Hello all, I have to say that this is probably one of the most active discussion boards about bass that I've seen so far, and that I've been reading some of the threads for the past few days and find them very helpful to me. Maybe you guys can help me out in my first post... I've been learning bass for a little under a year, on a trusty ESP B-205 LTD (yeah, it is kind of weird learning first on a 5 string, and I hardly ever use the B, but I was planning ahead when I got it...), but I recently had the opportunity to purchase my dream bass: an azureglo Rickenbacker 4001. The thing is in amazing condition, no buckle rash or anything, just a small ding on the bottom of the body and a few more larger dings on the headstock edges. But the funny thing is I checked the serial number, VB435, and apparently the thing was built in February of 1982. However, from what I've read about 4001's, they stopped production of the 4001 around 80 or 81, with a small number of them trickling out afterwards. Is my 4001 one of those that trickled out afterward? Or could this possibly have been a 4003 fitted with some 4001 parts like the headstock cover that says "MODEL 4001" under "MADE IN THE USA?" From my understanding, there are no cosmetic differences between the 4001 and early 4003's, since the early 4003's had the one-piece pickguard. It mostly has to do with the truss rod, but I don't know how the two guitars' truss rods are supposed to look different. Either way, the thing plays beautifully. Like people say, it cuts through anything. Whether it's a 4003 or a 4001 I'm still happy with it no matter what. If it turns out to be a 4003 in disguise I can benefit from the sturdier truss rod, and if it's a real 4001 I can benefit from, well, it's name. What really matters most is how it plays, anyway.