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Rickenbacker copies

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nil, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Now we (most of us I guess) all know that Ibanez made a number of fine-sounding Rickenbacker 4001 copies...Greco made a bunch as well...Diplomat (who were Ibanez) too, who else?

    The reason i'm asking is that i've just picked up a 'Boss' copy of a 4001 (hasn't arrived yet, boo hoo!). Would be interesting if it is indeed a Boss/Roland (in that case it'll be an Ibanez also). Triangle inlays, unbound red body, black hardware. The picture I was supplied is pretty shocking, knowing my luck i've just bought a kid's clay sculpture cleverly marketted!

    Weird thing is that this seems to run humbuckers in both positions, with mini switches that (appear to) select either single or humbucking for each p/u.

    Anyone heard of copies other than the usual suspects, or even websites/info on the various copies?
  2. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I had a Stagg'n'Backer once that was a grade-A genuine piece of crap.

    I doubt the "Boss" in question refers to Roland. I may be wrong, but i don;t think Roland ever produced basses or guitars under the "Boss" label.

    Sounds like a knock-off of a knock-off of something that never was? ;) :p
  3. That's what i'm afraid of, but it was cheap enough ($250) to take the plunge. Mind you I have seen some odd stuff over the years that *shouldn't* be - like my Roland AP2 phaser that's totally original but totally the wrong color (compared to all others).

    Most Ibanez copies i've played were as good if not better than the real deal...only nasty was a Diplomat with more neck bow than a bowed thing on St Bows day.

    Heh heh, the 'Boss' is probably just an old Boss sticker the previous owner stuck over where gum removal peeled some of the paint off!
  4. Can I see pictures of these imitations?
  5. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Back in the mid/late '70s Electra, Hondo and Univox (IIRC) offered 4001 copies too.

    When I got my first bass in 1974, I wanted a Ric in the worst way. My dad's friend (a guitarist) told him that I should get a Fender...and so that was the end of it (even though I was paying). Never did get a Ric.
  6. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    Greco also made some copies.
  7. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    I picked up a '76 Ibanez on eBay a little over a year ago for a song (okay, a song AND a dance. But it was still cheap).

    I then proceeded to clean it up (some parts were REALLY crapped out, pickups were painted with black spray paint without being removed from the instrument, a thumbrest was installed, that sort of thing) and replaced both pickups with real Ric p/ups, replaced the pots and got some Ric knobs to replace the Radio Shack cheapies. Finally, to top it all off, I replaced the Ibanez logo on the headstock with a "RickenFaker" logo (reminiscent of the Ric logo).

    It's a real sweetheart - plays really well, and I'm able to get a pretty authentic-sounding 70's prog tone out of it with the right settings on my gear. My next project will be to install a stereo jack with switch, which will allow me to go back and forth between standard mono output and "Fake-O-Sound."

    It's in this gear photo from my studio, and I'm playing it in the picture at the bottom of this bio page.
  8. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Don't know if anyone would know this, but here goes.

    I have one of the Ibanez fakes, however it's been utterly bereft of hardware. I've got a set of Bart Ric pickups, and I figure I can hack out a serviceable pickguard. The only problem is the bridge; it looks like the bass was made for a bridge that sat in the body a little, vs just being bolted to the body. Does a real Ric have this? If I knew it'd fit, I'd get a Ric replacement bridge. A normal bridge doesn't work because of the bridge routing, it won't fit in it but is too small to cover it.
  9. Hey man. I was interested in that auction, but $250 seemed a bit much imo.

    Anyway, here are some pictures of the bass that the seller sent me during the auction:




    Looks pretty heavily er.. 'modified' to me. As others have suggested, the 'Boss' sticker is unlikely to be original.

    Will be interested to read a review when it arrives.
  10. $250 a bit much? Sheesh, the (Ibanez at least) copies play and sound as good if not better than the real deal, and are still relatively expensive down here. Last one I saw was in Sydney, $995AUD...I know of another that's in a refinished state that may be for sale, but I think they want around $500 for it. Still cheap IMO, esp. since the real McCoy will sting you around $3k NZD now (if you can find one).

    The seller never sent me those pix during the auction (I had asked), so it was "take the plunge". They've sent me those pix since (haven't received it yet), one shows it's neck-through, the heel looks smooooove like a real Ric.

    Bridge pickup surround is missing (obviously), but the shape of it is not the shape of an Ibanez copy (from what I can ascertain). Dunno if the neck pickup is missing or not, the pictures don't help...I was planning on slapping a jazz p/u in the bridge anyway (dunno about that humfcker in there!).

    From what I can see though, it looks more like a real Ric than a fake, albiet modified. Sellers in the South Island need to get on the game a bit more, last score from down south (a few years ago now) was a 60's Burns Vista-Sonic bass for $350, purely 'cause the auction details were lacking and the photo was useless!

    I'll post up something when it arrives and I can get some info on it.
  11. An addendum, I found this review of an Ibanez lawsuit copy on good ol' Harmony Central:

    Early seventies, japanese Ibanez model 2388B, Rickenbacker 4001 (I think) clone.Two tone, two volume controls. The neck pu is original Ibanez, the bridge pu was replaced for a diMarzio humbucker by the previous owner. two mini switches are put in the body, for reversing the phase and coil-splitting of the humbucker.
    Rosewood neck, nice mother-of-pearl triangular position markers.
    Firemist (cherry sunburst) finish. The bridge has a adjsutable rubber mute strip.

    Well, don't that sound just like the bass in question? :meh: ;)
  12. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The Boss part just looks like a sticker that someone added to the pickguard.

    I doubt that the Boss bass is a real Ric since 4001s have dual truss rods and this bass has just one.
  13. This Ibanez ric copy sold for NZ$399 on trademe a couple of weeks ago:


    And no.. the seller wasn't from the south island :eyebrow:
  14. Nice, dunno how I missed that one, i'm usually on the ball! :D

    And BillyB, 4001's only have a single truss rod, 'cause they were originally designed for lower-tension flatwound strings. The 4003 had two rods to handle roundwound strings. Later 4001's might've had 2 rods installed, dunno about that though.
  15. My 1978 4001 had dual truss rods. I'll let someone more in the know finish this off, but I believe they all did.

  16. 69Vette


    Sep 21, 2004
    Burbank, CA

    Here's my Aria. I picked it up around 10 years ago. It's a bolt neck but sounds more authentic than a neck thru Greco I had that cost over twice what the Aria did. I sold the Greco and got a mint 2002 4003. Heh, I pretty much hate it. Well, not hate, but the neck feels like a baseball bat and not in a good way. Next up I think I'll sell the real one and get either a 4001 or a Rickenfaker 4001S. That would be cool! (Greco and Fernandez both made them.)

  17. Nah, originally they didn't - running roundwounds would place a bit too much strain on the neck, although quite a few 4001's survived that. So obviously they did move to a dual-rod arrangement sometime in the 4001's life.

    No apparent serial # info on the jackplate, so (boo hoo) she won't be a real Ric. That's OK, my others would get jealous if it was!

    All the copies i've seen pix of seem to have the skunk stripe through the headstock, whereas this beastie i'm getting doesn't - and the natural finish on the headstock -vs- the red *unbound* finish on the body is confusing me even more.

    Aaaarrrrggghhh!! I want it here so I can answer my own questions! :p
  18. The photos are pretty bad, but the headstock may be painted gold...

    All copies I have seen do have a truss rod cavity covers (skunk stripes) and I assume this bass originally had one. However, there are no screw holes visible from where the cover has been removed.

    This fact, plus the possible gold colour on the headstock, leads me to guess the bass has been 'refinished' at some stage. It's pretty hard to imagine a gold headstock, reddish body and no truss rod cavity cover would be stock. But you never know :D .
  19. Yeah, I reckon you're probably right on that.

    Although there are instruments out there that no-one seems to know anything about...I have a (factory) fretless Fender Mustang bass - can't find any info anywhere about it (definitely not a refinish job)...also a Ric 4008 Redneck - even Rickenbacker don't have any info on it, other than that Tom Petty owned one.

    I always seem to attract the oddball stuff! Wanna buy a (reissue) Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite bass by any chance?
  20. Ha ha... I'd noticed you trying to sell that...

    However, I'm saving my pennies at the moment for a Conklin Gt-7 :D and/or keeping an eye out for super-cheap project basses (hence my inital interest in the ricken-iban-franken-copy-backer).

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