Why play a Rickenbacker????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lowtonejoe, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    O.k., o.k., I gotta confess....

    I''ve been hankerin' for one of these critters lately and I feel real weird about it. I mean, what the heck can you do with it?

    For you Rickenbacker owners, what kind of music do you play? Is the 4003 a good one to get?

    Are you limited to surf music (Yeah, I know, I am displaying my ignorance but I'm here to learn).

    For you and everyone else, who are some famous Rickenbacker players?

    Chris Squire and Geddy Lee come to mind but anyone else?



  2. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Paul McCartney did not play surf music.
    The 4003 is actually quite versatile IMO.
    The sound is in your hands and how you play.
  3. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Chris Squire, sure, Geddy Lee, sure - great stuff. But the KILLER tone for me on a Rick is Glenn Hughes on the Deep Purple live album "Made In Europe". This was one of the key factors that turned me on to bass all those years ago (sigh).

    Check out the sound of the bass at the start of "You Fool No One" (sic). Awesome!

    I would also ask you to respect my avatar! ;)
  4. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Cliff Burton and Roger Glover spring to mind... only posting here because this thread came up at the top of the forum and I just got my first Ric last week :D

    It really doesn't look the part but I've been playing nothing but metal on it. Sounds killer with distortion. Plays like a midget BC Rich, and that's a good thing. For me anyway.

    I've always been interested in Rics, but from what I've seen the quality has improved a LOT in this decade.
  5. Mach1FT


    Jan 5, 2006
    Manchester NH

    I had a 4001 years ago, 1 thing I do remember is that it played awesome... I was running it through 6 15 inch jbl's so the sound was pretty good.. maybe a little thin on a smaller setup
  6. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I have a '76 4001 and I love it. A previous owner removed the .0047 capacitor from the bridge pot and that gives it a huge low end. From what I understand, this is mod is standard on the 4003, and Rickenbacker has just announced a replacement tone knob that will add that cap if you want the famous '70s Rickenbacker sound.

    I play in a R+B band and I have no problem getting all the low end that is needed. The Ric's single coil pups have great punch and clarity. My son has a MIM P-bass and when I got the same low end from that instrument the tone just turned to mud.

    I'd feel good taking my Ric into any musical situation that was commerical dance music. If I was required to come up with an acoustic kind of sound, I might reach for another instrument.

    I use Labella "Deep Talkin' Bass" roundwounds, an Acoustic 370 head and a Harke 15" cab.
  7. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Heh heh,

    I didn't know Ric's were so cool!

    I felt like I had a dirty secret or something!

    Thanks for the replies so soon!

    Any more?


  8. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    A Ric's tone is unique but lots of folks like it. They are very well made and the finish is second to none.

    Everything from modern twang with roundwounds all the way to vintage with flatwounds. Just depends on what you do with your hands, if you use a pick and where you pick, your amplification and your ears.
  9. gamera


    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    This sounds like an awesome setup. If only you had the 18" folded cabinet.

    That is pretty close to my dream rig.
  10. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Here's my Rics, to me the ultimate bass tone.
  11. bman


    Dec 4, 2000
    Sandown, N.H., USA
    Tell that to Lemmy! :p
  12. Bob the Bass

    Bob the Bass

    Aug 13, 2004
    Give me a Ric 4003 above any bass in the world - for me the build quality, tone, sustain & looks all combine to make a fantastic bass !!
    Check out the Rickenbacker Forum for tons more info on these hand crafted beauties !!
  13. gwx014


    Dec 22, 2005
    I second that! I have a Ric 4003 too and IMO it's one of the best bass tones out their. I actually think it's pretty versatile too. I say you should get one!:bassist:
  14. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Well, what kind of music do *you* play? I've seen Ric's used for every style of music under the sun. I remember the bass player from Smashing Orange (showing my early 90's glory days here) used a Ric, and he always had a great sound.
  15. [​IMG]

    death from above 1979

    anything BUT surf music.. lol

    they classify them selfs as dance punk or something.. pretty cool.. its just bass and drums, no guitars at all :p the drummer sings

    saw them live when they opened for NIN they are pretty cool... he runs that baby throug his synth i believe.. sounds so nice
  16. munnkyboy


    Jul 1, 2005
    What's not to love?

    Squire and Lee certainly epitomize the Ric sound, as does Paul, but hell, I find it as versitile as my Jazz Bass. Really.

    I use flats which still give me the characteristic Ric tone, with plenty of depth and girth.

  17. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    Yesterday I saw a documentary on the history of Funk, and there was a clip showing Sly & The Family Stone. The (then) revolutionary slap'npop funk groove was laid down on.....a Rickenbacker!
  18. The guy in Spacehog plays a Ric.
    (Also plays Liv Tyler)

    "In the Meantime" is a good song to check out
    to hear that Ric tone
  19. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    The same thing you do with every other bass!