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Strings on a Rickenbacker 4003?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Aussiephoenix, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Hey people...

    I've recently added an '86 Rickenbacker 4003 to my little bass Family...

    Now, this bass is VERY different in sound to any of my other basses, and I'm a little unsure of what to go with as far as strings are concerned...

    it came with Flatwounds on it... I dont really like flatwounds, except on fretless basses, which this is not...

    the previous owner explained his choice as being because the Ricks are trebble monsters, and roundwounds would sound bad on it...

    so... Which do you use? Rounds or Flats and why?

    ps.: I've also read somewhere that Roundwounds are particularly nasty on the Rickenbacker Fretwire... is this true or no more than on any other bass of later production?

    Thanks in advance for your help in this matter.
  2. I've run through a half-dozen different strings on my '05 4003 trying to decide what I like. (All rounds) The 4003 was specifically designed as a roundwound bass with stiffer trussrods than the 4001. Beyond that, I've found my 4003 frets to be much more tolerant of stainless strings than my FJ MIM, so which string you choose IMHO should be up to what tone you're after.
    Here's what I've tried:
    OEM Ric roundwound; fine, and wish I knew where they were to try them again.
    DR HiBeams; very strong favorite
    RotoSound SwingBass; another favorite
    DR LowRiders; great compliment to the mid-hi Ric character, but too stiff for the fast fretwork I like.
    DR SunBeams; (on right now) nice tone, maybe missing a little attack compared to the SS HiBeams

    I'm thinking of throwing the HiBeams back on today to see if I get that overdrive attack back that I'm looking for.

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