The Bass-ment

NRBD • Today I am a re-man.

1

The unfortunate Bad Ric 4003 of this thread went back to its vendor. This one - a 2017 - came today.

There's so little to say about an instrument that's just right. Looks right (flawless, in fact), plays right, sounds right. Is right, I reckon.

Oddly, the action doesn't look so much different than the Bad Bass's, but it feels completely different. Like lower string tension, much easier to play. "Effortless" is going too far, but so much more tractable than Bad Bass. There's still fret buzz, but it's as I expect for a growling, clanking Ric - so OK.

Nice even action. Everywhere. I haven't even looked at the relief. (We're going through a helluva humid spell, though, and that everything I pick up seems to need a tweak - so as this one came from Wisconsin, it's reasonable to expect it to pick up some moisture and need attention as it acclimates.)

Dealwise, I couldn't be pleaseder. Better condition, perfect case (the first one had a crack), functionally perfect. It already has the Hipshot replacement bridge installed, and the original (and bridge pickup cover) came along as well.

I don't know that Rickenbacker is entirely redeemed in my view, but at least this bass hits the mark. It's everything I think it should be.

2

Now THIS is a bridge.

3

Bad Bass may have had slightly prettier wood figuring, and a more vivid glo of fire, but this is fine. Headstock has the walnuttiest walnut.

4

Well, if Rick 12s were the sound of the 60s, then the Rick bass was the sound of the 70s. Glad you like it!

I would go for a 4004 w/ maple board myself, but since long scale ANYTHING is now banished from my world, that day will never arrive.

If the 650 was their attempt at a non-Rick kind of Rick, I am not sure they have a bass that was a similar departure from familiar Rick-ness.

5

Good for you!

The issues on the last one were really odd...they seemed structural from what you described.

But, then, why weren't they obvious?

7

But, then, why weren't they obvious?

I think because they were so unlikely. The only thing that makes sense is that the neck had bowed slightly from the fulcrum point where it meets the body. How a single piece of wood could flex in the middle like that, I don't know...but it's the only theory consistent with the observations.

long scale ANYTHING is now banished from my world

Well, as basses go, the 4001/3 is at least shorter than the Usual Suspects.

And yeah, I don't know about un-Ricky Ric basses. I wanted exactly the 4001/3 sound (and look), so I've remained ignorant of any other Rickenbass offerings.

8

Congrats, fellow GASer!

Nope, no more GAS. Not never again nohow, nosir. I've ascended to a plasma state.

9

I think you are right, the neck had to have been flexing unevenly...

10

Congrats, fellow GASer!

Nope, no more GAS. Not never again nohow, nosir. I've ascended to a plasma state.

– Proteus

11

Great and congrats and what Parabar said too.

12

Yes! This is a beauty. I'm glad it sounds and plays great too.

13

Nice bass Proteus, I'm glad this one is more better than the badder one. I'm very fond of the bass (as an instrument, I'm bass poor right now, but have my eye on a new Fender American Professional Precision bass. Anyhoo, I'm happy that this one is a keeper!

14

I'd troll for the short scale 3000 bass but they are never seen.

16

I mean, just lookit that body shape, you know? How completely extreme and alien that must have looked when it was introduced in 1957. Most 50s solidbody guitar designs - while pioneering at the time - were actually tastefully proportionate. Radical and futuristic as the Strat was, its curves were more or less in keeping with the design conventions of the time.

But the 4000 bass came out of a different left field - the uncompromising and extreme extension of the upper horn especially. Maybe it's consistent with the rising fins of GM and Chrysler products at the time, but it takes some other chances as well.

Considered as a design exercise, it's reliably fascinating to me, a concentrated smorgasbord of unexpected curves, sharp edges, and conjunctions - which somehow works. There's a tension and dynamism in the design that still manages to be harmonious overall. It's enough to make me forgive Roger Rossmeisl for the "German carve". I'm happy the 4000 series and the 620 guitar were spared that.

And it sure had the right look for the guys who picked it up in the 60s, 70s, and beyond.

17

I mean, just lookit that body shape, you know? How completely extreme and alien that must have looked when it was introduced in 1957. Most 50s solidbody guitar designs - while pioneering at the time - were actually tastefully proportionate. Radical and futuristic as the Strat was, its curves were more or less in keeping with the design conventions of the time.

But the 4000 bass came out of a different left field - the uncompromising and extreme extension of the upper horn especially. Maybe it's consistent with the rising fins of GM and Chrysler products at the time, but it takes some other chances as well.

Considered as a design exercise, it's reliably fascinating to me, a concentrated smorgasbord of unexpected curves, sharp edges, and conjunctions - which somehow works. There's a tension and dynamism in the design that still manages to be harmonious overall. It's enough to make me forgive Roger Rossmeisl for the "German carve". I'm happy the 4000 series and the 620 guitar were spared that.

And it sure had the right look for the guys who picked it up in the 60s, 70s, and beyond.

– Proteus

Just plum sexy guitar.

"Out there" in such a GOOD way.

18

I think the first Ric bass I saw played live in concert was by Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash...

19

Oh man, Wishbone Ash. What a fabulous, underrated band. Such natural flowing guitar work. Sorta the British Allman Brothers, but with less of a jam-band vibe. Like pre-Buknix Fleetwood Mac, maybe it was too bluesy and innovative for pop - but neither hard enough for the trending heavy rock of Zep & Purple nor prog enough for the other leading trend of those years.

20

Congrats, nice looking Ric.

To me, one of the 4001/4003’s biggest downfalls is the bridge, but geez that one is how they all should be. Maybe I should stick one on mine.

21

Nuthin looks like one, nuthin sounds like one. Very cool bass. You’re gonna have a fun weekend.

22

Bruce Foxton of The Jam was the first Rick-playing bassist I ever noticed. I always thought they looked incredibly cool and sounded great. Not for me, though; I've always found them difficult to play, and I have a mindless prejudice against multiple pickups on basses. I have a '72 Tele bass and a pre-Ernie Ball Stingray and couldn't be happier. Those two have kept me GAS-free (as far as basses go) for twenty years now!

23

Not the Ric I saw him playing back in 1975, but certainly like your own!

24

My first Ric bass spotting was on TV, when I was a kid.

Paul was sporting one on a made for TV Beatles video.

The long colorful coats, those weird looking Vox amps, and that Ric.

So cool.

25

Whodat in da pic, Twang?


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