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Rickenbacker Neck

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by klaatu, May 26, 2011.

  1. klaatu


    Feb 12, 2010
    Southbridge MA
    I am interesed in buying a used Rickenbacker and can't find a store that stocks them for me to try out. So this is the next best place to get an answer about the neck. I find my Fender Jazz to be a great fit for my hands. At one time I had a Precision but found the neck to be too big for my hands. I wanted to ask if anyone here could tell me if the neck is anything like a Jazz or just a general quiestion as to the neck's thickness for small hands such as mine. Thanks for any info!
  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I had an '80 4001, and the neck was a little thicker than a Jazz, but still nice. My friend has a '72 4001 that has a nice thin neck, and an '03 4003 that has a fat neck that's nothing like a Jazz neck.
  3. I have a new Geddy, which is said to have a very thin neck relative to other JB's, and, I have a 2010 4003.

    Going from one to the other, the Ric neck feels (and is) thicker in all dimensions, but not to the point where I have problems playing it. I would say my hands are of average size, and both basses are fine for me from a playability standpoint.

    Unfortunately w/o you picking up a Ric and playing it, you are never going to really know how it feels in YOUR hands.

  4. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist

    I have both too. Some people hate the differences and some - like me - aren't bothered by it.
  5. Check this Rick Forum out....

    Rickenbacker Forum, Guitar and Bass Register

    It's very active and they have done studies on neck thickness by model year for the 4003 basses. I had an '87 4003 which had a very thin neck. I think around the '85-'88 years are thinner. Early 200's were thicker if I remember correctly.

    Good luck!
  6. Hifiguy


    Jul 9, 2008
    Ricks are somewhat variable. I owned a '72 4001 for 20 years and went to it after playing a Jazz of similar vintage. My Ric's neck felt wide across the strings, flat, and very thin from front to back, which I found ideal. I've played Rics that feel more P-like (not to my tastes, but YMMV), but none that really called a J to mind.
  7. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Hop over to the Rickenbacker Club thread, & ask if there any members there who live near you & would be willing to let you play one of their basses.
    I have five Rics (a 4001C64, two 4003s and two 4004Ciis), and while each neck feels different, none of them feel like the neck on my Geddy Lee Jazz, yet they all feel comfy to me. The thinnest & slimmest Rick necks I've played are on my '08 4003 and my '10 4001C64. Good luck with your quest!
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Order a new 2010 or later 4003. The new necks have a nice shallow D profile.

    A Rickenbacker neck will be wider than a jazz neck at the nut and narrower than a jazz neck at the body. Rickenbacker neck are designed to be set up dead flat. A fender neck will usually have a little relief.
  9. Farfetched


    Jan 7, 2009
    Yep the'll vary. My 74 feels closest to my geddy, quite thin. My my 72 is actually noticeably thicker. The 80s and 90s and most of the 00s that i've played were even thicker. Only recently have they gone back to a more thinner profile.
  10. ianmatth


    Dec 10, 2009
    Passaic, NJ
    I have a 2007 4003 and recently played a 2011 4003 at Sam Ash. The neck is a little thicker than a Jazz Bass, but the scale is a little smaller at 33.25". I was playing a Jazz bass at Alto music the other day and I played a ridiculous amount of Jazz basses at Sam Ash that time. I find that the 34" scale on the Jazz feels a little bigger and more difficult to play, but that time at Sam Ash I got used to it after an hour and didn't notice a difference in my left hand technique, but the Jazz Bass became easier to play with my right hand because of the pickup position. Also, a Jazz is the best bass for slapping and the Rickenbacker is not because of the pickup position.
  11. klaatu


    Feb 12, 2010
    Southbridge MA
    Thanks to everyone for the info. The model I am interested n is a 1983 4001. Of course trying one out would be best. From the replies it looks like the neck wouldn't be as thick as a Precision so it would probably be OK for me. Just such a cool bass that I would like to have one, if not now but someday.
  12. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    I would advise you to find a few and play them. Rick necks are different from year to year, and I've never found one that feels like a Jazz bass.
  13. BassGen


    Mar 15, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    My first bass was the Geddy J and I loved the neck on it. Last year I bought a 2008 P MIA bass. Didn't think it a problem but when I started really trying to play it I found it pretty uncomfortable and thought about selling it.

    Then this year I bought a 2001 Rick 4003. The neck was definitely different (and bigger) than the Geddy. It felt a bit awkward at first but the action was pretty high when I got it too. But after I got it set up the way I like I found no issues playing it.

    And on an interesting side note, after playing the Rick exclusively for the last few months I picked up the P again to give it a whirl and was quite surprised that I didn't find it awkward and uncomfortable anymore. I credit having the smaller steps from the Geddy to the Rick and then to the P for allowing my hands to adapt to the different necks.

    Now I have 3 great options!

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