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#J20317 000002000

Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar  Jetglo

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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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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
 
4.3

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (14)
  • Good tone (13)
  • Good feel (11)
  • Good pick up (8)
  • Solid electronics (7)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (4)

Best Uses

  • Recording (12)
  • Jamming (11)
  • Practicing (11)
  • Rock concerts (7)
  • Small venues (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (13)

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 19 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Iconic Bass

By Commander Eddie

from Rochester, Ny

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts

    Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

    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...

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    No wonder these keep selling out

    By JNF91

    from Kansas

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

    This is a great bass. I've already used it on a large show, and it sounded great. I've read complaints about weak pickups and only one good sound, but I have not found any merit in those claims. Yes, the bridge cover is a pain. The neck is huge in a good way, the string spacing is very P-bass like, and the push-pull tone cap is pretty usable. I find the best tones can be had with both pickups engaged and the volumes adjusted accordingly. The stock strings were not to my liking-I put La Bella Low Tension Flats on it. If I had to pick one nit, there is a tiny finish flaw around the neck joint in the Fireglo finish. I buy 'em to play, so I didn't give it a second thought.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    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.

    (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.

    (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.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Intoxicating tone that wants to be a lead instrument

      By John

      from undisclosed

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone

      Cons

      • Fret Buzz

      Best Uses

      • Aggressive Music
      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording

      Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

      I described this bass to a friend as an intoxicating tone that wants to be a lead instrument and will not take "no" for an answer. I found the bass to be made very well and cannot find any shortcomings in its construction. The tone is amazing. Deep and rich. I've been playing many years and have several quality basses all in about the Ric's price range. However, even my two active bases cannot produce the unique tone of this Rickenbacker. It is truly amazing that a passive bass can sound this way. It is so overpowering that you can understand why some players call it, "a one trick pony." Mine is Mapleglo. The combination of the different woods makes it look very rich. I jumped at this bass because the "S" version is stripped down and appeals to my working class look and style of playing. MF's price was right too! A couple strange things are that it comes with Schaller Strap lock buttons but doesn't come with the mating part which is the lock that attaches to the strap. The other thing is the string gauge. They are 105-75-55-45. You will be hard pressed to find a string set to match a 55 D string. The tension on the strings is very loose. However, the action is nice. I never owned a Rickenbacker before so this is new territory. I can play it with a lighter touch using a pick or fingers. The neck's profile gets slimmer as you go up the neck which is a way different feel than my other basses which includes a couple of Fender Jazz. The bridge pick-up cover is not in the way for me. Overall, I am happy with this as another horse in my stable. I do play out and do a lot of recording, I'm not so sure I would be happy if this was my only bass. It's tone is too huge and menacing for some music. You can probably tame it a little with flatwounds to get that later Beatles/McCartney tone. Since I have other basses strung with flats I do not wish to strip the Ric of it's power. I promise you, if you ever play a Ric 4003s on your own gear your jaw will drop.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Not quite.

      By Casey Gray

      from Oklahoma

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Lower Cost
      • Ric Sound

      Cons

      • Built In A Hurry
      • Finish Errors

      Best Uses

        Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

        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.

         
        5.0

        The legend lives...

        By Rickenmaxer

        from Philadelphia

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Tone

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Recording
          • Rock Concerts

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

          The Rickenbacker 4003S is the less-ornamented version of the long-available 4003 model. The lack of binding and use of dot markers (instead of the shark-fin inlays) harken back to the first RIC models that rode the (crested) wave of the 1st British Invasion in the 60's...think Pete Quaife of the Kinks, John Entwhistle of the Who, and, of course, Paul McCartney of that other same-era band. It's a classic look, and I personally prefer the smoother edge contours on the 4003S. The push/pull tone pot that cuts between a more trebly bridge pickup sound or a deeper growl means you can cover a lot of sonic territory with this bass. Keep the factory-installed Rick roundwounds on it, and you can dial in classic modern Rickenbacker sounds like Chris Squier's work with Yes or up the gain to add some grit and get some great grinding Roger Glover Deep Purple Sounds. Put flatwounds on it and engage the muting mechanism, and you'll be able to cover just about anything on Sgt. Peppers (if you can play like Paul, of course). I love it with flats the best. I can spend hours thumping this thing in my living room, and with a pick and heavy gain, can capture many fantastic sounds across the pickup and tone selections. It's a legend for a very good reason, folks!

           
          5.0

          Superb quality, playability and craftsmanship.

          By Captain Adam

          from Merrillville, IN

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Bridge design needs an update
          • Nut will need filing if you play heavy strings

          Best Uses

          • Practicing
          • Recording
          • Rock Concerts
          • Small Venues

          Comments about Rickenbacker 4003S Electric Bass Guitar:

          I'm a hobbyist who jams with friends, makes recordings and plays live shows every now and again. This bass will definitely work well in all of those scenarios. There's a reason why Rics have such a prestigious name, they are quality instruments that are made in the USA. I have heard some folks complain that the only sound they can get out of a Ric is the trebly growl that you hear on Motorhead or early Rush records. I say those folks are aiming for that sound to begin with and end up with confrimation bias. I'm able to get a full range of sounds out of mine, from low and sludgy to bright and growling.

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