m a s s iv e b a c k o r 't r e b le ' p ic k u p
o n it s o w n f o r a m o m e n t , i t ’s
a p e r f e c t m a t c h f o r t h e d e n s e
m a p le b o d y a n d n e c k m a t e r ia ls .
I t 's b r i g h t w i t h o u t b e in g t h i n ,
a n d t h e s im p le p a s s iv e t o n e
c o n t r o l g iv e s a n im p r e s s iv e
s p r e a d o f s o u n d b e t w e e n f u l l
o n ( w h ic h w i l l t a k e y o u r f i l l in g s
o u t ) to m e r e ly b r ig h t , in a t ig h t ,
h ig h m id , a lm o s t c o m p r e s s e d
s o r t o f w a y .
I t ’s t h e c la s s ic R ic k e n b a c k e r
b a s s s o u n d , a n d i f y o u ’v e n e v e r
h e a r d it. g o lis t e n to C h r is S q u ir e
o r G e d d y L e e to h e a r h o w
f a n t a s t ic th e s e b a s s e s c a n s o u n d
w h e n r e c o r d e d o r g ig g e d . A n e a t
f u n c t io n is t h e 'V in t a g e T o n e
S e le c to r ’ o n t h e b r id g e p ic k u p
to n e c o n t r o l. P re s s e d in , y o u g e t
t h e f a m ilia r 4 0 0 3 s o u n d , b u t p u ll
it u p a n d y o u a d d e v e n m o r e b ite
a n d c r is p n e s s , r e p lic a t in g t h e
s o u n d o f t h e e a r ly 4 0 0 1 b a s s . In
t h is m o d e , i t a ls o s e e m s to b a la n c e
t h e g a in le v e ls b e tw e e n t h e t w o
p ic k u p s a l i t t l e m o r e e v e n ly .
T h e n e c k o r ’b a s s ’ p ic k u p
c o u ld n ’t b e m o r e d if f e r e n t .
O b v io u s ly i t ’s t in y , a lm o s t lik e
a g u it a r p ic k u p , a n im p r e s s io n
t h a t 's m a d e a ll t h e m o r e s t a r k
b e c a u s e o f t h e s iz e o f t h e b r id g e
p ic k u p . P e r h a p s b e c a u s e o f it s d im i n u t i v e s iz e , it 's a l i t t l e q u ie t e r t h a n
it s b ig b r o t h e r , b u t i t h a s a w a r m , s m o o th s o u n d n o t u n lik e t h e n e c k
p ic k u p o n a n o ld J a z z b a s s . I t ’s a p e r fe c t c o m p le m e n t to t h a t m a s s iv e
b r id g e p ic k u p : t o g e t h e r t h e y s o u n d n o t h in g s h o r t o f a w e s o m e - t h e v e r y
e s s e n c e o f r o c k 'n ’r o ll b a s s g u it a r .
I t ’s in t e r e s t in g to n o te t h a t q u it e a f e w fa m o u s R ic k p la y e r s t h r o u g h
t h e d e c a d e s h a v e p la y e d w i t h a p ic k . A s w e ll a s e m p h a s is in g t h e n a t u r a lly
b r ig h t to n e o f t h e b a s s , t h e r e a r p ic k u p c o v e r is p e r f e c t ly p la c e d f o r
r e s tin g y o u r p a lm w h e n y o u ’r e p la y in g lik e th is . P la y in g w i t h t h e fin g e r s
is a b it m o r e o f a c h a lle n g e if, lik e m e . y o u ’r e u s e d to t h e p ic k u p p la c e m e n t
o n a J a z z o r S tin g r a y . Y o u c a n r e s t y o u r t h u m b o n t h e h u g e c h r o m e
c o v e r o f t h e b a c k p ic k u p , b u t i t ’s a lo n g w a y f r o m t h e s tr in g s , a n d I f o u n d
t h e b e s t f in g e r to n e s c a m e f r o m p la y in g o v e r t h e f r o n t p ic k u p w i t h
y o u r t h u m b r e s tin g o n t h e s tr in g s , a lt h o u g h m a y p la y e r s r e m o v e t h e
r e a r p ic k u p c o v e r , m a k in g t h a t p a r t o f t h e s t r in g s a c c e s s ib le . U s in g b o t h
t h e R ic k - O - S o u n d o u t p u t s r e q u ir e s a s te r e o ja c k to t w o m o n o ja c k s . I t ’s
s o m e t h in g m o s t p la y e r s n e v e r b o t h e r w i t h , a lt h o u g h i t d o e s g iv e y o u t h e
o p t io n o f s e p a r a te ly E Q - in g t h e p ic k u p s , t h e d o w n s id e o f c o u r s e b e in g
t h a t y o u t h e n n e e d t w o s e p a r a te a m p c h a n n e ls .
C O N C L U S I O N
P r e v io u s ly , it 's n o t b e e n e a s y to g e t y o u r h a n d s o n a n e w R ic k e n b a c k e r
4 0 0 3 . F o r v a r io u s r e a s o n s , t h e y ju s t w e r e n 't b e in g s h ip p e d o v e r h e r e f o r
a w h ile , r e s u lt in g in a lo n g w a it in g lis t f o r s o m e in s t r u m e n t s . R e c e n tly
t h e y ’v e b e e n m o r e r e a d ily a v a ila b le , a n d i f y o u ’r e s h o p p in g f o r a 4 0 0 3
n o w . y o u s h o u ld n ’t h a v e t o h a n g a r o u n d f o r t o o lo n g b e fo r e g e t t in g y o u r
h a n d s o n o n e . N o t t h a t y o u 'd r e g r e t t h e w a it e v e n i f t h e r e w e r e o n e .
A s w e ll a s lo o k in g g o o d , t h e y s o u n d a m a z in g , a n d t h e s im p le y e t
v e r s a t ile p ic k u p a n d E Q c o n f ig u r a t io n m a k e t h e m p r e t t y m u c h t h e
p e r f e c t r o c k b a s s . T h is is n ’t r e a lly a b a s s f o r ja z z s o lo in g o r s la p p in g ,
b u t a s a r o c k i n s t r u m e n t i t ’s h a r d ly e v e r b e e n b e tt e r e d . T h e r e ’s ju s t
s o m e t h in g a b o u t t h a t b r ig h t , c la n g in g s o u n d t h a t s its s o w e ll w i t h
d is t o r t e d g u it a r s , a n a lo g u e k e y b o a r d s a n d h a r d - h it d r u m s .
1 Ш
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
RICKENBACKER 4003 MG
PRICE I £2,649
MADE IN I USA
BODY I Maple
NECK I Maple 3314"
NECK JOINT I Thru-neck
NUT WIDTH 132 9mm
FINGERBOARD I Walnut
FRETS!
20
PICKUPS I Neck: 1x single coil. Bridge: 1x
large single coil
ELECTRONICS I Passive
CONTROLS I Tone and volume for
each pickup, vintage tone selector 'puli’
function on bridge, tone control, three-way
pickup selector
HARDWARE I Schaller. chrome
WEIGHT 14.1 kg
CASE/GIG BAG INCLUDED? Yes
LEFT-HAND OPTION AVAILABLE? Yes
PLUS I That sound is often imitated but
never bettered. Great looks
MINUS I Not as versatile as some basses,
although maybe more than you'd imagine
OVERALL I Music and styles may have
changed since the 50s, but as a rock and
metal bass, the Rickenbacker 4003 is as
relevant today as it ever was
BGM
RATING
BUIIO
QUALITY
SOUND
QUALITY
VALUE
0 5 0
BASS GUITAR MAGAZINE
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