#1
Are Rickebacker basses worth the price? They can be like 2000+ euros.

But are they worth it? What would make them worthy of their high price?
Quote by Kill A Kitten
You know that old saying: "Men who play bass in the band have the largest genitalia." Well, it's the same for women.
#2
Yes and no. One of the things that drives the pricing is that Rickenbacker controls production very tightly and doesn't mass produce like other companies. The supply is not huge compared to say a Fender or Gibson.

Now they are really well crafted instruments, but I find that you either hate or love them. They have a really distinct sound as a bass and their playability factor depends on how much you like or dislike the necks.
#3
^ Tams got it all right here. If you crave the sound and love the feel they're definitely worth it, because you'll be hard pressed to find anything else that feels the same, sounds similar, and is built to the same high standards.

If you're looking for one, I would suggest looking used though. While its true there aren't as many Ricks out there as there are Fenders, there's still plenty of 4001's and 4003's floating around, and if you're willing to accept a few battle scars you can score a used Rick for like half of what a new one would cost.
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#4
I actually got to play one (a 4003) for the first time last week, my bass teacher bought it over and to add to the awesomeness it was signed by Lemmy. Totally different to a "traditional" and a lot different to how I thought it would feel and sound in my head. It's almost as if it was a guitar but not quite, even the neck reminded my of my Epiphone Dot. Make sure you know what you're getting before you go out and blow the money on one, but if you're sure the Rick' sound is what you want you're going to be very hard pressed to find it in anything else.
Basses:
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Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#5
Having played nearly every scale from 22.5 - 34 and a variety of neck style within including a Rickenbacker at a store for a short while I can attest that for me it's not the neck but the body style that leads to the biggest playability issues.

They do have a "signature" sound, having played one for a very short while I can't say much, but that combined with listening to known rick players does give you an idea of what they are like sonically.

Eric Judy of modest mouse plays a rick, clean with a pick, that's a great imo example of the Rickenbacker tone. It's a single coil bass with a very clanky mid driven tone. I've seen bands play or heard them knowing a rick was present, and honestly most had colored their tone in such a way the Rick wasn't really adding itself to the sound as much as it was to stage appeal and playability for the guys. For example I saw a punk band play and a guy had a SVT, 8x10 and some kind of overdrive/distortion pedal. I was excited to hear the guy play and ready (he took like 30 minutes to sound check while the rest of the band waited), anyways his ampeg and pedal completely colored his tone to over driven ampeg. Hell even Al Cisneros uses a Rick but I'm hard pressed myself to really hear it in sleep.

If you want a Rick, go used unless money isn't an object. Also look for japanese copies. If you want that clanky mid sound, rounds and a mid boosted amp get you part way
#6
I haven't played a Rickenbacker in a long time, but I think most of the people nailed it with personal preference. I do think that they are a bit too pricey.
A friend in a local band we play with says its not worth, and I have witnessed him throw it across a small room after his bands set. (they kick out some wicked post-rock sets)
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#7
Quote by ldzppln81
I have witnessed him throw it across a small room after his bands set. (they kick out some wicked post-rock sets)

why would anyone do that. If it's not worth it he could sell it instead of toss it about.
#8
Quote by askrere
why would anyone do that. If it's not worth it he could sell it instead of toss it about.


I was really quite shocked when I saw him do it. "Did that guy just hurl his Rickenbacker across the floor?!" Apparently it holds up well though. I know he plays a couple basses. I suppose that attests to a high quality of a Rickenbacker though!
1642 ELEPHANTS LIVE HERE

Bass Gear
Fender Deluxe Jazz Bass (Active Electronics) (MIM)
Ampeg SVT-7Pro Head
Ampeg SVT-610 Cab
#9
I was surprised when I actually got one in my hands. In pictures they look really fragile but in reality they're tanky as shit. They're built to survive a nuclear war.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#10
If there was a horrible nuclear apocalypse, the cockroaches would be eating twinkys and playing Ricks.

The guy who sold me my Markbass had a 4001 that had been abused to all hell by its previous owner, half the paint and finish gone, dings, chips, scratches, gouges, discoloration, the whole nine yards. The thing had an arrow straight neck, and felt so solid you could club a bear to death with it.
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#11
Quote by consecutive e
I was surprised when I actually got one in my hands. In pictures they look really fragile but in reality they're tanky as shit. They're built to survive a nuclear war.


They also look pretty thin, don't they?

Quote by Kill A Kitten
You know that old saying: "Men who play bass in the band have the largest genitalia." Well, it's the same for women.
#12
Do those big bridges do anything for sustain or easier intonation and action setup? or are they just huge?
#13
Quote by askrere
Do those big bridges do anything for sustain or easier intonation and action setup? or are they just huge?


I'd guess they have a practical use, but I don't really know.
Quote by Kill A Kitten
You know that old saying: "Men who play bass in the band have the largest genitalia." Well, it's the same for women.
#14
Quote by askrere
Hell even Al Cisneros uses a Rick but I'm hard pressed myself to really hear it in sleep.


I think that has more to do with production than anything else.For most people,the only sleep they've heard is Holy Mountain.The recordings on Holy Mountain are in fact demos the band did,that impressed the record company so much that they released them exactly as they got them. Most Om records have a much higher production value which really lets the bass breathe.

there are ric knockoffs out there,some better than others,the best perhaps being the greco rick.That said,there are other basses that can achieve the same sound.When I was in the market for a bass,a ric was well out of my budget,however I found a peavey T-40 got me into similar tone territory for a whole lot less.
Seagulls,the chicken of the ocean.

Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
#15
Quote by Ian hawkins
I think that has more to do with production than anything else.For most people,the only sleep they've heard is Holy Mountain.The recordings on Holy Mountain are in fact demos the band did,that impressed the record company so much that they released them exactly as they got them. Most Om records have a much higher production value which really lets the bass breathe.

there are ric knockoffs out there,some better than others,the best perhaps being the greco rick.That said,there are other basses that can achieve the same sound.When I was in the market for a bass,a ric was well out of my budget,however I found a peavey T-40 got me into similar tone territory for a whole lot less.


I have holy mountain and Jerusalem/Dopesmoker. in Om he does stand out more.

Are you the guy who did the T-40 vs Rick comparison on youtube?
#16
not by a long shot. the pickups are crap, the body shape is uncomfortable, the neck profile feels like garbage.

the only thing they've got going for them is build quality.
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
#17
I can't really decide if I like their aesthetics or not. But it's a Rick - you get what you pay for. High quality build and a really distinctive sound. Not for everyone.
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#18
Quote by askrere
I have holy mountain and Jerusalem/Dopesmoker. in Om he does stand out more.

Are you the guy who did the T-40 vs Rick comparison on youtube?


With 2 8x10's and 2 4x15's he does more than stand out :P
No,that wasn't me,although I have seen it.
Seagulls,the chicken of the ocean.

Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
#19
Quote by Ian hawkins
With 2 8x10's and 2 4x15's he does more than stand out :P
No,that wasn't me,although I have seen it.


God I want to see an interview with his roadie
#20
i hear they can be hit and miss. as far as 4003's go, as they come themselves aren't what you'd expect. the one i played was definatly nice, but two things threw me off about it; this preticular one(2009 model) had a neck like a baseball bat(thicker than a precision even) when i used to hear all around on talkbass and what not that most ricks have thin necks(bull). and second, unless you have the toaster looking pickup in plus some serious rigs and gear to make your s*** punch, the tone isn't nearly like it is in recordings. like if your expecting to sound like chris squire or geddy with a newer stock ric, you can forget it.. unless you want to pluck on those strings incredibly hard, like hard enough to break them you can't get anywhere near that sound. at least this is what the 4003 i played was like. i was suprised at how incredibly mellow and more thumpy the tone was rather than being all bright and piano like. pretty much just my 2 cents there though.
#21
^that's true,most rick players I know of certainly give em a good whacking
Seagulls,the chicken of the ocean.

Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
#22
most ric players have to play through a ton of compression to get any decent amount of output
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
#23
Ricks are expensive because they've got the sole rights to make that particular bass. This is why Fenders (which tend to be at least as good in terms of construction) are so much cheaper, they have to compete with imposters as they took far too long to patent their designs. This is also why Rickenbacker's legal team is so vicious, if people got away with copies then they'd be forced to reduce the price to something reasonable. When you think about it, they don't have any particularly special tonewoods, preamps or even pickups yet they're twice the price of an American Standard Precision.

I really want a Fireglo 4003 (for about a month I was saving up for one) but I would never pay so much for so little, for nearly two (GBP) grand I'd want something custom made with fancy tonewoods and an expensive preamp, if they were still my thing. Just my 2 pennies, they too expensive when they're second-hand.

Edit: I tl;dr'd the thread, I think I just repeated the general consensus.
Last edited by Spaz91 at Nov 7, 2011,
#24
Quote by anarkee
Yes and no. One of the things that drives the pricing is that Rickenbacker controls production very tightly and doesn't mass produce like other companies. The supply is not huge compared to say a Fender or Gibson.

Now they are really well crafted instruments, but I find that you either hate or love them. They have a really distinct sound as a bass and their playability factor depends on how much you like or dislike the necks.

this.

no matter how well crafted they may be, if you don't like them you don't like them, at the end of the day, and they really are an aquired taste to say the least.

if you do like them, then they are well worth the money, because they are actually pretty reasonably priced for the build quality that you're getting.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#25
I think it's obvious CJ Noble is a avid Rick fan lol

They have through tight control and legal maneuvers made a musical luxury item. A lot of their "unique" tone after doing some schematic reading, seems to come from their wiring. They seems to cut frequencies to emphasize and isolate others.

And Spaz it doesn't matter if you went and bought bought a custom bass, you'd trade it for a Rick on the way home :p
#26
personally,the price of a rick is too close to the price of a used car,which is to say,too ****ing much.especially for a guitar.I don't care about a unique sound if it's going to take my entire life savings to get it.they are high quality,but I could go custom for a lot less.
Give a man a fish and he'll be hungry tomorrow,but put his ass in fishnets and someone will buy him dinner-Gene Simmons
#28
Lately, it seems like an awful lot of people are having issues with new Rics. Neck issues, nonfunctioning neck pickup, nonfunctioning tone pot, buzzing bridge saddles, flaws in the finish, yellowed trim bindings, damaged cases - all things that should not be issues if their QC was on point.
"Quick to judge. Quick to anger. Slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand-in-hand."
- Rush, "Witch Hunt"
#29
I know someone who really loved rickenbackers and had to go through 4 or 5 before he found one he liked. He told me that this is common, and that QC is extremely loose for the company