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Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar 

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This traditional Rickenbacker bass style with dot inlays and no binding was prized by Paul McCartney and Chris Squire when they got their first 4001S...Click To Read More About This Product

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See All Rickenbacker 4 String Electric Bass
OVERVIEW

Prized by Paul McCartney and Chris Squire.

This traditional Rickenbacker bass style with dot inlays and no binding was prized by Paul McCartney and Chris Squire when they got their first 4001S models in 1964. Players cherish its traditional look and rounded edges that many claim make it more comfortable than the 4003.

The updated 4003S version comes with the improved dual trussrod system. Of course, the famous solid bass tones, ringing sustain and treble punch we'e known for make it a dream. It' no wonder we™ve received a steady demand of requests to bring this back.

This design was once exclusive to the British distributor Rose Morris in the sixties. Iconic curves of maple form the body with a traditional Rosewood fingerboard. Dot inlays and no binding make this stand out from the standard 4003.

Includes hardshell case.

FEATURES
  • Neck
  • Shape: C
  • Wood: Maple
  • Neck joint: Neck-through
  • Scale length: 33.25"
  • Truss rod: Yes
  • Finish: Info not available
  • Pickups
  • Active or passive pickups: Passive
  • Pickup configuration: SS
  • Neck: Single-coil
  • Middle: Not applicable
  • Bridge: Single-coil
  • Brand: Custom
  • Series or parallel: Parallel
  • Active preamp: Not applicable
  • Special electronics: Not applicable
  • Fretboard
  • Material: Rosewood
  • Radius: 10" (25.4cm)
  • Fret size: Medium
  • Number of frets: 20
  • Inlays: Dot
  • Nut material: Info not available
  • Nut width: 1.688" (42.9mm)
  • Neck width at 12 fret: 2.125" (54mm)
  • Body
  • Cutaway: Double cutaway
  • Construction: Solidbody
  • Body wood: Maple
  • Top wood: Not applicable
  • Body finish: Info not available
  • Orientation: Right handed
  • Controls
  • Control layout: Info not available
  • Pickup switch: Yes
  • Coil tap or split: Not applicable
  • Tone switching: No
  • Special switching: No
  • Hardware
  • Bridge type: Fixed
  • Bridge design: RIC
  • Tailpiece: RIC
  • Tuning machines: Schaller Deluxe
  • Color: Chrome
  • Other
  • Number of strings: 4
  • Pickguard: Yes
  • Special features: Not applicable
  • Case: Hardshell case included
  • Accessories: Info not available
  • Country of origin: USA

You'll be in good company with this one. Order yours.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Rickenbacker4003S Electric Bass Guitar
 
4.2

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

87%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (12)
  • Good tone (11)
  • Good feel (9)
  • Good pick up (7)
  • Solid electronics (6)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (4)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (10)
  • Recording (10)
  • Practicing (9)
  • Rock concerts (5)
  • Small venues (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (11)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Iconic Bass

This is my third Ric bass and easily the best. Unless you've been sequestered on another planet, you know what your going to get if you buy one. Rics are not like a...Read complete review

This is my third Ric bass and easily the best. Unless you've been sequestered on another planet, you know what your going to get if you buy one. Rics are not like a P or J bass. If you're a pocket bass player this shouldn't your first choice unless you expect to use flat wound strings. The neck is fairly wide and a little awkward at first but you'll quickly adapt. I would call it a "tall D" shape. They are well balanced, no neck dive. A few bars of Siberian Khatru will tell you immediately what you bought. The finish is first rate, Not many manufacturers are in the same league as Rickenbacker when it comes to picking pretty wood and painting. Genuine eye candy.

The frets were level and even. The action, intonation and feel were perfect for me right out of the box. Be aware Ric strings are a weird gauge. I normally play Rotosound swing bass 66 45-105 sets. Rics are like 45-55-75-105 so unless you plan on using Ric strings expect to have to recut the nut for the A and D strings as soon as you get it. Intonation will have to be addressed as well. The bass comes stock with Schaller style strap locks but doesn't include the mating side that attaches to your strap. Expect to buy some. The "S" only has a single 1/4" phone jack so if you want "Ric-O-Sound" you'll need to spring for the regular 4003 or rewire it like Chris Squire did.

The bass arrived double boxed and in it's case so damage was extremely unlikely. One detail I didn't consider with the "S" model was the fact that the edges that are normally covered in binding are now radiused. That makes comfortable playing much easier to achieve. Normally that binding will cut into your forearm and after an hour will be pretty tender. Not so with this one. I brought it to band practice a few days after getting it and played it for a few hours without any issues.

If you've never played a Ric and you normally use your fingers, expect to remove the bridge pickup cover. Initially that cover was a horse shoe magnet and was part of the pickup. For whatever reason (even though nobody likes them) Rickenbacker still uses them....ah, tradition. Consider getting a "treble bezel" which covers the hole nicely. Otherwise you'll be catching on it regularly if you pick/pluck over it.

Overall this bad boy is an amazing creature, timeless beauty, will last a lifetime and will hold it's value as well as almost anything you can buy....admittedly it's kind of a one-trick-pony but it's a VERY cool trick...

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not quite.

I was excited Ric finally decided to offer this again but was immediately suspicious of the lower price. My gut was right. It's shaped like a Ric, and sounds pretty good but was...Read complete review

I was excited Ric finally decided to offer this again but was immediately suspicious of the lower price. My gut was right. It's shaped like a Ric, and sounds pretty good but was clearly built in a real hurry. Fretwork was better than most off the rack basses but not up to Ric standard. Fretboard was nice quality wood but really badly surfaced. The biggest problem I had with it was caused by poor buffing. Divots in the finish on the back of the neck where either they dwelt too long in one place or the finish was not yet hard. This was truly disappointing. I have a 4003 that is absolutely impeccable, something Ric is known for. I would gladly have paid normal price for this bass had it been made to that standard.

Reviewed by 17 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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1.0

Nice bass, shoddy workmanship.

By Oldman

from Michigan

About Me Experienced

Pros

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

Cons

  • Fret Buzz
  • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording

Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

Called Rickenbacker about the the excess poly build up from the tenth fret on. Said the only have a one year warranty on workmanship from the day it shipped. The place I purchased it from had it over the year. Pretty weak from a company in my opinion. Never buy an Ric, period.

 
5.0

Absolutely love it!

By TropRocker

from Florida

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

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 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

    A few years ago I regretfully sold my 1979 4001 and this bass is a great replacement! My 4001 was Mapleglo so of course I got this one in the same finish and got all choked up when I opened the case! Everything works great, no problems with anything.
    I will be changing the strings out for Thomastik T1 flatwounds because that's what I had on my 4001 and I like the feel and the sound suits my music the best. I'll be pretty much using this bass exclusively for recording. I'm also very happy with the great deal I got from MF!

     
    5.0

    I LIKE IT!!!

    By pioneerofdisaster

    from planet earth

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Tone
    • great looking

    Cons

    • Output on pickups lowered possibly

    Best Uses

      Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

      First one I got one tone pot did not work. This one it does. looks like the cut of the nut and neck dimensions are consistent. its very comfortable. probably could even slap on 110's and it would still be comfortable.(stock is 105) Minor finish blemishes. For sure they lowered the power of the pickups (cheaper? on purpose? ) used to be the bridge P.U was much more powerful, now they are balanced. Vintage tone curcuit too thin on its own but when in middle position neck P.U really adds nicely. Chrome is nice, tuners smooth.Most find bridge damper unusable, but I like it ,if I need a tone more consistent with an upright. You should try one , to see if it works for you. I play all types of music and I can get it to work, so do not believe all the one trick pony nonsense. I tried a Chinese knockoff in Europe and they are a complete waste of your time ..complete garbage .(even compared with the flaws on this one) save some coin and buy the real thing. They maintain their value ,so if your ever caught in a pinch, you wont loose your shirt.

       
      5.0

      Rickenbacker 4003S (the preferred model)

      By JR of 728

      from West Central Iowa

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Practicing
        • Recording
        • Small Venues

        Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

        Rickenbacker basses have a brighter livelier tone than a Fender therefore having an easier time cutting through in group settings. On top of a solid bass tone Rickenbacker basses have, in addition, a piano tone that articulates the notes distinguishing them from guitar or keyboard. The somewhat shorter scale length (33.5" v. 34") improves playability and the 4003S (without binding) has a smoother body shape resulting in less discomfort and fatigue for the right forearm.

         
        4.0

        FAntastic ,but needs better quality control

        By pioneerofdisaster

        from planet earth

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Tone

        Cons

        • finish and chrome flaws
        • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

        Best Uses

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

          First of all , the neck pickup tone did not work,,,, unacceptable , finger prints embossed in tuners suggest somebody at the factory needs to wear gloves, my lord the production oils and dirt left on instrument is insane. finish flaws are rampant especially around edges (bumpy suggest handling too early again) Anyways,,, I understand that they want to get them out but seriously? O.k thats my rant. It seems they flattened the profile of the neck just a hair more than previous years (they started to thin profile I think in 2010) with a nut cut just right this is the best feeling Rick neck Ive felt in years. The pickups seem less powerfull than prevous years .My 2012 4003 is a powerhouse compared to this, but yes it sounds much more like an old 60's rick, maybe thats what they were after. it is very rugged and solid I will give it that.should last for many many years without falling apart.I have to send it back because of the tone pot but I like it so much I will try to get one that works. Its false to assume its a one trick pony with the push pull tone you can get a variety of different sounds. . Rickenbacker is an aquired taste, this one really does it for me ,feels incredibly comfortable and twangs and growls like crazy,with the exception of the flaws I luv it! they just need to pay a pinch more attention and slow down just a hair at the factory. to deserve the made in USA stamp

           
          4.0

          Good entry level Ric

          By Zeppo

          from Jupiter, FL

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fun To Play

          Cons

          • Fret Buzz

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Recording
          • Rock Concerts

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

          I wanted a Ric so I got the 4003s. I didn't realize that this was the stripped down version so live and learn. Not having the binding, stereo output and triangle fret markers takes away from the classic Ric features. However it plays and sounds great. It came with a lot of fret buzz which I am still tweaking. The string mute portion on the bridge seems to be malfuntioning, I feel if I turn it any further I am going to break sonething, so I have to do some research. Back to playability and sound, it's what you want in a Rickenbacker!

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          That Rickenbacker sound!

          By MBass

          from SF Bay Area

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Tone
          • Sleek and sexy

          Cons

          • By itself, the neck pickup is weak.

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Recording

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

          Wanted an alternative to the old Fenders I've been playing forever. This thing sounds exactly as I expected it to: crisp, in your face, amazing treble end. The clanky Squire sound is awesome but ultimately I'm more interested in a mellow McCartney sound. Will be trying flatwounds on it.

           
          5.0

          Ric produces an excellent quality product A+ attn to detail.

          By E.V.

          from FL

          See all my reviews

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

          Excellent quality. Finish is flawless. Came ready to play right out of the box.

          only two complaints, and they are based personal preference. 1. The ric string gauges are rather odd, particularly the .55 d string. That string gauge in imho does not elicit enough "punch" from the pickups, so I prefer to use a .65 d string. which left me no choice but to file out the nut to an acceptable width.

          The second is the schaller strap locks. I prefer Dunlop strap locks, ( and I also have them on al l of my straps) and the bolts used for the particular strap locks they use on the ric are more like machine screws than wood screws making it difficult to swap out straps with my other basses. So I acquiesced and bought a set of strap locks (they do not include the strap attachments, but the strap pegs can be used w/o locks) so if you use these with strap locks you will need to buy the schaller type or mod the bass, which other than filling out the nut I'm not ready to do. .I have a 1973 4001 that I really like and have used for years, this is the only ric model that I have seen that holds up to that on in playability. I had to wait 2+ months for the Ruby Red, but it was worth it.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Mapleglow 4003s ... Awesome!

          By Bones or Ditto

          from Green Bay, Wisconsin

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics
          • Well balanced feel.

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

            It's official...just filled out the warranty card for my new Rickenbaker 4003s in Mapleglow! This completes my collection of basses representing all my fab players...Gibson (Jack Bruce); Fender Jazz (Getty Lee); Hofner (Paul McCartney); and RICKENBACKER 4003s (Chris Squire)...all purchased from Musican's Friend. The RIC plays better than I could have imagined. Easy action and with a slight tuning, it was ready to go. The sounds I can get are amazing...deep Motown or roaring crunch for rock. The finish on this beautiful is flawless! Excellent craftsmanship coupled with up to date technology. The case is well constructed and protects the bass well with four lockable locks. Being and old band rocker from the 60s and an Air Force vet, this dream of completing my collection will bring me into the next great journey...my retirement. Thanks MF for all your great professional help over the years. Players, this bass is a proven winner! Rock on mates and matettes! Jim Mullinax

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            I would recommend the bass

            By michael

            from undisclosed

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

            Use the bass for gigs and studio recordings. The sound is light and not too punchy. Tone is ok with the strings from Rickenbacker.

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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