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Rickenbacker 4003

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TheFentons-Bass, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. TheFentons-Bass


    Apr 14, 2010
    Whats everyones thoughts on this bass, i really like the look of it but im not going to commit to buying it if other people say it sounds really bad
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    You're kidding, right?
    The Ric is one of the most iconic basses in existence. Whether it will suit you is another question.

    Please go play one at a store. Then look at the price tag. Then decide.
  3. Welcome to TalkBass.

    The search engine is your friend. Learn it, love it, use it.

    This subject has been beaten to death over the years, you will find no shortage of opinions with a quick search.

    BTW, I haven't heard a lot of people say it "sounds really bad," but there are many other complaints about the Ric 4000 series.
  4. One of the best sounding/playing basses around. I love 'em!!

    And as we all know, tone is subjective. It's all a matter of preference and pesonal taste.

    I also love the tone and playability of Gibson Thunderbirds, both past and present, marvelous instruments.

    The one word of caution I would share with you is that you'll need to carefully examine the bass to ensure it is what you want from a quality perspective, but that's a given for any instrument.

    I've been playing Gibson Thunderbirds and Rickenbacker 4001 & 4003 since the mid 70's and earlly 80's. I've played other basses as well. For me, these two, with thier inherent differences and contrasting qualities, posses the things that float my boat.

    Try to find one (Ric) and play it for an hour or so. See if you like it before taking the plung ($$).

    Also, be sure to work at finding the best price possable. You can purchase a brand new Rickenbacker 4003 for $1,559.50. I posted a thread that details this just recently, so take a look and don't overpay for the bass. The thread details all the thing you can do to acquire the bass for that price, which includes shipping.

    And, whith respect to any used instrument, you need to pay particular attention to what kind of conditiion the neck and thruss rods are in, as well as the electronics and everything else. For $1,559.50, you wown't find better value for your money. I hold the same opinion for the Gibson Thunderbird as well, although, you can get that bass for less.

    PM me or post any question you have in this thread. I'm more than happy to help.

    I'm also confident others will share thier views too!! ;)

    I hope this helps!!

    Here are several threads you can read...



  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Never played one. I have a 74' 4001 though. It's great.
  6. AtomicPunk

    AtomicPunk Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Detroit Metro, MI USA
    What kind of sound are you looking for? Who are your favorite bassists? That might help.
  7. darkhorse9


    Mar 28, 2010
    I actually came across a Rickenbacker 4001 "bootleg". at a pawn shop. I knew something was up when I noticed the "Rickenbacker" name was straight and not curved on the headstock. Then I noticed the price tag ($599)

    The owner admitted that they bought it off ebay and were informed by the "rickenbacker police" that it was a fake. At least they were honest with me.

    Guess I have that to worry about now too.
  8. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Nah, before you buy one, post a picture of it at RRF or the Ric corporate site. They'll tell you real fast if it's fake. There's a couple tell-tale signs that are easy to remember ( On a real 4001 the body binding stops at the tailpiece, the TRC should say made in America, they should be stereo ( 2 jacks) etc.) There are some real good copies though.
  9. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    If you're considering a new 4003 (including those from the last couple of years) the neck profile is much like the 1970s 4001 basses, just a touch wider.

    The new adjustable pole higain pickups are (IMO) superior to older versions, both in clarity and punch.

    Although every bass varies in weight, my new 4003 is lighter than my 4000, and much lighter than my 4001, but I believe that my 4001 is a particularly heavy example and not really representative.

    Try the bass for a good period of time to get the feel of the whole package, and experiment with EQ settings before deciding one way or another, and don't believe that they are a one trick pony sonically.

    Depending on what you're used to, the binding, string spacing, and neck width may be a pretty long jump, so to speak.
  10. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Search button is your friend.
    So are the FAQ threads.
    Sorry for sounding rude but these kind of threads have been going on and on for years.
    Think how many people that join talkbass want to ask about this bass (which is quite a popular one).
    And if it sounded bad, then most of 70's and 80's music would be sounding bad too.
  11. strappa

    strappa Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    i own this bass ('09)
    'tis an awesome bass
    great build quality
    sounds fantastic and great for recording
    it is lighter than my fender mia jazz
    i doubt you would regret buying one
    but you need to play one first to decide for yourself
  12. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I own 2 09' 4003's. I love them both, but your tastes may be different than mine. Find a place that has them, play it, and decide from there.
  13. I Love the Rickenbacker 4003 basses. I wanted a Ric since I played one back in 1988/89, it took 11 years to get my own & it is the bass I play all the time.
  14. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    I can't stand them, their looks leave me cold and I hate the necks but you will not find a more polarizing bass in existence.
  15. +1:)
  16. This is the right attitude to have. You should always let strangers on the internet decide what you think.

    They look neat, sound precisely OK, have clumsy thick necks, balance poorly, and for the price you could buy 2 mid-high quality basses.
  17. Or you could shop around and find a deal. Or you could buy one that didn't have clumsy thick necks. Or you could find one that didn't balance poorly (this is a new one, never heard this complaint before).

    The fact is that this is one bass you will have to play yourself to decide if you like it.

    If ever there was a bass where someone else could help you decide... this is the exact opposite of that bass.

    There probably is not a more polarizing group of opinions on any bass more than this one.

    Some despise them. Some love them.

    Few, if any, are so-so about them.

    Find one somewhere--pawn shop, guitar store, friend--and sit down and play it. Play it next to something you're familiar with so you can compare it.
  18. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Try before you buy. Rics seem to be "love it or hate it" basses. So you need to know it's really your cup of tea or not.
  19. rickenhawk


    Apr 20, 2010
    I have a new 4003 and it suits my playing style very well. Does it suit your style is the question. I play with a pick & use the bridge pup cover as a handrest. If you are a slapper this probably isn't the bass for you. Fender jazz would be better for that style. Playing with fingers is no problem. The Ox played close to the neck in early Who days. A lot of players remove the pup cover for ease of playing.(I did as well with my 76 4001) I keep in on now as a respect to its history. Love my 4003 miss my 4001!
  20. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    What is this Rickenbacker of which you speak, links?

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