What flatwounds should I use on a Rickenbacker 4003s bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by William81, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    What is the standard string gauge and tension I should be looking to put on the 4003s? Should I be aiming for low tension strings like La bella 760fx extra light tension. This is my first rick and I dont want to mess up the neck, I read that people try to use low tension strings. Thanks!!
     
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    The new-style 4003 truss rods that have been on the basses for quite a number of years now can take any reasonable flats.

    However, I prefer OEM flats tone, so I prefer the Optima RB set, which is the spiritual successor re-creation of the OEM Maxima flats of the '60's and '70's.

    Optima Strings | RB FLATWOUND BASS | Strings for E-Bass
     
  3. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
     
  4. steve_ss

    steve_ss Shiny, let's be bad guys. Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2016
    Southern NJ, USA
    Welcome to the board and congrats on your new Ric.

    Factory string gauges are 45, 55, 75, 105

    I just got my 4003 walnut 2 weeks ago. Installed Pyramid Gold chrome-nickel flats, #640 long scale, 40, 55, 75, 105. I'm happy with them.

    Do a search on here and google for information.
     
    Root 5, William81 and WillyWonka like this.
  5. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019
    ^^^pyramid gold^^^
     
    Root 5 and William81 like this.
  6. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    The Optimas are also similar gauges. Remember that tension is a function of mass of the string, not diameter. Because flats have less gaps in the windings than rounds, flats usually have more mass for the given diameter, which results in more tension. The Optimas and the Pyramids have more tension for the same given diameter as the factory rounds. Again, the 4003 truss rods can handle anything reasonable, and these gauges are very reasonable, but whatever set is used, rounds, flats or otherwise, if not the factory OEM set, the truss rods will need a tweak to adjust for the different tension.
     
    woodyng2, William81 and steve_ss like this.
  7. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    Thanks!
     
  8. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    Thanks for the help!
     
  9. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Canada
    I second the Optima RB recommendation. I add the Optima Chrome set too - hex core and slightly larger gauges. Great strings. Pyramid Gold too.
     
  10. redstrand

    redstrand

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    TI Flats on my '19 4003W, LaBella Low tension flats on my '77 (after 20 year old TI flats finally gave up the ghost)
     
  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Been digging TI JFs for years on my Ricks. A perfect pairing, IMO+E.
     
  12. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Whenever I put TI JF344 flats on a 4003/4003s I find that it gets a bottom end that can't be beat, plus the lack of tension on the neck creates a really fun neck feel to play on. The challenge is to not get too busy.
     
  13. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    Thanks for the help, i went with the TI JF334 flats cant wait to i get them on!
     
  14. I have optima rb,superlight chromes,labella LTFF and some Labella white copper tapes on various Ricks of mine. All are good. The TIs and pyramids represent more the extremes of tension compared to these.
    Ti’s tend to be a bit “limp” for my use, and pyramids exert quite a lot of tension on the neck,which isn’t always desirable. (Well, in my case it’s never desirable!)
    the ti’s do sound great,so hopefully you can get them set up for your playability preference.
     
    Tony In Philly likes this.
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Hint on the TI JFs: set the action a bit higher than you think it should be and the lower tension will make the bass feel great.
     
  16. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    How do you like the La Bellas?
     
  17. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    I will do that thanks!
     
  18. redstrand

    redstrand

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    On the old bass, I love them, deep punch, feel great. Neck hasn't moved either, super stable strings
     
    woodyng2 likes this.
  19. loveboatcaptain

    loveboatcaptain

    Jan 6, 2009
    question about your pyramids and also to anyone else who is a regular Pyramid flat user (640/1 set)…
    I just bought a set two days ago and put them on my C64. They are not super glass like smooth and perfectly shiny like I ever the last time I used a set (10 years ago), these have a pretty rough texture for a flat. I always remember these pyramids being the smoothest flat I’d ever used. But I remember them also being super tight… and this nee set is very flexible. Still has the same light purple silks i remember.
    One thing which is also different with this new set compared to what I remember, the E string isn’t dead sounding (unfortunately) like it used to be (the optima RBs have this dead E which I think is from the winding being so tight.
    so… have pyramid changed their formula???? They used to feel and look a million dollars.
    See two pictures below…
     

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  20. I haven’t used them in many decades, but i remember they were very smooth and tightly wrapped.
    These look sub-par,but that may just be the standard now.:(