|PaulBoyer ||10-12-2013 01:51 PM |
Rickenbacker 4004 five-string conversion
While preparing my book over the last eight years or so, I accumulated quite a few Rickenbacker basses. I'm no longer an active player, and I'd like to see the collection distributed to folks who want/need/appreciate a good Rick!
This was once a 2003 4004Cii Cheyenne II and is the most heavily modified bass in the collection. It has quite a history and likely is responsible for Rickenbacker changing the pickup layout on the 4004 line in 2004. This bass has passed through the collections of at least three others, including Jeff Scott. Here's the story: I think while Jeff had it, he discovered that one of the truss rods had broken. With the pickups in the lowered position (1999-2004), there is no routed cavity against the body end of the fingerboard to allow access to the acorn nuts of the rods. Typically, removing a truss rod is easy; just remove the adjustment nut from the head end, push the rod down the neck, and grab it at the body end and pull it out. Not so easy on the midlife 4004 design. To remove a truss rod, either you'd have to make an access route in the body or remove the fingerboard. The bass was sent to RIC who carved two nicely coved routes in the top of the body, fixed the truss rod problem, and refinished the body. After this repair, RIC returned to building the 4004 basses with the pickups in the original position with the bass (neck) pickup and its route adjacent to the fingerboard.
While Jeff had this bass, he replaced the gold-plated hardware with chrome and had a volume/volume/tone mod done with custom dome-top chrome knobs. Jeff sold the bass, and another owner started to convert it to a five-stringer, but sold it mid-project to another owner who sold it to me disassembled. I had a local guitar guy put it together. The five-string bridge is basic and has no manufacturer's label. The tuners are Hipshot Ultralites (?) and have the club-shaped keys. The truss rod cover was replaced with a back-painted clear acrylic one similar to those on the 4001V63.
The body is the typical maple/walnut/maple sandwich construction and exhibits gorgeous flaming. I have a set of TI Jass Rounds on it, and they are very comfortable. For those who may find a typical five-string neck too wide, or the hard-to-find 4003S/5 necks too narrow, you may find, as others have, that a conversion of the slightly wider necks of the pre-2010 4004 ideal. The pickups are the standard HB-1 Humbuckers; I notice some falloff of volume from the B and G strings on the treble (bridge) pickup, but the bass (neck) pickups performs fine.
Price is $1200 firm, with case plus shipping.