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Rickenbacker 4003?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bloodandwhiskey, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Hi, I've been looking into getting a new bass for awhile and recently the Rickenbacker 4003 caught my eye. I play punk rock and little metal(as well as struggling to learn slap). up until now i was almost settled on the geddy lee jazz(The feel is almost perfect, but i checked online and the 4003 neck has close to the same specs as the jazz), The main problem is that none of the music stores in my town carry rickenbacker so i ahve to travel to toronto just to look at one.

    So i was just wondering what are some of the pro/cons of this bass, how much do they retail for in cdn$(i ahven't be able to find the price online)?

    thanks for all you help :bassist:
  2. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    4003 necks are MUCH larger than a Geddy neck.
  3. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    geddy played a 4001. the 4003s have (that i have played) very chunky necks... big fat pbass like necks. they are extremely nice basses and are all handcrafted by the wonderful people at the rickenbacker factory in the OC... but you wont be able to order a new one because they have so many backorders that some people have waited up to 9 years for a bass. (4004LK) your best bet is ebay... you could get a 4003 or 4001 for a relatively low cost of $600 - $20,000. depending on year and condition.

    my 1980 walnut 4001 (cell phone camera...)


    some pros... everything
    cons... well everything. lets start.
    the newer 4003's have the new "fender" style trussrod with the hexi wrench, the older 4001s are a hassle (believe me i know...) because the truss rods need to be loosened and then the neck clamped into place and then tightened again... in the hands of an inexperienced luthier or repairsman can cost you your neck (pun definately intended).
    pro: that undeniably beautiful rickenbacker growl.
    con: one trick pony (there are many different tonal variations available to dial in but very growly...)
  4. Bob the Bass

    Bob the Bass

    Aug 13, 2004
    I own/play a 4003 (purchased new in 2003) & would not part with it for the world. The tone, the sustain, the look - all in all a work of art.
    Check out the threads - dozens of them on this site - people seem to either love them or hate them !!

    The build quality is second to none - they do have a huge order book but JH refuses to increase productivity & risk a drop in quality.

    If you are not after something special (eg Colour of the Year) & want a normal production 4003 (Jetglo or Fireglo) then you may have to wait upto 6 months. If you dont want to wait then EBay is your friend! :bassist:
  5. What the hell are you talking about?

    That was the most paradoxical post I've ever read here on TB.
  6. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    What?! The only basses i've seen CLOSE to 20,000 are Custom Conklins, or original Fenders. NEVER a Rick.

    Erm...well anyways...I'm from the Falls and i've called around the region, Hamilton, Mississauga, Toronto, and the prices they all gave me were about 1,200-1,500.

    Honestly man, you're just outside Toronto. This could be the bass of your dreams, i'd spend the little while to travel and find out.
  7. pil


    Feb 17, 2005
    Pimlico, UK
    I sold my Geddy to hold onto the rick. The necks chunky and i dont like it but for sound NOTHING comes close - whack the presence up on a sansamp with one.

    It's as close as im gonna get to heaven. Probably.

    And yeah you cant order one direct from RIC without a long wait - but why would you want to? Almost all colours are avaliable either in the shops or on the net. And for a lot less.
  8. I just spoke to my dealer who talked to RIC last week and the wait time is 3 to 4 months on any of thier models not 9 years. Check out some dealers in your area or on the web, bet you'll find some in stock. Come up with $1200 and you can take her home.
    Im not sure where $20.000 came from but that is insane.
  9. Geeze man some of the online stores (samedaymusic.com) for one has them in stock for about a grand....as said before people either love them or hate them ( I happen to love mine) but a thousand dollars is a lot to pay to find out you don't like the feel. If I was you I'd make the trip to the city to give one a try
  10. Currently i own a Stingray5 and a Rickenbacker 4001. I own that Ric for a few months now and i really fell in love with it. The next bass for me will be an all black 5 string Rickenbacker. :bassist:
  11. pepsican


    Oct 23, 2004
    I have a 4003. Its a great playing bass and I love the tone, but I dont think i could deal with this being my one and only bass. I love mine to death but play my other basses more. The only thing I can really say I hate about it is the body binding, which after 30 minutes or so of playing really digs into my arm. Besides that everything I like/dislike about it seems to be a personal preferance thing, so I wont even get into it.
  12. I have a 2003 4003 in Midnight Blue. I really enjoy it but the neck was a little thicker than I had planned on. I had always heard that Ricks have fast necks but mine is quite chunky.Upper register playing is great it feels like it almost has a taper to it due to the neck through construction. I have a Geddy Lee Jazz as well. The pickups on my Rick are quite noisy but I just use the noise gate on my Bass Pod Live.
    But the sound Baby, the sound! Check out some Spocks Beard recordings.
  13. LukeMan970


    Jun 22, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Hey, I'm planing on selling my bass now and buying a ric and i was wondering, can you get a good vintage sound out of it, similar to and older Geezer butler sound or anything vintage like that?
  14. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma


    i spend wayyy too much time at the ric forum
  15. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    i talked to a guy on the rickenbacker forum who ordered a 4004LK and waited 9 years for it. .

    it all depends on what you want...
  16. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    In my experience with Rick basses, back in the day when there was only the 4001 (4003 hadn't been born yet), the Rickenbacker sound was the epitome of crystal clear, brilliant, ringing tone - in other words, the modern sound...

    Not exactly the Geezer Butler sound. Much more like "the anti-Geezer Butler sound..." FWIW...

  17. Dude where did you get that?! This bass isn't supposed to come out for another 1,998 years!
  18. zipflint


    Sep 25, 2005
    Spartanburg, SC
    I'm definately buying a Ric, but it won't be for probably another 9 months. I'm a bit confused on the color schemes. I think I want Midnight Blue, but I've never seen the Blueburst. At least, I don't think I have.

    Since Blueburst is the "color of the year" I'd guess there would be something of a wait involved. But if I were to order one from, say, MusiciansFriend, there should be no trouble getting ahold of a Midnight Blue, correct?
  19. I currently own a 1988 4003S (the last year the S was made I believe). I prefer the S because:

    No binding on the neck
    No binding on the body
    Dot markers on the fretboard instead of shark inlay
    Mono output instead of stereo

    If you prefer Geddy's sound a standard 4001/3 will get you in the ballpark.

    If you prefer the McCartney/Squire type of sound, the S will probably get you closer.

    I love the rounded shape of the body without binding. It doesn't dig into your arm.

    I did replace the neck pickup with a standard Rick vintage toaster and the bridge pickup with a custom scatterwound horsehoe vintage repro by Jason Lollar. The horsehoe wasn't cheap, but after the mods and a set of Thomastik flatwounds - instant Macca tone through my Thunderfunk and very close Squire tone through my Marshall 100w Super Lead.

    I had a mid 70's 4001 years ago and remember the neck being not as deep as the 4003. The 4003 is certainly more substantial - very much like a P.
  20. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I play a mid 70's 4001 for everything. Its a wonderful bass and contrary to many posts you'll find on the 'net you can get just about any sound you want with it. The pickups are good and strong, clear and ringing, so spend some time getting to know the effects that different strings will give.

    The only warning I would mention is that the Rick is NOT a good choice for slapping. You can get by with a little bit of it, but if the style of playing/music you deal with has a lot of slap..... you might look elsewhere.