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What to look for when buying a vintage Rickenbacker.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brandon.miller, Mar 26, 2013.


  1. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I'll really new to Rickenbackers but came across what the seller described to be a 1976 4001 that I'm thinking about going to check out. I'm not really sure what to look for to authenticate that it's not a copy. Other than the serial number on the input jack and checking under the truss rod cover for 2 truss rods, I'm kind of clueless.

    I attached a couple pics that the seller sent me. I know not the best but I'd like to know what to look for if I go check it out.



    Looks like a refinish to me as all the Rics I've seen have a white binding around the body and have never seen what looks like a sparkle finish on the headstock.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    and another
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Termites. Make sure the prior owner tented it and didn't use orange oil, it simply doesn't work.
     
  4. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Definitely a refinish how much is he asking
     
  5. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    $1000 is the asking price.
     
  6. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    From what I can see I think its legit bridge looks good fretboard looks right but its a pretty bad refin. I would try and talk him down some more cause of the finish but if you like it you would be playing it not me.
     
  7. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    Cool if it's not worth anything with a bad refin I'll just let it go.
     
  8. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Its not worth nothing it would just bother me. I can't really say what a good price is for a refin maybe somebody else will chime in.
     
  9. The Rickresource forum would be the best place to ask. There are a lot of extremely knowledgable Rickenbacker fans and a couple of Ric-specialist lutheirs there - even John Hall (the CEO of Rickenbacker!) posts pretty regularly, and is always happy to help out with identifications, etc.

    Here is a link for you :) - http://www.rickresource.com/forum/


    Also, $1000 seems like a steal, to me, for a 1976 4001! If you are buying it to be played, rather than as an investment, then you really can't go wrong at that price. Ask about the finish and see whether the seller would be willing to come down a little more, but overall it seems like a bargain. :)
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    That looks like a real 1970s 4001 that has been refinished. Usually a refin will decrease the value slighty. If you check it out in person make sure all of the electronics work and the neck is straight. Check for fretware.

    Don't pay $2000 for the bass. Good used Rics go for a lot less.
     
  11. jbiscuti

    jbiscuti

    Dec 22, 2007
    NYC / LA
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    Yikes, even the binding has been painted over.
     
  12. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    Thanks guys. I was kind of just looking to play it for a little while then turn around and sell it for what I would have payed for it. But it seems like the refin makes it less marketable and I don't know if I'd get my money back for it.
     
  13. woodyng

    woodyng

    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    If it is physically in good shape,$1k is a more than fair price,and you shouldn't have much trouble reselling for that,as long as you aren't expecting a profit.
     
  14. keith christian

    keith christian

    Jun 27, 2012
    Is the original finish still under there? Can the refinish be removed without harming the original finish?
     
  15. If it was painted over the binding and everything, you could recut the binding (scrape the paint off) it would make it look better. It looks real to me and 1000 dollars is an ok deal, if you knocked him down to 800 you could even brag about it.
     
  16. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I'm not sure. I haven't seen the bass personally yet. I'm sure he probably sanded it down first though.
     
  17. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I'm only really looking to play it for a while then sell it for what I gave for it. That's my only concern is the resale for $800-$1000. If I got it and then couldn't ever get back what I put in it I wouldn't bother.
     
  18. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    I talked the seller down to $800. Hopefully he just sprayed over the original clear coat finish. I might go check this out after all
     
  19. 800 dollars is a good deal even if its been sanded down.(which i don't think would because of the binding). At the end of the day it looks cool and is a vintage rick for 800
     
  20. brandon.miller

    brandon.miller Supporting Member

    May 29, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    The original white finish is still under the refinish. Looks like someone just sprayed over it
     

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