Here's a new 4003 Rick.
Rickenbacker instruments are always hard to find. They have never gone into mass production (let alone overseas operation), so buid up times are really long. The good side of this is that when you buy a new Rick, you are basically buying the same as you did 30 or 40 years ago. You may picture this as a new vintage instrument that won't leave your wallet empty, as simple as that.
This gorgeous Mapleglo is a good example of this, as the instrument ozzes quality and vintage flavour as you pull it out of its hardshell case. As expected, the bass is light in weight, but heavy in sound. A few seconds is all you need to realize that the G string is perhaps one of the best in the business, with body up to the highest notes (can you say that of your bass?).
Electronics include 2 Vol/2 Tone arrangement, plus the classic Satandard and Rick-O-Sound output jacks, allowing you to use the instrument in mono or split pickups to different amps for pseudo-stereo effects or distort just the bridge pickup while keeping the neck pickup clean to preserve the instrument's bottom.
But there's more: this is one of the first 4003's to incorporate a clever systmen to get the best of both worlds: the Vintage Tone Selector
Here's the text from Rickenbacker's website on the VTS:
Rickenbacker Int'l Corp. is pleased to introduce the Vintage Tone Selector for 4003 Series basses. This additional control is included standard at no additional cost on all 4003 basses beginning in the 2006 model year.
Prior to 1984, Rickenbacker basses utilized a capacitor in the treble pickup circuit to emphasize treble tones coming from that pickup. However, changes in tone preference and a call for higher output led RIC to discontinue the use of this capacitor in favor of a more balanced sound. Nevertheless many users added this capacitor back into the circuit, experimenting with and sometimes preferring the sound of the older configuration, despite the resulting drop in volume.
We have now decided to give our players a choice, allowing the best of both worlds. With a simple pull of the treble tone control, the Vintage Tone Selector will allow a player to move between both sounds at the drop of a hat. Pressed in, you'll hear the familiar balanced tone of the 4003, while pulled out to engage the circuit, you'll appreciate the bite and crispness popularized by such artists as Chris Squire.