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Pickguard replacement for early 80’s 4003 Rickenbacker

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Coltynp, Apr 14, 2019 at 1:53 PM.

  1. Coltynp


    Aug 28, 2017
    Ive got an early 80’s 4003 Rickenbacker, somewhere between 81-83 can’t remember exactly what year, and it has a 1 piece style pickguard. I’m looking to switch it up to a black or tortoise shell but I’m having troubles finding a match. Most pickguards I find either say fits 90’s and later 4003 Rickenbacker or fits 70’s 4001 and not 4003 models. So that brings me here, does anyone happen to know which pickguard would most likely be a direct replacement for mine.
  2. basmansam


    Feb 11, 2005
    Reach out to Pickguardian, they're awesome!!
  3. If it has a one piece pickguard it's either a 4001 or a little later 4003. From 1980 to mid 1984 they used two piece pickguards for 4003's, 4001's were still offered and had 1 piece pickguards, also it would say either 4001 or 4003 on the bottom of the truss rod cover if it's pre 1985. The year and month letters are located on the metal jack where you plug the cord into your bass. Those early 4003's adjusted at the body end of the neck which is why they had two piece pickguards.

    I don't know the year of the mapleglo, the jetglo is a 1981.

    upload_2019-4-14_14-29-42. upload_2019-4-14_14-31-4.
    Gizmot likes this.
  4. Coltynp


    Aug 28, 2017

    Pickguardian said the exact same thing but I just doubled checked it and it’s a 1981 4003 model, it is adjusted at the body end of the neck but it does not have a 2 piece pickgaurd, my guess at this point would be that early 4003 models still had 1 piece pickguards.
  5. Possible but I bet someone replaced it with a 4001 pickguard, does it have the extra holes for the screws? if not very strange to me. Please let me know if you can though, I would like to know.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019 at 3:27 PM
    Picton likes this.
  6. Coltynp


    Aug 28, 2017

    Nope no extra holes, it’s the original pickguard on it, if you look up 1981 4003 Rickenbackers you’ll notice that some of them have 1 piece pickguards yet everyone says they should have 2 piece guards.
  7. Thank you, you learn something new every day:laugh:.
  8. waynobass


    Feb 27, 2008
    I don't; I already know it all.
    MattZilla, TheReceder and bobyoung53 like this.
  9. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Might be worth providing a tracing of the original pickguard. Of the two places I know personally who produce repro Rickenbacker pickguards they have a fair few templates on file to cover all the changes.

    In making my own 4003 pickguard (a mashup of modern and '70s features), the screw placement, control layout and general surface area of these pickguards has all changed over time.
  10. Have you owned it since new?
    Otherwise pretty sure it has a replacement pg.
  11. If there are no extra holes where the two sections would meet, I don't see how it could have had a two piece before although I have never heard of this before.
    Axstar likes this.
  12. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    My 4003 is from June 2009. In theory it should have a two-piece neck as Rickenbacker had shifted over to these by mid 2009. I guess mine was made from an earlier central section, as it has a chunky one-piece neck.

    My guess is that the Ricky timeline is always a wee bit fuzzy. Models seem to have been produced after they ducked out the catalog. The 4001S was practically a ghost model a lot of the time.
  13. I know it was definitely like that back in the day but i thought that nowadays they were all stamped out like machines:laugh:, good to know they're still a little unique. It's funny because just today I was up on Reverb comparing all the old 4001's and one 75 had half inch spacing for the neck pickup and a 75 had 1" spacing, one 73 had a toaster and another 73 had a high gain, that was a really cool thing about the old Rics, guess it still carries on. I had my share of early 70's 4001's and they were all a little unique.
  14. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    WD MUSIC can help you also.
    MattZilla likes this.
  15. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    TheReceder likes this.
  16. Giffro


    Apr 29, 2017
    South Australia
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 5:15 AM
  17. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Can we at least see a picture of this unusual Ric?
    bobyoung53 and Gluvhand like this.
  18. We'll see when / if we ever see any pictures.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  19. Yes, very strange and never mentioned in any Rickenbacker book or the Rickenbacker forum of which I've been a member for about 15 years.

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