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Rickenbacker / Gibson / Fender ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by x4x, Jun 12, 2003.

Choose away :D

Poll closed Aug 11, 2003.
  1. Gibson Thunderbird IV

    7 vote(s)
  2. Rickenbacker 4003

    17 vote(s)
  3. Fender '75 Jazz Vintage Re-Issue

    14 vote(s)
  1. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    Hi, i'm saving up to buy me a 'better' bass then my RBX774

    But i'm doubting between 3:

    The Gibson Thunderbird
    The Rickebacker 4003
    The Fender '75 Jazzbass Vintage Re-issue

    Wich one offers the best sound? What are the differences in sound, quality, playing style ...

    Some comments would be appreciated

    (sorry for the bad english, i'm from Belgium)
  2. From what I know of those basses, the Thunderbird and Rickenbacker are both very aggressive sounding basses, and whilst the Jazz can be aggressive, it is a more versatile bass than the other two.

    It depends on what type of music you are playing, so if you let us know about that then people will be able to give you some even better advice.

    Without knowing that however, I would go for the Jazz Bass re-issue. Very good bass from what I've heard of reviews and people on here, and like any Jazz Bass, can be used for anything.

    Hope that helps, and let us know what type of music you are playing :cool:
  3. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    In my opinion, you have there the best three Basses from the best three known guitar companies in the world.

    I have both a Gibson Thunderbird 1976 Bicentennial and a Rickenbacker 4003 year 2002.

    I also played a Fender Jazz Reissue.

    All three have their own and unique Tone and character.

    The Jazz Bass will be the most versatile, the Gibson Thunderbird has a wonderful design with an agressive Rock Tone and the Rickenbacker played with a pick is totally pure joy for the ears !!!
  4. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    Well, i play with a pick

    And the style is a more agressive emotional emocore like Poison the Well, Thursday, ...
  5. Dondi


    May 3, 2003
    Each of those basses has a signature sound.
    You have to think about what your bass "personality" is. The Gibson is Fat Rocker of the bunch. The Rick can go more "hi-fi" with a more cutting treble sound. the Jazz has a more transparent tone less suited to Rock in general. But if you like the feel of a Jazz bass, try te Roscoe Beck model; it was built to do more sounds. When the pickups are in series it sounds more like the Gibson, and you can also use the single-coil combination like a regular Jazz configuration. Good luck.
  6. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I would choose the Jazz. I just think that is a great and versitile bass.
  7. Thats a tough one..... I love the way both the Gib and the Ric sound.....

    For versitility reason's on getting a wide veriaty of gigs, I'd choose the jazz, but since I like a more agressive, growling, puncy midrange, I'd go for the TBird or the Ric, leaning a bit more towards the Ric.
  8. I think I'm gassin' for a Ric right now, so guess who got my vote?!? :D

    I want a bass that will cut through the wall of sound (wall of noise?) that my two guitarists put up, and I think a Ric could be an accurate weapon.
  9. xparis001

    xparis001 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Worcester, ma
    Product Manager, Akai Professional
    well, it all depends on what you mean by "emotional emocore". back in my day, emo was stuff like shelter, things like that. nowadays, people around here seem to think weezer is emo. now if your the former, I would suggest one of two basses: either the jazz bass, or a musicman stingray. think the beginning of fugazi's "waiting room". thats a stingray played with a pick. later, songs like "public witness" he used a jazz bass. i believe. less boom and punch, more grind. jazz basses, when you have one pickup on full and the other rolled off slightly, produce a really nice growling sound. If youve ever heard the jesus lizard's "Gladiator" n such, thats the tone Im talking about.

    now, the new emo sound is much different. if your doing stuff for the unshaven hipster crowd who wear the fishback hats and little league t-shirts, then go for the thunderbird. its the coolest looking one. they wont care how you sound, as long as it looks cool.
  10. I love Jazz basses, but, my vote is for the Rick. Some say it's not as versatile, but, if more people played them...

    Know what I mean?

    I have to admit: I have NEVER held a Thunderbird in my hands. :(

    Get the Rick.

  11. DDAvenger


    Mar 1, 2002
    Deerfield, IL
    Though I think look should come second I think as a standout bass I'd pick between the t-bird and the Ric. Even though I play Fender (and maybe because of it) I think as a visual way to stand out is to have a bass that's not the norm, at least to people who don't know basses (who will probably end up being a majority of your audiences, or maybe that's my audiences?). Around here almost everyone has a Fender, or a knockoff. Anyways, I'd go with a Ric. Killer sound with a killer body design, how can you go wrong?
  12. DW


    Jun 22, 2000
    All three can be aggressive. Despite what has been said, a Rick is definitely not midrangy, it has a big top and bottom. Tbird is very heavy on the growly midrange. Jazz and Rick both have a much wider range of sounds than the Tbird, but go with what sounds best to you.
  13. Dondi


    May 3, 2003
    DW is right about the Ric, its signature sound is a hot top and bottom with no midrange. The only other sound I've heard a Ric make is the Paul McCartney sound from the Magical Mystery/Sgt. Pepper days. The treble is not aggressive as in, say Chris Squire's sound. He was probably using flatwound strings, which almost nobody with a Ric uses anymore, Rotosound "Swing Bass" being the usual string of choice since "Roundabout". In either case, the Rick is NOT a punchy bass, although it has a beautiful and unique sound.
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Also consider the fact that all three of these basses have a very different feel. For my hands, the Thunderbird is like a match made in heaven. The Jazz feels okay to me, and I could probably get used to it. I haven't played the 75 Reissue, but different years definitely have different feels (and tones) when it comes to Fenders. As for the Ric, I could never get one to feel right in my hands, though I did really try to make it work for a while, since the Ric was one of the first "top notch" basses I encountered as a young bass player.

    Your selection of these three basses is not only unique in that you are going for three of the "classic" manufacturers, and you are considering some of the best instruments from those companies, but also in the sense that it would be hard to find three basses that are going to feel more different from each other in your hands (unless you start throwing in Sheldon's fanned frets and whatnot). My advice is grab 'em, plunk on 'em, and let your hands be the judge. Because even if you prefer one sound over the other, if it doesn't feel right in your hands, then I don't think that you will be happy in the long run.

    For me, I am a Thunderbird fan, and you won't get mine away from me until you pry it from my cold, dead hands! I think that's my motto now...

  15. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I play a Rick and love it! They are all great basses. I found the Rick to be very versitile. I have somewhat small hands and found it very easy to play. Also if the time comes to sell you bass I have heard Ricks have a great resale value, I know I see Fenders everywhere, they are great basses but Ricks are more rare.
  16. each of those has a different sound to them. the Gibson is a great balls to the wall rock and blues sound. the Jazz has that great growl and clarity to it. the RIC has a great high end punch and big fat low. eather bass can rock the house. Generally the Gibson and RIC work best for Rock and blues type music. the Jazz is going to be the most versatile out of the three. Jazz basses work well with just about everything and are great for slap style playing.

    I would go with the Jazz bass for the versatility and I love the Jazz tone. my second choice would be the RIC if you just want to rock the house.
  17. i don't have the cash to buy or even consider any of those basses, but, i have played each of them before in stores etc, i play a lot of punk, ska and emo, lately emo, and my favorite of those three is the ric, i love the way the thunderbird looks, but the ric's sound is perfect, the mid-range thing isn't a big deal, it sounds like any other generic mid range, and when you play on the mid-range in emo its not supposed to stick out, the top and bottom are, i'd say go with the ric

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