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Rickenbacker 4003 Bass  Fireglo

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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...Click To Read More About This Product

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    { "name": "Mapleglo", "status": "instock", "msrp": 2159.0, "promos":[ "freeShipping", "topRated", "topSeller", "flexibleFinancing", "international" ], "sku": "site1sku513600000204000", "displaySku": "513600000204000", "serialized": false, "stickerUrl":"http://www.musiciansfriend.com/static/mf/stickers/top-rated.png", "stickerDesc":"Top Rated by All of You Musicians!", "stickerDisplayText":"Top Rated", "condition": "New", "scene7SetID": "MMGS7/513600000204000_MEDIA_SET" }
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    { "name": "Midnight Blue", "status": "backorderable", "availableDate": "08-07-2017", "msrp": 2159.0, "promos":[ "freeShipping", "topRated", "topSeller", "flexibleFinancing", "international" ], "sku": "site1sku513600000089000", "displaySku": "513600000089000", "serialized": false, "stickerUrl":"http://www.musiciansfriend.com/static/mf/stickers/top-rated.png", "stickerDesc":"Top Rated by All of You Musicians!", "stickerDisplayText":"Top Rated", "condition": "New", "scene7SetID": "MMGS7/513600000089000_MEDIA_SET" }
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See All Rickenbacker 4 String Electric Bass
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 293 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (258)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (52)
  • Fun to play (49)
  • Good feel (45)
  • Good pick up (40)
  • Solid electronics (37)

Cons

  • Craftsmanship (4)
  • Fret buzz (3)

Best Uses

  • Recording (48)
  • Practicing (46)
  • Jamming (45)
  • Rock concerts (40)
  • Small venues (32)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (40), Professional musician (17), 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 293 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(18 of 24 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.

    (16 of 24 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

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

    By brconflict

    from Nashville, TN

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Good Tone
    • It sounds like a Rick
    • Stylish

    Cons

    • expensive
    • Low QA
    • Poor Quality Craftsmanship
    • Unreliable

    Best Uses

    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

    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.

    (11 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great tone, but Uncomfortable

    By JK

    from Minnesota

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    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.

    (9 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Take it for what it is and you won't be disappointed.

    By Salicete

    from Olney, MD

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Tone

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

      Rickenbacker 4003 bass guitars are different. They have some eccentricities. Know that going in and you won't end up disappointed.

      Some unique traits include its body shape and weight distribution. The design that makes it so cool and recognizable also make it a bit top heavy and awkward to hold, standing or sitting. It tends to neck dive. It isn't unmanageable, but it does take a bit of getting used to.

      It does not have an edge contoured body, which seems to bother some players, especially novices, but that is easily overcome by tweaking your plucking arm position. That small shortcoming is what allows for the signature body binding that looks so good.

      Some folks seem to complain about QC issues, and to be sure, for a bass this price, it should be done right, but every manufacturer makes a dud once in a while. Most reputable retailers will gladly accept returns or exchanges if you are not happy with your gear, Musician's Friend included, so immediately inspect all new gear and return anything that isn't up to your standards, problem solved.

      I have have owned several Rickenbackers, and not one had a QC issue, or has even needed repair work for that matter, but if you are overly concerned, buy an extended warranty to put your mind at ease.

      Why a Rick is a Rick, in a good way, is because nothing else feels, plays or sounds quite like a Rickenbacker bass, period. They are punchy, growly and will cut straight through the mix, right out of the box. The Rick-o-Sound stereo output is just plain cool. Personally, I like the feel and the neck. I find them to be smooth and fast, but try one out for yourself; don't just take my word for it.

      Know these bass guitars for what they were built to be and you will not be disappointed. They weren't made to be like, or as good as any other bass, or to sound like any other bass either. They were and are built to look, feel and sound like no other bass.

      (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Hands Down My Favorite Bass 4003

      By Samuel Guertin

      from Washington DC

      Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

      Like I said, this is my favorite bass. I love this bass so much that I'm contemplating on buying another in Mapleglo. It's given me more motivation to practice and become a better musician, so that alone was worth the investment. Compliments and quality aside, it is a rather expensive instrument and while the price and inavailability, add to the allure and reputation of a Ric, it sucks not everyone can own this bass. However, this bass is worth every dollar you put into it. Other than a Fender VI, I'm not sure I'll play another bass again. Love it.
      By far my favorite bass I've ever owned (2011 Rickenbacker 4003 Jetglo). Up until this purchase I owned a Mexican J, an American standard J, and an SG bass. I was blown away when I first heard the sound, enough so that I actually sold my J bass and SG bass so I could buy it. Great ric pick ups, three way selector, bass volume, treble volume, with corresponding tone knobs. The new 4003's have a push pull selector on the treble tone knob, that variates between a standard and "vintage Ric" sound. Definitely capable of creating an array of sound, it's no Gretsch White Falcon bass with all those knobs and what not, but the tone is to die for. Classic Ric sound, nothing like it.
      Beautifully made. As expensive as Rics are, it's definitely worth the money. Where as Gibson and Fender have moved production overseas and forgotten about quality (production errors, shoddy construction, cheap labor/materials on non-American models), Rickenbacker sticks to its original values and makes a real quality instrument. Beautiful wood, inlays, and finish. I've gotten hundreds of compliments on the Jetglo (mostly from non-musicians) so I figure it looks pretty bad ass. Expensive, but definitely worth the price.
      Expensive, but worth it. Made in America, and with good maintenance and care it will hold its price. Comes with a newer hardshell case, I love the look of the vintage silver and blue Ric cases, but I have a feeling the case it comes in might be a bit more durable. A Rickenbacker is a great investment, and while I try not to think about money when looking for a prospective guitar/instrument, I'm certain it will hold it's price over the years (at least in comparison to more mass produced models).

      (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Immaculate

      By twangster

      from Laurel, Mississippi

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      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.

        (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.

          (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Disappointing Durability

          By PGH BASS

          from Pittsburgh, PA

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Great looks
          • Solid workmanship
          • Unique Tones

          Cons

          • Finish Adhesion Problem

          Best Uses

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

            Purchased a Jet Glo just over three years ago. I use this bass very infrequently so much so that and it still has the original strings. When I recently took it out to play, I noticed a bubble or blister had developed in the finish near one of the pickup mounting screws. Rickenbacker would not service this because it was out of the 1 year finish warranty. One year? On a $2k+ bass? Sad.

            A quick search of the web shows that this is not a unique issue and most just live with it.

            Otherwise, a nice bass with better than average out-of-the-box craftsmanship and a very unique sound which isn't always a good thing since it tends to lack the versatility of other basses. However, if you are considering one, you probably already know what you are in for tone-wise.

            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Amazing Bass

            By DevinN

            from Gackle, ND

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

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

            Cons

            • Not Many Contours

            Best Uses

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

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 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 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.

            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Great tone and feel, bad QC from factory

            By Studer Fan

            from Baltimore, MD

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone

            Cons

            • Poor finish
            • Poor Quality Craftsmanship
            • Poor Shipping

            Best Uses

            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

            Two major problems with the bass:
            1. the finish had a defect near the input jack, which should have been caught during inspection. It's too expensive to ship back to Rickenbacker, so I'l have to eat it.
            2. the mono input jack is defective, will not reliably hold a plug. Again, to ship it to Rickenbacker just for this is too expensive, so I'll have to eat the cost of having it replaced. I wish they had done a better inspection. Made in USA doesn't necessarily mean it's without issues.

            The tone is awesome, twangy midrange punch with a respectable bottom end. The bass feels great, the neck is thin and fast, and the pickups are good quality. Fender or Gibson players will need time to adjust to the layout of the knobs, but otherwise, it's a nice feeling, nice playing bass!

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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