looking for opinions on a 1973 Rickenbacker 4001 restoration

Discussion in 'Musical Instruments' started by finefuzz, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. PureQuill

    PureQuill AK Member Subscriber

    Mid Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Not to be a jerk but…
    Have you ever seen Rory Gallagher’s strat?
    How about Joe Strummers tele?
    Wipe the white crap away and then do no more harm.…and just play!

  2. Ross6860

    Ross6860 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I'm not sure of the point you are trying to make, but:

    1) Yes.

    2) No. Never heard of him. Not my taste in music.

    As far as "Wipe the white crap away and then do no more harm.…", everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's not your guitar, nor mine, to decide what to do with.

    Cleaning the bad paint away may strip the remaining original finish, too. In that case the wood is completely unprotected. Personally I would not leave it like that. At a minimum I would oil it. I like tung oil. Everyone's taste is different.

    This is a very nice bass guitar, nothing more. This is no put down to any Ric owners. There's nothing special about most of my guitars either (I do own one "special" guitar). This is not a '59 Les Paul, or a '51 "No-caster". It has been previously modified. It has no special collectors value. Nothing the OP does to bring it closer to its original condition will hurt its value or playability. In fact, it will probably improve both.

    As long as he likes it, in the end that's all that really matters.

    Just my 2 cents. That's about all my opinion is worth. YMMV
  3. PureQuill

    PureQuill AK Member Subscriber

    Mid Willamette Valley, Oregon
    He asked for opinions so I gave mine.
    Agree or disagree …it is all right with me!
    I don’t personally think this bass needs “rescuing”.
    It is his guitar to do with as he pleases.

    Here is why I reference Joe Strummers Tele…

    As for the modified pickups and electronics…

    My point is that the damage is done and was done long ago.
    The mods are now a part of this bass’s history for better or worse… just like the 2 guitars I referenced.
    Often at the time when mods are done no thought is given to the future…Simply a player making changes to a tool that work and made sense to them at the time that it was performed.
    This is very common with vintage instruments and why “unmolested” examples are highly prized.

    Many Rickenbacker enthusiast consider a 1973 4001 vintage.

    This bass will never be “vintage correct” no matter how much one fills,sands or sprays.
    It is what it is and one can not turn back time.
    Often there is a desire to make vintage instruments shiny and like new…
    Doing so only further diminishes its appeal and value to most players and collectors.
    Anytime one refinishes a vintage instrument even when done by the best & most skilled luthier, any work done still lowers its value compared to one beat to death and not refinished.
    Sometime a instrument is so far gone there simply is no choice.
    But thats not the case with this bass.

    “I am leaning towards just leaving the extra pickup and clear coating the maple because the damage has already been done, but on the other hand- I could have it looking completely stock (other than a custom color perhaps).

    I agree 100% with the OP’s original thinking high lighted in red.
    So my opinion/advise is still wipe a way the white paint and do what is necessary to make it stable and playable.
    Nothing more ..nothing less.

    Embrace its funky history and enjoy it for it’s uniqueness there is not another one like it!
    It can always be “restored” to original at anytime in the future…But once it is done just like the “mods” it can never be undone.

    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  4. jmela

    jmela Active Member


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