Rickenbacker International Corporation Rickenbacker 4003s/8 Reviews
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Rickenbacker International Corporation Rickenbacker 4003s/8

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Rickenbacker 8-string is special!

Aug 8, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Has the Classic Rickenbacker sound that will haunt you in Byrd-like fashion!

Cons:Not a first bass - do not force it into songs that are inappropriate.

The Bottom Line: You're buying a sound, a second bass. The songs you use it in will dictate how successfully it is received. This is a spice; use as such.


This is a discontinued bass. It has a classic sound and look. The two most popular models are the Jetglo and the Fireglo. I have the Fireglo, and the appearance is heavenly. No binding, unlike the 4001. It is a heavy instrument - be ready for that. Have a strap that is comfortable. Even though I'm Canadian, I love the American Flag they've placed on the pick-guard. All 8 tuning keys are the same size - what other companies do this?

This bass will detune quickly and for no good reason - unlike a Fender, that we always expect to be in tune after hitting the floor. Have a tuner in your food-chain. Don't know specifically which artists used the "Rick-8", but with respect to King-X, Pearl Jam, and Big Wreck, Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer is a true 8 pioneer - the album "Works" displays Lake sounding like a bass player being chased by a second player "Mocking" him on an acoustic guitar. I believe Lake used an Alembic. That is the sound that led me to the 8.

I had a wonderful aluminum-neck Kramer 8-string in the early 80's. Always wanted the 4003/S8. Absolutely no regrets, and now that it's discontinued, I am so thankful I acted when I did (mine was made February 2000).

I use mine in our group on songs by REM, Robert Palmer, Tom Petty, Tragically Hip, King Bee's - again, you pick and choose. Some songs, you think would work - and it's not there. In some cases, our group started playing a song before I could put my first bass back on, and surprise!! It works!! I use a combination of pick and fingers, depending on what I'm doing.

I love mine to play, look at, and most of all, to hear. Don't be afraid to seek out and own a classic.

All the best - Gene.


Recommend this product? Yes


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