I found a 1974 4001 in a store nearby. It's a maple-glo (is that the Ric term for natural finish?) with a white pick guard. It needs work. Maybe a lot. If you dig in at all, the pickups start fuzzing. (If I play NIB it sounds amazing.) If I touch the jack at all, it crackles like mad. I'm not so much worried about the jack as I am about the pups. The body is absolutely beat. Tons of nicks, scratches, wear, etc. But it carries with it quite a bit of character. I'm hoping it was well-loved and not neglected. Everything looks stock. The bridge is pitted but still shiny - not rusted or busted in anyway as far as I can tell. So why am I interested? It plays like a dream. I have never held a bass that felt so comfortable when I played it. And if I lay back a bit on my playing I can hear that great Ric tone. But I've got a complicated situation. The tag on it is about $1,100 (which, from what I've read here seems a bit high.) I'd have to trade my Variax toward it, which would leave me with only the Ric - which I almost consider a project bass. It just plays so unbelievably well. Talk to me. Am I looking at a hidden gem here? What kind of work do you think I'm looking at? Would I be killing its soul if I just ordered some Ric pups and had them dropped in? How available would a replacement bridge be? Would it be dumb to have all this work done to it? I played a new 4003 today just to compare, and it was a totally different animal. What do you think?