Calling Rickenbacker experts

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sa1126, Mar 3, 2014.


  1. sa1126

    sa1126

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    So I snagged a 1982 Ric 4001 at a pawn shop this weekend for a good deal. It appears to be all sorts of modified. Did they ever make a bass with humbuckers?

    I want to restore it back to original if possible. I think the tail piece and pickups foreign. What do you all think?

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  2. suprhevydethmtl

    suprhevydethmtl

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    Good find, if for no other reason than the unique finish. I wonder if that is a factory original one-off or a previous owner had that done.

    As for the bridge, Paul, of course, knows more way more than I do, but the early Rickenbackers notoriously suffered from bridge lift. My 1979 4001 has it, but my 1986 4003 does not because by that point they added two extra screws to the back. I'm not sure exactly what year, but that might be why your bridge is aftermarket. So, you might want to consider leaving that aftermarket bridge, as a lot of people like to change those anyway.

    As for the pickups, I'd definitely take advangage of the modification to play around with the sound and see if I liked it before putting some Rickenbacker pickups in. However, I love the signature Rickenbacker gurgle, so I'd probably end up putting some new high-gains in.

    I'm not aware that Rickenbacker has ever made a bass with humbuckers before the 4004.

    Good find! Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
     
  3. Gaolee

    Gaolee The Fat Violin Supporting Member

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    I would leave it as-is. There's something wonderfully ornery about playing a modified Ric. I haven't had the pickguard off of my Ric, so I don't know how tightly the rout for the neck pickup is, but I expect you will find a bigger rout under there than when it left the factory. Also, the replacement bridge appears to have used more screws than the original. Not that either is a big deal, since both would be covered if you put on a Ric bridge and replace the pickguard and pickup.

    Whoever did the modifications did a neat and competent job of it, from the looks of the pictures.
     
  4. gary m

    gary m

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    Hm...to my eye, the neck pickup looks like a DiMarzio Model One, or a very good copy. Seeing as how the Jazz-style pickup in the bridge is a similar color, I'll say it's also a DiMarzio or similar knockoff.

    I'd be curious to hear any soundclips from this bass, if you're set up to do that.
     
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  6. sa1126

    sa1126

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    Would the 4003 bridge be an upgrade?

    The bass plays surprisingly well. I'm curious as to whether it is a refinish or not but based upon looks alone it doesn't appear to be. It has the stripe on the back going down the entire bass so it would have had to been someone with talent.

    I'll look into recording some clips here at some point. The humbucker blew my brother's little avatar 1x12 cab away. I have to play this bass into my SVT cab :eek:

    One major downside is it didn't come with a case. Anyone know where I could snag one at a decent price?

    Cheers!
     
  7. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

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    hell no
     
  8. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

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    No the 4003 bridge is a pain to adjust. However if you ever sell it, most Ric owners are purists and would want the original. Hipshot makes a nice one, but I havent switch mine out and dont plan on it.
     
  9. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Supporting Member

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    It's possibly a refinish, but to me it looks like appropriately aged Mapleglo (clear coat). The pickups and tailpiece/bridge are obviously replacements. If they work for you, keep 'em. 1982 would be very late for the 4001 as they "stopped production" of the 4001 in 1980; they still had plenty in the pipeline though, and it was still in the catalog through 1985.
     
  10. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

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    could it be a copy? or do you need to see under the pickguard and trussrod cover to tell? i dig the bridge, who makes that one?
     
  11. kcole4001

    kcole4001

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    Definitely looks like DiMarzios, and I'd guess it's had a refinish.
    I'd want to see the jackplate and run the serial number, and look under the pickguard to be sure it's a genuine Rick.
    The tuners look different, but may well be original.

    The neck pickup rout from the factory should be big enough to accommodate that pickup without any extra wood removal, but I'd still want to see the wiring channel to make sure it's not a copy.
    A RIC rout should be a series of forstner bit cuts rather than a smooth channel running form the control cavity to the neck pickup rout.

    Also the jackplate should have 'Rick-o-Sound' and 'Standard' printed above each jack if there's any ink left on it.

    The Serial number will be stamped into the metal plate: 2 letters on top and 4 numbers on the bottom.
    Run the number here: http://www.rickenbacker.com/service_serials.asp
    That will give you the year and month of manufacture if it's genuine.

    The fingerboard looks authentic, copies are usually quite a bit darker.
     
  12. woodyng

    woodyng

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    When i bought my 4002 years ago,it had replaced pickups and this exact bridge on it. I think this bridge was made by a company called Starz,but i never removed mine to see,and kept and gigged that bass for a decade. I would seriously advise you to keep that bridge on there. It worked perfectly,was easy to set up,and provides a much better "connect" to the wood than the Rick bridge/tailpiece. And Dimarzio pickups rock! I second the idea of just keeping this the way it is,if all is working and sounds good to you.oh,and Congrats,that is a great looking vintage Rick!
     
  13. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    Go to Pick of the Ricks website and you can order all the replacement pickups and parts you need to put it back together properly.
     
  14. woodyng

    woodyng

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    +1!
    Trust me,no! As you already said,it plays great,which is not always easy to achieve on a Rick....
    Also,if you like to palm mute,or even if you just enjoy keeping your knuckles intact,the extra clearance for playing behind the bridge pickup is invaluable.....
     
  15. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man Supporting Member

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    post the serial number, take the pickguard off and the truss rod cover...let's see if it is real first
     
  16. sa1126

    sa1126

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    Serial number is valid and dates to January 1982 and it has the correct inputs.

    What under the pickguard is the give away that it is a correct ric? I did a side by side with my brother's 4003 and it looks like a valid ric.
     
  17. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man Supporting Member

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    trussrod ends, and the way that the cavity is cut out.
     
  18. sa1126

    sa1126

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    Cool, I will check it out this evening. Do fakenbackers usually have valid serial numbers?
     
  19. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man Supporting Member

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    no, but a number plate is easily transferred with a screwdriver
     
  20. sa1126

    sa1126

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    True. What should the truss rod ends look like to verify its authenticity?
     
  21. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man Supporting Member

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    first, there should be two...and they will have a standard set of adjuster nuts on them.
     

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