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#513600 000089000

Rickenbacker 4003 Bass  Midnight Blue

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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

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.

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

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 282 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (248)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (43)
  • Fun to play (40)
  • Good feel (36)
  • Good pick up (35)
  • Solid electronics (31)

Cons

  • Craftsmanship (4)

Best Uses

  • Recording (41)
  • Practicing (39)
  • Jamming (38)
  • Rock concerts (33)
  • Small venues (27)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (32), 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 282 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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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

          (3 of 3 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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          (2 of 2 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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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            You will not be disappointed

            By Al

            from Phoenix, AZ

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Rock Concerts

                Comments about Rickenbacker 4003 Bass:

                I was totally amazed at the sound of this beauty. Had to turn the volume on my amp way down. The pickups are very high output. The sustain is just amazing. I am really satisfied with the quality of this bass. I had a 1979 4001 years ago but had to sell it. This bass would totally blow that one away.

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                (8 of 10 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

                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.

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