Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

New 4003SW
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Author:  bassclef [ Thu May 23, 2019 8:11 pm ]
Post subject:  New 4003SW

So finally pulled the trigger on a new 4003SW. I always loved the look of these basses, but not crazy about the tone. Just not as full sounding as my Jazz basses. But recently tried a new one and really liked the modern tone they now get. Still not 100% sold I did some research. Everything I read said the Walnut had a much warmer tone, so that's what I got.

Now knowing this is a Rick Bass, I knew there would be some things right off the bat I would have to change. First the bridge, popped in a replacement and was a no brainer. Much easier to work on and solid. Second, gotta ditch that pickup cover! Third, where the heck you suppose to put your thumb! Well installed a Zero-Mod thumb rest and the black Rickenbacker treble bezel with thumb rest.

As far as the bass itself, wow this sucker is light! Probably the lightest bass I own. The walnut is beautiful and love the contoured and rounded edges, much more comfortable to me than with the binding. And the maple with the dot inlays, classy looking! And the tone....warm is right! Really nice low end with just the right amount of highs. Nice ans full sounding. Still have the stock strings on, but planning to put on the same string which are on my P-Bass, GHS Pressure Wounds.

Now the biggest, and I mean biggest disappointment which seems to be an issue with this model.....the fretwork is absolutely horrible. I've never played a new out of the box bass with just sloppy, shotty fret work. Especially at this price point. Sharp edges up and down the neck on both sides. I've had Chinese made Squier basses with way better fretwork. With Rickenbacker always touting high quality made in the USA, I have to wonder how they let such poor fretwork out the door. Well I like the bass enough, so got out my fret files and re-dressed the frets. Something that should have been done at the factory. Note this was not fret sprout.....

So ok, even with the above mentioned issue, it's still a keeper and a beautiful bass. It's a Rickenbacker! The photo is from my first gig with it. Ends up the drummer had a matching drum set!

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