Should I return this Rickenbacker??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by moshibass, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. moshibass


    May 17, 2017
    United States
    So I just purchased a Fireglo Rickenbacker 4003 from Sweetwater. It plays great and functions perfectly. While the finish and craftsmanship overall is fantastic... there is one cosmetic flaw that (especially for a bass in the >$2000 range) I simply can't un-notice.

    On either side of the fretboard, there is a white painted binding. Between the nut and the first fret, there is a flaw in the paint. Instead of being a sharp line, it looks rough as if it was either not masked properly or maybe not enough paint was applied.

    I realize that it is sort of minor defect and nobody has noticed it until I specifically point it out, but it kind of irks me every time I see it... it looks like the kind of flaw that I'd find on a cheap student bass. Also, it's impossible to fix because it's covered with a clear gloss finish.

    I've noticed there are already multiple threads about Rickenbacker's quality control on issues like this. I'm wondering if it's worth the hassle to go through the return process and play the Ric lottery just to possibly end up with an instrument with a worse problem. On top of this, I had to wait a months after pre ordering to even receive this bass, who knows when another would be available. Is this a significant defect? What would you do? 20210713_001426.jpg 20210713_001447.jpg 20210713_001435.jpg
  2. If you already believe it's going to irk you every're probably right. Return it.
  3. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    Only YOU can answer this for yourself.
  4. JoshS


    Dec 30, 2018
    Mine looks quite a bit cleaner, but I'd personally keep it.
    Agree with above, if it bothers YOU...
    sotua, One Way, InnerCityBass and 2 others like this.
  5. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    I couldn't abide spending that kind of coin on a new instrument and having to look at that finish flaw every time I played it. I can let a lot slide but not that.
    Tbone76, MajinStylee, GregC and 16 others like this.
  6. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Well, it's something that would bother me on a $300 Squier.
    It's brand new!
    Absolutely inexcusable that Rickenbavker let it slip through quality control, especially since I recently read they're doing such a great job these days.
    As for Sweetwater's 55-point inspection, well. maybe they need a 56-point inspection, because Dave or Chuck or Terry apparently must've been dozing on Friday afternoon waiting to clock out.
    gwangi, tindrum, Obese Chess and 12 others like this.
  7. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    I'd send pics and ask for a discount, but I'd accept it if I got the discount. That's definitely a factory blem, which would affect the value for me. But if they knocked something off the price that was acceptable, I'd keep it and not give it another thought.

    The binding on Ricks is a little bit of a problem child, so if you get a factory blem, the binding is usually where it happens. My last 4003 had chips in the binding, but I bought it as a blem for a discount....

  8. SteveC

    SteveC Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    Both of my Roscoe’s have a “flaw” and I love it. Makes them unique. But that’s me.
    Tbone76, tindrum, Passinwind and 4 others like this.
  9. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    If you can live with it, maybe contact Sweetwater for a partial refund, or credit, or something... If not, ask SW if they have another available in stock. With a return, though, the new one might not "play great and function perfectly." The return risk, for me, would outweigh the finish issue, and I'd probably keep it.

    Can you feel the issue while playing, or is it purely an aesthetic thing?
  10. I don’t know what’s going on there. But the binding is not painted on. It was probably not scraped properly after the finish paint was put on.

    but everyone is correct. Return or ask for a partial refund.
    timplog, Giffro, TrustRod and 13 others like this.
  11. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Wouldn’t bother me. But if it bothers you, fair enough.
    Tbone76, Bozzy, DJ Bebop and 3 others like this.
  12. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    What I would do would depend entirely on:

    What it sounds like -and-
    What it plays like

    if it plays like butter and sounds like Geddy, I’d make them give me a discount and keep it. If not, we’ll, then the right thing to do is obvious, no?

    To add to what someone above stated: it’s not paint. It’s a strip of plastic laid into the side of the fretboard, and somebody used a dull scraper while taking it down and chewed it up pretty good.
    Tbone76, Giffro, DJ Bebop and 5 others like this.
  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
  14. moshibass


    May 17, 2017
    United States
    Thanks everyone for your input, it's really helped me figure out what I think I want to do.

    A few of you pointed out that it is in fact a true binding and not painted on, and now I realize that you are totally right. It looks like it didn't sit flush on the wood and there were attempts to add white and brown filler between the binding material and the wood, hence the painted on look. As I run my finger along the corner, I can feel some waves which indicate that its definitely a botched scrape job.

    So this is definitely a factory flaw and should have been caught by Rickenbacker. However - especially since it's on the bass side of the fretboard, it's not affecting the feel or playability whatsoever. Since the rest of this bass is finished very well, and I really like the wood figuring, and it plays and sounds fantastic... I think I'm going to do my best to keep it get some kind of discount or credit applied to it.

    Ah the joys of buying instruments on the internet...
    Tbone76, Bozzy, PennyroyalWe and 19 others like this.
  15. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    The binding is not paint. It almost looks like the binding is defective in that spot and was filled in with extra clear.
    moshibass likes this.
  16. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue Guest

    Sep 29, 2018
    I wouldn’t charge full price due to that finish flaw. I’d send it back, or ask for a discount. That’s B stock…
  17. Bassclef46

    Bassclef46 Inactive

    Feb 1, 2021
    gotta love the 55 point inspection they everyone thinks they actually do.
    this wouldnt get past Wildwood.

    Here is my question - did you pay more than $1950 for that bass? thats what SW quoted me for a 4003 fireglo last month. Yet i paid $1750 from Wildwood and it is flawless.
  18. moshibass


    May 17, 2017
    United States
    "B stock" This is EXACTLY the word I was looking for. It was on the tip of my tongue.

    And "binding" is specifically listed in their 55 point inspection.
  19. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    If you’re asking about it now, it’s going to linger as an issue later. Return it.
  20. jdthebassman

    jdthebassman play to live live to play

    Just ask for a discount no big deal