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Rics......how consistant is the build quality?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BecDeCorbin, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Never had a questionable one, wouldn't hesitate to buy one online.

  2. Usually had a "good one".

  3. Had a couple of sub par pieces

  4. Would never buy one online because of a possible build quality or sound issue.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. ...so I was talking with another tb'er yesterday about my Ric GAS. I've only owned one in my life, and that was about 15 years ago. He's owned or had pass through his hands over a hundred, so I figure that he's s good source of info on them.

    It's been his experience that the "good ones" are in the minority, at a ratio of around 1:10. Be it for set up and playability or just "that sound", there are marked differences. Makes me leery of buying one online or used. I'd like to hear others experiences with Rickenbacker consistency in quality.
  2. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Ric's are fine bass's and all but they are a one trick pony sound wise. They play fine when setup right but there have been issues with the bridge. Also the body design(while iconic) has it's draw backs. The edge of the bass where your "plucking' arm rest is very sharp and will leave a uncomfortable mark around your wrist. Unless you wear it down low to keep your arm straight you're going to get a dent in your arm. I think the "s" models have tried to fix this problem. They are also not the lightest bass's ever built. IMO the 4001 was a better bass than the 4003. Just my opinion.

    But if you need that ric sound no other bass will come close.

    I played one for 6 or 7 years and am now playing Precisions and Jazz bass's. Better feel and sound.
    wpt1982, Mvilmany and brendanbassix like this.
  3. JLY

    JLY Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Here we go again
  4. Allow me to clarify, I don't want this to be a comparison between Rickenbacker and other brands, or even the down sides of Rics in general. This thread is ONLY for the purpose of comparing consistency in quality of build and sound of Rickenbacker basses, period. Thank you everyone for your objective and civilized cooperation.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
  6. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    If you are worried about constancy, then find a place online that does not charge for return shipping.
    TerribleLiar23 and Sartori like this.
  7. Yeah, well one can only hope....
  8. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I can't wait for the guy to post about being disrespected at a guitar show and coming home and selling all his Rics! That one never gets old. Nothing brings out the whiners like the word Ric in the title of a thread.

    I did buy three used Rics online last year. They were all fine, although I wound up keeping the oldest one and selling the rest. The biggest reason for buying one in person is that the necks are very inconsistent year to year. I bought a 2012 and wound up hating it even though I did play it before buying it. The neck was just fat and uncomfortable. My '81 has more of a Jazz bass feel to it and it exactly what I was looking for in a Ric.

    There is really no need for a new thread on this subject. It has been beaten to death and you can find plenty of threads using the search engine.
  9. blacktocomm


    Feb 19, 2013
    My T40 comes close.
    knumbskull likes this.
  10. Perhaps there have been many threads on the subject, however rather than just reviewing them as simple reference material, posing the inquiry anew gives me the pleasure of the company of all that answer, as well as the most current information to date.
  11. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The vast majority of Rics coming out of the factory are well built and well finished, but they have had a spate of QC issues in recent years, particularly with bubbling or flaking clearcoat around the bridges. The whole tail lift issue is a bit of an open question, but seems to be largely resolved. Their CS reputation is not great, to put it mildly. There is another TB'er, Wolfenstein666 pursuing a warranty finish claim right now, a lot of people curious to see how that pans out. Rickenbacker finish issue
    The consensus seems to be that getting a mailorder Ric sight unseen is risky given the potential for finish problems and the apparent difficulty and expense (you pay for shipping to CA) of getting warranty repairs from Ric. If you buy from POTR or Wildwood, at least they inspect the bass before shipping, though that doesn't help much if the problems don't show up for weeks or months. The finish warranty is from date of manufacture, not date of sale, so a chunk of it may be gone by the time you get the bass. One thing is clear from Wolfenstein's experience, SEND IN THE WARRANTY CARD. If you get a flawless bass, as most people do, you are golden, but definitely CYA is in order.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  12. Gilmourisgod, thank you for the informative and objective response, very useful.
    Gilmourisgod and Mantis Tobaggan like this.
  13. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Way too many QC issues for me to trust buying online, except from a VERY hands on dealer like Wildwood. Search out @Wolfenstein666 thread to see how RIC CS works in real time.
  14. More valuable info, thanks much.
  15. No bass is a one trick pony. Even a Fender P, which has only one pickup, gets sounds ranging from James Jamerson thump to Steve Harris clank.

    If the Rickenbacker is a one trick pony, why doesn't Paul McCartney on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sound like Lemmy on Ace of Spades? I get more usable sounds out of a Rickenbacker bass (bridge pickup solo'd, neck pickup solo'd, both together volumes dimed, both but with one pickup rolled off, both all up but with tone on one turned down, both turned all the way up but with tone on bridge pickup pulled out to engage the cap) than on anything else.

    If you press your arm down on your bass hard enough that it's painful on any bass that has binding or is slab bodied, maybe the problem isn't the instrument, but rather your bizarre and quite frankly, poor, technique.

    Besides which, they make a bass that addresses every complaint people have about them (the bridge, the "sharp" edge that players with bad technique find so troublesome, the hum, the pickguard that some find unsightly, the weight) barring price. It's called the 4004. It has existed for 20 years or so.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  16. Arnie


    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    There aren't many stores that carry a variety of Ric's in the NY area are there? Does Sam Ash carry many?
  17. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    Different technique, effects, amps, etc. used ?
    wcriley and brendanbassix like this.
  18. As to the original question, every one I've played in a store besides really old beat up ones in Guitar Center have been good, though the neck dimensions haven't always been the same, which can be a big issue.

    However, seems like used ones sell for near enough the cost of a new one, so even if you found it not to your liking, you wouldn't be out much, if anything. Or you can find a place with a good return policy to buy from.
  19. Then it's not a one trick pony, is it? Two players with very similar basses, completely opposite tones.
    SirMjac28 and hintz like this.
  20. There were several there last I was in NY, but it's been a few years.

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