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Why is it so hard to find a Rick to try out?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Right now I own two six string basses, and I think I owe it to myself (and my back) to get a nice, comparatively light four string to go along with it. I mainly prefer active basses and I was leaning towards a Stingray until I started doing some research into Rickenbacker.

    All the videos I've seen have a really cool tone that I enjoy a lot, and of course the body shape is super sexy, but people seem to think that Ricks are either love 'em or hate 'em and say that they have a lot of problems or idiosyncrasies that you need to experience before investing in one.

    The problem is that despite living near a major city (Dallas, TX), I can't seem to find a place that carries them to try. Guitar Center doesn't have any new stock, and Sam Ash doesn't seem to have a way to check to see if an item is in store without calling or visiting the store itself. Sweetwater doesn't carry them... It seems like Musician's Friend is the only way to get one nowadays, and with no physical stores, it seems like I'll have to just bite the bullet and order one without knowing if it's really for me or not.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for trying out nicer equipment without putting money on the line? Does anyone in the Dallas area happen to have a Rick that they'd be willing to demonstrate or let a fellow TBer try out?
  2. I was recently Ric shopping and purchased my first Ric, 2 local places here in Houston had them. This is what I found out about new Rics: The factory setup on them is terrible, the nuts are usually cut too high, and the action will be for the birds.

    Be prepared to setup/have a set up done. Also, last time I checked with MF they wanted around 1800-1900$ for a new Ric. Thats way too much, I ended up ordering from this place


    Give them a call, ask for Bryan Butler (a fellow TBer!)

    Excellent prices, were willing do a setup before shipping, and even removed that treble pickup cover for me.
  3. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Mind if I asked about how much you paid? Don't want specifics but a ballpark would be nice. Need to know if this is a next year kind of thing or a next couple years thing. ;)
  4. It was 1615$ shipped to my door.
  5. mystique333

    mystique333 Banned

    Sep 4, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Its because the owner of Rickenbacker, John Hall, instead of focusing on improving and increasing production and quality control, chooses to spend his time browsing ebay and Chinese web sites and sending angry emails threatening law suits to anybody that sells any instrument that even vaguely resembles a Rickenbacker design.

    Keep in mind that this is a man that bought Rickenbacker a while back and he himself didn't design or invent anything. A idiot and a laughing stock of the whole music instrument industry. So what do you expect.
    devntran likes this.
  6. New Rickenbackers tend to get snapped up as soon as they hit the wall. In fact, most are pre-ordered and never see the showroom, so it's hard to catch one. Even if you want to buy new, you might check around for a used one, on CL or something, just to try it out.

    You really should try one out first, though. They are a very different animal. And, probably not a good choice, if you're looking for something light, as the maple body makes em a little on the heavy side. Not uncomfortably so, but not what I would call light.

    $1600 is a good going price, right now.
  7. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    I actually stumbled across one the other day, and I wasn't looking for it. I'd always been desperate to try one, but the experience was a bit climactic. I didn't know where to rest my thumb (not a fan of resting on e string) and the body wasn't too comfortable.
  8. For what ever reason, Rickenbacker's just don't seem to pop up in certain areas at all. Everyone always complains that they are so hard to come by. My local Sam Ash, in San Antonio Texas, has had three hanging on the wall for probably 6 months now. (Jetglo, Mapleglo, and Ruby) They also have a used like 1992 hanging a little lower.

    I think it is so strange how different stores/areas don't seem to get any distribution, such as my local Guitar Center where I have never seen a Rick.

    Always play a Rickenbacker before buying, a lot of people new to Rick's don't know that almost every year seems to have some changes in the neck width or profile. I have a 2011 that has a pretty thin neck(width, not depth) and the 2012 models came out with a different shape and feel. Every single Rickenbacker I have played has felt completely different, which makes them a somewhat risky buy online.

    Here are some other online places to check out, both of which are pretty well known around here for Rick pricing and availability.

    Good Luck man!
  9. coreyw666


    Dec 22, 2008
    I played one in Houston at Rockin Robin before I bought mine. The one I played felt great but it was way more expensive it may have been a 4001. Playing one for the first time is weird and awesome. I wish I didn't sell mine due to stupid money practices. 💸
  10. jazznrick

    jazznrick Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Woodlands, Texas
    Because Rickenbacker runs on a business model which pre-dates the East India Trading Company
  11. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I'm a Ric lover but they definitely aren't for everybody, so you really should check one out in person before you buy. That being said, Rics are very easy to resell at close to the price you bought them for, so you can flip it without very much damage to yourself.
  12. LordRyan


    Dec 9, 2012
    In the 80's I was in a band with two guitar techs who worked at Rickenbacker. The Bass player who set up new Ricks and worked on McCartney's and Squire's Basses played a Fender himself. The guitar player who is now Neil Diamond's touring guitar tech owned mostly Gibsons and Fenders. He did acquire a 1966 360 12-string which I now have.

    Anyway, Rickenbacker is a company that has no interest in expanding production. There are no Korean, Chinese, Mexican, or Indonesian versions like you find with other companies. It's an unusual business model which keeps Ricks in short supply and nearly every instrument they make has a buyer before it goes out the door.

    Even the few stores that specialize in Ricks have little inventory. Rhoads Music in Elizabethtown, PA , www.rhoadsmusic.com , who call themselves the world authority on Ricks has practically none in stock. Pick of the Ricks in Lindenwold, NJ, http://www.pickofthericks.com/ , has few new instruments.
  13. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    I've been buying basses for over 35 years, not one of them ever had a setup that met my satisfaction, Rickenbacker leaves the nut cut high to allow for personal adjustment, some people like it high, some people like it low. Only you know how you want your bass to feel. Learn to do your own set ups and bass maintenance. Why people let someone else set their bass up baffles me.
  14. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    There's plenty of high quality bass guitars that are set-up perfectly coming out of the shop, the fact that Rickenbacker doesn't do this is pure laziness. Some people like having a nut cut that high? Yeah, if you like driving a truck under your strings.

    I agree that everyone should be able to set up their own bass, but when it comes to filing a nut correctly, that's a much more difficult procedure that requires specific tools.
  15. inate_hex


    Apr 4, 2010
    Manchester, England
    I occasionally wet the bed.
    I once wanted a Rickenbacker.......that is until I went to the music store and played one.
  16. Fly to Portland, Or. for a Voodoo Donut and stop by Apple Music Row. Last time I was in there, they had no less than a dozen Rics hanging out of reach, ready to go. I bought a few basses and a guitar there, and they matched online pricing at the time.

    If there's one store like that, there has to be more. Good luck! I know what you mean about wanting a Ric. I had one in 2009-10, but sold it because it wasn't for me. I still GAS for one regularly. Go figure.
  17. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    That's my fear. I imagine ordering one and hating it, then having to go through the hassle of shipping it back if I don't care for it.

    I am a little worried about the slab body because both of my basses have contoured tops, so I'm not sure how well my right arm would get along with it. I do play with a floating thumb, so I'm not concerned about a thumb rest.

    As far as weight is concerned, both of my basses are six strings. One is mahogany and the other maple. They are both in the 10-10.5 pound range. It seems like all of the four string basses I'm interested in are all extraordinarily heavy. Rics and Stingrays are both in the high 9s or 10s. The only bass I've had that I liked the weight of was a MIM Fender P, but I got rid of it because I wanted to finance another six. I liked the tone but I didn't love it. It seems like I just prefer active, modern sounding basses. The Ric seems to be an exception to that.
  18. BAMonBASS


    Apr 28, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
    The first time I tried a Rick was when I owned the Rick. Lucky for me I have loved the feel of them. Try a newer one if you can, the necks have been standardized the last 3 or 4 years. I tried a 4001 from the eighties once and did not care for it(really fat neck). Also I have recently changed to a 4004L, if you can dish out a couple extra hundred dollars it is well worth it. The body contour feels amazing, its almost 1.5 lbs lighter(comes in just over 8lbs) than my 4003 and has more clarity without losing the "Rick growl". :bassist:
  19. BAMonBASS


    Apr 28, 2010
    Kansas City, MO
  20. Corvette19


    Oct 10, 2010
    Greenville SC
    Hi there. Check your local Craigslist. Have only seen one 4003 in a local guitar shop (that was on consignment!). I played it and didn't care for the way it played. I went on craigslist and scored one for $1200 even. 2006 4003 Jetglo. It's great and is serving me well. Bought it 6 days ago :hyper: