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What's the deal with Rics?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gaolee, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    The general consensus is that you have to get used to a Rickenbacker. What does that mean? Is it neck shape? Is it body shape? Is it some kind of odd proportion? What is the deal with that? I have never touched a Ric, let alone played one, but I'm really curious about them, especially since they have a reputation for being so polarizing. I have never seen any kind of explanation of what all this really means.

    In ergonomic terms, why is this?
  2. Because the body doesnt really have contours, added in the binding on it and it can be a sharp angle cutting into you when you play........I dont mind it.
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I build and modify basses
    Not really ... that is the opinion of some but not the general consensus ...

    I play a lot of different basses ... and I love my Rics.
  4. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Neck width and string spacing can take some getting use to, if you're used to a Jazz neck (like me)
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I build and modify basses
    The S models and the 4004 basses have contours ...

  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I build and modify basses
    The Ric neck will be wider at the nut but it doesn't taper as much as a fender neck at the body so it will be narrower at the body.
  7. I've played one once. I noticed the uncontoured body and the pickup cover as being a little different but to me that is about it. I don't think the neck shape is any more unusual than any other bass.
  8. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    hated the only ric i played. it had no place to rest my thumb. the neck pickup was barely wider than the strings and very recessed into the body. there was another cavity above the pickup that my thumb just disappeared into.

    never touched another ric again
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I build and modify basses
    The biggest flaw in the Ric design is the old tailpiece/bridge/mechanical mute assembly.


    Also it really bugs me that they don't make a 5 string bass.




  10. mndean


    Mar 20, 2009
    The sharp corners on the binding of the body was an issue for me 30 years ago, and the baseball bat neck on the 4003 I tried was also an issue. If you want one bad enough, try it out first, these may not be issues for you. They're no longer issues for me, these days it's just the price.
  11. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I started on an old Fender P bass, and have owned a couple Rics over the years, bought cheap while they were out of vogue. Sorry Ric guys, but they just felt "odd" to me. They were beautiful, well-made basses, and I made money on both, but don't miss them.

    Wish I still had that old P bass, tho...
  12. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    To me the deal is Paul McCartney.
  13. I always think of 4003 when someone says ric........but yeah I hate the bridge, thank god mine doesnt have lift....yet.
  14. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    I played a five string Rick once. Felt great, but it's not my kind of thing.
  15. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Thanks for the replies. I finally got a chance to play one at a local shop. The neck is narrower than the P I usually play. It felt a bit like an Epi Thunderbird, although it was a bit wider. I liked it well enough, and if a Ric was affordable, I might consider buying one someday, but for now, it wasn't as it might have been. The neck didn't feel especially large or oddly shaped. It was a bit different of course, but every instrument is just a bit different from every other instrument. Maybe having insensitive gorilla hands is an advantage.
  16. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    They're just another bass . However they are quite different in construction and sound than a Pbass . They were the first production neck through bass and usually have a stereo out along with the regular out . They have dual truss rods and a bridge that is misery to adjust compared to a Fender . The neck size has varied considerably over the years , some are quite chunky , some are quite thin , but they generally have a different taper than a Fender . Some people do not like the sharp edge where the binding is but not all models have the binding . Because they are different even those that love them will generally advise others to try them out first . I'm a Pbass guy myself , but I love my old Rickenbacker ...
  17. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Whenever a thread about Ric's arises, the only models that seem to be recognized by the masses is the 4003, (or older 4001). While I've owned and loved playing many of these models, Rickenbacker has had a modern version out for quite some time already, the 4004. Anything anyone could gripe about the old models, (which are still made with all the origianal flaws, for the sake of accuracy), have all been addressed quite nicely with the 4004 models. In fact, since aquiring my first 4004Cii, i no longer play my 4003. Anyone interested in a Ric bass owes it to themselves to investigate this model, as it's simply one of the best looking, playing, and sounding bass guitars available anywhere, made by anyone, (my opinion).
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I didn't have to get used to mine. In fact, I have to get used to every other bass I play.
  19. LowNotes1


    Jun 8, 2008
    I owned a couple of 4001's back in the 70's. I had a jet-glo and a maple-glo. Easy to play, beautifully made, and I loved the unique look. I did feel that they were more suited ergonomically to pick-playing than fingerstyle (I rarely play with a pick), but I eventually sold both because of one thing, and one thing only - I just couldn't get the kind of thuddy bottom and prominence in the mix from them that Fenders and Gibsons gave me. Not a knock on the Rics really - that's just how they seemed to be designed, at least back then. I haven't tried their more recent models, and frankly I'd love to have my Rics back. I rarely play on-stage nowadays, so having a certain tone isn't as big a concern to me.
  20. I own 5 Rick basses, each a different model, and they fit me like a glove. I also own 10 other great basses so I have lots of choices. My current work horse is my '98 4004 Cheyenne. YMMV of course, my advice is try before buying; Ricks are certainly not everyone's cup of tea.

    If RIC every decides to make a proper 5 string, that is one designed to be a 5 string and not another "let's jam a 5th string on a 4 string bass" attempt I'd be all over it. In the meantime I play a Modulus Q5 when I need one.

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