NBD - Rickenbacker 4001 (with a couple of questions...)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gregouille23, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. Hey there,

    I recently acquired via trade a lovely '77 BurgundyGlo Rick 4001 from its first owner. I was not planning for a trade at all but after trying the bass I had to have it :) The neck is amazing, much thinner and so much more comfortable than my 4003SW I had a couple of years ago. It came adjusted quite nicely with low action. The strings are Chromes according to me and they fit the bass very nicely: the thump from the neck pup is there and the bridge pup is a bit less trebly than on my previous Rick, which gives me more versatility tone wise: I can get some Rick bite but also some more mellowness.
    All is good then, very happy here!! :hyper:

    Now the questions... As you may see from the picture, the bass has been played quite a bit and there was even a thumb rest added by the previous owner... So I have been considering a refinish. My favorite Rick colors are Autumnglo, Montezuma Brown and Sea Green. Would anyone happen to know someone who could do this kind of work in Europe? I am based in Belgium.

    Also the strap pins... They are the old model like the mute screws and I don't really have full confidence not using straplocks... Silly question: can I just unscrew them from the bass? Would Schaller straplocks be direct drop in replacement?

    Time for some pictures :D

    20211117_164718.jpg 20211117_164758.jpg 20211117_164750.jpg
  2. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Can’t help on the refinish, but the strap buttons do unscrew.
  3. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    Don't do it! Leave That Thing Alone (as the title of the Rush song goes)!

    Don't ask me why I'm saying that, but I'll tell you anyway. Among all the other risks of doing a "refin", the very worst is the nearly total destruction of the value of the instrument. You lose almost all of your investment in it, as well as the loss incurred by the cost of doing the refinish itself.

    Especially on a collector's item like a 70's 4001 - don't even think of going near that thing with so much as a piece of sandpaper. :)

    If you don't like the color, definitely consider selling that instrument - which should be easy and command a high resale value as-is - and getting another one (if you can find one) in the color you like.

    As for the existing strap pins, yes, the lower part of them is just wood screws and they screw into regular old holes. So, they're easy to replace with better strap locs.

    I gigged a 70's 4001 with the Rick strap pins for a number of years and they were adequate. But yes true strap locs would be more secure; should be easy to install them, tho....

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  4. Thanks for chiming in! I actually like the color a lot! Maybe I am just triggered by these 2 thumb rest holes in the body
  5. Took a couple more pictures in the sun, yes it sometimes happen even in Belgium... :bag:

    20211118_124257.jpg 20211118_124303.jpg 20211118_124312.jpg
  6. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Put another thumb rest on it and play it.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yes, you can swap for your favorite strap locks.

    I'm usually a huge proponent of "It's yours so you can do whatever you want." That said, your bass looks ridiculously good as is. If the holes bother you, perhaps you could find a great luthier to fill them and buff the rectangle. That's a great looking instrument.
    Glenn Mac, Kenny235, mcnach and 19 others like this.
  8. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    Yeah, my 4001 had screw holes in it too, though not in exactly that place. Don't try to repair them yourself, BTW. The result will just be more unsightly than the original holes... Don't ask me why I know that either.

  9. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    New England
    That is a great looking bass! The holes don’t bother me, but then again I’m generally a Fender guy and pretty much every old Fender has about seven extra screw holes in it from the factory (thumb rest, covers, etc.)
  10. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Personally I would not refinish. BurgandyGlo is a fairly rare finish, and the bass otherwise looks to be in excellent condition.
  11. Thank you guys so much for the replies and the kind comments, much appreciated! Actually, I love the color and the fact it's been played a lot and has some marks to show for, so in the end I think a refinish would not make much sense. Maybe one day, but for now I'll just play that lovely Rick :bassist:

    Plus it's a bass from the 70s, how cool is that :roflmao::cool:
  12. MarkM13


    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Just fill the holes with two old chrome screws. If you want to to be less visible use anodized red screws.
  13. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The mute screws used as straplock screws are machine thread, not wood screw thread, so its not really a drop in for Schaller strap lock screws. Depending on what screw comes with the straplocks, you may have to add a toothpick to get them tight. The Schaller screws are usually too short to get a good bite, i replace them with 1-1/2" long stainless screws, or chrome if you can find them. I wouldnt refin that, great color, and pretty rare. Consider having a Pro refinisher just do a light restoration with some drop fill on the chips and screw holes, a good refinisher can make repairs like that almost invisible.
  14. Gustopher


    Jul 30, 2018
    Beautiful. One day.. one day...
  15. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd keep it as is as well. My first Ric (which I bought used) was a 70's 4001 Burgundyglo as well, although it was a bit darker than yours.

    Your bass has a tremendous amount of character. If it was beat to hell I'd also consider a refin, but yours is not.:)
  16. OllyW


    Oct 10, 2017
    Stourbridge, UK
    I think the new Schaller strap pins used by Rickenbacker also have the same machine thread and are a straight replacement for the old mute screws.

    Kenny235, BlueTalon, woodyng2 and 6 others like this.
  17. +1. I had a 1968 4001s Burgundy Glo with checkerboard binding and it was darker.

    That is a beautiful bass you have there. I wouldn’t change a thing. Those two little screw holes wouldn’t bother me a bit.
  18. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I love the later 4001 basses , that’s a beauty ! Congratulations . I wouldn’t change a thing .
  19. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    I understand that the holes from a thumb rest bother you - they would bother me too. However, that bass and its finish are in excellent condition for the vintage. I personally would leave it alone. Unless...

    As others have mentioned, a refinish will decrease the value, if you ever sell it. The operative word here being "if". If you plan to keep it/never sell, and you like another color better, then maybe I would consider it. But that is me.

    Either way, congrats!
  20. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    Beautiful. Don't change it. It loves itself.