1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

4001's with round wound/steel strings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CircleOfCrows, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. CircleOfCrows


    Mar 28, 2013
    Have read mixed response to this so thought I would bring it up. Will playing with stainless strings destroy a 4001s frets rapidly? Did they at any point change to harder frets like the 4003?
  2. .
    I've read a lot of comments over the years about Rickenbacker 4001 frets being soft and wearing rapidly if you use roundwounds etc. etc.

    I played my own 4001 for more than 20 years (it was my only bass throughout that period) using various roundwounds, some of them stainless, before switching to flats a couple of years ago.
    My frets are fine! .... and I'm fussy about that sort of thing!
  3. JH Statts

    JH Statts

    Jan 17, 2014
    I've had roundwounds on my 4001 for 18 years. The frets have a bit of wear, but nothing terrible. The last set has been on it for about 10 years and still sound great.
  4. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I've got a 74 that I've had 28 years. Nothing but rounds, both stainless and nickel. No problems ever.
  5. CircleOfCrows


    Mar 28, 2013
    So is this largely marketing/myth? I would love to get an old autumnglo but not at the expense of rapidly putting wear on the instrument.
  6. I've had my 1979 Autumnglo for a few years and have been using stainless rounds (Prosteels) for some time now and have not noticed an impact!

    As a side note, fantastic color choice!
    Here's a shot of my '79 Autumnglo!
  7. bobfarabaugh


    Jan 23, 2009
    Per John Hall they always used the hardest fret wire availabe.I was told not to use rounds by the local Ric dealer because of the truss rods which didn't make sense because flats have more tension than rounds. The 4003 had redesigned truss rods though. A lot of people cranked on the 4001 rods without "helping" push the neck in the desired direction. (Broke mine when I was 15 and was devistated until I found out they are replacable)
    Always ran stainless Roto's without a problem.
  8. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    If you wanna use steel strings then use them, I doubt you will have a problem unless you are really grinding the strings into the frets. If you are still worried about your frets, you can try some Alloy 52(nickel/iron) strings which can sound even nastier than a lot of steel rounds.
  9. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    For a long time I believed the same thing. My 4003 turns 30 in May this year, and I guess the original owner never had the frets filed, because mine were quite shot when I got them. And keep steels on them for the couple subsequent years didn't help, I'm sure.

    As an early birthday present to the bass, I just had the frets crowned by a friend who is a truly gifted guitar tech, and when he worked on them, he said they were the hardest frets he had ever tried to file. And he has literally filed hundreds of guitars in his lifetime! So if he says they were hard frets, I trust him. My bass is something of a mutt, because every discernible part is 70s old stock except for the TRC, and truss rod placement is 80s. I would therefore any 4001 of a reasonably similar vintage would have equally hard frets
  10. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I've owned my ric for almost 30 years, I only play roundwound steels and it's never needed to be refretted. Very durable.