#1
I have never played one. Or even seen one in person. So I was wondering...

...what's it like?

Everything. The weight? The neck? The body? The sound? Just fill me in, they seem to be really awesome.
#3
I've played one once, in a music shop. The sound of it was indeed quite bright and punchy, as the previous poster said. However I wouldn't say they're the brightest or punchiest around, I used to own a Gibson G3 in full maple, which is the brightest thing I've played. But the G3 was excessively so, didn't really like it. Ricks sound nice though.

It's been a long time since I played it, but from what I remember, the weight was pretty average, quite balanced from neck to body (though it's obviously harder to tell playing sat down). It was a nice looking thing, played okay (the neck was pretty slim, which I like), although all that really struck me about it was that it didn't seem to justify the price tag. It was okay, nothing too special though. Bit of luxury thing, sort of like a Gibson. Each to his own though.
#4
The Rick 4003 series are very nice basses. Not heavy on the low end, though. They are definitely geared toward the midrange and treble range of the tonal spectrum. The Rickenbacker is a rock & roll bass through and through. It doesn't lend itself to delicate, nuanced jazz playing. That's not to say you couldn't do it, but there are better basses for that stuff. The neck is fast and not too thick, but it isn't as thin as a lot of people expect it to be. The bass itself is quite thin. The bass balances very well when sitting and standing. A great many people find the cover over the neck pickup an annoyance and remove it.

Between being made in small numbers in the U.S.A. and its cult following, the Ricky has become quite pricey. It isn't obscenely overpriced, but it will probably run you around US$1,800.00 with a case. They aren't as easy to find as they once were, and if you order one from a local store you might have to wait a while to take delivery.
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#5
I love rics. They are a distinctive bass with a great twang/treble end that makes them distinctive in sound and in playing. I prefer the 4003 over the 4001s because of the head "heal" but both have that unique tone. The necks are very playable. The fretless model has a mwah that is very close to an upright and remarkably works well for a jazz setting.
#6
The drummer in my band has one (he also plays bass) and he let me play around on it and i have to say it's very nice. It's got a punchy tone and the neck feels nice.
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#7
I'd love to try one, but in reality, if I ever decide I want one, I'm going to just have to pay the $4000 and get it delivered and hope I like it.
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#8
I've played them a few times...and after playing a Fender Bass for so long, I really dislike the neck on the Rickenbacker's. Great tone and playability, Fender just ruined me for other basses I guess.
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#10
I've played when I was a backup bassist for a indie rock a while back.

It was the most annoying bass to play because I could never get the treble cut that the band wanted.
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#11
Quote by epy
I've played them a few times...and after playing a Fender Bass for so long, I really dislike the neck on the Rickenbacker's. Great tone and playability, Fender just ruined me for other basses I guess.

The opposite happened to me. I still like Fender necks, but the Rick neck is the one I want now, after playing a Rick 4003 three times.
#12
Eh, I played a 4001 when I was but a wee lad and thought it was nice, but in the last year or so I played a few 4003's for a decent amount of time, and a 4004cii and now I'm completely disillusioned when it comes to Ricks.

They're great, well put-together basses, but they either work for you or they don't.
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#13
I played one on last Saturday. It's very solid. Neck is a bit too thick for my tastes and there's too much treble and not enough bass for my liking. I'd buy one if it went cheap (very very unlikely) but I wouldn't pay the full whack for it
#14
I have a Rickenbacker 4003. I had the rig of the month if its still up there you can see a picture of it. I love it, the neck is normal, and I can't see how someone could find it uncomfortable, unless you're way too picky. The thing I like about it is the many different tones you can get. I can turn the treble down and get a real nice low punchy tone, and with the turn of a dial, grab a pick and get a gnarly bright rock tone. I think it's one of the easiest basses I've played, meaning it takes such little effort to play it. All in all its a great bass, maybe a bit overpriced, but worth every penny. Anyone who knocks em probably doesnt own one.
#15
I played one at a music store from the 70s, I thought it played terribly. They're the same as any other bass, there are good ones and bad ones.
#16
Quote by Claypool5667
I have a Rickenbacker 4003. I had the rig of the month if its still up there you can see a picture of it. I love it, the neck is normal, and I can't see how someone could find it uncomfortable, unless you're way too picky. The thing I like about it is the many different tones you can get. I can turn the treble down and get a real nice low punchy tone, and with the turn of a dial, grab a pick and get a gnarly bright rock tone. I think it's one of the easiest basses I've played, meaning it takes such little effort to play it. All in all its a great bass, maybe a bit overpriced, but worth every penny. Anyone who knocks em probably doesnt own one.


I'm not going to settke for a neck I don't like. The bass should suit the player, not the player suit the bass. It's not being picky, it's knowing what you want.

And of course I don't own one. Why would I buy a Rick if I don't like it? That'd just be stupid. As far as I'm concerned my Warwick kicks it's arse across all seven continents, or else I wouldn't have gotten that either.
#17
I actually owned a Ric 4003 for about 6 months last year. I thought they were, and still think, that they are the coolest looking basses on the market. However, looks aside, they aren't very well engineered. I sold mine because I couldnt stand the neck on it. The shape was fine, but the laquer that they use is so damn sticky.

When you rest your arm on the body it cuts of circulation to your wrist when your sitting down because there's no bevel.

there are also no individual height adjustments for the bridge. Which is ridiculous in this day and age.

All in all they are too poorly engineered to warrant the price they ask. Any modern bass for $1,200 blows it out of the water in terms of playability and versatility.
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#18
I think a lot of the price is just like anything els on the market today. Is a MacBook that much better than a Dell to cost hundreds more? In some ways yes, and in some no. The Rick is expensive cause it's a cult classic, something a lot of people would like to own, and it's got mojo. I mean you could buy a bass for half the price that may be a lot more boring design wise, but have killer tone. All these things play a role in the price. Plus there hand made in the USA in limited numbers, not pumped out of a production line in Mexico or wherever. I think they have a good tone and tons of sustain. The neck literally runs the entire length of the bass, from headstock to the end, all one piece.
#19
I've always liked the Rickenbacker 4003, even for my metal style its great, when i try it in store, it always reminds me of Cliff Burton
#20
As you can see, the 4003 is a very subjective bass. It's designed and built like no other bass out there and as such causes a vast split opinion in the bass playing community. Personally I liked the 4001 I played but I've never played a 4003. Saying that I own a 4003 copy which I loved the feel of even more than I did the 4001. This is because my copy has a more fenderish feel to the neck and I'm a fender fan.
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#21
Ergonomically they're not great. The neck profile isn't as tapered as you'd expect and the pickup positioning feels a little odd if you rest your thumb on them. In general I just don't them that comfortable to play. However the tone and iconic looks make up for it IMO.
#22
i have a 1978 rickenbacker 4001 (serial RB 719), and it's pretty much the only bass i've played, so the neck profile isn't a problem for me but other bass necks are

i guess all i can say is you either love them or you hate them and i wouldn't advise anyone to buy any rickenbacker without trying it first. the necks, due to the "dual truss-rod" feature, generally have a very flat back profile and a sort of squared off shape which needless to say can be quite a handful, whether you can live with that or not is something that you have to find out for yourself.. Also they have a naturally very bright tone, thanks to the maple body and neck, so the bridge pickup is probably completely useless to a lot of people, given its lack of "depth". It's good for cutting through a mix if you want a more "up-front" bass sound though.

I haven't had enough experience with the 4003 models (i've not played one that felt as nice to play as my '78 4001) to know how they compare and how they differ but the specs don't seem that much different, so i would guess that the unusual quirky aspects of the design apply to the 4003 as well.
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#23
it seems like they're more of a collectors item. "hand made in limited numbers" is a big justification for the price it seems. It seems like a couple people liked them and then ric just did what they could to make the bass worth (read cost) more.

All that said, I have never played one. They look amazing and its a very symbolic bass to me for various reasons. I woud love to own one one day for the sake of owning it but when that day comes it will probably be one made in my garage out of mahogany to mellow out the treble and will cost $500 or so dollars.
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#24
G'day to you all,

Just joined today and was reading all your comments on Rickenbacker's. I would like to ask a question if I am in the right place to do so?

Here goes, I have a bass guitar, I was informed that it is a Rickenbacker copy.

The name on the head stock is ELECTA. Can anyone tell me more about this bass. It is sunburst color and is very heavy.

I will post a picture for you to look at providing I'm in the right area of this site to do so! I'd say it is in the vintage era 70's could be earlier.

Thank you for any input.

Coral


from Tasmania, Australia.
#25
Electa is one of many companies in the 70's that imported copies of Rickenbacker basses and guitars into Europe and USA. Other companies that did this were Ibanez, Aria, Univox, Hondo and Greco. They were usually of good quality and depending on the company could range from exact copies down the the smallest detail to plywood bodied basses with the rick shape.

Several member's here own Rickenbacker copies of some description, I personally own a very new copy which takes more from Gibson's method of construction than Rickenbacker's.

Put pics of yours in the Show Off Your Bass V3 thread
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#26
Electa were IIRC some of the best ones, and also some of the last of the replicas to be made, before the great RIC crackdown happened. They also came in some pretty eyecatching (eye-watering?) colour schemes; green 'n' yellow burst was one I saw on another forum!
As for the real thing, I was lucky enough when I bought my rep, to have a couple of pleasurable hours in the shop of Glasgow's only Ricky dealer at the time, Charlie Marx. I showed him my Columbus, he made me put it aside and try a few of his. An early-ish 4001, a late 70's 4001, and a then new 4003. The funny thing was, I could feel the gentle progression thro' the years, supporting his point that they'd evolved the 4001 to the point where the 4003 crystallised all the changes.
They are unique basses, and absolute Marmite: you'll either love them or you won't. Personally I do, and a 4003 would be my choice. It's the ultimate evolution of something which 50-odd years ago, was ahead of the game. Now while bass has moved on somewhat, the Rick hasn't had to. It's always stood alone, sometimes in the corner, sometimes in the light, but there's never been anything else quite like it.
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