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GAS advice needed - Ric 4001

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Aug 15, 2001.


  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Oh, fellow brothers (and sisters), I really, really need some guidance here...

    I have a small "slush fund" I keep for toys - it stands at $250 right now. I've been saving for a cab, probably a Bag End S15-D. I made a big mistake today, and stopped at a new pawnshop looking for goodies.

    In among the usual crap, there was a Ric bass. A September 1980 production Ric-O-Sound equipped sharkfin Ric 4001 in midnight blue, to be exact. (The blue and white model, not the blue and black "bruise" model.)

    It's a true road warrior - it has numerous small dents in the finish without finish damage, a fair amount of belt buckle rash on the back, and quite a few finish chips around the edges (particularly the end of the headstock - pity the poor drummer or guitarist that kept getting clobbered). It was definitely used as a gigging bass.

    It needs a fret resurface, possibly even a replacement fret or two, but the neck and fingerboard look fine. Cosmetically, the pickguard should be replaced, and the knobs are beat, too. It needs a new nut (big deal). It's missing the horseshoe pickup cover (again, big deal). Almost every screw that could be buggered is, in fact, well and truly buggered. The original case is included, but is pretty rough.

    I need opinions on what this beast is worth. I've got him down to $350 out the door (from $400 plus tax), and he isn't budging further. He's holding it for me through tomorrow, which allows me the time to raise the missing $100 if I decide to go for it.

    What do y'all think? It plays nicely, but is about a 6 on a 10 point appearance scale. It would make a fun refinishing project - I'm thinking Mapleglow after steaming out the dents - or leave it alone for that rugged bassist look. I can't afford a nicer Ric now or anytime in the foreseeable future. Y'all think it's worth $350? I'm about 75% convinced, and need some moral support! (Can you say "codependent"?)

    Ric basses have special meaning to me, because when I first started playing bass in High School (late '70s) I was using a friend's father's Guild Starfire and Ric 4000. This 4001 feels like coming home...

    Thanks!
     
  2. I picked up a 4001 in the popular black/white about 2 years ago for $750. I say get it if you can afford it, the blue is nice, I have one on my wish list.

    :D
     
  3. It deserves a loving home.
    Sorry can't help with the price.

    As for refinishing, try following my shenanigans in other threads.
     
  4. If it was me I would be jumping all over a Ric for 350 no matter how much finish damage it had, as long as the electronics work.. You lucky bastard :eek: :eek: :D :D
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    HWK3 -

    That's odd - to me, the electronics are the least of my concern! I can always break out the soldering iron and replace parts as needed.

    Why am I even debating this? I must be a friggin' fool! I think I'm gonna go for it!!!

    (Whisper in back of head: "But what if the truss rod is screwed up?)

    Grumble, grumble...
     
  6. Play it, site the neck, cross your fingers.

    Is it a real RIC? It has the logo on the headstock?

    If so just go get the darn thing and keep us up to date.
     
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Neck looks fine, no twists or hums, no fingerboard separation. Just fairly heavy fret wear. Anyone know what a full fret job goes for on a Ric (worst case)? I've heard the lacquered fretboard raises the price a bit.

    If it's a fake, it's a damn good one. I've seen most of the common ones, and have learned what to look for. The jackplate has the correct serial number pattern, and indicates production in 9/80 - the same month I turned 18. The wave name plate is on the headstock, and it seems original - it's marked "Model 4001" and "Made in the U.S.A.", as I recall.

    I don't think I'm gonna sleep too well tonight! I'm up to 95% convinced, and the GAS is giving me goosebumps!
     
  8. BUY THAT BASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:

    True enough, I'd have to agree with that, but I was more or less refering to the vintage (.. is '80 vintage? lol :rolleyes: ) electronics.. like if the pups are shot or something.. as long as the trussrod is true, and it says ric on the headstock, see above rule :)
     
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I was wrong - it's an Azureglo, not Midnight Blue.

    See - I told you I'd have trouble sleeping!
     
  10. Rickenbackerman

    Rickenbackerman

    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Yeah, buy that bass! And I wouldn't refinish it, either. Azureglo is one of the rarer colors and is certainly worth more in even a beat condition. Plus... it's cool! (i had an azureglo '79 and sold it... Grrrr...)

    As long as the neck is straight and it plays ok, for $350, buy it and don't look back!

    As far as refretting - I have a '79 I'm currently trying to do myself. The hong kong rosewood that rickenbacker uses is not fun. Any repair shop is going to say this too and charge you more for it. They will also charge you more to refinish the board after refretting (if you want them to), as the old finish will usually have to be stripped off. Figure anywhere from $150 to $350 for a refret.

    But first, go buy that thing before someone else does!
     
  11. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Everybody, at the same time:

    GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO
     
  12. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    Heavy, buy the durn thing. I see you're in lovely Chicagoland. If you ain't gonna buy it, tell me where it is and I'll buy it.

    Seriously, go buy it. Rickys are cool, and that's a fab price given your description of it. Even if a refret is $$$$, it's still worth it.

    Go, cat, go.
     
  13. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    if you don't buy the bass, shame on you!
     
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    IT'S MINE, IT'S MINE, IT'S MINE!!!!!
    (Insert maniacal laughter)

    I went back this morning, and went over it with a fine toothed comb. I pulled the truss rod cover - the truss rod nuts are in good shape, and haven't been buggered with a pair of pliers. I pulled the pickguard - yep, there's all the factory markings I was told to look for (and a piece of duct tape holding the neck pickup in place, since the pickguard is missing a piece). All the electrics work fine. $350 clams, and I was gone like lightning.

    It plays like butter! But the best part...

    My luthier says it definitely doesn't need a refret - just a fret dressing! Hooray! (He also offered me $600 on the spot for it.)

    The finish is better than I first thought - it's going to stay Azureglo. About $100 for a setup, and I'll be cooking with gas.

    Did I mention it plays like butter?
    (Insert more maniacal laughter)

    Now, a good cleaning is in order. I think someone barfed on it, looking at the spooge I found under the edges of the pickguard and in the pickup cavity. At least it doesn't smell bad, so he must have been drinking grain alcohol.

    Hey - did I mention it plays like butter?

    Thanks, everyone, for the moral support!
     
  15. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    Congrats ... sounds like a keeper.

    And ... did they have any more worthwhile basses at the store in question?
     
  16. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Congratulations man. RICS are just the best. Check out the discussion here under Rickenbacker about wiring around the third capacitor to obtain full output of your neck pickup.

    24 hours from now I will be holding a brand new 2001 4003 in Turquoise.
     
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Herr Grieves -

    No, nothing else worthwhile unless you like cheap Korean stuff. He had maybe a dozen guitars and basses total. He does have a cello, though...

    Something in particular you're looking for? I usually do the far West/NW store crawl weekly.

    Max -

    Yeah, I caught the cap mod both here and on the Ric forum. The soldering iron will come out tomorrow. A new Ric 4003 - you lucky dog!

    I'll try to put up pics here in the next day or so to show the condition of this as yet unnamed foster child.
     
  18. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    welcome in the rickenbacker family, man. could you post pics of the new baby?
     
  19. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  20. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Great deal. Enjoy. If I were you... no way I would even consider refinishing it.