Author Topic: Seller: first Ric bass ever made  (Read 293 times)

Granny Gremlin

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Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« on: August 30, 2017, 09:25:06 AM »
https://www.guitarscanada.com/index.php?threads/for-sale-1973-rickenbacker-4000-bass-new-price-more-pix.155945/

In case y'all can't see that:

"VERY good condition and ALL original. The 4000 series basses are rare birds indeed.
neck through construction, cresting wave headstock, cresting wave body, finished Padouk fingerboard, 33-1/2" scale, 20 frets, Grover sealed back machine heads, combination tailpiece/bridge assembly with string mutes.

This bass is the first bass model that Rickenbacker produced. "

CA$3300 shipped (within Canada).  Dude's local to me (also has a beauty 66 Gibson EB2 that I can't afford and is a bit on the pricey side).









I'm skeptical, but hardly an expert.
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Paul Boyer

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 10:04:36 AM »
Well, as the seller states, it is "the first bass model that Rickenbacker made," - but this is hardly the first bass made. Rickenbacker started making basses in the late 1950s, and by 1973 (when this particular bass was made), there were thousands of Rick basses out there. Even this vintage of 4000 wasn't much like the first ones made. Other than being in great shape for a survivor, this particular bass isn't worth the kind of money they are asking. In my opinion, it's worth between $1,000 and $1,500 (US).
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Granny Gremlin

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 10:23:53 AM »
That's kinda what I was thinking; couldn't be worth more than a 70s 4001, which has an additional pickup but is otherwise the same.  Nice specimen though, this guy really takes good care of his girls.
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Jeff Scott

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 09:21:43 PM »
That's kinda what I was thinking; couldn't be worth more than a 70s 4001, which has an additional pickup but is otherwise the same.  Nice specimen though, this guy really takes good care of his girls.
4001 basses were all neck through.  Starting sometime in the early '70s or thereabouts, 4001S models were set neck as is this particular 4000.

Dave W

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 11:16:02 PM »
4001 basses were all neck through.  Starting sometime in the early '70s or thereabouts, 4001S models were set neck as is this particular 4000.

Exactly. Not that I have a problem with it being set neck, it's that the seller doesn't know what he has. Also, a 70s 4000 is certainly not rare.

Reverb.com's price guide for a 1970s 4000 in a common finish is $1800-$2300.

patman

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2017, 07:09:35 AM »
I wanted one of those really bad in the 70's...think it cost $450 when a Precision was about $250

uwe

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 10:40:12 AM »
It just doesn't look right without that neck pup.  :popcorn:
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Granny Gremlin

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 11:24:32 AM »
So how do y'all know this isn't set neck - just looking at the pics of this one or were 4000s all just like that and this is known?

I see the line of the body where the neck meets but figured maybe they put a cap on the back.
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Granny Gremlin

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 02:04:56 PM »
Did some digging; seems as if ALL 4000s were neck thru up until 1960-63.  In that period there were a few other changes (bridge, pickup, pickguard and neck wood - originally maho in 55, then switched to walnut, then maple/walnut in 60 but still neck thru, by 64 they are set neck with features like the one above).

Here's 2 73ish mapleglos that show the maple/walnut set neck:

http://c-nelson.com/1976-rickenbacker-4000/

https://www.gbase.com/gear/rickenbacker-4000-bass-1973-mapleglo-natural

I can't find a single pic of a neck thu example from the 70s.

Here's a pre- 60 one:





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Jeff Scott

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 06:50:20 PM »
So how do y'all know this isn't set neck - just looking at the pics of this one or were 4000s all just like that and this is known?

I see the line of the body where the neck meets but figured maybe they put a cap on the back.
Extremely unlikely.  That one is a set neck.

Did some digging; seems as if ALL 4000s were neck thru up until 1960-63.
Neck through 4000 models went into the early '70s; you are off by a decade.

Granny Gremlin

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 07:08:54 AM »
Well we do have pictures of 2 73 examples with set necks so if they did reach the 70s as neck thru, it was just barely.

This is allegedly a 63 - can't tell what kind of neck joint that is from that one pic with that 2 tone body business (no other pics):



Another 63; also can't tell for sure but I don't see a walnut stripe between the pup and bridge there:



Here is an alleged 69 that doesn't look neck thru (though that one grain line does seem to stop a bit short, the E string is in the way and it's hard to tell) unless they dropped the walnut stripe (which they did on similar era 4001s - but then brought it back in the 70s?):

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Paul Boyer

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 07:43:14 AM »
The "walnut" stripe (actually a strip of shedua) started in spring of 1972, so that's not an indicator to look for before that time. Later in 1972, the factory started making the 4000 bodies from a two-piece slab and cutting a pocket for a set neck. The necks featured the shedua stip, but the bodies, of course, did not. The Mapleglo example in the photo above is a neck-through, and as Granny observed, has the grain of the body wings interrupted by the center assembly.

So from, say, the middle of 1972 until the end of production of the single-pickup 4000 in the early '80s, you would have a set neck with shedua strip and a two-piece body – the "seam" would be smack in the middle of the body if you can see it. Also, the "4001S" of that time period shared a common chassis with the 4000. Interestingly, Rickenbacker price lists didn't show "4001S" at all until AFTER the introduction of the 4003/4003S. Lots of interesting tidbits in the book! :)
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Granny Gremlin

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Re: Seller: first Ric bass ever made
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2017, 02:38:57 PM »
Cool info, thanks.  Rics have always been a bass that sounds great and looks great but I personally don't like the feel of and were too expensive anyway, so I never really found out much about them on account never being on the market.  This one was just so pretty and the price seemed so wrong that I had to ask.
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (drummer and bassist of Deep Purple, Jake!)