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RICK 4001

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gottawalk, Mar 23, 2006.


  1. Okay. I did my search and came up with a gazillion pages on the subject and I'm dizzy! So here's the question.
    What are the defining traits of a 4001 compared to the other Ricks? (i.e. 4003's etc...) I'm pretty sure mine's one, but not positive. (Feb. 1976 build date.)

    Please help and then I'll get rid of the thread so it doesn't cause any concern that it's too repetitive a subject.;)
     
  2. 4001Guy

    4001Guy

    Mar 23, 2006
    i've only ever played my 4001, so i would be curious to hear some replies too.
     
  3. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    If it was made in 76 it's a 4001, the 4003 was introduced in the early 80's.

    The 4001 has an odd trussrod design intended for use with the low tension Maxima flatwounds Rickenbacker used back then. The trussrods work very differently from a standard Gibson/Fender style trussrod. The old Rick design is made up of two flat rods one on top of the other. The rods are welded together at the body end and at the nut end, the bottom rod has a threaded rod welded to it. The nut end of the top rod is beveled. Keep in mind that Ricks feature two of these trussrods, side by side. A rectangular washer is fit over the threaded part of both trussrods and a nut on each rod presses on the washer. The washer presses against the upper rod of each trussrod. When you tighten the nuts on the trussrods, the washer pushes on the upper rod of each trussrod pushing the body end of the trussrods downward making the trussrods arch backward. The rods sit in channels in the neck, just behind the fingerboard, and when they arch back they push the neck with them, v'walla, a working, if not eccentric, trussrod system. The only problem with this system is that it was designed for low tension strings. The rods are made of a light alloy that's not very strong compared to modern steel trussrods. They also are designed to hold the neck in place rather than move it as normal rods do. Basicaly you pull back on the neck and tighten the rods down to hold it in place. There can be problems with higher tension strings with the old style trussrods. Since the Metal used is softer the adjustment end of the rods can bend down. Also since the rods are directly behind the fingerboard excesive tightening can place excess stress on the back of the board some times causing it to pop off. If the rods are adjust properly though there should be no problem within reason.

    The 4003 incorperates two modern trussrods that sit in curved chanels in the neck. The rods can be adjusted in the normal manner and regular strings can be used without worry. However, because the new trussrods are a bit bulkier the neck was made thicker.

    Also 4001's have a capacitor in the treble pickup circuit that bleeds off the lowend on that pickup. It also reduces the output of that pickup. Most people remove this cap' so when Rick designed the 4003 they left it out. The pourpose of the cap was for use with the Rick-O-Sound "stereo" jack, to create a greater tonnal difference between the pickups to aid the pseudo-stereo seperation of the bass and treble of the bass. With Rick-O-Sound you can send to output of each pickup to a different amp.

    Other than that there really isn';t much difference between the 4001 and the 4003.

    I'm sure others have posted while I typed so I hope this still helps :)

    ~Paul :)
     
  4. bass_drum

    bass_drum

    Feb 13, 2005
    Alberta,Canada

    WOW...I thought that was the normal trussrod! My old warwick has a truss rod like that!
     
  5. ...if they did, they've got nothin' on your post so far.

    Wow! Thanks for all the info. Now I'm a little worried about the different strings I've put on during the years. Maybe I'll stick to "super slinkys"! LOL!
    I've still got the "Rick-O-Sound" cable, too! Never did use it much, but it's good to keep the original equipment together for future use! Thanks again for the post!:D
     
  6. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    Gald I could help :D

    Don't worry too much about the string thing. Tons of old Ricks have lived their lives with the likes of Rotosounds on 'em (putting Roto's on your Rick back in the 70's would void the warantee). Just take a look at your trussrod nuts, if they are still high enough for you to fit a wrench over, then they should be OK. The fretboard popping thing is really rare so again, don't worry too much. Rickenbacker brand strings are pretty good, and they are fiarly low tension. They're nickle and have a nice nickle sound. Rick them selves actually recomend their strings for 4001's.

    ~Paul :)
     
  7. Good thing I bought it the early '80's! (Used) The Roto's sounded pretty good on it, though. Quick 'nother question for you, since you sound somewhat knowlegable about Ricks;
    Did they make an "off"-white, or is mine just yellowing with age? It seems to be an off white, now, but I thought it was lighter when I first got it. (Been a few years; can't remember now.) thanks again.
     
  8. paul n

    paul n

    May 6, 2005
    Arden, NC
    It's probably yellowing. Lucky! :D

    I love the look of old aged finnishes :bassist:

    I know my former Maple Glow 4001 had a much more "golden" look to it that my brand new Maple Glow 4003. It's funny, Rick's new color of the year (Amber Fire Glow) is meant to replicate the look of an aged Fire Glow finnish.

    ~Paul :)
     

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