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Rickenbacker Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Sound of the Police, Apr 29, 2001.


  1. I have a question regarding Rickenbacker basses. I was wondering what the differences are betwen the 4001 and 4003 basses and which is more preffered. Thanks.

    The Sound of the Police
     
  2. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    The biggest difference is that the 4001 was initially designed for flatwound strings. The 4003 has dual truss rods to accomodate roundwound strings. You should read the "Rickenbacker" thread in this department, it is one of the longest and there is a lot of information in there.
     
  3. JJR

    JJR

    Jan 7, 2001
    Idaho
    Max is correct in that the 4003 was initially designed to accomodate round-wound strings, but I believe all the 4001's had dual truss rods as well (at least all of mine do). The 4003 just has a stronger truss rod system.

    More subtle improvements include larger & stronger frets, slightly higher gain pickups and (in the last few years anyway) a headstock that is canted back at a greater angle than the 4001 to add a bit more punch. The 4003's also seem to be a bit lighter and better balanced than the 4001 but I can offer no scientific proof of that. Probably just a change in the source of wood over the years or just my imagination. This has probably all been covered in the thread Max mentioned but I haven't been able to get through it all yet ;).

    I love both, but if I could only have one I prefer the 4003. It seems to be brighter, clearer and has a bit more punch than the 4001. The new setup (bigger frets and canted headstock) also seem to make the 3 more responsive when playing than the 1. The 4001 does, however, have a vintage mojo that can't be beat.

    Buy at least one of each! :)
     
  4. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    There is also this issue concerning the third capacitor used in connection with RIC-O-SOUND. 4001s and earlier model 4003s were apparently wired so that you only got half the output from the neck pickup. My 86 4003 does not have the 3rd capacitor, and I gues they are not present in non-stereo models. People on the RIC thread have performed the "by-pass" surgery around the third capacitor to restore the neck pickup to full output.

    JJR, I am still waiting for a picture of all of your RIC basses lined up side by side. That would be cool. There are enough RIC lovers here you should post a picture, and tell the stories behind them. Especially the double necks.

    Here also is an interesting thread containing a recent interview with Rickenbacker CEO John Hall.

    http://www.bunnybass.com/interview-johnhall.shtml
     
  5. Not strictly on theread but I'd like to say how much I admire Rics.

    I guess that goes back to the 70s when I tried one in a shop. Great. Really great. The play and the feel were lovely and, of course, sound-wise that was their era.

    One day I'll own one - he dreamed.

    Rockin John
     
  6. JJR

    JJR

    Jan 7, 2001
    Idaho
    Oh yeah, the third capacitor thing. True, I don't believe the 4003 ever had those evil bastards. For what it's worth, I find the 4003's of the early-mid 80's to more closely resemble the 4001 in feel and sound than they do current model 4003's. Best of both worlds maybe.

    I'm working on the pictures Max. I'm kind of an internet/computer putz. I don't have a digital camera, scanner or any webspace to upload a picture to. I may need to ask for some help once I get a good scan together.