Building a Rickenbacker 4001/4003 style bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Austin88, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Austin88


    Apr 14, 2014
    So I've recently learned that my Dad has two slabs of 40 year old mahogany and he told me that if I want to, I can use them to build a bass or two. They are both large enough for just a body. I've always wanted a Rickenbacker 4001 one but I don't have the money for one. So I've decided that I would like to build a Rickenbacker style bass but instead of it being neck through body, I would go with bolt-on instead.

    My question is: How would I go about building a Rickenbacker style bolt-on body and it work?
  2. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Westchester County NY
    It will not really be a Rickenbacker-style bass, but if you want to make a Rickenbacker-shaped bass, no reason why you can't make it a bolt-on. If I recall correctly, the Ibanez lawsuit-era Rick copies were bolt-ons. Look online for pictures of those if you want to get an idea. It would be easier to build it neck-through. Good luck.
  3. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    If you use the RIC single coil pickups and place them in the same locations you will get a decent Rick tone, but of course the mahogany will change the sound somewhat, since Ricks are maple body.
    The bolt on neck will alter the tone slightly, but not enough to really matter much.

    I've heard clips of basses with totally different wood and construction but with RIC pickups in the appropriate location and you couldn't really tell it wasn't the real thing.

    Different pickups will sound different naturally, and their location plays a very big role in the tone.
  4. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
  5. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
  6. Subscribed.
  7. Austin88


    Apr 14, 2014
    Would anybody happen to have a Rickenbacker 4001/4003 body diagram or schematic so I can build it the correct size?
  8. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I haven't used this so I can't say how accurate it is, but hope it helps.

    Attached Files:

  9. Good advice here. also check out the "Leafenbacker" thread for a better Ric-ish headstock.
  10. Austin88


    Apr 14, 2014
    I know Rickenbackers are neck-thru body but I really want to stay away from neck -thru and do a bolt-on style because, if I just so happen to ever break the neck or something happens to it I want to be able to change it out.
  11. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Pacifica CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I have one somewhere, but won't be able to access it till next week so there must be someone here who can send you something now. I made a near identical RIC body (but headless) and it's cool and all but if I ever do anything like it again I would do some serious body contours to overcome the inherent design flaws of a 4000 series that most players put up with. Sort of like a T-bird in that respect of which I am a long-time owner/fan. Both bass body designs were more about unique distinctive appearance than player function.