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Rickenbacker 4003 w Pros and cons

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nighttrain1127, Nov 9, 2018.


  1. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    I have an opportunity to buy a Brand new Rick 4003 W (walnut) . I am looking for anyone with experience with these to let me know what the pros and cons are of the walnut over the Regular RIC 4003's. Thanks in advance for any help. Not looking for any bashing so if that is your thing please move on . Just want information from people that have or do own them and or have played them besides 10 min in GC
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  2. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    The necks on the W’s aren’t painted to match the body (like any other painted model 4003) so I’d say it’s possible that the W neck might feel “faster” than a painted 4003.
    I owned a Ruby 4003 for a while, and it was great but the painted neck took some getting used to. Mine was a more current model, that had a thicker neck than the older 4003’s I’ve messed around with.
     
  3. With no paint you remove risk of bubbling.
     
    BIGEJ2 and cataract like this.
  4. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    True! My Ruby’s fretboard was somewhat cloudy as well. Still looked amazing though.
    If I had it to do all over, I should’ve gone with my gut and picked up a W, truth be told.
     
  5. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Sounds like I am going to have to pull the trigger on this one No negatives so far but if you have some input either way feel free to post it up. As to the thicker neck thick how front to back or width or both?
     
    cataract likes this.
  6. Tori2013

    Tori2013

    Aug 28, 2015
    The neck is shaped like a "C" to me. Beautiful bass with no finish to worry about. You'll love it.
     
    cataract likes this.
  7. Oberst

    Oberst

    Oct 1, 2018
    I have the s version. Love mine. No finish worries, neck feels great and sounds great. TI flats on mine from about a week after I got it.
     
    cataract likes this.
  8. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    My friend’s 80’s 4003 had a significantly slimmer neck, more noticeable at the nut/1st fret— mine was a chunky “C” but still comfortable. Cut my teeth on a 1.75” Precision neck- was definitely thinner than that, so no complaints.
    I’d also just recently gotten married when I bought my Rick, so getting used to a wedding ring on my fretting hand plus a new neck made things interesting.
     
  9. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    All good news to me then . I have 3 P-basses that I play all the time so that neck sounds good. Sounds like I should go for it so far.
     
  10. PrairieThunder13

    PrairieThunder13

    Dec 21, 2015
    The one thing I will say is that all the walnuts I've played all seem to have somewhat sharper binding than other deluxe Rickenbackers, likely since there is no lacquer to mildly soften the edge. If i have one recommendation with the walnuts, it would be to lightly scrape the binding a bit if that is the sort of thing you are bothered by. Otherwise they're great, and if I had to recommend a Ric for non Ric guys the walnut's what I would go with. Personally, i prefer my super-slick super hip shiny lacquered ones, but the walnuts have piqued my interest more than once. One more thing, though, is cleaning and mantaining oil finished instruments is quite different, so if you do take the plunge make sure youre comfortable with the process. I'd say go for it!
     
  11. mapleglo

    mapleglo

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I've seen that, generally speaking, the walnut models are lighter in weight than the maple models.
     
  12. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    +1 go for it. Same tone, repairable finish, a bit lighter. Luck of the draw, but some have really nice figure on the walnut. Get a Tubeampology treble bezel and yank the bridge cover off. Done.
     
  13. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I have two, a 4003W and a 4003SW. I also have a 4003SW/5 on order, I see no downside.

    Rickenbacker x 2.JPG
     
  14. Skybone

    Skybone

    Jun 20, 2016
    Scotland
    How do the 4003W/SW's sound in relation to the regular 4003/4003s?

    I'm curious about having a direct comparison between the regular 4003 (maple body, pau ferro board), and the 4003w (walnut body, maple board).

    Are they any brighter/darker than the regular 4003, or do they sound the same?
     
  15. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I have only the 10 minute GC experience you mentioned to go by, but I couldn’t hear a noticeable difference. In all cases, it’s two Ric pups, bridge, and tuners arranged along the length of a rock maple neck through beam. How much difference the fingerboard and body wings makes is the Great Tonewood Debate. Some people swear a maple board is brighter, personally I can’t hear it. I prefer the Chechen or Bubinga boards, but it’s just aesthetic.
     
  16. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Well I pulled the trigger this morning Should have it in my hands sometime Thursday.
     
  17. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA

    I've played a walnut and a maple 4003 back to back many times through my Ampeg, I see no noticeable sonic difference.
     
    mapleglo likes this.
  18. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    Congrats! I love mine.
     

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