I have a 1980 Gretsch "committee" bass and the Ric is very similar in design and quality. I also have a Fender Precision Lyte with DiMarzio pups and I'd have to say the Fender, although much less expensive and clearly not of the same quality plays much better and sounds as good or slightly better. Oh well it's still a vintage Ric. : )
Model Year: 1978
Where Obtained: Private sale
US made 4 string in Maple Glo finish. 2 pickups at bridge and neck. 2 volume 2 tone controls and 3 way pup selector.
Action is good, quite low, the way I prefer. The neck is slim but a little chunky, pretty good really. Plays nicely.
The 4001 has a wide tonal range from dark to piercing. The 2 pups have a totally different sound so the mix is quite interesting. It's really a rock bass in my opinion, although I could see it used for other styles. The best way to describe the sound is vintage Ric.
The bass is in excellent shape after 28 years so I'd call it durable.
I have played many basses and I have always wanted a Ric. I have three paddles now and I just have trouble putting down the 4001. I would recommend this bass for anyone who loves a growly, bright but thick, sound.
Model Year: 1979
Where Obtained: Private seller
Hot dogs, apple pie, Cheverolet, and Rickenbacker. This bass is 24 years old and looks great! I haven't used the Ric-o-sound yet, but I love the adjustable bridge pickup. Raised it for extra growl. It is black, (like Geddy Lee's main axe). It is all original except the Badass bridge, which I would have put on anyway.
Play's like butta'. I really like the thinner neck because I have small hands. I make due on any bass, but I really like the Ric neck. I have an American P Bass that I use for the "warmer" stuff, but I play my Ric most of the time. Note: Due to the body style of this bass, playing with a pick can be hard on the forearm because of the way it rest on the top of the body. It is kind of sharp. I don't use a pick, just tried it for kicks!!
No bass in the world sounds like this one. Look at the Ric 4001 Hall of Fame:
Mark King (Level 42),
Peter Quaife (The Kinks),
Chris Brubeck (Dave Brubeck Quartet),
Bernie Calvert (The Hollies),
Ron Carter (Charlie Parker's jazz ensemble),
Peter Cetera (Chicago),
Trevor Bolder (Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars),
Rinus Gerritsen (Golden Earring),
Marcus Miller (Boz Scaggs).
I haven't been on the road with this one yet, but it stays in tune. I had Glasser set it up here in Nashville and it has stayed where it is suppose to. I don't care for the strap lugs. They are thick and one piece. I used toothpicks to fill up the large hole and installed Dunlop strap locks,(a trick I learned here on the Activebass forums!!) I may need to replace the main input jack. Probably just it's time. My cable sometimes comes out easy with a little tug.
Save your money and get a Rickenbacker. It's well worth it and a fine investment in you music career.
Model Year: 1980
Where Obtained: Pawn Shop
Although I picked this model up from a pawn shop in 1989, it was in perfect condition for a 1980 model year. I paid a market price for it, and now a natural finish version like I have is worth about $800. The insturment is well balanced and has an adjustable bridge so that the action can be set as desired. The twin pick-up volume and tone controls are easily accessible and very smooth The straight-through neck design provides a firm feel that also keeps the guitar in tune. The sustain is eternal and very warm under minimal amplification. The cache' of owning a Rick is delightful, and I wouldn't trade it away for anything. Not even a Hofner.
With the adjustable bridge, it is possible to set the action of the strings over a wide range. The neck is sleek and comfortable. Reaching the 20th fret is relatively easy. The limitation of only 20 frets never has been a problem for playing 'normal' music.
I have a 20W Crate amp (enough to annoy the neighbors in an apartment) and a Zoom 707 FX box. Between these two and the Rick, I can get any sound imaginable. The Rick can (and has been) used from the Beatles to the Hives, to the Sex Pistols, to Motorhead, so it has proven its versatilty.
Since a Rick is fairly expensive (new or used), rough gigging would be a fast way to trash such a nice instrument. Keep the Rick back for special occasions. The only thing that I have to watch out for is the top strap nut, which sometimes comes unscrewed. The Rick I have is 22 years old, and it plays perfectly.
For a good vintage vibe this bass meets the call. But, I wouldn't have it as my only bass, in my arsenal it is a nice addition.
Where Obtained: The Music Shoppe
US Made. Neck thru, stereo jack, passive, wine finish.
Slim fast neck. Light weight. great action.
Great for vintage vibe... althought not very good for a modern tone. Not very many tonal options.
It shows some player wear, but is in good shape. I definately not a tank.
My first Rickenbacker was bought in 1979. I then was a professional musician. I sold it in 1992 to buy a Fender Jazz bass. In 2000 I traded it for a Rickenbacker. I'm not selling it anymore.
Model Year: 1999
Where Obtained: Rickenbacker dealer UK
It has a black body and rosewood neck. Traditional 4001.
Rotosound strings, E is 105.
It plays very smootly. When I bought it, the neck was adjusted. I had to reset it. Was not very easy, but the result is perfect.
I use an AMPEG 100 watt cube amp. (Rocket Bass).
It's a perfect amp for the bass. I used to play a Marchall, but the sound was too heavy. I can now play every style or sound. From the famous ringing to jazz and blues.
I can rely 100 % on this combination.
It holds it's tune all night. Climate is not a problem.
Looked at fenders, gibson EB0
would buy guitar again
hard to improve on this
big trebly sound, too heavy
Model Year: 1975
Price: $799.00 (new)
Made in .us.
23 frets, mahogany, 4 strings
volume, tone, pick up switch
2 pickups, H/H
rickenbacker pickups, double coil
white w/ black trim and pickguard
JBL 15" speaker cabinet w/ Peavey 400 MegaBass
blues amd rock. sounds good with rock and heavy
metal, a bit too overbearing in blues format
sounds good in slow jazz
has an edgy, roaring trebly sound
beter for stage work
Guitar is reliable for steady playing
truss rods have are dependable, intonation
humidity changes seem to tighten tuning
I bought the Ric for the fast action. The tone is unique and took some getting used to after playing a fretless for a while. I am not totally happy with the low-end pickup but it is showing wear and is original from '74 so I am looking to replace it. The Ric looks great and is definately a respected instrument among musicians. If I lost this bass for some reason I would purchase another for sure however I am also looking for another bass right now for those times when a smoother, warmer sound is needed. The Ric is agressive and punchy great for rock and blues type playing.
Model Year: 1974
Where Obtained: EBAY
Burdgundy Glow w/white trim.
Original Ric electronics.
Beautiful look. A bit short on frets.
Amazing playability. So fast with the near parallel strings and narrow neck.
Very punchy natural tone. Drop tuning does cause some string clicking on lower pickup cover and frets. Great mid-tones that work great with effects pedals.
Low end can be lost when compared to punch of mids and highs, am considering horsehoe pickup to grab that bottom pickup more.
Never had to adjust truss, neck is straight. Stays in tune well. Electronics are solid but can crackle a bit after 27 years. I hardly bother with my backup anymore when playing live the Ric is solid.
Model Year: 1973
Wha can I say it's my dream bass. American made, MapleGlo finish, Toaster pick up and that Rickenbacker sound. Scwinggggggg!
She's smooth, she's sweet, she's a classic.
Flaws? I can't sing like Paul.
Don.t use any efx with this one just play it.
Having the money, i'd buy a new one right away.
Price: $150.00 canadian
Where Obtained: previous owner
Old 4001 with equaly long lower & upper horn. It's a neck
thru construction and is blonde(mapleglo). The fretboard
is rosewood & has 20 frets. Two volume/tone controls and
two high output pickups.
The action on this bass is wonderful, very easy on the hands. Being old, she needs periodic tweekings, but it plays great.
If you want punch, you have to have a Rick. I've never heard another bass that cuts thru any kind of music(heavy to rock to jazz) as a Rickenbacker.
My bass being abt 30years old and still playing great, i guess i can rate it as very durable.
They'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands before I give it up. nuff said
Model Year: 1982
Where Obtained: Music Barn, Westport MA. (defunct)
Good, solid "Lemmy" bass. Basic four string, non locking tuners, two pickups, maple neck with dark stained finish. I think it was origanally dark green, but some one painted it black, with black pick gaurd. Got rid of the cover for the lower pickup years ago as it was right were I do moxt of my pluckin'. It's got bass tone and volume and treble tone and volume controls. It's the only bass I have. HAd it for about 9 years.
Long neck, with nice smooth action. Use to have a fender P-bass, but sold it shortly after I got this one. No major flaws, except for a few nicks and bangs.
Never replaced anything on it except strings, and don't think the previous owner did as well. Been through Four years with a punk band and many drunken garage jams. Tuning goes out if I play hard (always) but nothing a quick adjustment wont fix.
I own a Gibson and a Steinberger Spirit, and the Steinberger gets top shelf for now (yes, even though it's a Spirit Steinberger). The Rick is in there, however.
Model Year: 1974
Where Obtained: ebay
USA made, 20 frests to the body 20 overal. Pretty much a standard Rick with a few of the original parts missing
Righteous Rick. I like the sound. Body a bit beat but to be expected. Nice growly tone, plays easily and evenly.
The upper pickup has the nice, rich, Rick sound. The lower pickup sounds pinched to me. Very quiet pickups.
Its used, it sounds and looks new.
Where Obtained: Bill's Music
Its a Rickenbacker. To me, its the best bass in the world.
Would recommend to anyone.
Where Obtained: Former Owner
All I got to say is that this Rickenbacker is a
beauty and a wonderfully sounding bass.
This bass fits my needs and more.
Durability... It's over 23 years old and it looks