Rickenbacker quality control issues?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cb4, Aug 25, 2022.

  1. cb4


    Dec 16, 2021
    I bought a brand new Rickenbacker 4003 Jetglo last year. My tech discovered a small twist in the neck at the first fret. He said they probably rushed production and didn’t give the wood enough time to dry properly. I sent it back and have to wait 6 months to get a new one. Hopefully this is not a pattern. Is Rickenbacker slipping with their quality control? They are so popular and the demand is so high that they might be cutting corners and cheating on quality control. Pretty sad for a premium instrument… or is it? Certainly the price is premium. Has anyone else had any quality control issues or defective necks? I’m praying mine was just a lemon and the next one is mint. Like many it’s my bucket list dream bass but I am a working bass player who needs reliable gear. Any shared stories or opinions would be most welcome. Thank you
  2. I love my Ric but the wood is probably dry by now in it. A 1972.
    I don’t see how there can be a twist in such a short area… my mind can’t understand that or see that.
  3. mapleglo

    mapleglo Warp Engineer Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I have never heard of "a small twist in the neck at the first fret". Sounds like this tech needed to make a boat payment.
    B-Mac, Spectrum, GM60466 and 19 others like this.
  4. One of my favorite sayings!
  5. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    premium instrument/price ? Rics have always been roughly the same price as any other MIA , mass produced bass.

    And yes , people have been complaining about rics (and about any and all other brands) since I can recall.

    For truly reliable gear , Maybe try an Ibanez or Yamaha , no one ever complaints about those. They can make them as expensive as you want too , so you’ll still be left with that “premium “ feeling.
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  6. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    My 2020 4003S and my old 2020 4003 both had no QC issues. Finish, set up, wood quality, etc. are spot-on.
  7. cb4


    Dec 16, 2021
    I think I should better explain the problem... at the first fret there is a bump, the bump is not even as it twists towards the g string a little. It's impossible to straighten and impossible to set up. My tech is a very experienced and highly respected luthier and pickup manufacturer. MJS Custom Handwound Guitar and Bass Pickups – Handwound Custom Guitar & Bass Pickups (in case you're looking for really good custom pickups) When I returned the bass to my distributor here in Canada (Long & McQuade) they said it was clearly a defect. It went back to Rickenbacker and returned within 6 weeks in exactly the same condition as if the case had never been open. So, my question is... has anybody had a similar experience with their Ricki necks or did I just get a lemon?
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  8. This right here. It’s assembled by people. Sometimes things don’t come out 100% perfect 100% of the time. I have a small smudge of paint on the binding of my 4003. It doesn’t bother me. Just reminds me it’s an instrument that has many hands working to build it. Did it slip by QC? Perhaps. Maybe they don’t check closely for that.

    However, I was shocked at the fretwork on my beautiful honeyburst Stingray. And I say that as person who owns an EBMM bass and admires their quality.
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  9. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    i had an issue with a ric once, where I could not set up the bass to my complete liking and it was the first fret that felt off. I sent it back to them under warranty , they said it was fine, but agreed to send it to another RIC specialist, who again said it was right. However , he did explain that the nut was cut too high, and then it all made sense… I checked it agains my other rics and sure enough , the nut was different.
    You’d think that I would have figured it out by myself , but up until then I never really paid any attention to the nut height. I can only suggest that you look into that.
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  10. ProbablyTooLoud


    Aug 1, 2020
    My experience with Rickenbackers is that I loved them so much I had to let them go before I started to resent them.
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  11. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Some have issues, some don't.
    Only natural.
    I have read about problems with Rickenbacker CC a number of times, too.
    Other than that, you said your tech noticed this twist.
    You never noticed it yourself?
  12. Ric’s have had QC issues ever since there have been Rics.
  13. Rezdog

    Rezdog Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada/Motown
    Greetings from the North,

    I've been playing Rics for 5 decades and the twist on the first fret is a new one on me. Glad to hear that L&M and Rickenbacker are going to get you a new bass. Sorry to hear that it's going to take a half a year to get it to you.

  14. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Every manufacturer has QC problems, Ric had a decade long and exhaustive!y documented finish issue that appears to mostly have been solved. Based on reviews here on TB, more serious defects like yours seem pretty rare. Unlike most major companies, the Rickenbacker warranty starts.on date of manufacture, not date of sale, and required the buyer to pay one way shipping back to CA for any warranty repairs, which seemed pretty egregious to many. Imagine buying a brand new car with paint peeling off the hood and being told you needed to ship it to CA for a warranty repair! This kind of obnoxious shennanigans did not endear many buyers to the company, but luckily it was not common to all finishes, mostly the darker ones like Jetglo. Reputable dealers like Sweetwater and Wildwood would go to bat for buyers with clearly defective instruments, or accept returns without a lot of hassle. Im curious, did you have to pay for the shipping, or did the dealer cover it?
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  15. moon-bass

    moon-bass They call me El Jefe .. El Jefe del funk Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    If you love something set it free?
  16. Doesn't surprise me. Your Luthier has nothing to gain by telling a lie. I've seen many people complaining about ric qc in the last year. As they say. Stuff happens and no company is perfect. But yes, for a price like that I'd be frustrated too. More than frustrated. I went through a something with fender that they did correct and make right but it did throw me for a loop, how the company who invented the electric bass could make those kind of mistakes. But hey. Stuff happens
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  17. smurfco

    smurfco Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Austin, TX
    What’s with the weird new thing on here where someone says that something is wrong with their instrument and nobody believes them
  18. cb4


    Dec 16, 2021
    The dealer paid for shipping. The dealer has an excellent warranty a return policy.

  19. cb4


    Dec 16, 2021
    Sadly I may have to. I’ll see what kind of bass they send me. I am looking forward to the new less shellacked fingerboard!
    moon-bass likes this.
  20. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Sorry to hear about your glitch(es). Shocking that it was returned to you FROM THE FACTORY unfixed. But not unprecedented... I have some stories I could tell about dealing with really bonehead stuff from Southern California musical instrument manufacturer's 'Custom Shops' back in the day (~15 years ago). I'm not saying it's ALL because of the cannabis culture there, but...:rolleyes:

    PS: the last ten Rics I have played have been perfect, so maybe its just been a particularly bad couple of years for them - along with everyone else
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2022
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