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Ricky 4003's tuned down????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by panic_striken, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    I have been given a great offer on a Rickenbacker 4003, but I have never actually played one. So, here is my question..........I play in a hardrock group ie. Tool, Godsmack, System of a Down type stuff. We play tuned down a whole step and the E tuned to drop D. Will the Rickenbacker create that big bottom end like my old Warwick???? Or will it be weak sounding and the strings be floppy due to the short scale???
  2. the metal band i was in played in C standard for away before changing their minds and playing in a D and my ric really couldnt handel the C tuning. Although i'm not really sure if it was the terrible string i had on it (GHS boomers:rollno: ) or if it was becuase the 'shorter' length neck on it. it sounded alot better in D with a little lighter guaged string on it but i decided to get a new bass that had a longer neck and would handel the lower tuning better.

    so overall i think the ric may be able to handel D tuning with the right strings and whatnot but its defiantly not the best bass for it.
  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    4003's have serious bottom end. Tuning down one step won't kill it, IMO. Eventually you might consider changing strings for a slightly heavier gauge. And also probably have to do a slight adjustment.

  4. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    Damn it!!!!!! I really love the look that Rics have, but ultimately it is all about the sound. We will play tuned down for sure, and I can't handle loose strings or weak notes in the bottom registers.
  5. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Ask Paul d'Amour.
  6. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    I own several Rics and play in a metal band....to handle the detuned songs I strung one of my Rics BEAD and couldn't be more pleased with the tone. If you don't feel the need of the five high notes you'll lose give it a shot. I was less than pleased with the tone when I detuned to get a low D....that's why I went the BEAD route.
  7. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Well Paul D'amour (original Tool bassist) played DADG.
  8. Scott Reeder fomr Kyuss played one, and they tuned to C standard. I'd guess that if your going to play downtuned getting some heavier strings might solve the problem.
  9. +infinity

    He's the reason I play a Rick.

    I used to hate fretbuzz......but check this out:

    I went back and listened to songs like "Opiate", and realize he's getting quite a bit of it - it's definately part of his sound, and Geddy Lee's too... my action was too high to get those little nuances(read: buzzes) in his tone - like at the beginning of the song when he goes from A to B after the two 5th string harmonics that start the song..

    I went from having enough action to play a typewrite to what I have now, and it's so easy to play my Rick now.....a 33.5 scale bass will typically have floppier strings than a longer scale....in this case, the volume knob is your friend, and you definately should let the amp do it's job - a Rick will respond to nuances way differently than a Warwick...it lets you know when it's being attacked hard...one reason why some people don't like them, and call them too "clanky"(which I like) - it's really their ham-fisted technique!

    Oh yeah, and I use low-tension DR Sunbeams while doing all this dropped D playing(45-105)


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...the heaviest sound I ever heard from a Ric was from an old doom band called Winter. They tuned to low A.
    Three other low tuned(low A or so)bands were Sleep, YOB, & War Horse(RIP).
    All sludge/doom, but killer killer stuff...

  11. panic_striken


    Oct 13, 2005
    Well, the deal is done so I hope all is good. I have a set of DR Lo-Riders which are a little stiffer/heavier to handle the drop tuning, and a Genz Benz GBE500 tube hybrid that will hopefully beef up the bottom end. I'll let ya know by Saturday what ot sounds like.
  12. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    Heavy strings and a truss rod adjustment should do it.

    If you go with heavy strings, make sure you get the nut filed right for the gauge you use. If you want to stay in tune, that is.
  13. Very interested to hear your thoughts, as I have been wanting a ric for awhile. But I was hesitant because I tune BEAD.

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