NBD - Rickenbacker 4001

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LowDownSirius, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. LowDownSirius

    LowDownSirius Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    Baltimore Maryland
    We all hope for that 40yo kept-in-a-closet find. Well, I recently acquired a 1982 Rickenbacker 4001 bass from a neighbor for $300 who hadn't played it in 20+ years. The problem is before it went into the closet it was rode hard and put up wet. My neighbor said he bought it from a pawn shop in the 90's and that whoever played it previously "..had a h#!! of a lot of fun with it. It's a mess".

    There is a fair amount of buckle rash on the back and a fair amount of finish checking everywhere else. The pickup bezels and tail piece were mostly rust free and they polished up nicely, only the pickguard screws had any rust and I replaced them. The keywind screws are out of true but so far this is only a problem when tuning down, they work when tuning up and stay in tune. The action was a bit high, the nut slots were low and the first five frets had a lot of wear on the two low strings. The truss rod nuts turn and I flattened the neck a tiny bit before I got fret buzz. The foam mute was solid as a rock. One pot was a tiny bit scratchy but a little Deoxit took care of it.

    I ditched the pickup cover and replaced the rusted strings with some roundwounds and I like the sound with a pick and fingers. The pickups sound good, they definitely have that Ricky sound. Their output is lower when compared to my 4003 which is to be expected.

    I contacted a local repair guy about doing a partial refret and he did a good job. He also replaced the nut and got the action a little lower considering what he described as "…a bit of a ski slope at the end of the neck, something that is common for a neck that old.".

    I was thinking of refinishing it, I've been G.A.S.ing for a Seafoam green Ric for a while but I want to find a balance of making it play to my liking and keep the mojo of an old bass so I will hold off for now.

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    mr zee, EagleMoon, mikeswals and 5 others like this.
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Very nice. Congrats.
  3. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I love those later 4001 basses , does it still have the .0047 cap on the bridge pickup ?
  4. You should reach out to Dane Wilder (aceonbass) and have him make you a new wiring harness for it. You won't regret it.

  5. Bullitt5135

    Bullitt5135 Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    Nice score. Good call on waiting on the refinish. Make sure it's truly a keeper before you spend that kind of dough on paint.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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