Inexperienced with caring for a Rickenbacker

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MrBKerth, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. MrBKerth

    MrBKerth The Gypsy Bravado

    Apr 20, 2013
    Hello all,
    recently I acquired an all original '77 Ric in Burgundy-Glo and it's awesome. It fits my bands style and I want to start using it as my main bass. However, I am concerned from stories of neck and finish problems from heat. We've been doing weekend road trips for shows and a lot of the time, gear does end up needing to be stored in a hot van in Texas heat.

    Is this more risky for my Rickenbacker than my modern Jazz Bass (hasn't had any issues yet)? I'd hate to end up with a neck twisted like a rotini noodle

    Also, does anyone know of aftermarket hardshell Ric cases? Preferably molded to hold a 4001
    BrentSimons likes this.
  2. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    I wouldn't bring a '77 Ric out on the road. In 20 years that thing will be worth enough to put a dent in your future kid's college tuition. If it is subjected to extreme heat, it won't be good. While very cool looking and great sounding, Ric's don't hold up well. You don't want to have to deal with neck issues with a 4001 when your on the road, either.
  3. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Having just hunted for a case for a clone Ric build, I can tell you nobody but Ric makes a fitted case for them, and they run $300 or so new, though of course cheaper used. Here's one for $165 used on Ebay:
    Rickenbacker 4000 Series Bass Hardshell Case #94011

    I ended up buying a Roadrunner case at GC after digging through a stack of them to find the best fit.

    The truss rods on the older basses are nothing like standard Fender style single action rods. DO NOT attempt to mess with them until you read through this article:
    Joey's Rickenbacker Bass Guitar Maintenance, Setup and Wiring Diagrams

    Any bass stored in a hot van is going to have problems, avoid that whenever possible. I think the older basses used a version of Nitro paint and clearcoat (@PaulBoyer jump in and set me straight here), which is pretty fragile and susceptible to damage by alcohol, sweat, or other solvents, like any nitro finish instrument. The old clearcoat tended to yellow over time. They use a UV catalyzed varnish now that stands up a little better, though it's still pretty thin. You bought it to play it, presumably, so don't baby it unless you just want to keep it under your bed as a Case Queen, or as a long term investment. Screw that, I say! If you haven't tried it already, fire up the Ric-O-Sound with a bi-amp setup, that's where these basses crush all comers.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  4. Hi there,
    Just as the other guys have noted, record with that bad boy maybe take it to a local gig but don't take it on tour. Too valuable especially if it's in good condition!
    Enjoy it!
  5. PaulBoyer

    PaulBoyer Commercial User

    Jan 27, 2012
    RIC has used a "conversion varnish" for decades and that's what's on your 4001. I don't think it is any more or less susceptible to temperature extremes than any other type of finish. The new UV-cured conversion varnish supposedly won't yellow but I don't think that heat is necessarily a factor with yellowing. When I was traveling with a Rick, I never let it sit out in a hot/cold car. Drastic and rapid changes in temperature may cause cracks in the finish, so treat 'er gently!
  6. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
  7. MrBKerth

    MrBKerth The Gypsy Bravado

    Apr 20, 2013
    2339420433415662142-account_id=5.jpg 20160904_143719.jpg
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    buy a Pelican case & cut the foam to fit

  9. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I would be bringing it breakfast in bed, the next morning...
  10. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Gorgeous! Congrats. :thumbsup:

    Cool. Looks like a snipers' guitar. Is that a tripod?
    Ductapeman and Killed_by_Death like this.
  11. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Not sure I've ever seen a 4001 in that color... Beautiful!
  12. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    My biggest worry would be theft you take your eyes off that beauty for a second and it's gone.
    Spidey2112, jj4001 and Sartori like this.
  13. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    Beautiful bass, I hope you play and enjoy the hell out of it. I don't think the neck or finish are more likely to be at risk from being left in a hot van than any other bass, but that doesn't mean you can't take precautions. For instance, you could get a good gig back that would allow you to carry it more easily, which might allow you to have it with you sometimes when it might otherwise be in the van.
    StrangerBasses and Korladis like this.
  14. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    The biggest issue is adjusting the truss rods. You can't just try to change the neck relief using only the truss rods. To adjust them, you loosen the truss rods all the way, manually bend the neck or straighten it to how you want it, and then tighten the truss rods again to hold it there.

    Once set, though, the old truss rods are very stable and often go years between adjustments.

    I would still recommend against storing any instrument in a hot car, though. Partly to avoid damage, but also to avoid theft. Bring it inside to wherever you're sleeping at night.

    How much do those go for?
    Tanner5382 likes this.
  15. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    around $200, but they're a great flight case with TSA locks


    I would post a link here, but the photos of many of their catalog items have weapons in them
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  16. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Don't leave home without it! ;)
    Anachronism and SirMjac28 like this.
  17. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    No match for a really determined crack head with sharp teeth. :)
  18. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    That's my usual audience. Guess I'll have to upgrade ;).
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    70s Rics are excellent gigging basses ... I used to gig a 1968 and a 1973 before I switched to 5 string only ... both held up very well ...
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  20. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    To a better audience or better defenses?
    Tanner5382, Sartori and NealBass like this.
  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.

    Jul 28, 2021

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