Rickenbacker vs. Fender Precision

Fender Precision Bass vs. Rickenbacker Bass.  Head to Head.  Cage Match.  Battle Royale.



Both of these basses have legendary histories, the kind that summon up Arthurian scenes of James Jamerson playing the magical P Bass named “The Funk Machine” while lying on the floor, or Paul McCartney’s Rickenbacker summoning the Kraken for iconic low end destruction.  In reality, these basses have much to offer, so let’s take a look at both.

Released in 1951, the Fender Precision Bass was the first commercially available electric bass.  By 1958, the Precision had been reworked to near perfection and has stayed the same (with minor tweaks over the years) until today.  (For the post on the origins of the P Bass in the 1950’s, click here.)  Some notable Precision players – James Jamerson, Brian Wilson, Duck Dunn, Colin Greenwood, Pino Palladino, and George Porter Jr.



The first Rickenbacker Bass was released in 1957.  When Paul McCartney started using a 1964 4001 series with The Beatles, the Rickenbacker really took off.  We will take a much closer look at the construction, materials, and design of the Rickenbacker in an upcoming post.  Some notable Rickenbacker players – Paul McCartney, Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Mike Rutherford, and Cliff Burton.

The following clips are head to head match-ups with the Rickenbacker and the Precision Bass.  The amp settings remain the same for both basses.

Round 1

1986 Rickenbacker 4003  vs. 2008 Fender Precision  (P Bass starts at 4:30) by MrDaCosa


Round 2  (from Dengia64)

1984 Rickenbacker 4001 vs…

…1969 Fender Precision Bass


Round 3  (from Dengia64)

1991 Rickenbacker 4001 vs…

… 1969 Fender Precision