Rickenbacker vs Precision. String Spacing.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by c-level, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. c-level


    Dec 14, 2016
    Pondering the Purchase of a Rick 4003S. Im wondering what your experience is with this bass? Im mostly concerned about the string spacing. The specs say that the nut width is a little larger than my MIA P Bass, that doesnt bother me in the left hand, but I find that the string spacing on my P Bass around the pickups is quite wide and makes quick runs a little more difficult. My P Bass has multiple saddle slots and i have them spaced together as tightly as possible but its still more challenging to play versus a Jazz Bass. So Im wondering what the string spacing close to the bridge and pickups is like on a Rickenbacker before such a substantial investement? Thanks
  2. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Strings at the bridge of a Ric are narrower than that of Fender P and J basses by about 1/4 if an inch I believe.
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  3. c-level


    Dec 14, 2016
    Thats a
    Thats a plus in my book! Thanks!
  4. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Ric necks don't have the same degree of taper as a Fender neck . But as an older Pbass guy I found the older Ric necks quite thin , modern Ric necks seem to be all over the place . Some runs are thicker , some are thinner .
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  5. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Albany NY
    All the above is correct. :) Ricks have less of a taper. Mine is 1-11/16 at the nut, but narrower at the bridge than a P-Bass. I played only that Rick for years, so a P-Bass always seems 'fat' to me above the 10th-12th fret. It sounds to me like you will like the Rick neck.
  6. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    In general, the older 4001's had very thin necks compared to modern rics. My 77 is like a pencil half way up the neck and Pbass fat at the nut.
  7. farace


    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    My first bass was a ‘78 Ric 4001. Bought it in ‘80, it was stolen in ‘89. Had various Fenders after that, the last being a nice 1982 Vintage ‘57 Precision Reissue, which I still have. All the while, I was keeping my eyes open for my long lost Ric. Never found it, but in 2015 was attracted to a new 4003 which begged me to take it home. Picking it up, it felt like coming home after a long journey. My Precision has felt coarse and uninviting ever since my Ric (and then its sister from ‘83) arrived. I haven’t really played the Precision in the last five years, and when I pick it up the strings feel just a little bit too far apart.

    That being said, I will observe that for every one of us for whom a Ric fits us perfectly, there is someone else that, despite wanting and trying, just cannot get comfortable on a Ric. You need to try one out for yourself and see if it works for you.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  8. c-level


    Dec 14, 2016
    I feel this way about my EB3 despite being in love with the mudbucker. Someday ill find an anomaly MIM that fits and mount it on there
  9. bmusic

    bmusic Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Los Angeles
    I’m a P lover, and I got a 4003S last year that I really love—the first of 3 RICs that has felt right to me.

    The D-shape of the neck is most prominent near the nut, and then it feels more rounded like my 74 P as you get closer to the body.

    I guess you’d say, based on my unscientific and very quick research, that the string spacing is more consistent on the 4003S as you move from nut to bridge? But it’s a really good feeling bass, and I hereby instruct you to buy it.

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  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    yes I agree all fenders are wider at the bridge than a Rickenbacker
  11. I own a 2018 Ric 4003 and am borrowing a friend's 1986 4003. I also own a 2015 American Standard P Bass. The '86 Ric has a pencil-thin neck that is quite similar to a Jazz bass, both in size and taper. The '18 Ric has a "U" shaped neck that is somewhat beefy towards the nut, and as mentioned earlier does not taper much towards the bridge (it feels big at the nut and slim at the body). The '15 P bass has a typical Fender neck that is not as slim as a typical Jazz but is not as big as the older P bass necks tend to be. I really like the modern Ric neck, but it is a different feel for sure if you are used to Fender basses.
  12. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I find Rics a lot easier to play in the higher registers, the taper is so gradual it feels like no taper at all. I like a Jazz nut width down at the "money end", but Rics are effectively a P nut width at 1-5/8".
  13. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    Since you're asking about string spacing close to the bridge I assume you are planning to pluck/pick the strings close to the brigde? If that's the case you really MUST try before you buy. There's not much room to play close to the bridge on a 4003. Very, VERY uncomfortable IMO.

    Then there's all the other quirky stuff with Ricks: The warranty is probably expired before you even touch the instrument, bridge that won't allow palm muting and is a huge hassle to adjust, built in mute that will most likely break down within a month, machine screws into wood for the strap holders so unless you glue them into place they WILL suddenly come loose at the worst possible moment, etc, etc.

    The neck profile on the 4003 has changed so much over the years that I won't comment on the current 4003S because I haven't tried it. But my early 2000s 4003 has a U-profile baseball bat that is MILES apart from a Fender P or J.

    A Rick also has a completely different "feel" than Fenders. You really need to try before you buy with Ricks IMO. Especially if you are expecting anything remotely close to a Fender, because it isn't.

    Having said that, even with all the hassle I still love my 4003. I don't use it very much because it has a very ideosyncratic sound that I rarely need but every once in a blue moon it totally ROCKS!! And did I mention it looks cool?
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  14. c-level


    Dec 14, 2016
    Thanks for the helpful replies. I got an Eb3 recently that has mostly gathered dust but one thing I find challenging about it is its body proportion to neck and the location of the neck joint. I felt myself having to 'reach' and stretch more for notes in first position and often coming up a fret sharp if I wasnt paying attention. The mounting of the strap pin on the heel established this and the neckdive didnt help with this either. Is there a similar problem w Ricks vs Fenders in this regard or are they relatively equal given the strap button also mounted on the upper bout hovering over 12th fret? Also the neck might not bother me as I have a 330 from a past life as a guitarist, even that seems to have a 60/40 profile on the treble side...
  15. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    No neck dive or weird reach problems on a ric.
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