a jbass or pbass.

    My best advice would be to find a store with a live room, take your band with you and try them both with a band. Whatever lifts your hair higher is the thing you want :)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    I never have great luck dialing in a jazz, while ricks feel weird, therefore a jazz with Rick pickups, sorry I couldn't be more helpful
  15. Get a Marcus Miller Jazz Bass. Aside from that, go with a 4003 (s or not).
  16. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I had a Fireglo 4001 back in the 80's and remember all the time wishing it was a Jetglo instead. I lean pretty heavily toward black basses.
  17. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    For the record, let's just say I can relate to the dilema.

  18. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, fireglo is purty, but I love me a black Ric. THe Burgandyglo is a close second.
  19. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    I voted T 40.
  20. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    I voted 4003.

    I have a Jazz (frankensteined with a fretless Precision neck, an old Gibson mudbucker added and Jazz pickups rewound by Lindy Fralin) and a 4001 (with reissue horseshoe pickup).

    I find the ergonomics of these instruments very different, but it's a very personal thing. Sitting down, I can play the Jazz forever, but the the way I play the Rick with a pick, I really need to stand up. The binding doesn't usually bother me, I wear a sweatband on my right forearm for the rare occasions when it might. These instruments are nearly the same weight (Jazz is 10.0 lbs, Rick is 9.8) but something about the shape of the Rick makes it feel a lot lighter to me, maybe because the body is so thin.

    As far as sound... a friend of mine has a Geddy Lee Jazz, and the pickups on his bass seem very different from standard Jazz pickups: really meaty low end, with a lot of crunch and sizzle too. But a Rickenbacker has such a unique tone, it's quite a departure from the basses you have, which is one reason I voted 4003.

    The other reason is the stereo output. Honestly, I've rarely used mine, but the tone possibilities are hard to obtain any other way, especially with the push/pull switch to insert the capacitor on the bridge pickup.

    One thing to consider, though: the Rick neck is wider at the nut than the Jazz. I found the original Jazz neck at 1-1/2" a bit narrow for my taste, the fretless P neck is better at 1-5/8", I think my 4001 is just a smidge wider than that.
    NealBass likes this.
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