The Bass-ment

NTBD, or Today I Am a Man, or Just how much SHOULD this thing buzz?…

26

I'm sorry to hear that Rick's QC is hit-or-miss nowadays. My first Rick 4001 bass is a December 1982 in Mapleglo. It has super low action (completely straight neck adjustment) with Tomastik Infeld flatwounds. My wife used it a few times with her college jazz band and her Army Reserve jazz combo and both bands loved the sound. Of course she still preferred her G&L L-2000, but raved about the feel and action of the Rick. A good 4001 set up properly is a fine bass.

27

32nds to the right of pic, 20ths to the left, sorry forgot to add that.

28

Rusty, that action is a dream compared to this one.


If the neck is reasonably straight (a little bit of relief can't be a bad thing, can it?), and the nut is not cut to low (did you check that?), then all you can do is check for other causes for buzz...

Thomas, funny you should mention the nut. If anything, the slots in this nut aren't deep enough. Part of attempted diagnostics was putting a capo at the first fret; that didn't reveal any smoking guns, BUT the action on the bass got waaay better, and buzzing was actually reduced.

likely culprits for buzz : the mute system on the bridge (mine came off)

Yeah, mutes. Just as goofy as Gretsch's. But no rattles there.

the pickup-hiding plastic thingy (has to come off too)

Not there.

When it doesn't act out, a ric bass has a nice, different tone, that I like (not as useful as a P, but still an icon of a sound). Plus I suspect you to want to play with Ric-o-sound!

I love the tone, and I do, I DO, I DO want to go all stereo with Ric-o-Sound.


All in all, the geometry of this instrument defies analysis. The neck is straight - no warps, twists, scoops, or other deformities. The frets are level (according to my straightedge). The nut is, if anything, not cut deeply enough - and on the treble side, the bridge is as low as it will go.

And yet, fret buzz along with high action.

I've decided to throw in the towel on this one and return it to the vendor for refund. I'll try again. The shape is beautiful and the tone quintessentially essential.

29

Hook up with Chris at Pick of the Ricks, he’s a bass player and probably has what you want and ready to go.

30

I'm sorry to hear that Rick's QC is hit-or-miss nowadays. My first Rick 4001 bass is a December 1982 in Mapleglo. It has super low action (completely straight neck adjustment) with Tomastik Infeld flatwounds. My wife used it a few times with her college jazz band and her Army Reserve jazz combo and both bands loved the sound. Of course she still preferred her G&L L-2000, but raved about the feel and action of the Rick. A good 4001 set up properly is a fine bass.

– duojet55

Isn't that a 4003?

31

No, Ric, it's a 4001. At first glance, the first 4003 basses had the split pickguard. The only real difference between the two is the 4003 had redesigned truss rods to accommodate heavier round wound strings.

32

The 4001’s have the thin skunk stripe. That’s the only way I can tell them apart visually.

33

The early 4003s did indeed have a split pickguard, designed so because the early 4003 had the truss rod adjustment at the heel of the neck, rather than in the headstock. Most of the 4003 series have the adjustment in the headstock and a standard pickguard.

A 1982 Rickenbacker bass would be more likely to be a 4001.

34

Maybe the nut slots are cut poorly?

I've read that if the contact point between the string & nut is not where the nut meets the fretboard, sitar-like buzzing can result.

That might explain why the buzzing was reduced when you put a capo on the first fret.

35

I think the nut was cut poorly - but whether it was an angle issue or simply depth (oddly, not cut deeply enough), I don't know. I just decided it wouldn't be my problem.

Sadly but gratefully, the Ric is on its way back to the dealer - who treated me well not only on the buying price, but in picking up the return shipping. I didn't expect that. Pretty decent of them.

I'm sure there will be another chapter in this saga, wherein I am re-manned.

36

Tim, ya got me a little paranoid about my 4003 now. The action needs to come down some and now I’m biting my nails about what I might run inta.

37

Oh, yours is surely fine. It’s just me and Rics. I’ve never met the man, but John Hall apparently has it in for me.


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