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4003 or 4001?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by McHaven, Mar 13, 2006.


  1. McHaven

    McHaven

    Mar 1, 2005
    So I'm looking at purchasing a Rickenbacker from a guy here in town. I've yet to play the bass yet but of course, I'm going to play it before I buy it. So my question is this, is it a 4003 or 4001? it was made in november of 85 and is completely black. black headstock, black body, black pickguard. Normally, on all the Ricks I've played, the model number has been indicated on the truss rod cover. That is not the case on this bass. [​IMG]

    I can get pics of any other part of the bass if needed.
     
  2. sublimate

    sublimate

    Jan 12, 2006
    Not a 4001. Either a 4003 or a Fakenbacker.

    Have you seen the back and made sure it's a neck-thru? (most of the fakes aren't).
    Also take off the truss rod cover and make sure it has 2 truss rods (the fakes only have 1).
     
  3. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    I don't think that's a stock 4001 or 4003. The bridge isn't right (note the two bridge screws on yours). That, and no nameplate would make me guess good copy (could be wrong, but it's a reasonable possibility).

    4001:
    [​IMG]

    4003:
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Marshall
     
  4. NV43345

    NV43345

    Apr 1, 2003
    Here is what a 4003 looks like.
     
  5. yea something look kinda fishy at first glance of it, i dont think that it is a real rickenbacker. the bridge doesnt look right on it, at all and everything seems kinda unproportional, maybe thats just me. it doesnt really look like a rick, but like everyone else said, check if its neck thru or dual trustrods.
     
  6. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    I misread the first post...Sorry!

    I thought I read "no cover" but some 4003's just have nameplates that say Rickenbacker and Made in the USA, with no model #.

    Marshall
     
  7. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Yes, it does have a rather shoddy look about it, it looks a little odd....
     
  8. sublimate

    sublimate

    Jan 12, 2006
    I don't think that's the stock pickguard (the trussrod cover is still white, right?), so that part of the reason it doesn't look right. Also the pickup selector switch isn't stock.

    The extra screws in the tailpiece of the bridge is a fairly common mod on basses where the tailpiece started lifting.

    The fact that you know the month it was built implies that the output jack is correct, but to be sure look to see that it was 2 letters at one end and 4 numbers at the other end stamped in it. It should also say 'Rick-o-sound' NOT 'stero-sound' like many fakes.
     
  9. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    I didn't know about that common mod, and agree with everything else...good points.

    Marshall
     
  10. Looks like an old Rick to me....you might try www.rickresource.com...they have a wealth of information on these basses - it's all they talk about!:eek: :eek: :eek:

    I bet they'll identify it in less than one hour.
     
  11. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    Looks like a standard 400x with a switched pickguard. The bridge is correct. During the mid 80's RIC used 2 extra screws to hold the bridge in place and these ones are exactly where they should be.

    The pickup selector switch also looks correct. It's simply missing its screw on plastic knob. Easily replaceable.

    If the bass was made in Nov 85 it could be either a 4001 or 4003. The 4001 was discontinued during early 86.

    One way to tell for sure is to remove the pickguard and look to see if there are any additional screw holes in the body. The 4003 in 1985 had a split 2 piece pickguard, so there would be an extra 2 screw holes. The split was located just beyond the 3-way pickup selector switch at the narrowest part of the pickguard.

    TD
     
  12. McHaven

    McHaven

    Mar 1, 2005
  13. RSchuster

    RSchuster

    Jan 27, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    Yeah, the screws in the bridge are just a mod that lots of people did to keep the tailpiece from lifting. There's a new bridge design coming out very soon that should fix that problem once and for all.

    To me, that bass looks like your typical 80s 4003, with an aftermarket pickguard. With white binding and chrome hardware, the pickguard was almost certainly originally white, and someone probably just replaced it with a black one.

    The main way to tell a fake Rickenbacker is if it has a bolt-on neck. The only Ric basses that ever had bolt-on necks were the 2000 and 3000 series basses, and they don't look ANYTHING like the 4000 series basses. If it looks like a 4000-series bass, and it has a bolt-on neck, it's fake. Also, if the jackplate has two jacks but doesn't say "Ric-o-Sound" on it, it's fake.
     
  14. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    My '88 4003S has the two extra screws on the bridge. Am I understanding correctly this was a standard factory installed feature?

    I always thought the previous owner of my bass added them to cut down on bridge ride up.

    Not that I ultimately care - it's a very cool bass no matter what.
     
  15. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto

    You are correct!

    TD
     
  16. McHaven

    McHaven

    Mar 1, 2005
    Any more ideas from anyone?