Tokai Rockinbetter 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gordinNi, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. gordinNi

    gordinNi Guest

    Apr 11, 2012
    Good night,

    I am writting this to ask if someone could help me about a bass from Tokai.
    The bass is a Rickenbacker copy, a Rockinbetter.
    I have someone near that want to sell it and he told me that this bass is made in Japan (not chinese).

    I searched on the internet and I couldnt find any info about any Tokai bass made in Japan.
    Could you help about this? Is it possible that the bass can be much better than the chinese one?

    Best regards,
  2. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta Guest

    Aug 23, 2011
    I'd save up the cash from that and wait for a real RIC
  3. Mousekillaz


    Nov 25, 2009
    Anacortes Wa.
    Why buy a fake?
    I've owned a 4001 and a 4003. Great basses, wish I still had em. You'll be glad you didn't waste your money.
  4. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    would he be into a trade?
  5. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    I played one briefly at a guitar show. It played great and seemed very well-made. Checkerboard binding around the body too!
  6. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    Because it's less expensive. :p
  7. darkstorm

    darkstorm Guest

    Oct 13, 2009
    Tokai has allaways made pretty good stuff from the basses Ive seen by them. If it has a more user friendly bridge & truss rod system then ricks have. And good fretwork. Then sure. If you dont like its stock sound, you can upgrade to other pups. Could be a very nice bass.
  8. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Commercial User

    Jan 27, 2012
    I think Rockinbetter is Chinese and not Tokai (Japanese). Not sure, though.
  9. rockosocko

    rockosocko Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    It is made by Tokai and is Japanese. There are mixed reviews of it online, but overall seems like a decent bass. If you can get it at a good price, it may be worth it.
  10. Tbh, I've heard nothing but good things about Tokai. A good friend of mine plays a love rock (that's les Paul to you and me) and it's a great quality instrument at a great price.
    But I must agree with some others. Fakes sometimes look good, but nothing is as good as the original. I think if you manage to save up for the real thing, you'll appreciate it more. I currently have a deal with my old man that if I do well in my GCSE exams, I get a Rickenbacker. Fair to say I'm working like a dog! Talkbass is my only relief other than sleep. -.- but I sure know that that rickenbacker will sound a little sweeter cause I worked hard for it ;)
  11. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    Hi there,

    Firstly you should know that these basses are believed to be not actually manufactured by Tokai and that they are merely the distributors, which is probably why Rockinbetter Basses do not appear on the Tokai web site nor does the name Tokai appear anywhere on the instrument. According to specifications listed by retailers these basses are made somewhere in Indonesia?

    Having said that, in my opinion the build quality and materials used are pretty good, and they are a true neck-thru bass. I think that as a copy they are a bit expensive but you are getting a reasonable copy of a Ric, but many will argue that it is probably worth saving and waiting for the real deal.

    As stock they do have a reasonable Ric type of sound (more notably due to the neck pickup), however my own Rockinbetter (pictured below) has undergone a total Ric makeover and has the following genuine Rickenbacker components fitted;

    Toaster type neck pickup.
    High Gain Bridge pickup.
    Chrome pickup surround.
    Chrome pickup cover.
    Wiring Harness.
    Ric vintage style control knobs.
    Output socket.
    Vintage Tone Switch & Capacitor.

    It is not possible to replace the bridge with a generic Ric bridge without moving the bridge 1" further up the body due to the Rockinbetter having a longer string scale than a Ric, so it would just not look right, but in all reality the Rockinbetter bridge is quite a decent bridge.

    To my ears now it truly sounds like the real thing, actually I have previously owned a 4001 and this sounds and plays better than that ever did!

    Not many will have wanted to have spent as much as I have on upgrading a copy, (and there is no getting away from the fact that it will always be a copy), but until Rickenbacker start making them again in Left Hand or I happen to drop on a mint used lefty this is my only option (other than buying a right hand model and playing it upside down!)

    I think you would be pleased with the Rockinbetter, even as stock these are nice basses, but you will not be satisfied until you get a real Ric. Even as good as mine looks and sounds I still GAS for the genuine article, one day (I hope) I will get one, but for the meantime my Rockinbetter rocks!!!:bassist::bassist::bassist:


  12. Nice top!!
  13. bill reed

    bill reed Guest

    Apr 2, 2012
    there is two Rockinbetter basses out there, the 20 fret bass with the bridge almost back at the strap button. and the 22 fret bass with the bridge about 1 1/2 inches in from the strap button. i belive the 22 fret are made in Korea and the 20 fret ones are from China. both are well made and have a nice sound, i went for the 22 fret Mapleglo one. also Tokai UK are only importer's so i understand.
  14. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I tried the 20 fret model and the sound is uncannily like a proper Ric. If I had the money, I'd add one to the stable.
  15. Flyingfrets

    Flyingfrets Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Tokai is Japanese. The bass is Chinese or Indonesian. As Baker69 correctly pointed out (BTW, that's a gorgeous bass dude!), Tokai are the current distributor. Dillion also imported these for a short time.

    They're not bad instruments by any means, but they're not exact replicas either. Fender string spacing, not Ric, so the feel is going to be different.

    I'd consider one but I already own a '77 4001 & I'm in the US so they're not exactly easy to come by.

    You just have to be aware of what you're actually paying for, especially as noted, they're kind of pricey for a copy.
  16. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    Since my posting of several months ago I am now the proud owner of a 1978 Ric 4001 Lefty!

    I still have my "Rickenbetter" (Ric hardware upgraded Rockinbetter!), and can honestly say I am still very pleased with it, however I must eat my words a bit on what I said in that now I have the real thing and can do a side by side comparison the Rockinbetter (even with all the Ric hardware) does not quite have that Rickenbacker sound. Ok it's a very Ric'esque sort of sound and is almost there, but without the maple body, lacquered fingerboard, Ric bridge (whatever it is that gives the Ric 4001/4003 it's sound), it is never going to match it.

    In it's own right the Rockinbetter is a very nice bass and great to play although the extremely flat fingerboard does take a bit of getting used to.

    Even though it can't quite capture the Ric tone it really does sound very nice indeed and does get gigged occasionally!

    A couple of things you immediately notice on them is that the body is quite a lot thicker than a Ric, so they are not a light bass, plus they are a good 1" taller. The longer string length means that they do have a different feel to playing a Ric plus as I mentioned in my earlier posting this negates any real possibility of fitting an aftermarket bridge as you would have to move it nearer the neck by 1" in order to get the intonation due to the saddle positions, and then you would be too near the bridge pickup.

    All in all a nice bass for the money, to me they appear to be well built and the stock sound was fairly decent as I recall. No substitute for the real thing unfortunately but if your budget is such that this isn't possible the Rockinbetter will (sort of) give you that vibe for now. But you will always desire the real thing which is well worth the wait!
  17. bill reed

    bill reed Guest

    Apr 2, 2012
    I think that is a very fair summing up of a Rockinbetter.
    its a bit like comparing a US made Fender to a MIJ made Fender. the look the same but feel and sound diffrent.
    does that make the MIJ Fender a poorer guitar. NO! its still a great guitar in its own right. i think its the same with the Ric-V-Rockenbetter, both very good basses and for £500 you get a bass that looks like a Ric and sound a bit like one
    if like Barker you upgrade the parts to try and get more of the Ric sound then i think thats great. just keep the Rockinbetter name on it.
    its really a good bass so no need to hide what it is, it a bass like a Ric just like stag is like fender or Epiphone is like Gibson. all nice guitars and most people will start with a stag or Epiphone as the dont have the cash for a £1000 Fender or Gibson.
  18. Baker69


    Mar 24, 2008
    The Rockinbetter is a good bass in its own right, some Ric snobs will obviously give it a slating as it is at the end of the day an out-and-out copy, but in fairness it should be judged on its own merits! ;)
  19. Bass since '73

    Bass since '73 Guest

    Jun 14, 2014
    I've had many, many basses over the last 41 years, including a Jet Glo Rickenbacker 4003, and a v64 maple Rickenbacker (I've also had a Shaftesbury Ricky - every bit as good as the real thing - and a Hondo Ricky, which wasn't at all good). I've still got my first ever bass (a Commodore), and also a superb 2013 Fender USA Jazz, and a Tokai Ricky. Whilst the Tokai absolutely isn't a Rickenbacker, it's still a mighty fine guitar indeed. It plays superbly, is well made, and it looks quite a lot like a Ricky. To be honest, I don't think that my two Ricky's ever lived up to all the hype and elitism. Get whatever ticks your boxes, and just be yourself.

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