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Fretless Ricks

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jacoproud, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Has anyone played on a rickenbacker 4001 fretless that is over 17 years old (ie pre 1985)? if so what do you think etc??
  2. I had the opportunity to play one last year. It was a 1975 4001 finished in Autumnglo with chrome hardware and white pickguard. It was in close to mint condition.
    One of the stores that I deal with had it on consignment for about 9 months. Everytime I went into the store I always played this bass for 10 - 15 mins.
    The neck was great, there were black dot position markers imbedded into the binding on the neck as well as in the rosewood fretboard. So there was no way you could get lost playing this bass. It was very comfortable to play and made playing it seem effortless. The sound was a very traditional for a fretless bass. There was no 4001 RIC growl, I would have been surprised if there had been.
    I was tempted a few times to buy it, and I know that I could have gotten if for a better price than they were asking for it. But i'm just not into fretless basses. But if I was, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 4001FL.
    bobyoung53 and byoung93888 like this.
  3. Sorry this reply is 15 years late, but better late than never. The fretless 4001 is a versatile and expressive bass that is unique and not very much like it's fretted twin.
  4. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I'll certainly agree with you on that last point...
    byoung93888 and jamro217 like this.
  5. I used to own one back in the day(around '87 '88)...I agree with the statements above..not like it's fretted counterpart very much but, a very good fretless with a more upright like tone and, dare I say,more McCartney like tone..
    I'm know with the right strings and set up you could coax a more traditional Ric(Geddy and Squire like) tone out of it..I foolishly put rounds on mine to do exactly that and wrecked the finish on the fingerboard(I was young and there was no internet..lol)..today there's a plethora of halfround and flatwound strings that will get you into that territory tonally if you so choose but, I like the fretless Ric for what it is and what it isn't...If I had that bass back today I would put Chromes or Thomastik Jazz flats on it and be somewhere in the middle ground tonally and loving it..
    byoung93888 and jamro217 like this.
  6. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Zombie thread... OP hasn't been seen here for 11 years, but good info for those of us who are curious.

    Zane DeBord, byoung93888 and jamro217 like this.
  7. It was for anyone interested, even the OP.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Here is my old '04 4003FL with a scatterwound toaster in the bridge position (solo'd on this recording) with Chromes on it (40-55-75-95) played fingerstyle, DI'd with the preamp of an Ampeg PB250 head.


    For anyone interested, even the OP. :smug:
  9. Thanks, Jeff. Good indeed.
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  10. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    This is quite the resurrection.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  11. Good stuff, Jeff!
    I think that goes a long way toward explaining the sound of it.
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  12. Yeah, it got pretty shaky there for a bit. Didn't think we had the right ingredients. Did you ever try to find eye of newt extract in the supermarket? :smug:
    superdick2112 and 12BitSlab like this.
  13. I've had several and have an 85 4003FL right now, the early 4003FL's are pretty much identical to the 4001FL's.

    Check this out, great playing and sound, this is not me BTW but mine is identical to this one:

    RaggaDruida and Gilmourisgod like this.
  14. Nice playing and sound Jeff.
  15. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Here's a fretless Ric 4002.

    bobyoung53, JJR58 and byoung93888 like this.
  16. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    That's Ginger!

    Thanks, Bob. :cool:
    bobyoung53 and superdick2112 like this.
  17. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    And I thought my Noir was a rare bird.
    A fretless 4002?!?
    They don't get much more rare that those! :bassist:
  18. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Commercial User

    Jan 27, 2012
    Only two that I know of! Ginger's is the one shown in the thing I can't mention.;)
  19. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  20. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Paul, you know you can always mention your unmentionables to me in a PM... :whistle:

  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 27, 2021

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