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Rickenbacker 4003 vs 4001C64

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheMusicMan78, Jun 1, 2012.


  1. TheMusicMan78

    TheMusicMan78

    Jun 1, 2012
    Honestly, I'm mainly a six-string player and this is my first post, but I figured this was the best place to come. I'm going to get my Dad a great 60th birthday gift, He said that he's always wanted a Ric bass so I'm going to get him one. I'm debating between a 4003 and a 4001C64. Really, I have 3 options that I'm considering. Either get a 4003, get a 4001C64, or get a 4003 then replace the stock pickups with a Toaster pickup at the neck and a Horseshoe pickup at the bridge. I'm leaning pretty heavily towards the third option right now, but I figured that I would come here to ask first before pulling the trigger. I've been doing some research and the general consensus of the internet seems to be that the 4001 has better pickups, but the 4003 is a better overall bass. Any advice would be great, thanks guys.
     
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    The C64 has been discontinued, but since you plan on swapping out the pickups if you buy a 4003, I suggest you look for the former that is still in stock somewhere, or even a secondhand one.
     
  3. TheMusicMan78

    TheMusicMan78

    Jun 1, 2012
    I was able to find a new C64 for $2400,a new 4003 is $2000, and even if I got the new pickups it would only be $2350, plus I like the triangle inlays and body binding on the 4003. I was mainly curious if a 4003 w/ the toaster and horseshoe pickup would have a similar sound to the 4001C64.
     
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    What does your dad like, this is for him, right? ;)
     
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    The main difference between the 4003 and the 4001c64 is the c64 will cost you $1000 more.
     
  6. TheMusicMan78

    TheMusicMan78

    Jun 1, 2012
    Yeah, but I think it would be kind of a dead giveaway if I asked him which he liked better? I think he'd like the binding and triangle inlays better.
     
  7. TheMusicMan78

    TheMusicMan78

    Jun 1, 2012
    But which is the best option in your opinion? A higher price tag doesn't always mean a better guitar. My dad likes a vintage sound if that helps at all.
     
  8. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ricky's are great basses in their own right (I've owned 3,) but consider a few things first before deciding which one to buy. t would be a shame if you spent a lot of money, and your dad ends up not enjoying the bass as much as he thought he would.

    Ricky's have a very different feel. If he's used to playing a Fender, the sharp edge of the binding on a 4003 could be a rude awakening - it can be very uncomfortable if he's used to a contoured body.

    The C64 has no binding (which is more comfortable in my opinion,) but the next consideration is how he plays, and where he anchors his thumb (if at all.) If he's used to resting his thumb on the pickups, remember that Ricky pickups are inset into the body, and do not protrude as they do on most basses. Most people will remove the plastic cover over the rear pickup of a 4003 or 4001 (as it gets in the way for many players used to plucking or playing with a pick closer to the bridge,) but the horseshoe bridge pickup of the C64 cannot be modified for playing comfort - it's an all inclusive unit (which is part of the appeal.)

    Another option (if you can find one) may be a 4001s or 4003s - no binding, and has the plastic cover over the rear pickup which can be removed.

    This is a very nice idea for your dad. I'm sure he'll be blown away no matter what you decide.
     
  9. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    If you found a new C64 for $2400.....I would jump on that. I have two 4003's and they are pretty easy to come by...not so on the C64.
     
  10. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    I saw Jaco Pastorius jump on his '62 Jazz Bass at the end of his big solo during a concert. :eek:

    He was still able to play it just fine after the solo. :bassist:

    That was Joni Mitchell's Shadows & Light tour, wonderful concert. :cool:

    Now back to your regularly scheduled debate. :cool:
     
  11. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    hmmm, well either way I see your Dad being super-pleased!

    There should be a difference in the sound b/w a c64 and the 4003. The p'up combo is pretty great on the c64, and definitely more of a 'vintage' sound than a modern 4003 (even if using the 'vintage' mode on that bass).

    Also agreed that your dad might not dig the feel of a Ric if he's used to Fenders. It's all personal; I happened to totally love the feel after coming from a Fender. the c64 will probably be more comfortable than the 4003, but it's true that the inlays and binding are just pure classy and look great
     
  12. DavyR

    DavyR

    May 29, 2011
    Are you sure that the 2 horseshoe pieces can not be removed from the bridge pickup of a C64? If so, that kills a C64 for me unless I swap out that pickup. I play with a pick right over the bridge pickup. That's the sweet spot, IMO, and no doubt that's why that pickup is placed there.
     
  13. TheMusicMan78

    TheMusicMan78

    Jun 1, 2012
    Ok, I've decided to just take my Dad to a music store and try each of them out. I know a store with a C64 in stock. I'll get back to you all with his final decision in a few days.
     
  14. TheMusicMan78

    TheMusicMan78

    Jun 1, 2012
    The bass which he's owned most of his life is a '78 Music Man Stingray(which is how I got my username here). When I see him play that he's usually resting his thumb on the pickup and plucking, but a couple of years ago he won a Hofner icon bass at a benefit and he uses a pick on that. He picks the Hofner pretty much between the two pickups so I don't think that the covers on the Rics would be an isssue. He's never owned a bass with a bound body so I don't know if he likes or dislikes the feel of that. I guess I'll have to ruin the surprise, take him to a music store, let him try a 4003 and a C64, and let him decide.
     
  15. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Maybe they can be - I've never owned a Ricky with a horseshoe pickup. Even if it can be, it kind of kills what is unique about the C64 in the first place...although I do dig the larger headstock with the walnut wings!
     
  16. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    You can, but it's a much more involved process than removing the plastic cover on the 4003. I wouldn't recommend it.

    I actually prefer to have the cover on my 4001, and when I played a 4001C64, I did not find the horseshoe bit to be uncomfortable at all. Great bass. If money isn't a huge deal, I'd get that one.
     
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    If you have 2 basses that are pretty close to being equal and one costs $1000 less which do you think you should get?
     
  18. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    it sounds like the 2 the OP has in his area are only $400 apart.
     
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I was thinking list price ...
     
  20. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Good decision, really. :cool:
     

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