There are few topics on talkbass that bring up more passion and differing opinions than Rickenbacker basses. Hey, we are all different, there's nothing wrong with that. But as someone who has played Rickenbacker basses for years (along with other basses), I always get frustrated when I see them being misrepresented. So, thinking about people who are thinking about getting one, I thought I'd share some thoughts. 1. Before getting one, make sure you've tried one and spent real time with it. Rickenbacker basses feel very different than other basses - certainly different than the typical "Fender" feel. The bridge cover has something to do with it (though it can be easily removed) but its more than that. I'm not sure if its the glossy neck & fingerboard, the shape of the neck, the shape of the body, or all of the above. But it all comes together into a bass that feels very different from other basses. That either works for you or it doesn't so you need to try it out, and give yourself enough time to get used to it - at least a bit. For example - you can find people who slap a Ric well on youtube - but it's really more of a parlor trick. Rics are not good slap basses. 2. Rickenbacker necks come in all degrees of thickness. Sometimes you hear people say; "I couldn't stand how thick the neck was". I understand that - I don't really like thick necks myself. However Rickenbacker necks are frustratingly all over the place. The older 4001s have notoriously thin necks. The 4003s have gone from fat to medium in thickness - and I understand the newest ones are thinner again. Currently I have a 4001 with just about the thinnest neck in my collection, and a 4003 with just about the thickest neck in my collection. The point is, if you don't like the neck thickness of the one you are looking at - keep looking. 3. Rickenbackers are in fact very versatile for a passive bass. Two pickups, each with independent volume and tone. You have a switch for quick shifting - and a stereo output if you want to use it. Add to that - the newer ones have the "push/pull" vintage/modern capacitor defeat switch. The reality is the range of sounds a Ric can produce is pretty amazing. The reason people think they don't have range is because many people who buy it are going for a particular type of sound. It is true that all those sounds have a "Ric" quality - but the range is still huge. Just think of Paul McCartney on Sgt Pepper's and early Geddy Lee. Same sound? 4. You cannot get a classic Ric sound from a pedal, a pre-amp or an amp setting. Nothing else sounds like a Ric. Period. If you want a Ric sound, nothing else is really going to give it to you. 5. The bridges really do suck - its true. Intonating a Ric is incredibly difficult. The good news is that you don't have to do it very often. 6. Because they are hard to set up properly - they are almost never set up properly in a retail store. Every time I play a Ric at a retail store I want to puke. Usually the action is so high the bass is completely unplayable. Rics need very little to no relief in the neck - and that's something most guitar store techs don't understand. It's a shame, because that's what many people's experience with them is. 7. Even if you get a Ric, you will not sound exactly like Geddy Lee. That's why he's Geddy Lee and you're not (unless of course Geddy Lee is reading this in which case.. respect). Just a few of my thoughts. Again, I'm targeting people who are thinking about getting one as I hate seeing these wonderful basses being misrepresented.