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 Post subject: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:32 am
Posts: 272
Location: Orange, CA
I'm sure I'm opening up a huge can of worms here, but here goes anyway...

I will preface this by saying that I do not frequent other instrument manufacturers' forums, so I do not know what normal is in this regard. Anyway...

A lot of problems get brought up here on the forums that seem kind of unique to Rickenbackers. From many of them having dead spots in common to rattling bridge saddles to mute screws falling (or flying!) off of the assembly, these instruments seem to have a lot of peculiar problems, and the problems seem quite prevalent.

Now, I don't say any of this to bash. The playability on these instruments is incredible, and the tone is to die for! The tone alone makes any struggle worth it. It just seems to me that it is easier to troubleshoot and maintain my other basses (Carvins).

Are Rickenbackers finicky instruments?


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 1292
Location: dallas texas
I don't think they are, and I've owned 8 of them, so far. Sure, there are things unique to Ric basses, the tailpiece and bridge assembly for one. A bit tricky, ..maybe, but once it's set up, it's set up for the long haul. My Fender bass needs a tweak to the truss rod occasionaly, but my Ric basses never do, unless I change string gauge. The saddles are no problem at all, once they've been set up. Same for everything else on a Ric bass, (4003) They're the most stable bass I've ever owned or played. Also, Ric makes the model 4004, which is an updated, modern bass, and much simpler in design. they don't get much press, but they're more than just badass- in every way.


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:15 am
Posts: 71
Location: USA
IMHO, Rics are just different. My old 4001 went through more than any bass should have to go through, and still reliably delivered for the decade I owned it.

As for the forums, the people who are motivated to post are usually ones that are having problems. Kind of like going to a hospital and concluding that hospitals cause illness. After all, they're full of sick people.

And to take the medical analogy too far, there's a fair amount of hypochondriacs too.

Most of the other manufacturers see many of the same complaints in their forums, but I think Ric owners generally have more loyalty.


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:15 am
Posts: 66
Location: Southwest Florida
I understand what you are saying. While Rics, like any product can have failures, I sometimes think Ric players notice anything that may be slightly out of the ordinary. For instance you mentioned dead spots. My 4003 has a couple of dead spots, but even these dead spots will ring for 10 or 12 seconds! Pick up some other brand of bass and you will probably find the same dead spots, and they may sustain for maybe 5 to 10 seconds. But it won't even be an issue! I guess what i'm trying to say is Ric players hold their basses to a higher standard than they would with some other bass. Rics can be a bit finicky to set up but once you get it set no other bass, at least the ones i've played can come close. And i'm not bad mouthing other basses. Their are plenty of great basses out there. To me the Ric is the best, but plenty of people out their would disagree and they have their favorites. The bridge and saddle design to me anyway is a little outdated, but some people love it. I have problems with the saddles on my 4003, but its still my favorite! It will be with me forever!


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:17 am
Posts: 34
Location: Pennsylvania
I think of Rics more like a race car. Tuning the suspension is a pain in the butt and it takes some getting used to driving it.

But once everything is dialed in and you have a feel for it, you don't really care to go back to typical street vehicles.


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:33 am
Posts: 3403
Location: Denver
Mine are all the complete opposite of finnicky--I think what is being noticed is that Rics have normal issues like anything else that manifest a little differently due to the different construction methods. Finnicky is definitely not a word I'd apply to any of the four Ric basses I own.


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:14 pm
Posts: 11
Location: england
hiho,not finicky at all.Set them up from the start and thats it folks.The most stable bass I have ever come across.Just take time to set up properly.


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
From experience as a professional guitar tech... no, not finicky at all. It's a complete myth that they are any harder to work on or more fussy than any other instrument, in fact they are simply a little different. They are perhaps a little *more* different from most other instruments than those are from each other, but any tech who thinks they're hard to work on simply hasn't bothered to learn how to do it right, or perhaps hasn't cared enough to learn because they don't like them.

The same applies to other slightly 'non mainstream' guitars such as Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters - you wouldn't believe the number of supposedly trained and experienced techs who think they're almost unusable, from the way the talk about them. All I can say is that I used an all-original Jaguar for five years as my main guitar and it was *more* stable and reliable than almost anything else I've played... because I bothered to find out how to make it work right.

If you want something that's a complete fussy pain in the *** to work on, try anything with a Floyd Rose vibrato. Even then, once you know how to do them right they're no problem at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 1677
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California
I don't think so. I just think they have different issues than a lot of basses, so people think they're weird. But they're not even that different.

Lots of basses have issues. But lots of basses are based primarily on Fenders and so have similar or exactly the same issues.

Rickenbackers are not based on Fenders really. They're built quite differently. So they have a different set of weird little things that happen and people notice them more because they're not the same things they're used to dealing with on other basses.

But they're not THAT bizarre. Fenders have dead spots, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Are these instruments finicky?
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:07 am
Posts: 3848
You can almost invariably count on a dead spot somewhere on a Fender bass.

Finicky? Let's see: the last time my 4002 needed a truss rod tweak was over a decade ago. The last time I needed to adjust the bridge intonation was when i changed which brand and gauge of strings I use on it, which also was more than a decade ago. I only popped the hood to resolder one wire, a decade and a half ago, and to install a push-pull for the inline .01 cap to the bridge pickup, purely elective.

This was my only bass for over a decade before I got my custom fanned fret to go along with it, and it was gigged indoors, outdoors, all seasons, all climates and humidities, etc., and just keeps on going.

Finicky? No. A little extra time up front to make sure it's set up properly for your playing style and preferred strings? Well, yes, just like any bass.


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