MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Pondering a Rickenbacker...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Pondering a Rickenbacker...
commodorejohn
It'd be a ways out into the future and I'm not ready to seriously pursue it just yet, but I've been thinking of looking into getting a Rickenbacker 4003S - I just love that sound, and as nice as my Jazz Bass clone is, it's not the same. I'm a little leery of buying one online, since I've read that Rics can vary pretty significantly from instrument to instrument, being hand-built and all, but I have no idea how true that really is.

And unfortunately, my options for trying one out in person are pretty limited - despite nearly every gorram music store in northern California being a guitar shop first and foremost (if not strictly!) there's only a couple in the Sacramento/Folsom area that list a Ric in stock. One's a small shop with a couple '70s-'80s instruments, but their "busted old project bass" Ric is priced the same as other people's "actually a usable instrument" ones, and the nicer ones they list are a few hundred bucks more than that.

The other option is (naturally) a Guitar Center. I might be able to overcome the ew factor of that due to their (somewhat) lower prices, but I've heard scuttlebut about their QA being lax and pretty much just taking whatever the manufacturer wants to send them. Again, though, I have no idea to what extent that's actually true.

Anybody have advice to weigh in with here? Is there that much risk in buying online, if it's from a reputable outlet with a decent returns policy? Conversely, is there any truth to the rumors that GC is effectively the industry's remainders shop?
minphase
I bought a 360 jetglo, sight unseen, from pickofthericks.com. Very happy with the instrument and the vendor -- fast, good price, perfect packing amd shipping, great setup.
monstrinho
Not being able to play an instrument first can be really frustrating and nerve-wracking. If you do decide to buy online, make sure the place you buy from allows returns. If you decide to buy used rather than new, I would recommend paying a little more and buying from a reputable, knowledgeable dealer. I've personally had good luck with Dave's Guitar Shop, Chicago Music Exchange, and Elderly Instruments. All three places have staff who really know their stuff and will be willing to answer your questions on the phone or over e-mail. I've asked all three very pointed questions about things like fret wear, if the truss rod is working properly, and neck warping/bowing etc and have always gotten honest answers. I'm sure there are many other shops that are trustworthy as well, but these are the ones I've dealt with personally.
Tronman
My local GC is willing to order anything I want to try. Maybe yours will too. If the first one isn't just right, have them order another.
phase ghost
monstrinho wrote:
Not being able to play an instrument first can be really frustrating and nerve-wracking.


True. Especially, if you've never played anything else from the brand. I know this is about a bass, but I played a Ric guitar (forget the model) not too long ago. Man, that neck was thin. Width and depth.
commodorejohn
Anyway, I trucked on over to the local Guitar Center on my lunch break and had a go with that one. Good news is I really enjoyed it and think I'd be happy with that...bad news is I'm not convinced the store will still be there next time I have $1600 to spare... confused

For the time being, I've started looking into the Gibson Thunderbird as an alternative neck-through bass to try out, since you can get the Epiphone version for a whole lot cheaper...might pick one up next weekend, we'll see...
dkcg
commodorejohn wrote:
For the time being, I've started looking into the Gibson Thunderbird as an alternative neck-through bass to try out, since you can get the Epiphone version for a whole lot cheaper...might pick one up next weekend, we'll see...


the thunderbird is cool...but there's something about Ric basses I love, from the 4001 to the current line. First time I heard one in person was the Flaming Lips in 1988. Beautiful sound, I think I may prefer it over a good PBass or Jazz Bass (which is my 2nd favorite bass).

I wish I never sold my 330 in college. B&W tuxedo colors, jangled so beautifully, Peter Buck in a strum. dang...
One day I'll have a Ric again.

Get the Ric! You can always get a Thunderbird, at least easier than a Ric. Eat cheap for a few months and it's paid off. grin
commodorejohn
Oh, I fully intend to get a Ric. But not for a bit yet (gotta wait a while before I can go dropping that kind of money on a hobby purchase...though I suppose it would help if I got around to selling off some of the gear I'm not using.)

Anyway, I suppose I should trek on over to the other shop and try out the vintage piece, just to see...
sduck
I owned one of these and played on a lot of them back in the mid-late 70's. They were all really nice, not really any slackers that I came across. I just did an image search, and virtually none of the ones that turned up were like the kinds I used to play. The necks used to have binding, and triangle inlays, and looked and felt right. The ones I see now have some kind of cheapo looking necks - they may actually be fine, but I would personally hold out for an old style neck if it were me searching.
dkcg
Understandable, guitars can get expensive. But a nice guitar can inspire playing more and you end up better on an instrument that's easier to play than a cheap guitar. My first electric that was 4 figures was a Gretsch Duo Jet, about $2000 w/ tax. But it was easier to play than my Strat (shorter scale helped), and made me want to play more often.

I'm still not worthy of the guitar, but I've definately improved greatly from owning it. It keeps me from getting a 330 or 360. I saw a 360 12 string with the claw that makes it a 6 string. I wanted it so bad, but it's over $5000. No way I could justify that one (or even afford it) until I can play like I was a member of the Byrds. cry
commodorejohn
sduck wrote:
I just did an image search, and virtually none of the ones that turned up were like the kinds I used to play. The necks used to have binding, and triangle inlays, and looked and felt right. The ones I see now have some kind of cheapo looking necks - they may actually be fine, but I would personally hold out for an old style neck if it were me searching.

Yeah, they seem to have switched things up a bit a few times, but I'm pretty sure that what I tried (bound maple body, bound maple neck, triangle inlays, gloss-finish rosewood fretboard) is purt' near the original design (only obvious difference was the push-pull tone knob for the treble pickup that engages the extra treble-rolloff capacitor that later models ditched.) Good stuff in any case!

dkcg wrote:
Understandable, guitars can get expensive. But a nice guitar can inspire playing more and you end up better on an instrument that's easier to play than a cheap guitar.

True enough - but I already have a couple basses that are nice enough that I can't put 'em down. I will be getting a Ric, just not necessarily immediately wink
seamonkeyman
I've owned a Ric guitar (traded it), and looked at their basses and guitars for years. There really does seem to be significant variability in quality or perhaps even basic setup. Most I've played in store have been really underwhelming, with the notable exception of a 620 I played in Manny's in New York, which was actually good. Even the dude there lamented the variability.

On other trips I've played vintage Rics and had the same 'meh' feeling, sadly as I love the look.

Eventually I found a luthier in Argentina, Jorge Rodriguez, who makes amazing replicas, he built me a 4005, which is really good, and at not that much more cost than a new 4003. If you're interested you should be able to google him or find him on FB, if not ping me.
commodorejohn
Interesting notion. How do his prices compare to the name brand?
seamonkeyman
I'm not sure how his prices would be on a 4003, for me a vintage 4005 would have been around 4x higher in price, and what I received is as solid an instrument as my pre-CBS Jazz bass & '69 Precision. He makes very good stuff.

Here's his FB link

https://www.facebook.com/Jorge-Rodriguez-Luthier-655645584517225/?ref= br_rs

It's better to deal with him in Spanish (which I don't speak), but with Google translate it was honestly no hassle at all.
commodorejohn
Wow, that's some gorgeous work there. But I'm not on Facebook, so it's all kinda moot...

Anyway, my curiosity about the Thunderbird kinda fizzled when I realized that the Epiphone version (at least the non-"Pro" version which is available cheaply) is actually a bolt-on neck design confused But I've kinda had my curiosity to try a DIY project rekindled after finding out that there's a hardwood supplier headquartered literally three blocks from my workplace, so it's possible that I'll sate my curiosity re: neck-through basses that way, at least for the time being...
gentle_attack
I LOVE the look of Rick guitars, but you need baby hands to play those things. Maybe that's why the 12str are so popular.

The bass, which I recognize this thread is primarily about, are so damn cool. I'm only a novice (but 'shedding) bass player... I'd love to play on one, one day.
chromium
phase ghost wrote:
monstrinho wrote:
Not being able to play an instrument first can be really frustrating and nerve-wracking.


True. Especially, if you've never played anything else from the brand. I know this is about a bass, but I played a Ric guitar (forget the model) not too long ago. Man, that neck was thin. Width and depth.


I've read that a lot about the 330s/360s/etc. and was a little worried buying one online as a result.

Finally found a deal I couldn't refuse on a 360/6 from 2016... and the neck really surprised me. Very Gibson-like width and depth, albeit slightly narrower at the heel. Medium carve "D" profile. Maybe they are finally chunking the necks up a bit? Still has the vintage frets and lacquered board, which puts some folks off - but to me it's a nice player.




I've had Ric basses most of my life, and those will vary - mainly in the necks. My '78 4001 had a very slender profile, that '73 above is beefier, and the 90s 4003s/8 I had was the chunkiest of them all. I don't mind some variety there, but some folks are more particular.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
Owning a Ric won't automatically make you sound like Chris Squire.
commodorejohn
No, but that doesn't make it not awesome wink
chromium
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
Owning a Ric won't automatically make you sound like Chris Squire.


It's all in the fingers. Chris on the Thunderbird (Tormato era) could've even fooled me into thinking it was the Ric. Same with Geddy on Moving Pictures ('72 Jazz Bass on Tom Sawyer, YYZ, etc).

You can, however, sound like John Oates on a Ric 360 hihi

sciencefiction
A Rick bass with lots of power, be it in the fingers of a pick, sounds stellar.
commodorejohn
Indeed.

Still need to get over to that bass shop and try another Ric, it's only a half-mile from my workplace but I keep not quite getting around to going...
Jamnuska
Guy always cracks me up.








Edit due to stupid idiot author who forgets how to embed videos.
commodorejohn
Gonna go look at one tomorrow that's listed for like half the going rate for non-vintage Rics. Crossing my fingers that there's no gotchas here, because that would kick ass.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group