Rickenbacker musing - replace my 4001 with a 4003/5, or a 4003 strung BEAD?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm almost complete with my transition from four strings to five - getting a five string Tacoma was a big step for me.

    Sad to say, my 1980 Azureglo 4001 gets next to no play anymore. I considered stringing it BEAD, but that's really not a good idea for 4001 necks. My little brainpan has a hard time switching between four and five, so it just sits.

    I figure I have two alternatives if I want to keep a Ric in the arsenal:

    1) Trade for a 4003 and string it BEAD with the heavy gauge high tension flats I prefer (currently EBMM Group I flats); or

    2) Trade for a 4003/5.

    Common wisdom says that 4003/5s have really narrow spacing, but is that really true? Pilotjones made a great post a few years back that gave specific nut dimensions, so I don't think the neck is a problem. The bridge spacing is what scares me. I'm not much of a pick player - 95% fingerstyle, and no slap ever. I prefer tighter spacing - my two main basses are a Stingray 5 and a Bongo 5.

    Has anyone with a lot of SR5 experience spent time with a 4003/5 and can comment about the right hand room?

    I know the 4004cii/5 is in production, but the one I heard didn't sound much like a Rickenbacker to me... and the neck is too wide IMO.
  2. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    I had a 4003/5 and can attest to the cramped string spacing as a finger player. I probably could have gotten used to it but after some effort for a few weeks I gave up. It was difficult switching back to a four stringer after playing the cramped 4003/5. So I sold it.

    I then strung one of my 4003's BEAD and used that for years quite happily. I have recently become a 4004 convert, sold all of my 4003's and bought a 4004 that is strung BEAD....again, I couldn't be happier.

    BTW.....the 4004Cii/5 is currently out of production due to some p/u issues. I can't wait until they are being made again.....I think the 4004 is Ric's best kept secret.
  3. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    EASonBass has a Ric 5 that started life as a 4. Talk about narrow! But it doesn't affect his excellent playing at all.