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A Ric question I should know the answer to...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sloppy_phil, Jan 3, 2012.


  1. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    But I suppose I'm not totally certain. I have an '84 4003 (from May of that year), which as far as I can tell, was one of the transition-time models. It originally came with the .0047 cap in line, it has the 70s 4001 p'ups, the bridge p'up mounting ring is 4001-style (does not have a dip at all), and the tuners were still the wavy-clover grovers. All that suggests it's only a 4003 in name... especially considering that a bunch of changes happened to that production line less than a year after mine was made (as far as my own research has suggested).

    So, having beaten around bush, I'm wondering if all 4003s come with the updated truss rod system as standard? I'm contemplating making a small adjustment, but I don't want to mess the neck up by doing an improper sort of tweak. Can I adjust it like a modern 4003, or will I need to do the by-hand crank of a 4001? 'Cause if it's the latter, I'm-a gonna source it out to a pro :meh:
     
  2. msb

    msb

    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    The two piece pick guard had the old style rods that adjusted at the body .

    The later ones had the new rods and adjusted on the headstock again .

    When in doubt put some pressure on the neck when you adjust it ...

    The earlier 4001 had the skunk stripe , unless it was a much much older bass .

    Don't send it to a tech ... It's an easy adjustment .
     
  3. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Truss rod adjustment at body end of neck = old-style. At headstock = new-style.
     
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    There were 4 or 5 years where Rickenbacker was selling 4001 and 4003 basses at the same time.

    If it has a skunk stripe it is a 4001. Wavy tuners would suggest to me 4001. 2 piece pickguard would mean 4003. For that year the 4001 and 4003 would both have the .0047 capacitor. 70s style pickup ring suggests 4001.

    I think that year both the 4001 and the 4003 both had the old style truss rods.

    About 1985 or 1986 the 4003 got modern truss rods.
     
  5. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    hmmmm, thanks for the replies. It is kind of what I expected; I forgot to mention in the original post that I have the 2-piece PG with truss rods at the body-end. I guess that means old truss rod system for me, then?

    Now correct me if I'm wrong (which I probably am!), but I thought that one of the main design aspects of the 4003 was an updated truss rod system... why else would they shift production from 4001s if every other aspect of the bass is basically the exact same?

    Oh, and I don't think it has the skunk stripe, but the thing is Jetglo, so it's hard to tell! There's a big spot of buckle rash on the back where no stripe is visible, however
     
  6. msb

    msb

    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    You have an early 4003 with the old style rods that adjust at the body . Just place some tension on the neck and then snug up the bolts , it's quite easy to do . Some say the older rod style is more stable than the the new ones . I know that my 80 4001 is by far the most stable bass that I own .

    You might try to bypass that .0047 cap too ... makes a big difference to the sound .
     
  7. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    Ok good to know. I've heard similar things about their stability. The truth is that I've upped the string gauge since I got it by about 2 steps, and there was more or less no difference in neck tension/bow/action. Amazing! I've been meaning to give it a full set-up, but have been holding off because I want to move the neck p'up back a 1/2" go the pre-'75 spacing. When I'm done with modding it, it'll get the full set-up treatment!

    And, I've taken care of the .0047 cap; dropped in a push/pull knob to get both options. I really do like the 'vintage' circuit far more than the modern, but both options are nice. I detailed my foolishness in trying to mod it here. If it weren't for TB, I think I'd probably still be crying into the open rout under the PG
     
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Your bass is a 4003.

    As per the Rods I am not sure the exact year they implemented the new style.

    I say go right to the source. Rickenbacker International Corporation they have a forum on that site. Ask about the rods there.
     
  9. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    I wasn't disputing that it's a 4003; it says so right on the headstock! Just wanted to know about the truss rods. I suppose I will take a leap over to the Ric forums... I just always turn to TB first
     
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I did some fact checking and a 1984 4003 has the old style rods.

    So to adjust loosen the strings, loosen the rods move the neck by hand and then retighten the rods and strings.

    Repeat until the neck is where you need it to be.
     
  12. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    I've seen Joey's bass notes before; totally forgot to check them. Just curious if anyone's got the answer for this, but when talking about doing the old-style adjustments, the rods for him are at the headstock. So, when he says that the rods tighten clockwise, would it still be the same even at the body-end? Probably a dumb question....:rollno:
     
  13. Duke21

    Duke21

    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway

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