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 Gold Supporting Member 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


    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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