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MF MD HG INTL Road Runner 12-29-14
Rickenbacker Logo
Product 513600

Rickenbacker 4003 Bass  

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The Rickenbacker 4003 Bass is famous for its ringing sustain, treble punch, and solid underlying bottom end. It's also famous for its distinctive, el...Read More

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See All Rickenbacker 4 String Electric Bass
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OVERVIEW

A classic bass with a striking design and a myriad of unique features.

The Rickenbacker 4003 Bass is famous for its ringing sustain, treble punch, and solid underlying bottom end. It's also famous for its distinctive, elegantly curved body shape, accentuated by a subtle strip of binding, deluxe triangular fretboard inlays, stereo output, neck-thru-body construction, double truss rods, and high output single-coil pickups with wide response range and brilliant clarity. The Vintage Tone Selector activates a capacitor in the treble pickup circuit to emphasize the high end. Pressed in, you get the familiar 4003 sound, pull it out to add bite and crispness. Includes case.

FEATURES
  • Elegantly curved body shape
  • Stereo output
  • Neck-thru-body construction
  • Double truss rods
  • High-output single-coil pickups
  • Vintage Tone Selector boosts high-end
  • Deluxe triangular fret inlays
  • Schaller Deluxe machine heads
  • Includes case

Every collection deserves a Rickenbacker. Order yours today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
Rickenbacker4003 Bass
 
4.8

(based on 272 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (240)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (35)
  • Fun to play (33)
  • Good pick up (30)
  • Good feel (29)
  • Solid electronics (26)

Cons

  • Craftsmanship (3)

Best Uses

  • Recording (33)
  • Practicing (32)
  • Jamming (30)
  • Rock concerts (27)
  • Small venues (23)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (24), Professional musician (14), Novice (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Amazing Bass

I've had this bass for about a month now, and it's one of the best basses I have played. It sound amazing, the neck feels great, and it just looks amazing! I...Read complete review

I've had this bass for about a month now, and it's one of the best basses I have played. It sound amazing, the neck feels great, and it just looks amazing! I got mine in Fireglo and the finish on it is nearly perfect. I always get complements about the tone. The only downside to this bass is that since it doesn't have any contouring on the front, so it starts to feel uncomfortable on my arm, but that's with other basses, too, so its not that big of a problem. Overall this is a great purchase and is worth every penny.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

It's a Rick, no doubt, but over-valued.

I own two 4003's, one a 1999, and the other, a 2009. Both sound great, and have the unmistakeable Rickebacker tone. The 1999 model is a bit more authentic in appearance...Read complete review

I own two 4003's, one a 1999, and the other, a 2009. Both sound great, and have the unmistakeable Rickebacker tone. The 1999 model is a bit more authentic in appearance and sound, however, but the 2009 is a little hotter, and has a slightly more slender neck. Both have some build-quality issues. Both suffer from occassional static, and jack connection problems, as well as pickup switch issues (I soldered both of mine to center the switch on both to eliminate this). The Rick logo on 1999 was bowed from factory, and the 2009 has a defective bridge. The 1999 aged fast, which looks ok, but the finish can't deal with the rigors of gigging for more than 10 years. The 2009 looks to have some corner-cutting, very noticeably in the inlays that now go to the edge of the fret-board, possibly because they're easier to seamlessly cut. I'll be honest in that I would not buy a Rickenbacker 4003 for safe-keeping or as a collector's item. Both of mine feel very cheaply produced, or with lack of QA and craftsmanship. I believe the only redeeming quality standard is in the neck and how well it maintains shape for the life of the bass, how light they are, and how well they maintain tone. Otherwise, they're quite over-priced in my opinion, and the ONLY reason I would buy another is to ensure I keep the tone that I use. Rickenbacker is still resting on its laurels, and don't seem concerned enough with quality of the instrument vs. price.

Reviewed by 272 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Better than expected!

By tjsi63

from Houston Tx

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

    Better than expected both price and quality, It was great out of the box, neck is perfect, I put flat-wound strings, adjustments were easy, lowered action adjusted pickup height to accommodate string change. It sounds just like a 4003 should. No regrets.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I have always wanted to add one of these to my tool kit.

    By RIck

    from Pittsburgh,PA

    About Me Professional Musician

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • A Classic Bass I'm Still
    • But The Action On The
    • Fun To Play
    • Getting Used To All
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Neck Is Incredible
    • Of The Tonal Options
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts
      • School Bands
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

      Great action, classic styling and a really gorgeous instrument. I haven't had enough time to fully explore all of the tonal combinations, but it sounds great when I use it for '70's funk tunes.
      I can't wait to really break this axe in.

      Comment on this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Everything I dreamed about and more

      By Coopdaddy

      from St. Louis, MO

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Truly Ease Of Fret Action

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

          It was like Christmas when I got it. Checked it, tuned it, with only a minor adjustment and it played head and shoulders above my Ibanez. I love the ability to adjust the tone and pickup sounds on the fly. This allows me to better match the sounds from the different eras of rock and roll.

          Comment on this review

          (10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great tone, but Uncomfortable

          By JOHN KIRCHNER

          from USA, Mn

          About Me Professional Musician

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Tone
          • Love The Tone And Neck

          Cons

          • Uncomfortable

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Recording

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

          Love the tone and neck, I've wanted one since the 70s and finally got one. BUT I understand why they changed the design. This has to be one of the more uncomfortable basses I've ever played regarding the right hand. The edge of the guitar shreds your forearm (especially when you use a pick) and it seems that I'll have to find a comfortable spot to use finger style as there are a lot of edges around the pickups. Even after playing this for a short time I can see that after 4 hours it'll be noticeable. These are gorgeous basses with fantastic neck hand playablity and great tone. But I now equate owning this bass to marrying a sexy and intellegent woman, that is a really bad cook. My hope... the new model 4004 ric cooks. My Fenders all are so comfortable that it could be a factor for some of the shows.

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Awesome Bass!

          By Moses

          from Boston

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Great build quality
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • School Bands
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

            This is one sweet bass! I got mine in Mapleglo and its gorgeous! I've used a 1991 4001 many times and I have to say I like this one way better. The 4001 was terrible for slapping, but not this one; I assume this is due to the updated electronics. This is way more versatile a bass than the 4001, but it still keeps that classic ric growl! Ive noticed its more compressor-friendly as well, which the 4001 definitely was not. I've always wanted a Ric of my own and this bass has met my expectations and more.

            Comment on this review

            (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Immaculate

            By twangster

            from Laurel, Mississippi

            About Me Experienced

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • Rock Concerts
              • School Bands
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

              Build quality is immaculate. Great tone and sustain. Dial in any tone for any type of music I play.

              Comment on this review

              (12 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Two Year Old Bass Sold As New

              By jim

              from sonoma

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Fun To Play

              Cons

              • Flat Sound
              • Fret Buzz
              • Neck Wouldnt Adjust
              • Part Of Warrenty Void
              • Was A 2 Year Old Bass

              Best Uses

                Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

                Musicians Friend should CHECK THE Build Date before they sell a two year old bass as new. I was given a small credit for my trouble but the neck on this bass just would not adjust poroperly. I recieved it fully tuned and warped....for over 2 years it sat that way in the box! The serial # is on the OUTSIDE and starts with the build year.
                CHECK the number in the future.

                Comment on this review

                (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                What I Have Been Waiting For

                By Jeffro

                from Greenville, SC

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • Fun To Play
                • Good Feel
                • Good Pick Up
                • Good Tone
                • Solid Electronics

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Jamming
                  • Performing
                  • Practicing

                  Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

                  This is the bass sound I have been waiting on for
                  years. I could kick myself time and time again for
                  not picking up a Rickenbacker before now. I have been playing bass for about 10 years now and guitar for over 30, but this bass is the one you need to have in your tone arsenal. I don't like using this phrase but I will in this case, AMAZING!!!!

                  Comment on this review

                  (4 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  I Love this bass!

                  By J.R. Ellis

                  from North Carolina

                  About Me Experienced

                  Pros

                  • Fun To Play
                  • Good Feel
                  • Good Pick Up
                  • Good Tone
                  • Solid Electronics

                  Cons

                  • Fret Buzz

                  Best Uses

                  • Jamming
                  • Recording

                  Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

                  First of all, I had never played bass before buying the Rickenbacker 4003. However, I am an experienced guitar player, so I hit the ground running when I got the RIC. I love the sound. Yes, there is a small amount of fret buzz, but part of that is probably my picking technique. I haven't had the chance to look up the specs on it and see if the action needs to be raised, but plan to at some point. Beautiful instrument and nice case!

                  Comment on this review

                  (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great bass when set up correctly.

                  By Fender Freak

                  from Indiana

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  Pros

                  • Fun To Play
                  • Good Pick Up
                  • Good Tone

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Jamming
                    • Practicing
                    • Recording
                    • Rock Concerts
                    • School Bands
                    • Small Venues

                    Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

                    I have been playing Fender basses for many years and in the back of my mind I always wanted to have a Rick because of its unique sound. I have to confess; when I first got my Rick I was not impressed. Many people have pointed out that the setup is not always the best from the factory and I found the same to be true. I don't know if this is caused by the wood aging or if the factory just doesn't do a complete job of setting them up. I did some research online, Rickenbacker has a very helpful web site, and talked with a luthier who was familiar with Ricks before I tackled the adjustments of the bass myself. Now that I have the bass set to Rickenbacker's recommendations, the more I play it, the better I like it. The construction, finish and hardware are all top notch. There are two stand out characteristics that I like best. One, the low E string is not boomy, just smooth low end. Two, the pickups have great dynamic range. When setup properly Rickenbacker basses are well crafted musical instruments that are worth the price.

                    Comment on this review

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