Rickenbacker finish question...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fat jonny, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. fat jonny

    fat jonny Guest

    Jul 8, 2000
    Columbus Ohio
    I saw a few ads for rickenbacker basses that have white finish on the front and natural finish on the back. At first i thought that someone had just painted the fronts white and left the back natural but after seeing a couple of ads i started wondering if Rickenbacker made them this way. did rickenbacker make a 4001 with white fronts and natural backs or was it refininshed by someone else? Thanks!
  2. JJR

    JJR Guest

    Jan 7, 2001
    I don't know if the factory ever produced them that way (I don't think they did but what do I know), but I have seen quite a few "refinished" that way. It's more a case of removing (all but the face) the finish from a white bass rather than painting the face of a natural bass white.

    The story I heard was that RIC went through a couple of "bad paint" years in the early 70's (white in particular). These instruments were very susceptible to buckle and other kinds of finish wear and started to look torn up pretty quickly. Removing the finish was a much cheaper and easier fix than repainting the guitar. However, as solid color basses usually have poor quality wood grain under the finish (they save the best pieces of wood for the natural finishes) It was wise to leave the front of the instrument it's original color. I once had a '73 Jetglo 4001 that had a natural back & sides. Ugly in a cool sort of way.

    It may have just been a semi-popular fashion statement and the explanation I was given was all BS, but it seems to make sense.