1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Why are people down on the Ricky 4003 slap tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marcus, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. I've been lurking for quite some time and reading over old Rickenbacker discussions, and I find that a common gripe concerning the Ricky tone is how it sounds slapped.

    Personally, I've used the stock strings that came on my Ric for the past few months, and they still sound as vibrant as the day I plugged her in, not to mention that the slap tone is to die for, and that's compared to my Sterling, and beloved Leaf (RKB900).

    I'd like to hear some opinions on this one.
  2. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    I think in the right hands they sound great slapped. In mine, they sounded so-so, but that's probably because I'm not good at it...

  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    The problem with ricky slap isn't hte tone as much as the pickups. The little pole piece bumps make contact with the strings and you get that "crack!" that's annoying.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I had ultra light rotosounds on mine.... killer slap tone. It's the bass I learned to fit slap into the band on. :bassist:
  5. mobax

    mobax Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    New Baltimore, MI
    I think it's more a case of who is doing the slapping that the bass being slapped. I could be wrong but I don't think so.
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I slap on mine and I love it. Sure, it doesn't sound like a J or a MM being slapped, but that's what's cool about it.
  7. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I don't dislike just the slap tone, I dislike the tone of Ric's altogether. Hey, I'm entitled to my opinion. ;)
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I think this is one of the "givens" in bass playing that people trot out repeatedly in response to the appropriate stimuli. I'm not saying that these are always "wrong" (I guess they must be based on SOMETHING, right?), just that they often get quoted as fact even when the quoter hasn't experienced the situation themselves - they just know it to be true, because... erm... it's a well known fact. Examples include...

    1) Rickenbackers are no good for slapping.
    2) Graphite neck basses sound "cold" or "sterile".
    3) Rotosound strings chew up your frets more than other steel rounds.
    4) Sadowskys "sit well in the mix".
    5) Changing part XYZ on your bass will not affect its tone at all in any way whatsoever.
    6) True-bypass pedals won't affect your tone, however long your signal chain. Any other sort of pedal "sucks tone".
    7) Any MIA Fender will be better than any MIM Fender.
    8) Bongos are fugly, but they all sound and play great.
    9) Neck shims will rob you of sustain.
    10) "Less is more".

  9. +1

    To remedy this, you either raise the action a little bit or screw down your pickups a little more. This problem is an issue for any bass with any pickups...Ricks are no different.
  10. Heh, the next logical step would be for some sound clips of the 4003 being slapped, ey?

    Anyone up for it?

    I can do it, but there's this tiny problem... that being that I'm not really that great at slapping :smug:
  11. No sound clips, but here's a blurry shot of me slappin' the bajeezus out of my Rick.

  12. naja


    Oct 14, 2005
    East TN
    aw...bite the bullet and post some!!!! I've never heard a ric slapped.....
  13. I'll try to record something a little later on tonight then :smug:


    That's a badass pic!

    I noticed that you slap without the chrome cover over the bridge pickup. Do you find that it helps? I actually use the cover as a rest for my hand depending on the speed of attack.
  14. I have 6 basses and none have anything over the pickups...so I wasn't used to it. Besides, on the 4003, the chrome cover is actually plastic, as opposed to the steel ones on the older 4001's that actually helped with sustain.

    Thanks for the badass comment. Just wish it came out a little clearer. I could show my kid someday that his old man used to rock.
  15. its all in the hands, i've seen/heard dudes slapping on ricks, and let me tell you, just because it doesn't sound like your jazz or stingray, doesn't mean it can't sound godly.
  16. Sorry about the huge delay all, but I just had a gig this weekend so time was tight.

    Here is the link to the sound clip I recorded. Like I said, I'm not that good at slapping, so pardon the sloppiness.

    The Ricky was set with both pickups on at full, with the tone cut on the bridge pickup by about 75 percent.

    The second sound clip is recorded the exact same way but with a Hartke Bass Attack pedal, which I happen to really like.



    Let me know what you guys think.
  17. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    very cool! I miss my Ric now!!!
  18. Doh! The other slap clip as of yet has not been updated to the myspace page but should be there in the next couple of hours. That was the clip recorded with the Hartke Bass Attack pedal, of course.

    If it's not up by tomorrow morning, I'll have to re-upload it.
  19. parttimeluthier


    May 7, 2005
  20. pil


    Feb 17, 2005
    Pimlico, UK
    Cool slapping marcusalan...

    I find my rick is too harsh (for my band mates ears anyway :rolleyes: ) but my sansamp usually does the trick, theirs a particular slap setting in the booklet and i just moved around from that...