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Old Rickenbacker for 900$ is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MadPink, Apr 9, 2002.


  1. I found this old rickenbacker for 900$ in this small music shop, I haven't had the chance to play it yet....but it looks like it might need new pick ups. Would it be worth buying??
     
  2. hmmmm, well it looks like its from the 70's or something....pretty old....but im pretty sure its going to need new pick ups.
     
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I think 4003 production started in '82 or '83. Does it have a one piece or two piece pickguard? And what leads you to think it needs new pickups?

    C$900 is what - about US$650? About in line for a used 4003...
     
  4. it looks like a part of the pick up is missing...and im not to sure about the pickguard...maybe a 1 piece?
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    OK, I don't have the exact dates, but I think that would be post-1985 (someone will correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure!). What part looks as if it's missing? Is it the area surrounding the bridge pickup? If yes, it's probably normal - people take off the bridge pickup cover all the time. It's a $10 part.
     
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Does it actually say "4003" on the Ric nameplate?
     
  7. I'd say go for it.
    It's a Ric, you really can't go wrong. If it needs new pups, you could probably get them direct from Rickenbacher. I'd jump at the chance to get an old Ric.
     
  8. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    My opinion as a long-time Rickenbacker user :

    - if it is from the 70's, it CANNOT be a 4003 (their production started in 1981)
    - the serial number is on the jackplate. There are two letters or two digits on the stereo output side, these are the most important to determine the exact year and month of making.
    - $ 900 is the price of a Rick bass (either 4001 or 4003) in EXC+ or NEAR MINT condition. Such a bass with a pickup to be replaced, or in average / poor condition, comes down to $ 600/650.

    All the best,
     
  9. I believe jaylanb is speaking in american dollars there.

    At my favourite local bass emporium, there was a very nicely trashed 4001 in the back, that I found in a pile of basses, without cases, that are completely beat to hell.

    It was missing TONS of paint, all the chrome was tarnished, the frets were... average, it played decently well, and there was a piece of very light guage speaker wire running from one of the screws on the jackplate, wrapped around the G string at the tailpiece, I guess the internal ground wire is screwed... lol

    I didn't plug it in, I was too busy staring at the JetGlo 4003/S8 that was hidden in the back of the workshop... *boooooing!*

    Anyway, the asking price for this beat up ol' 4001? $800 CDN.

    jaylanb is correct - 4003 production started in 1981.

    As for the two piece pickguard, that was a short period period, that started with the first 4003, and ended in 1985, although some late '84 basses may be a one piece pickguard. Any 4003 with a two piece pickguard has the truss rod adjustment at the body, while any one piece pickguard 4003 has it under the Rickenbacker nameplate on the headstock.

    If it does indeed need new pickups, it's going to be expensive... The Music Connection lists them for $75US for the neck pickup, $125US for the bridge pickup...

    Go check it out, plug it in, figure out this pickup thing. Most stores don't know jack about Rickenbackers, so if the pickups are dead perhaps you can talk them down.

    Otherwise, just wait for another one...

    Good luck!

    --jeff
     
  10. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    You're right, I was speaking in USD. I had not noticed that MadPink is a Canadian resident.

    Though, my experience with 3 distinct Ricks over 25 years makes me believe one'd better try to find a 4001 instead of a 4003. Regarding to the bad experience I had some weeks ago, the "reinforced" neck seems a bit deceptive to me...

    All the best,
     
  11. it looks extremely aged, im not sure if its a 4003 or not. The bridge pickup is the one that looks like it needs to be replaced. What makes me think its really old is the amount of yellowing and wear on it. I'll probably go back soon and get more info. Ill post what the lady tells me.
     
  12. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    MadPink,

    Should you have a way to take a pic of this bass and post it here, I'd be glad (and probably some other guys would be too) to help you.

    All the best,
     
  13. The rickenbacker was made in the 70's...so its probably not a 4003. I played it today, and let me tell you, it sounded nice. I fell in love with it. I just need to get enough cash for it now. The only thing thats been replaced on it is one machine head. Also I think it needs a new master volume knob.
     
  14. so, I ask again now that there's more information....is it worth 900$
     
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Canadian? Everything works, right? And the neck isn't bowed or twisted?

    I say it is worth $900 Canadian, easily. But see if you can talk them down another $50 or so.
     
  16. yeah, seem to play beautifully to me. I dont think i can talk them down...it was already at 1140$ but no one showed any interest, so they lowered it to 900$. I also found out that the guitar doesn't belong to the store, they're just selling it for someone.
     
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'd go for it!

    A knob set is about US$15, and a full set of Rickenbacker tuners is around US$60 - but I'm sure you can find a single used original for less if you look.

    There's nothing like a Ric 4001 - I love mine to pieces.
     
  18. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    I agree with Embellisher : if the price is in Canadian dollars, go for it. Otherwise, talk down for USD 600/700.

    All the best,