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New Bass and a Sort of Return

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CreepyJack, May 3, 2015.


  1. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    It's been a long time since I posted here (not that I posted much to begin with; I'm trying to learn), and almost as long since I picked up my bass or any of my guitars. Life, y'know?

    Anyway, I finally got something that I've wanted for a long time. I finally bought myself a Rickenbacker 4003 in Midnight Blue. It's an '02 model, so no vintage tone circuit, but I'll add that a little later on.

    There's a catch, though. I bought what is basically a husk. I bought the neck/body from a parts dealer on eBay. I'm a machinist/welder by trade, have some experience with electronics, have dabbled with lutherie, and am not afraid to tinker with anything that can be tinkered with, so I'm really looking forward to this project.

    ef35e7660b37673aeddb86dae0931141_zpsbj2xqpmt.

    This thing is in WAY better shape than I thought it would be in.

    Anyway, I found the correct Schaller tuning machines and stock tailpiece/bridge on eBay, bought them, installed them, loosened the truss rods, strung it up, and put it in tune. Success!! Very little buzz. I spent the last couple of days noodling around on it, and I like it very much. The action is still pretty high, so I lowered the bridge a little, and I got a bit of buzz from about the 18th or 19th fret of the E and G strings. I tightened the truss rods a little beyond snug, which helped some. It doesn't look like the bass was ever set up properly beyond a simple truss adjustment, so I'll be filing the nut soon.

    9e51a6d063e35aab9a011899d60686ac_zpsy1nxj3mk.

    First, though, I'll install the electronics and pickguard I'm waiting on, bought from eBay.

    I'm super happy with all of this as it is at the moment, just because I've wanted a Rickenbacker for so long. It's a lot different than my Epi Thunderbird, which isn't a bad thing. They're just completely different animals.

    I suppose I need to start taking lessons again. I know that Carol Kaye lives near me and teaches, but I also know that she doesn't take what are essentially beginners as students.

    If you've made it this far, thanks for reading.
     
  2. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    love the color (i used to have a blue one, too), and don't they feel great to play?

    what's the next step?
     
    organworthyplayer337 likes this.
  3. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Thanks for the reply!! The next step is the pickguard and electronics. After that, I'll perfect the set up, and then I'll learn to play the darned thing better.

    The other colors just aren't me, though I like the walnut ones a lot. It feels amazing!! I love the access to the upper frets, which was always an issue with my Thunderbird.
     
  4. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Update!! It's done now, and it RULES!! Ricken-effing-backer!! Well, it rules as much as any proper bass in my incapable hands being played through my little Orange Crush 50w SS amp possibly can...

    d7d2eae655f7e90cfae25d68e754135c_zpsomlj5ip7.

    I guess this is such a big deal to me because it's the first time I've ever owned an instrument that wasn't it's own less expensive copy: it's not an Epiphone, it's not a Squier. (Please understand that I have absolutely NOTHING against either of the brands mentioned; I currently own two Epis, and I wouldn't part with either of them for anything.) Its kind of like always really wanting a Harley, but only being able to afford a moped, and then finally getting the bike of your dreams. I guess I should get a case for this thing.

    So, next projects:

    0d23cd4400113374a0162203b220f945_zpsrbguienc.

    That's a Bulldog SG Kit I bought back in 2010, I think. Needs quite a bit of work, and I'm kind of figuring it out as I go along. All I know for sure at this point is that it needs more than the zero degrees of neck angle that it currently has. As it sits, the action is sky high because the bridge *has* to be that high, or it buzzes like a frickin' bee hive. Yeesh.

    Then there's this:

    28117effafc6bc779aac540afde0cb20_zpspx4sapbz.

    Which just happens to be a Ceriatone Plexi Super Bass clone. I still need irons for it, as well as a head cab and a speaker cab. Anyway, I guess I'll update bit by bit, as I can. Thanks for looking!!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Good job. Very cool!
     
  6. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Thanks!!
     
  7. AnalogKid4003

    AnalogKid4003

    Jul 8, 2012
    image.
     
  8. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    And thank YOU sir or ma'am. :)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  9. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Added the vintage tone cap and push-pull pot today. Sounds great!! No pics, though. Sorry.

    I'm thinking about a Hipshot bridge. This one rattles a little.
     
  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Nice work. Plus, it's your own creation mostly. You've got some organic cred now. Congrats!
     
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Midnight blue, yummm...... let me think, I don't believe I've misplaced mine.... ;)
     
  12. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    That's one hell of a bass!
    Looks great in Midnight Blue.
     
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Nothing wrong with figuring things out as you go! :thumbsup:
     
  14. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Thanks guys!! A set of nut files found its way into my mailbox yesterday, so now I get to bring the action down just a hair.
     
  15. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Oh, and as always, thanks for looking!! :)
     
  16. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Managed to get a Hipshot bridge for my both my Rickenbacker and my Epi T-bird. Massive improvement on the Epi, but the jury is still out on the Rickenbacker. I have to re-solder the ground; I'm getting a nasty, nasty buzz. What I can hear, though, does sound really good.
     
  17. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    A home run, jack. Great job on the Rick. Love it!
     
  18. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Thanks so much!! I've been working on some automotive projects for the past couple of weeks, so I haven't been able to play it as much as I'd like. Plus, I don't want to even touch it with my still-dirty-even-though-I-washed-them-ten-times hands.
     
  19. Enjoy the fruits of your labour, great job!
     
  20. CreepyJack

    CreepyJack

    Mar 11, 2011
    SCV, SoCal
    Thanks!! It's hardly labor, though. It's a whole bunch of fun for me. Getting into guitar and bass building and repair is giving me the same satisfaction as cars and motorcycles did when I was in my teens (when I wasn't playing god awful riffs with friends).
     

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