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ebay vintage bass import horror

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by old_picker, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. old_picker


    Jun 15, 2014
    I run my own small stringed indstruments repair and building workshop
    This post will introduce my self and my work to the forum.
    I own a small guitar and bass repair and building workshop in Melbourne Australia.

    A 1979 Rickenbacker Jetglow 4001 bass arrived at my workshop some time ago literally smashed to pieces. The center section comprising the neck and body center beam was bent at the 11th fret and the timbers had shattered just below the headstock to about the 5th fret and delaminated at the butt. The wings luckily had popped off cleanly. To make things worse a couple of the major fractures had been clumsily glued with epoxy around the 1st to 3rd fret.

    The project brief was to salvage what I could and build it into a useable bass. I had the wings, bridge, tuners, nut, a bunch screws and springs and the electronics. The entire center beam was toast so with the budget allowed I decided to rebuild the center beam including the neck and headstock and attach what I could salvage.

    The budget disallowed a full restoration so the job brief was to make a playable bass using what could be salvaged from the original. First thing to be dropped was the distinctive "sharks fin" fingerboard inlays which were replaced by the dots used in the 60's models. [see the McCartney Rickenbaker bass] It was decided to use a standard preslotted 34" scale 12" radius fingerboard. The 33.25" x 10" radius Rickenbacker board would have to have been radiused and slotted by hand

    Wiring is the original 79 with original pots and caps and knobs. The jacks were dodgy so I replaced those. It got a new guard, bass pickup and the rest is original from the 79 4001.

    If you are interested there are more pics and a detailed log of the building process available here


    After a good deal of work the following rebuilt "customised" 4001 emerged from the workshop



    elBandito, JIO and Tbone76 like this.
  2. jamesCD


    Dec 7, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luthier: Carrigan Designs
    Beautiful work. If not for you it would have most likely wound up in the trash. I know the customer must have been thrilled with the results.
  3. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    Fantastic work!
  4. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I can't believe it is the same bass...nice work!
  5. OEW3


    Nov 6, 2011
    How did the break happen? Also, it's beautiful. Nice job.
  6. old_picker


    Jun 15, 2014
    I run my own small stringed indstruments repair and building workshop
    thanks for the +1 posts
    the way it happened is open to conjecture - we dont know and the original owner who sold it on the bay is saying nothing

    i suspect it went something like this as there was some evidence of water staining where the wings delaminated
    bass gets wet - bass begins delamininating or cracks begin appearing - angry owner takes bass by headstock and smashes it down on the back of a couch or armchair or some other padded object - neck shatters and the laminations split along the glue lines plus fractures appear in the upper neck

    others have suggested it is the result of a terrible retribution inflicted by disgruntled [insert gender] friend
  7. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    or someone who thought it was John Entwistle who binned his gear…

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