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Rickenbacker honeymoon experiences?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KPO2000, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    I just have to get this off my chest...A few weeks ago a new project and a great price for a Ric 4003s got me inspired to buy a Rickenbacker...again. I’ve owned some really nice Rics (over 9: 4003v63, 4005, 4003, 330, etc), but have always come back to Fenders. Now, after a crappy Ric customer support experience, I have a fine playing and sounding Jetglo 4003s and it’s like head over heals love (again)....so much so that I’ve been stalking my next Ric 4001v63. It’s insanity.

    Funny thing is that in my search I’ve seen a lot of raving Ric NBD posts only to see that the people sold them a just a bit later. The Ric divorce rate seems really high.

    What is it about Rics that makes people crazy and then run away screaming....only to return? It’s a sickness.
  2. I’m nine months into my 4003S and still digging it. So much so that I’m seriously considering a second.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i went from tenor/alto saxophone to a ric because that's what my bass player friend(s) suggested, "they're the best," in 1975. i didn't know any better. later, i played a fretless alembic. it occurred to me that rics weren't the instruments i should be playing! :D

    i never did get an alembic, but i knew i didn't need a ric. to be fair: i didn't have the experience of playing a fretless ric. a lot of cats say they're great.
    Spidey2112, bobyoung53 and KPO2000 like this.
  4. BassBeginer64

    BassBeginer64 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2018
    Riverside Ca
    I just got a Fireglo 4003, she is my new mistress (Have not told the wife yet) I play here every day at my shop, worried the newness will wear off, with now 4 bass's I have to rotate playing them, and with a Hofner coming in month................. yeah my Harem of Bass's, and I keep my Ricky on da slide.......... loving the curves and her voice!
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    Doctor Intrepid, KPO2000 and nixdad like this.
  5. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Tone Twins 3.JPG 330 Ric 1.JPG I honestly have no idea... I learned to play bass back in 1968-'69, on a friend's lefty '68 4001. Thing was blue; it was perfect; it fit me like a glove, and I never forgot it. It's only flaw? It wasn't MINE... Now, I have these two; '01 COY 4003, and a very roadworn '73 4001. An '87 330 guitar, too... I cannot imagine any circumstance in which I would voluntarily give up any of my Ricks. "Cold, dead hands" would definitely be involved... AFAIC, Jim Morrison was right; "People are strange..." :whistle:
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  6. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    Thing is that reality does not support perception.
  7. Sharknose79

    Sharknose79 UNPAID greenboy/fEARful endorser

    Sep 15, 2011
    South Cackalacky
    I have nothing to disclose at this time.
    I bought a 2012 JetGlow 4003 from Bill's Music in Baltimore.
    I looked at 5 diff basses & found THE ONE.

    2 months later....it was traded for a killer Dingwall AB1.

    Then comes the regret....
    Sure the Dingwall is cool & fun to play, but...I REALLY missed that Ric.


    Bought a 4003s MapleGlow from Wildwood Guitars.

    Added: Classic Amplification PUs, Hipshot Bridge, bone nut & PLEKed by Phil Jacoby in B'more.

    This one is not going anywhere.

    "Cold Dead Hands..." is how I feel about this piece.
  8. They are great, very easy to play and sound great.
    byoung93888, Spidey2112, JRA and 2 others like this.
  9. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I imagine there is a lot of the honeymoon period going on with ALL basses. There is usually a honeymoon period with any new bass until you realize it isn't the swiss army knife that you thought it was going to be. Maybe a little higher percentage with Rics because they aren't like every other bass.
  10. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    I think (like ifmn16 said) it's because Rics aren't like other basses. Many of us started out on either firewood or a Fender copy (or both). The Fender style instrument is what is most common and what most players get used to. This is especially true of those of us who own a few basses, there's usually a P or a J in there somewhere. The Ric is a different animal that isn't an easy adjustment for some players to make. Just the idea of the volume and tone pot positions being reversed is enough to get your attention. They are closer to a Gibson EB-3L than they are to a Fender. Two pickups, toggle, individual volume and tone. Not many people rave about the EB-3L, so maybe that's it. Sharp edges, user unfriendly bridges, poor QC, expired warranty, John Hall, noisy, no shielding, truss rod nightmares... we've heard all of the horror stories. Fact is, they all aren't like that. I bought both of mine used, so there was no warranty or Mr. Hall to be concerned about. The shielding can be done in a few minutes with some foil tape. Do it while you're in there taking the bridge cover off. The bridges may be a chore to set, but once they're in position they stay there. I'd rather have that any day than an easily adjusted bass that needed it every five minutes. The bound edges were no more uncomfortable than the ones on a Les Paul, an ES 335 or an acoustic. Single coil pickups are noisy, so use a noise gate and a compressor. When you buy a Ric you know it's made in the same factory in California as all of the others. Not a Chinese neck on a Mexican body with a Japanese bridge and American pickups. That's not mentioning the tonal universe of stereo wiring known as Ric-O-Sound. Oh, the neck isn't bolted on, either.
  11. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    Bought a brand new 4003 Fireglo a couple years back. Looked amazing. A truly beautiful instrument. I hated the sticky neck finish. It was the most uncomfortable bass I'd ever owned. The loud non-hum canceling single coils were annoying. Sold it promptly. Don't miss it, and never want to own or even PLAY one ever again. That's my Ric honeymoon story. Obviously many folks love 'em, but they're not for me.
    thebreakman likes this.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    This was my main player for over 30 years



    Then I got this one


    then I got this one


    then I got this one


    then I got this one

    end the story keeps going on
  13. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    I have a Rick guitar.
    While I could do with less neck finish, I think calling it "sticky" is just people who don't like the heavy finish looking for a pejorative term.
    In fact a heavier gloss produces a smoother, slicker feel. So it's also amusing that people who say they don't like the "sticky" finish prefer instruments with - yep, a grippier, stickier neck. If it bothered me enough, I would run some sandpaper along it a few times.

    The Rick guitar is also noisy AF. The noise disappears completely in the mix, and the tone remains exceptional. That's why I play a Rick guitar - it has a tone that nothing else has. Specifically, a glorious clean tone, and a ferocious bite when distorted. When I record the Rick guitar, I just face whichever direction quiets it down. Live, it doesn't matter.
    Garret Graves, Jeff Scott and KPO2000 like this.
  14. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The 4003 is not the most ergonomic of basses, the hard binding edge and lack of belly or elbow relief put some people off after the NBD infatuation wears off. The necks are different too, pretty chunky these days compared to older Rics, if you have smaller hands that might wear on you long term. Those complaints are easily remedied by a 4003s or 4004, which also addressed 90% of the 4003 gripes. I don’t think Rics have a higher regret rate, I’ve been on TB long enough to see a lot of basses people raved about when brand new, quietly offered for sale in classifieds a while later. Classic Gas, I guess, there’s always another Shiny Object.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    yep, i agree with you --- the quest for "my perfect instrument" leaves a lot of axes in the "divorced" column. for every 'lover' there's a 'hater' it seems.
    jamro217 likes this.
  16. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    Great to hear other’s stories. I happily installed a new VTC and ROS harness from @Aceonbass and a treble bezel cove into my new 4003s yesterday. I’m committed now, but both are great improvements. Like a tattoo, I’m not thinking I’ll be letting this one go (again).
    PeterH and Gilmourisgod like this.
  17. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The complete lack of shielding on a $1500 bass is a mystery, and Ric single coils hum pretty badly without it, but so does a Jazz Bass. You shouldn’t have to, but it’s an easy afternoon’s work shielding a Ric, don’t know why more people don’t do it.
    jamro217 and KPO2000 like this.
  18. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    Paying something over $2000 and than going after manufacturer and fixing their BS is just masochistic.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    The 4004 is nice … no binding and no pickup covers and a better bridge.

  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Yes the S models are nice


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