Like so many Rickoholics I had accepted that every relationship with a Ric is a lot like a relationship with a romantic partner. Compromise is an essential part of a happy and health relationship. I love each Ric I have but I know that I can't have everything. Consistently reasonable action height... that is something I accepted was not going to be the same as some of previous relations with the ladies of Fender or say a Music Man lady. But Hipshot saved my relationship with a beautiful 2007 Blueburst 4003. There was nothing myself or any tech could to keep the action reasonable for more than a few days. Im talking absolutely paranormal type crazy instant jumps In the action but the the neck would be the same exact way it was before that was not the cause. Hipshot comes in effing Ghostbuster II style driving a huge statue of liberty made of chrome brass, smashes open my mind, slimes Vigo the Carpathian right out of my goddamn Rickenbacker and the joyful sound of the sustain for days that had been suddenly imbued into my bass caused all 13 people in the audience to unite in cheering and pretty much I saved New York City. For the second time. I promptly ordered three more and I now I need another two. This is BY FAR the single greatest aftermarket drop in product in the history of the modern production era. HIPSHOT THANK SO MUCH AND PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE FROM ALL OF US (AND THERE ARE SO MANY) THAT ARE BEGGING YOU TO PLEASE MAKE A V2 DROP IN REPLACEMENT! PLEASE! THE ROLLER SUUUUUCK AND YOU GUYS CAN HELP ALL ALL SAVE THE WORLD EVER NIGHT. We love what you guys create to help us create. And I have two very scared and very vulnerable Mid-evil Rickenbacker Princess babes to rescue and I I need a two chrome brass phone booths to travel through time. I, no WE (the editorial we, the post '20 we) can't do it without you.
My 4003S is a monster now. Better action, intonation , and sustain. The best Rickenbacker bridge by a mile.
I have had two other Ricks in my life, this is the third, like most people who like them I put up with shit intonation for a long time, the standard bridge is total garbage and I don't know anyone who actually use's the mutes! Ok fitting it, removed old bridge and de soldered the earth wire, the original Ricky bridge screw threads are 1.5cm and the new Hipshot ones are 2cm so re-drill the pilot holes an extra half cm! wasn't expecting that but never mind, sanded the finish on the base to solder the earth wire on but the solder won't take! a good strong piece of masking tape is holding in place! screw onto the bass, refit the saddles and restring, adjust saddle height and tune up, adjust for intonation which is now bang on and it really is as simple as that! Why I didn't do it years ago is beyond me and you really owe it to yourself to get one of these if your bass is pre 2020, Rickenbacker have modified theirs now, the new V2 tailpiece and bridge has individual saddles with rollers and intonating them is much better (I wonder where they got that Idea from?!) It only took them 60 years to do it! I got mine from BTN music, wonderful service and Alex was first class.
Pros: The string action on my 4001 Rickenbacker has never been better. String height is perfect and the harmonics are now perfect at the 12th fret. And it still has that great Rickenbacker tone. Cons: The bridge string barrels should be threaded all the way through to enable easy harmonic string length adjustment. The current setup requires you to swap out adjustment screws of different lengths and I found it very difficult to swap out the screws with the strings already installed. It took me 30 minutes or more to change one adjustment screw on the G string and it opens the possibility of cross threading the barrel and scratching your new bridge. It has 1 less screw attaching the bridge to the body. There's no provision to solder the ground wire to the new bridge. The installation instruction has you pinching the ground wire between the bridge and body of your guitar. I was able to solder the ground wire but had a use a high power soldering gun and resin but it did stick and did not screw up the finish.
Just installed this a few days ago on my '76 4001. The original bridge, as anyone reading this knows is utter shite, just ridiculously bad design. I got interested in replacing mine because over the years the "tail lift" issue became worse and worse. The installation was a snap, mere minutes with the only alteration being that I had to cut the ground wire from the underside of the mute on the original bridge and make sure it was sandwiched under the new one. and this was my only quibble, since there's routing under the bridge to make room for the original saddle trough, it would be possible to have a solderable connection point underneath. Minor quibble to be sure. The adjustability of this bridge far exceeds the original. The look is aesthetically in line with the bass. I used it at a gig last night for the first time and wow, totally new experience. The sustain was just through the roof. The tone was much better than before. I'm assuming the tail lift issue was robbing me of some of that original chime. The feel is much more solid than with the original bridge. If I had other Rick's I'd be replacing the bridge on all of them! Since there were no modifications, I am saving the original for when my kids sell this bass at my estate sale, I'd never sell it now. Although anyone playing this bass would never dream of putting the original bridge back on it.
String height has always been a compromise with the 4001 and 4003 Rickenbacker's as well as string alignment. The Hipshot solves all those problems. At first glance the Hipshot doesn't look too much different to the stock bridge and that satisfies the guitar geeks. To the player it makes the bass so much better and playable. To the punters at the gigs, well, they don't care. The fact it is a "plug and play" modification is extremely attractive. The quality is second to none and I'm proud to say I'm using a Hipshot bridge in my 4003sw bass and I'd recommend any other Rickenbacker bass player to consider changing their bridge to a Hipshot.
I replaced the bridge on my 2008 Rick bass and I can't believe how great the action is on every string. Easy replacement and I did very little adjustments. Wish I had done it years ago. Great product! I bought the brass with the chrome finish to get more sustain and harmonics and boy it delivered.
I purchased and installed the chromed plated Brass version of this. It's a heavy and solid bridge. I could not be happier with it. After a quick and easy installation it has simply taken away any problems I was having with my 4003. The tone is almost the same as the stock bridge (a good thing) but being able to adjust individual strings (including adjusting the sideways and getting the E just a touch farther from the binding) and intonate quickly is amazing. Before this bridge I could not play drop D without swapping in a .110 string - now, with the new bridge, I have no problems with drop D (or standard tuning) using the normal .105. This has probably been the single best upgrade I have applied to any bass I have - and I am a tinkerer.
To Andy Davis: Based on your recommendation alone, I bought this bridge as a replacement for my 4003. Am I happy that I took your advice with the advice you gave to purchase this bridge. This bridge is far superior in design to the Ric bridge in that the player has more options as to how the strings are set which really assist with the bass's intonation, action and overall playability while still maintaining the character and depth of the 4003. In short, the best upgrade I have done to any of my basses since adding a drop tuner also by Hipshot, way back in the 80's. Thanks Andy and thank you Hipshot. You guys are awesome!
My guitar tech recommended this upgrade and he sure knew what he was talking about! The punch and sustain of an already great instrument has just got better. I was a bit concerned that my bass sound would become more middle of the road, but no worries, it still has the classic Ricky sound. I have to disagree with a previous reviewer, it looks as though it belongs on my bass, the clean lines complement the classic Ricky styling and it's really comfortable when playing. I would say that anyone who owns a Rickenbacker bass should consider buying this bridge upgrade, you won't be dissapointed, and the clever design guys at Hipshot have made it so you don't have to drill any new holes or route any wood to fit it.
By Far the best replacement bridge, a must have for Rickenbacker owner's Much better Intonation and much more ajustments to get your Ricky set up perfect in everyway.
I really wish that this bridge looked a lot more like the stock Rickenbacker Bass bridge. This one is very angular and squared off making it look out of place on the instrument. Design, finishand increased tone are worlds beyond the rather crude stock bridge though.