Rickenbacker 4001

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Rickenbacker 4001
Rickenbacker 4001.jpg
A 1977 Rickenbacker 4001
Body typeSolid
Neck jointBound (or unbound maple 4001S model)
Scale33.25 in (845 mm) (long scale)
30.5 in (770 mm) (short scale)[2]
BodyBound maple (and unbound maple 4001S Model)
NeckMaple, Walnut
FretboardBubinga, Rosewood, Maple
Pickup(s)2 single coil toaster/horseshoe pickups (early models),[2] 2 single coil Hi-Gain pickups (later models)
Colors available
Fireglo (Cherry Sunburst), Autumnglo (Tobacco Sunburst), Burgundyglo (Red), Jetglo (black), Mapleglo (natural) and Azureglo (blue)[2]

The Rickenbacker 4001 is an electric bass that was manufactured by Rickenbacker as a two-pickup "deluxe" version of their first production bass, the single-pickup model 4000. This design, created by Roger Rossmeisl, was manufactured between 1961 and 1981, when it was replaced by an updated version dubbed the Rickenbacker 4003.[3] Variant models of the 4001 include the 4001S, 4001LH, 1999 (European model), 4001V63 (reissue), 4001CS (a limited edition series based on Chris Squire's 1965 British model RM1999) and the 4001C64 and 4001C64S: the C Series is a recreation of Paul McCartney's left-handed 4001S with a reversed headstock. There are also Al Cisneros (4003 AC) and Lemmy Kilmister (4004 LK) signature versions of the instrument.


The 4001 model features a neck-through construction, a full-wood body, fretboard with metal strings (originally flat-wound, though many players replaced them with round-wounds), twin truss rods, triangle inlays, two pickups, two volume and two tone dials, selector switch,[2] and wiring for Rick-O-Sound (standard after 1971).[1] Rickenbacker also produced six-string and 12 string guitars and a short-scale bass, the 3000 model.[2] The bridge system is a relatively unusual design, both in aesthetics and in function, featuring removable saddles, as well as a compartment designed to hold a foam mute.

A 2020 CieloGlo 4003S, showing the lack of body/neck binding and dot fret inlays

The 4001S (and 1999) model varies in its use of dot inlays, and unbound neck construction.[2] The Rickenbacker 4003, which replaced the 4001, differs in the truss rod design and introduces a fret wire that better withstands the wear from round-wound strings (fast fret wear was a common complaint for many years, and Rickenbacker strived to address the issue). The pickups are also higher in output, and the bridge pickup, a so-called "horseshoe" pickup, was entirely remodelled, featuring a more conventional design, although the "horseshoe", albeit removable is still part of the construction, for aesthetic purposes. More recent 4003 models also feature a push-pull switch on one of the tone knobs, which diminishes the output of the pickups, to more closely resemble the original 4001 tone. Other features remained similar to its forebear.

Rickenbacker has in recent years also produced a five-string model, featuring a more conventional bridge system, smaller Schaller machine heads and distinctive, asymmetrical pickups. It retains the Rickenbacker's signature 33" scale length, an unusual design for a five-string instrument. Between the years 1993 and 2018 Rickenbacker also manufactured a streamlined model, named the 4004, that used the 4001's trademark shape but featured smaller pickups, a simplified control layout, a more conventional bridge system and eschewed the use of aesthetic details such as binding or a pickguard.

Notable players[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rickenbacker 4001". Rickbeat.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Vintage Guitar – Rickenbacker 4001 Bass Guitar". Vintageguitars.org.uk. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  3. ^ T. Bacon & B. Moorhouse. The Bass Book. Backbeat Books. 1995. ISBN 0-87930-368-9
  4. ^ "Bass Guitar Magazine October 2006". Electricamp.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ashton, Adrian (2006). The bass handbook. Hal Leonard. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-87930-872-8.
  6. ^ Ashton, Adrian (2006). The bass handbook. Hal Leonard. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-87930-872-8.
  7. ^ Bass Player magazine. November 2009. p. 34.
  8. ^ "Gear Rundown: Cliff Burton". 11 August 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Rush delivers precisely what fans want". San Antonio Express-News. 4 December 1996.
  10. ^ Ed Roman. "Rickenbacker Guitars - Rickenbacker Guitar Artists - Ed Roman Guitars". Edroman.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Glenn Hughes". Equipboard. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Inge Johansson". Equipboard. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Jim Smith". Equipboard. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  14. ^ John can be seen playing the Ric in the official video for ""Another Nail in My Heart" (official)". YouTube. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Instruments: Early Shows I [27.06.1970 – 24.03.1972]". Queen Concerts. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Pete's Gear: Pete Townshend Guitar Equipment History | Pete Townshend's Guitar Gear | Whotabs". Thewho.net. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  17. ^ Snider, Charles (2007). The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock (1 ed.). Chicago: Strawberry Bricks. p. 207. ISBN 9780615175669.
  18. ^ "Jon Camp Interview 2012". Renaissance Fanfare. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Eric's Trip". 29 May 2008.
  20. ^ Willie G. Moseley. "Lemmy Kilmister". Vintage Guitar Magazine. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. on Playing Bass with a Really Loud Guitarist". YouTube. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  22. ^ "Peter Cetera". www.dennybegle.com. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  23. ^ Bacon, Tony; Barry Moorhouse (2008). The Bass Book: A Complete Illustrated History of Bass Guitars. Hal Leonard. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-87930-924-4. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  24. ^ "Paul Simonon | Equipboard". equipboard.com. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  25. ^ [1] Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Artists Playing Rickenbacker Basses". Rickresource.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  27. ^ Randy can be seen playing the 4001 in the video of a 1977 performance of "Hotel California" "Hotel California live in Washington 1977". YouTube. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Rick James poster". Images.uulyrics.com. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  29. ^ "Dawk Sound Limited – Rainbow / Ritchie Blackmore". Dawksound.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 2004. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  30. ^ "Basses". watersish.com. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Scott Reeder: Desert To Sea". bassplayer.com. Retrieved 4 November 2017.

External links[edit]