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What to look out for on old Rickenbackers?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jock, Jul 29, 2000.

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  1. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    What should I look out for when I buy an 4001 made in 1974 (burgundy). The dealer says it´s in great shape.
    Some say you can´t use other strings than flats with a 4001, true??? Everyone I´ve seen and tried had stainless strings and it seamed to be no problem.
  2. mr2112


    Mar 31, 2000
    Well, my '80 4001 is gettin' up there in years, I would just look for normal'wear & tear' type of things, like screws, and holes stripping, fretwear, elecronic problems, even as simple as a bad 1/4" jack....stuff like that!

    I've used Rotosound roundwounds for 18 yrs. on my Ric....never had any problems, but...that's just me!!

    Anyway, look for normal problems that you would on any brand of bass that's 26 yrs. old! --Hope this gets you started....

    "Everybody got mixed feelings...About the function and the form----
    Everybody got to 'elevate', from the norm." ----N.Peart

    ---Later, MR
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey, check the neck

    alot of the older 4001's have problems with their truss rods, where the necks are bowed. the basses weren't designed for round wound strings, which have more tension than flats do.

    my 4001 doesn't have problems, but many do. it violated the original warranty if you put roundwounds on the bass.

    the biggest difference between 4001's and 4003's was the latter had stronger necks for round wound strings.

    so check the neck bow and truss rods.

    you wanna see a frustrated guitarist? let a guitarist try to do something useful on one of my basses. _THAT'S_ a frustrated guitarist.
  4. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    I am not a Ric bass fan.However,I do love old Sting Rays.Both these basses had that heavy polyester(clearcoat) finish on the fretboard.If the bass has been refretted and the finish removed,it will sound noticeably different.Darker and less alive.Ive heard this happen to StingRays.As far as I am concerned it kills the tone.
  5. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    If the neck is straight, buy it. Nothing sounds better than a Rick. That is a beautiful classic. (green with envy)

    If you use round wounds, keep a close eye on the neck for straightness, usually there are no problems.

    Personally I think high quality flats sound much better than rounds. I know, it depends on your style.

    If you can't do it with horsepower, watts or explosives, it ain't worth doing.

    [This message has been edited by nanook (edited July 30, 2000).]
  6. mr2112


    Mar 31, 2000
    Yep....I've heard about the neck problems also...the 4003 has a double truss to solve them, but, like I said earlier, I've owned 4 4001's in my life, and have used roundwounds with all of them, and never had a single neck problem, but maybe it is somehing that you should look for!!!

    "Everybody got mixed feelings...About the function and the form----
    Everybody got to 'elevate', from the norm." ----N.Peart

    ---Later, MR
  7. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    You won't have any neck problems with a 1974 4001 if you use medium-lite or lite gauge roundwound strings on it. This is of course providing that the neck is true to begin with. You can use any gauge flat wounds on it that you wish. The truss rod in a 74 will easily support any of the above gauges.
  8. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    Ive heard of bridge problems- ie it lifting. Never seen it, nor do I have one so I have nothing more to say.
  9. Hi.

    Holy thread resurrection :D

    Edit: Is this a part of the OT "competition" for biggest bump with nothing constructive or helpful to contribute? ;)

    Almost 9 years, a record of some kind?

  10. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    so... did he get the ricky
  11. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    If he did, he's probably doubled his money by now :p!

    Rickys seem to have taken over from vintage Fenders, over here in Europe :meh:. In 2000, you'd see most 4001s selling for around the 60-700GBP mark - now they start at twice that.
  12. Engine207

    Engine207 Losing faith in humanity...one call at a time.

    Jul 10, 2008
    Higley, AZ
    I bought my 80 4001 new and got a set of Roto 66s with it. Until I switched over to R. Cocco rounds, a year or two ago, they'd never seen anything but Rotos. Nary a hint of a problem with the neck. Bridge? I dunno...I put a BadAss II on in '83 and never looked back.

    The only piece of hardware that I've had a problem with is the keywinds. They came stock with crappy Klusons which had more play in them than my 7 year old.

    Mrs. Engine got me some excellent Schaller/Rickenbackers for Christmas and I can go for weeks without tuning...
  13. paradigm_shift


    Mar 29, 2007
    Thats what I get for using the search button.. Argh, sorry guys.
  14. Hi.

    No worries mate.

    Before You know it, the thread is in full swing (Engine has a good start ;)) and there's 3 pages worth of reading how OP should look at the particularities of different Rics. Just sit back and enjoy.

    According to OP's profile (thank GOD for people who fill up their profiles) he's had a few Rics. Was this one of them, we'll hear from him. I'm pretty sure that he's going to chip in, he's still an active member in here. He'll be amazed, that I'm sure of.

  15. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man

    Feb 11, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Jaydee Basses
    That is what the search engine is for...I currently have 2 Rics....I use 45-100 slinkies....never have neck trouble...

    A 9 yr old thread.....hmmmm, our buddy jock must have had at least 5-6 Rics by now....
  16. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    necro thread ftl. :rollno:

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