Considering a Rickebacker 4003

Really considering a Rick, a G&L, a German built Warwick or a Bongo. I admit it, I just like the way these things all look so I guess a little bass face and vanity is coming into play. As stated in a previous thread, I am literally going to get my once in a lifetime bass. I bought the Ray34 to scratch an itch that although I love the bass, the itch is still there. I have OCD about certain things and getting this OIALTB is super high on the list. Given the above, make a case for your choice or suggest something a little different you think I might like.

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You’re just going to have to play them and see which of the lookers you listed feels/sounds best.

I owned a Rick 4001 and it was stunning looking. That said, it wasn’t my end-all bass for several reasons. Frankly, at the time I bought it, the primary reason was because McCartney had played one. Strictly a fan-boy reason that didn’t hold up in the long run.

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I played a G&L and a Bongo. Both were awesome. I held a Warwick but not the German built. It felt good but I did not run it through an amp. Never laid hands on a new Rick, although in my teens I actually did have a beat up Rick that I never even tried to learn on. I gave it away sometimes in the 70’s (could kick my own butt for that)…

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Man, the “Rick growl” … I absolutely love that sound

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I don’t own any Rickies but always wanted one for sure. I also don’t own Warwick but definitely want one when the right deal comes along.

I do own a few Bongos and G&Ls. G&L are pretty great the hardwares are quite impressive their pickups and wiring are very unique my CLF SB2 is well built and offer unique experience with 2 vol knobs and no tone knobs.

Bongo, oh Bongo bass, they are acquired taste and/ or needs time to grow on you. They are definitely a performer, comfortable neck, 24 frets, plenty of pickups options as well as color options. If possible I’d definitely recommend the BFR version of it.

I recognize that itch and the quickest way to scratch that itch is to find something unique enough that it last long enough before the next itch, lol.

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I just went on this journey, and decided on a vintage 4001.
I am not recommending this, but there are things to consider, and a lot of things:

  1. 4003 and 4001 are not equal. The biggest difference is the neck. The 4003s are like baseball bats compared to the thin sleek 4001 necks. I tried both and hated the 4003, thus why I went vintage 4001. I had a 4003 on order and so glad I found the 4001 before the 4003 shipped.

  2. Those 4001 sleek necks come at a price - truss rod nonsense. 4003 truss rods systems are like other bases now, but the old ones were a mess of a time and tempermental to adjust.

  3. I have seen a number of people complaining about finish flaking and wearing and messing up on the newer Ricks. @Ed has a 4003 he loves, and I don’t think he has had any finish issues.

  4. Ricks are awesome, very very awesome…but very, very different. They feel different in your hands. Do a lot of homework and put one in your hands.

These are all wildly different basses for sure.
Try before you buy is all I can say.
Personally I am not a fan of G&L (did nothing for me), Warwick (don’t like the body shapes) or Bongos (I have a EBMM BFR and love it but not the Bongos). But this is me, not you. I would have thought I liked every last one of these until in my hands.

Then most certainly try try try before you buy.

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I have a German Warwick thumb bass and love it but it’s a heavy weight beast.
Had a Rickenbacker 4001 but life happened and we had to part company. I loved that too but never completely gelled with it much to my disappointment.
They’re both up there price wise so as @John_E said definitely try before you buy

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Good choice ,:+1:
Ricky’s are the best looking bass imo
Cheers Brian

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Those are all great options, some of them listed are more versatile than others. I have five MIA basses, and one German. I can tell you that out of these, my G&L CLF L-2000 is my favorite daily player because for me it is the most comfortable, has the most tonal options, and requires the least maintenance. No matter what style I am playing, it can deliver.

That being said, I have always wanted a Ric, but I would never expect that to take over as my daily player. As @Al1885 said, even if you find your OIALTB, there will be another itch down the line.

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I played a G&L L-2000 and it was AWESOME! Just mulling over the options.

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I was lucky enough to find an already built customshop for sale with a quartersawn roasted maple neck that I use to judge all my other basses. It never goes out of tune! You can’t go wrong with a CLF L-2000.

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Actually I have one of each and as stated by others, they are completely different in every way.
@Al1885
I love the Ricky for it’s looks and it’s feel in your hands.
My Warwick is a neck through thumb which is really well made, it is also active and is really nice to play, and as mentioned by @Mac , Mac its heavy.
I would get to a shop that’s sells both and have a play.
Price wise they are similar, in Melbourne they are between $3000-$4000.
I will post a pic of mine for comparison check👍
Cheers Brian

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Once in a lifetime bass would definitely be something a bit on the limited and rare side. Most of the BFRs are on that list in my book along with the the Cutlass and Caprice from the music man camp. Personally the Joe Dart’s signature are definitely top of my lists too.

The Rickenbacker I like is around the same price as the BFR price they look just as nice but music man is a bit more neutral and modern than a narrower but iconic tone of the Rickies. Our taste preference go through the life cycles my ears have not reach that point yet I’m still stuck at Leo’s creations. Lol.

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I have some of Leo’s creations as well
1973 J bass, 1974 p bass, 1979 p bass, 1970 mustang,
All are so different

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Oh yeah! I love the tones on your covers.
Is the 73 Jazz with the bridge pickup closer to the bridge? My 75 Jazz is definitely an eye-opener for me, I didn’t realize that they were different. Now I’m glad I did. Those classics are awesome for a reason, lol.

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As promised @Al1885 ,
Couple of pics of the Ricky and Warwick,
Cheers Brian





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Here is a couple of the J-bass with cover on and cover off @Al1885 ,
Cheers Brian


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Oh man! They look amazing. That Fender’s neck is gorgeous.

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I bought the J bass from Voltage guitars on sunset blvd in Hollywood about 15 years ago,
It is like new, it even came with all the documentation and original hard case,
The Rickenbacker is also like new, I had 2 of them but sold the black one to Mac ,
Cheers Brian

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Im into month 3 of my long wait for my new 4003.

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