Tried my first Ric, ever

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kipp Harrington, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. I was at Guitar Center today getting a capo to do some bass set up’s. I saw a Ric hanging on the wall in the used section. Not sure what model it was, didn’t pay much attention to that. Had the guy get it down and I plugged it into a Mark Bass 212 combo. The action was so ridiculously high that it wasn’t fair really to judge a Ric based on that model. I mean 3/4 of an inch off the fretboard hi!

    Anyhow, to my thoughts of the bass:

    It had a great tone no matter what pick up selection I had. It was a toggle with a three-way switch. It sounded beefy and felt very solid. I love the look of a Ric. However, I just don’t think I could get used to my right hand positioning while playing. Also, the negative side of what a lot of people mention… The top of the base digging into the forearm. I was sitting down, so I’m sure it would not have been as uncomfortable if I were standing .

    All in all, if I had to write a list of pros and cons for my thoughts on that bass, the cons would outnumber the pros. I am just glad I had the opportunity to play one. They seem very well-made.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    teh-slb, MattZilla, zon6c-f and 8 others like this.
  2. TwoToneMiles


    Mar 2, 2019
    Too bad about the action. Mine is set super low with flatwounds. Yeah the binding can be a bit uncomfortable -- always have the 4003s model.
    Groove Doctor and mikewalker like this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    The 4004 solves all those troubles:

  4. TwoToneMiles


    Mar 2, 2019
    *Stares longingly*
    Yeah it does. What a beautiful instrument.
  5. That’s a fine looking thumper! Are they only available in natural?

    Is the top (where the arm rests) contoured?
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  6. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Never really been interested in playing one due to the controls and ergonomics. But many players I like play one, and always liked the sound. One local player here plays one; got to see her this week playing it. Sounded great and man was she having fun!
  7. They don't make the 4004 currently, but you can find used ones in a variety of colors.

    Your other option is the 4003s, which looks a lot like a regular 4003 but has no binding and a contoured body. It also has dots instead of shark fin block inlays, and the electronics are set up for mono only, which is how most people play bass anyway. The walnut s model is called the 4003sw.

    RIC also has started producing the new 5 string model, which is contoured also and has a new pickup design that looks cool and pisses off the purists.

    Come over to the Rickenbacker club thread, lots of pictures and people who know way more about this stuff than I do. Some of the them know more about the history of Rickenbacker than most RIC employees, I'd imagine.

    ETA: sounds like the one you tried out in the store was a 4003, which has binding on the body. I like it and don't have a problem with it, but some people just don't. Looks cool anyway, depending on which color you have.
    Giffro, zon6c-f, Relsom and 2 others like this.
  8. Shaggai


    May 7, 2018
    New Jersey
    You can get used to the binding. When I first had my 4003 I found that it was uncomfortable to play for more than 1/2 hour at a time. Now, doesn't bother me at all (although yeah, I've had it for over seven years).
    OzzyGreg likes this.
  9. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, Tennessee
    There’s a sweet red one still for sale here on TB as we type ;)
  10. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Or the 4003SW. Walnut body, no binding. Nice warm tone.
    zon6c-f, Fluid Power, dave64o and 2 others like this.
  11. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    That's the Guitar Center way..... and don't EVER bring your bass there for ANY work.
    Jeff Scott, DJ Bebop, Ellery and 2 others like this.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    I love the look and I love the tone

    I hate the binding, the mechanical mute, the pickup cover, the tailpiece and bridge,
    pellomoco14, EatS1stBassist and rtav like this.
  13. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    Shame .the action on mine is ridiculous, in the best way.
    Neck is dead flat ,low string height, no buzz.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    Jeff Scott, 4001 and bobyoung53 like this.
  14. That’s a sharp looking one, for sure.
  15. We’re in the same boat!
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. Lol. I’m waaaaay ahead of you on that account!


    I used to be so apprehensive about doing work on my basses. I’ve only been playing for about a year and a half so I was not confident in my abilities. Especially since I am not that mechanically inclined. However, I have tested the waters and found out that I do have the ability to do some periodic maintenance on my bases. That’s the whole reason I went and got the capo today... setups.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    DJ Bebop and oldskoolskatedad like this.
  17. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Check out a 4003S. It does not have the binding and does have a contoured body shape, making it more comfortable to rest your arm on. It goes without saying, but try not to judge based on the setup at the store. And also don't judge by the strings. The factory round wounds, IMHO, are horrible.

    I own a Jetglo 4003S. My biggest complaints are: 1) the baseball bat neck, which could be made thinner (on both axis) by getting rid of the unnecessary dual truss rods and changing to one rod; 2) the factory pickups are over wound, and Ric has been gradually adding more winds to them since the late 70's. The idea is to get higher output, the price is lost high frequencies (from what I've read - high frequencies are the first to bleed off as the signal travels over longer distance). Pickups can be replaced, the neck cannot.

    Some people dislike Rics for several other reasons. Yes it is a pain to intonate, but that is not normally done often unless you change string brand/type/gauge. Yes the adjustable foam string mutes are unnecessary for most people, but also can be easily lowered and forgotten. Yes the cover for the bridge pickup is in the way, but can be easily removed (and replaced with a bezel that covers everything but the pickup itself).

    If I could convince the company to change one thing: dump the dual truss rods in favor of one, and make the neck thinner.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  18. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I get ya. I hate the feel and the looks. But man do they sound good. Especially when you REALLY lay into it and run a slightly overdriven sound. I’d never own one but I enjoy listening to them.
  19. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    I love my skinny-necked 4001. Binding, mute, gaping bridge pickup hole, and all.

    If you bond with the instrument, you’ll figure out how to play it well. If not? Maybe a Rick isn’t for you. They’re an odd and offbeat company, but if you look hard enough you really can find what features you need.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    zon6c-f, Phud and bobyoung53 like this.
  20. JZQuantum


    Oct 12, 2008
    3/4" action, LOL! Gotta love GC and their bass maintenance habits.:dead:
    Gilmourisgod and bobyoung53 like this.