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Rickenbacker 4001 bass

4000 4001 and 4005 basses from the 1968 Rickenbacker catalogue
Above: 4000 4001 and 4005 basses from the 1968 Rickenbacker catalogue

below: the 1968 and 1975 Rickenbacker catalogues
1968 Rickenbacker catalogue1975 Rickenbacker catalogue
Latest Rickenbacker bass posts on the VintageGuitar forum
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New treble pickup cover for Rickenbacker 4003 bass
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last message by Spellcaster

Rickenback​er 4001 fretless 1978 mapleglo TO SELL
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70's 4001 Tuners
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My 1975 4001, but....
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ModelRickenbacker 4001Rickenbacker 4001S / 1999
Pickups2 single coil/horseshoe
BodyBound mapleUnbound maple
NeckMaple and walnut through neck with rosewood (occasionally ebony) fingerboard. Twin truss rods. Bound, with triangle inlays. Fretless models were listed in the catalogue from 1984, but had been available by special order from the 1960sAs the 4001, however unbound neck with dot inlays
HardwareTwo pickups, two volume and two tone controls, selector switch. Stereo Rick-O-Sound wiring first listed from 1971, although available by special order earlier. Nickel or Chrome hardware
FinishesSunburst, Cherry, Black, Walnut, Natural, White
Rickenbacker advertisement (1964). Featuring the 1999 Rickenbacker export bass

The Rickenbacker 4000 series basses are easily recognised by their distinctive crested-wave body shape. The 4001 was a two pickup deluxe version of the 4000 - with maple and walnut through-neck construction, triangle inlays and checkered binding throughout. The export model (4001S or model 1999 in Europe) was the standard version of this bass, without binding, and dot inlays - and is the version used by Paul McCartney and Chris Squire

The 4001 was replaced by the 4003 in the 1980s, with several reissues of the 4001: 4001V63 - 1984 reissue of an early 1960s 4001S, 4001C64 - 2001 reissue of the 4001

Several rare variations of the 4001 were manufactured over the years, including short-scale (30 1/2") and six string versions.

Rickenbacker bass models 4000-4005 comprise an extremely complete bass series. The three basic designs offer a wide selection of bass models. Models 4000 and 4001 are Solid Body instruments, allowing a wide bass-tonal variation. String tension is sustained entirely by the neck, as the neck runs the entire length of the instrument. Bridge-tailpiece, pickups, and strap button are actually mounted on the body portion of the neck. assuring perfect structural alignment. Model 4001 is hand-bound with black and white 'block' binding

taken from the 1968 rickenbacker catalogue

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Rickenbacker 4001 bass for sale

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There are 4 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
ant devlin Comment left 9th May 2012 15:03:39
Rickenbacker basses suck. Don't flame me - they just are. They do look good, especially in fireburst, but they just don't play anywhere as well as you'd expect for the price. All style no substance. I mean, how many people actually played these for any length of time, before moving on. I just paid top whack for a ric and I really wish I hadn't. Honestly my Squiers are better players.
Horacio rios Comment left 14th August 2012 10:10:00
@ant devlin: if you don't like it, sell it and move on but don't knock it. I own a 1978 4001 Rick and it's the only bass I will play. I love the feel. Surely you didn't think that a Rick would fit everyone's taste right? I know people that refuse to play a strat because of this and that. And thats ok. Everyone have their own tastes. Double neck guitars look nice but I am pretty sure that it would not suit. Youre better of selling it and buying a bass that suits you. ;-)
James Richard Comment left 15th April 2013 23:11:25
HELP. I have a Mapleglo 1975 4001FL Ric. It seems it is the only one in the world. I have searched the net, and can't find a single one. Just wondering what it might fetch on the market. I know all 4001FL were custom built.
Lanc Fogg Comment left 4th February 2019 10:10:42
I don't know what Mr Devlin is talking about. I used to own a 1970 Rickenbacker 4001S until it was stolen last month. It started off in the Rick dark purple but over the years I had it substantially modified to a natural finish with rosewood purfling, converted to fretless and had active electronics fitted. It was a wonderful instrument. The action was so perfect it almost played itself and the range of tones was unbelievable. The number on the jack plate was JE106. If anyone comes across a Ricky bass of that description please let me know. I'm in the UK and the phone number is +44 1253 302858 or email at

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