Posts tagged ‘4001S’

03/12/2012

Bass Porn: My 1987 Rickenbacker 4003

Rickenbacker 4003 – beauty

My Rickenbacker 4003 is finished in silver, and sports the black hardware so common on 1980s Rickenbackers.

Rickenbacker 4003 – headstock

Rickenbacker 4003 – tuners

Old Rickies from the 1960s use Kluson tuners. Seventies models were most often equipped with Grover tuners. By the Eighties Rickenbacker had switched to Rickenbacker-branded Schaller tuners from Germany.

Rickenbacker 4003 – inlays

The original 4001 basses featured triangular ”shark-fin” inlays that went all the way from one edge of the fretboard to the other, effectively cutting the ’board into many pieces. The Rickenbacker 4003 has redesigned and slightly smaller inlays.

Rickenbacker 4003 – horns + pickups

Viewed from the top both singlecoil pickups seem identical.

Rickenbacker 4003 – neck pickup

While the units feature virtually identical polepieces and coils, they do differ in the details. The neck pickup is powered by a single, flat bar magnet stuck underneath the bobbin.

Rickenbacker 4003 – bridge pickup

The 4003’s distinctive bridge pickup tone of the Eighties model is produced by using a unique, thick rubber/ceramic-compound magnet that has a large gap (for the wiring) on the fingerboard-facing side. The hand rest has been removed by the previous owner.

Rickenbacker 4003 – bridge

The Rickenbacker bass bridge stands in its own recess inside the combined tailpiece and mute assembly.
In the Eighties Rickenbacker experimented with different tailpiece thicknesses, leading to quite a few bridge assemblies featuring two additional screws close to the ball ends. These factory-installed screws keep the – slightly too flexible – tailpiece from being bent out of shape by the string pull.

Rickenbacker 4003 – body binding + bridge screws

The body binding on Rickenbacker basses is usually glued to the body wings before the wings are attached to the through-neck.

Rickenbacker 4003 – full front

Rickenbacker 4003 – full back

Rickenbacker 4003 – glue line

Look closely, and you’ll be able to spot the glue-lines demarcating the through-neck.

Rickenbacker 4003 – jack plate

Rickenbacker used several different numbering schemes throughout the decades. In 1987 they introduced a new numbering system with a letter indicating the month of production (A = January) and a number standing for the year (0 = 1987). Additionally there are four numbers on the lower edge of the jack plate (digitally wiped from this photograph).
The Rick-O-Sound-output is for use with a Y-cable (stereo plug to two mono plugs), splitting the pickup signals for use with two amplifiers or for adding different effects to each of the pickups.

Rickenbacker 4003 – body beauty

This is what my own Rickenbacker-bass sounds like, when recorded using a SansAmp Bass Driver DI-box:

fingerstyle/neck PU

fingerstyle/both PUs

fingerstyle/bridge PU

plectrum/neck PU

plectrum/both PUs

plectrum/bridge PU

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Some Rick-tastic clips:

14/03/2011

Classic Basses, part 3: Rickenbacker 4001/4003

Rickenbacker was one of the first manufacturers to latch onto Leo Fender’s idea of an electric bass with a proper long scale.

In 1957 they introduced their first bass model, the 4000, which was the world’s first through-neck bass.

Rickenbacker’s two-pickup model – the Rickenbacker 4001 (introduced in 1961) – turned out to become one of the company’s most successful instruments.  Paul McCartney and Chris Squire are probably the bass’ best-known users – they played the 4001’s export version 4001S.

In 1979 Rickenbacker came up with a model updated for use with roundwound strings. The new bass was named the 4003 and it  featured new truss rods (Rickenbackers always have two!) and more powerful singlecoil pickups with the neck unit moved slightly closer towards the bridge.

My own Rickenbacker 4003 was built in 1987.

Except for the rosewood fretboard, a 4003 is crafted completely from maple. The neck goes all the way from the headstock to the end of the body (a so-called Through-Neck), while the body is formed by two pieces of maple glued to the neck’s sides.

Rickenbacker typically uses a reddish type of rosewood for their fingerboards, which are usually gloss-lacquered. Another typical company trait is the narrow binding, which leaves a visible gap between the binding and the neck’s finish.

The tuning machines have been made in Germany by Schaller.

Rickenbacker’s idiosyncratic bridge design includes an adjustable string mute mechanism. Setting the correct octave compensation is a little bit more complicated than it need be – you have to detune the strings to get to the adjustment screws.

Alongside the use of maple as the instrument’s main ingredient the 4003’s singlecoil pickups play a large role in this model’s throaty tone. Most users remove the bridge pickup’s metal cover, as it tends to get in the way of your right hand.

The silver metal finish is kind of rare, even though a similar bass appeared on the cover of Rickenbacker’s bass catalogue in the mid-80s. The most popular finishes are ”Fireglo” (a red sunburst), ”Jetglo” (black) ja ”Mapleglo” (natural gloss finish).

You can check out the sound of my 4003 here or here.

11/03/2011

Klassikkobassot, osa 3: Rickenbacker 4001/4003

Rickenbacker tajusi melko nopeasti, että Leo Fenderin keksimä sähköbasso pitkällä mensuurilla ei ollutkaan niin hullu idea kuin monet väittivät.

Vuonna 1957 firma toi markkinnoilla ensimmäisen sähköbassonsa, jolla oli mallitunnus 4000 – se oli ensimmäinen basso, jossa kaula jatkoi yhtenäisenä koko rungon läpi.

Kaksimikrofonisesta sisarmallista tuli sitten oikea klassikko – Rickenbacker 4001 (tuotanto aloitettu vuonna 1961).  Paul McCartneysta ja Chris Squireistä tuli tunnetuimpia Rickenbacker-käyttäjiä – tosin he soittivat 4001:n brittiversiota 4001S.

Vuonna 1979 sai 4001 uudella kaularaudalla ja vahvemmilla mikrofoneilla varustetun rinnakaisversion nimeltään Rickenbacker 4003.

Minun oma Rickenbacker 4003 on vuosimallia 1987.

Palisanteriotelautaa lukuunottamatta 4003 on veistetty kokonaan vaahterasta. Kaula jatkuu rungon läpi (ns. Through-Neck), ja basson runko koostuu kahdesta vaahterapalasta, joita on liitetty kaulan sivuun.

Rickenbacker on aina käyttänyt hieman punertavaa palisanterilaatua otelaudoissaan. Perinteisesti firman otelautoja viimeistellään kiiltävällä kirkaslakalla. Tyyppillinen on myös otelaudan matala reunalistoitus, joka jättää osan palisanterista näkyviin.

Virityskoneistojen valmistaja on 1970-luvun loppupuolelta ollut saksalainen Schaller.

Rickenbackereissa on läheis aina firman oma, hieman omintakeinen talla, johon on integroitu myös säädettävä solukumisordino. Oktaavikompensaation säätäminen on hieman monimutkainen, koska kielet joutuu löystää sitä varten…

Korkean ”vaahterapitoisuuden” ohella on yksikelaisille mikrofoneille tärkeä rooli 4003:n jäntevässä soundissa. Monet soittajat poistavat tallamikrofonin metallisuojan, koska se on oikean käden tiellä (näin teki myös bassoni entinen omistaja).

Hopeanvärinen metalliviimeistelly on suhteellisen harvinen, vaikka juuri tämänvärinen soitin oli 1980-luvun keskivälillä Rickenbackerin bassokatalogin kannessa. Tavallisimpia väriä ovat ”Fireglo” (punainen liukuväritys), ”Jetglo” (musta) ja ”Mapleglo” (kirkaslakkaus).

Voitte kuunnella oman 4003:n sointia esimerkiksi tässä tai tässä.