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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smperry, Apr 15, 2014.
I really want one of those posters!
I have never found the sound of a stock 4004 as satisfying as a 4003 - you should really try one first if you can. I can't say I've heard or experienced anything that would suggest neck instability, but the neck pickup tone in that position (and with a series-wired humbucker) is just not something I care for. Very wooly, dense and yet monotone. With modifications to the pickups, it may be much nicer sounding.
500k pots and push/pull coil splitting really help a 4004 reach its potential. If I had to choose between my 4004 and my 4003, the former would win easily.
I believe there is only neck instability due to the neck pickup position with the 4003 models, because they routed the pickup cavity too large - it's much bigger than the pickup itself. With the 4004 model, the rout is only as large as the pickup itself, so no instability.
I rewired mine so that the selector switch selects between hum bucker and single coil pickup mode, and the two controls are volume and blend, both 500k pots. It comes very close to the 4003 sound in single coil mode, and fairly close in hum bucker mode.
The pickup routes on the 4004 are very shallow compared to the 4003. I don’t think they tend to have the folding neck issues as much as the 4003. Also there was a period of about 5 years where the pickup positions were “dropped”,then subsequently returned back to the original positions.
I have examples of both, and like the tone either way. (Ok,i prefer the dropped positions,mostly because the bridge pickup is exactly where i like to pluck or pick the strings).
Early 4004s had both pickups moved back towards the bridge, but apparently they changed this to make it possible to remove the truss rods in case of issues (those routes to remove the rods are hidden under the pickguard on a 4003, but no pickguard to hide them in the 4004). There is a bit more of a body-wing joint at the heel of the neck on my 4004 vs my 4003, but 4004s like mine (2008 and before) had wider necks at the heel than a 4003 while newer ones use the same necks as a 4003. 4003s also have much bigger/deeper routes than a 4004 which decreases stability (the 4004 routing is minimal to fit the pickup). I haven’t heard of a 4004 with the kind of negative neck-angle issues that the 1/2” spaced 4001s could have (or the more modern 4001 reissues), mine (with the pickup right at the neck) is one of the most solid basses I’ve owned that didn’t weigh as much as an anchor.
Tonally the biggest difference will be between pickups- I have Classic Amplification single coil pickups in both my 4004 and 4003 and similar electronics. I find they sound more similar than different, though I prefer the sound of the 4004. Wider spacing between pickups means less midrange scoop when both pickups are on, and I find I favor the neck pickup on the 4004 more than the 4003- it makes the middle register of the bass extra beefy and also adds some more heft down low.
With the stock humbuckers of a 4004 the tone will naturally be warmer/darker and more low-mid heavy than the 4003 Hi-Gains, but you can add coil split switches to make the HBs decent sounding single coils.
Many thanks for the very insightful responses to my questions about 4004 basses! Really helps put my mind at ease, and good to know about the 500k ohm pot swap.
I’ll probably take the plunge in a few months, see what comes up in classifieds / eBay / reverb. I remember reading about a TB member who sells wiring harnesses; does anyone know if such a harness can be installed by someone with very little soldering skills?
As mentioned a few times above - no issues at all.
I have not found that to be the case with the four I have owned over the years (I still have two of them). yes, the HB-1 is a somewhat darker/fuller kind of sound compared to a hi-gain, but try a toaster up there sometime. Amazing tone.
Here is a sample of a toaster in the neck position, solo'd. Strymon Flint > (for light reverb) Radial ProD2 DI > Marantz PMD661. Stock RIC strings, played lightly with a pick.
Bass Noodle #1230 Copyright © Jeffrey P. Scott 2016 All rights reserved.
Same setup as above, bu played fingerstyle.
Bass Noodle #1203 Copyright © Jeffrey P. Scott 2016 All rights reserved.
@Aceonbass sells the harnesses, but you'd still have to solder the pup wires and bridge ground. Its not that hard, practice on scrap electronics before attempting it for real.
Hmmm.....I might have an extra one.
Thanks a lot Jeff. I didn't know what a Strymon Flynt was and now I am having a GAS attack. That sounds resplendent!
I will gladly purchase that one if you would be interested in selling it.
I have owned dozens of Rickenbackers, I have worked on dozens more and played dozens more of other peoples Ricks. … total well over 50 …
Most of the Rickenbacker necks were very good. I had a problem with a 1968 4001, the neck was weak and would not flatten out, but it was an excellent bass in spite of that problem. The best solutions was a proper adjustment and light strings. I had a problem with a 4004cii5, the neck would not flatten out, the rods were replaced by a previous owner, my solution was lighter strings. It played pretty good. I currently own a 4004ci that has a twist in the neck, it was turned into a 5 string bass by a previous owner and I replaced both pickups. It is difficult to set up but it has exceptional tone, and again I use lighter strings. I worked on a 4003 that had a s curved neck, but it still played well in spite of that flaw. I have never personally seen a Rick that had the body wings separate from the neck, but I have seen some pics of this happening.
Overall Rickenbacker neck problems are rare.
You're very welcome!
The Flint is a wonderful pedal. It can work well as a ROS box, too depending on how you have the internal Stereo.Mono switch set and the use of a TRS cable used going into the Flint.
The Flint is a little pricy, but if you think of it as two pedals in one, that can be set in a variety of ways and interact with each other, along with the built-in ROS box, it really is a bargain, IMO.
Here is an example using the tremolo as set to affect the reverb tail. This is with both pickup on and played with a pick.
Bass Noodle #1234 Copyright © Jeffrey P. Scott 2016 All rights reserved.
After all these years, is that all you've played?
Rickenbacker Bass 4002 Fretless 1982 - USED
believe this sold for 1800 euro
Not too surprising given that it has been highly modified.
This should be titled "How to make a beautiful and rare bass virtually worthless".
Wow. Even if (and that’s a big if) we could collectively agree on the concept of modifying a 4002, that is among the very worst ways in which to actually implement a modification. Yuck. It’s now a one-trick pony with two broken legs.
Someone got a bargain.
It won’t be original,but it can be fixed up with Rick hb or toaster pickups,and be a great instrument.
I’d pay that in a new york minute.