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Rickenbacker 4003 Bass  Ruby Red

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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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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 284 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (250)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (44)
  • Fun to play (41)
  • Good feel (37)
  • Good pick up (36)
  • Solid electronics (32)

Cons

  • Craftsmanship (4)

Best Uses

  • Recording (42)
  • Practicing (40)
  • Jamming (39)
  • Rock concerts (34)
  • Small venues (28)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (33), Professional musician (15), 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 284 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Best bass I have played

By jerry the race car driver

from Ohio

About Me Experienced

Verified Reviewer

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:

    I would like to point out that the Midnight Blue is MUCH darker than the photo suggests. Almost has a purple tint to it- and so dark it almost looks black in dimmer lighting, but its very pretty.

    I am primarily a guitar player but I have played bass now and then for many years. For me this is the best bass that I have played. The feel of it is so comfortable and it just makes me want to play it more. Its very light, has a great tone and responsiveness, and just happens to look really cool. I normally play five or 6 string bass as I prefer extended range but I find myself playing this bass more than the others because it feels so good and still sounds great!

    It is a bit expensive but definitely worth it, especially if you are going to be playing professionally.
    I would recommend this bass for just about any style. very versatile - watch some videos of people demo-ing it online if you are thinking about it.

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    5.0

    Beautiful

    By Lauren

    from undisclosed

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

    This is the second Rickenbacker I've own and nothing beats them. Fantastic!

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Love it

    By Jp

    from NJ

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Recording

      Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

      Little pricey, but there's a lot of tone options, plays great, classic look, a real beauty.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Awesome!!

      By gtsitt

      from Eastvale,Ca

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

        Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

        This Bass is Awesome! Has a unique feel and tone that is Killer...

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        3.0

        Issues...

        By Bass Player

        from Washington State.

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun To Play

        Cons

        • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

        Best Uses

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

          Love the 4003. Great bass usually. Had a warped neck out of the case.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Paul McCartney

          By Tick

          from Bloomington Ca

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Loved this Bass fom the time I saw McCatney play
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Good and punchy sounds full like a piano
            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

            Recoding, and Live

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            5.0

            Maybe the best musical purchase I made to date.

            By no nickname

            from Ringoes, NJ

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics
            • very comfortable using during performance

            Cons

            • No complaints whatsoever

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

            Very happy with the purchase

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Primary recording bass but secondary stage bass.

            By Replicand

            from Tokyo

            About Me Experienced

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Good Tone

            Cons

            • Adjust your playing style

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

            I have a 4-string Fender Jazz Bass, a 5-string fretless Fender Jazz Bass, an electric upright, a Chapman Stick and my roommate has a Music Man StringRay. Each of these have a distinct personality and sometimes require different playing techniques, which is not bad; it's reality. Still, I felt like I needed a Rickenbacker 400x to complete the arsenal, because frankly I have G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

            The 4003 is a feast for the eyes (the neck binding is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen), the feel is unique, decidedly leaning vintage while the tone is bright and articulate. The bridge pickup is LOUD, clean and quite versatile thanks to the push-pull pot and dedicated output(s), while the neck pickup has a "vintage" output level. Strangely, the depth of the neck from the nut to the body joint is the same, rather than thin at the nut and increasing toward the body joint. Pretty easy to adjust to. But forget slap technique; due to other differences in construction, Fender-type basses are better suited for that style.

            The only reason I give 4 instead of 5 stars is that I don't use a pick and my thumb does not know where to anchor. The natural location is the corner of the pickguard between the pickups, but there's not enough "meat". Anchoring on the neck pickup is wrong and anchoring to the bridge pickup yields too much physical resistance from the bridge saddles. As a sanity check, I reviewed archived performance footage from one of my heroes and his right hand appears to agree. This bass will FOR SURE get lots of recording time but is probably a secondary bass for stage.

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            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Lovely Bass

            By Eigentone

            from Somerville

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Feel
            • Good sustain
            • Good Tone
            • Good value for an instrument built in the USA
            • Looks great
            • Low action
            • Natural, detailed sound.
            • Very Good Workmanship

            Cons

            • Minor Electronics Issues
            • Single coil pickups can be noisy.

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

            5 star reviews are very uncommon for me. 3 stars is average. 5 is excellent.

            This is a great american built bass. It's become my go-to bass since I bought it 4 months ago. I've wanted a Ric bass since I was a teen. Now that I have one, I am kicking myself for waiting so long to get one.

            I've bought several american guitars and basses costing up to $5000 (street) over the years, and the Ric's workmanship, fit, finish, and quality is up there with the best (which can cost several times more).

            I really like the 4003's design. Not just aesthetic, but also electronics and choice of woods. It has really low action and the neck is nice and (somewhat) thick. Very comfortable and easy to play, IMO.

            The sound is great. It is neck-through and the neck and wings are maple. Maple, a denser wood, gives it a lot of detail. The Ric has a different tonal balance than a P-Bass. I think the Ric is more evenly balanced across the lows, mids, and highs while a P-Bass is forward in the Low-Mids. That's not P Bass hate; I like both basses and more. I believe there is much less immediate energy dissipation compared to a typical bolt-on, giving the Ric less punch but a louder sustain. Play each through a very clean amp and determine what you like best. I'm liking the Ric because I can run my amp cleaner and still have a great balance between a solid attack and good sustain. Less effects/saturation needed, and more natural dynamics for a more expressive/sensitive instrument.

            The output per pickup is a great feature and adds a lot of versatility. It's also optional, in case that's too much versatility.

            Included a case you can gig with.
            The factory setup was great.

            As far as complaints/issues:
            - My pickup selector occasionally shorts. Probably just needs the wires positioned differently.
            - Pickups can be noisy. There are alternatives -- don't overlook the 4004.

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            (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Best Bass,Ever! And got the best price as well. Thanks Guys!

            By Hardrokk

            from Maryland

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • Rock Concerts

              Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

              Couldn't find it cheaper anywhere..

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              Displaying reviews 1-10

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