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|Neck joint||Bound (or unbound maple 4001S model)|
|Scale||33.25 in (845 mm) (long scale)|
30.5 in (770 mm) (short scale)
|Body||Bound maple (and unbound maple 4001S Model)|
|Fretboard||Bubinga, Rosewood, Maple|
|Pickup(s)||2 single coil toaster/horseshoe pickups (early models), 2 single coil Hi-Gain pickups (later models)|
|Fireglo (Cherry Sunburst), Autumnglo (Tobacco Sunburst), Burgundyglo (Red), Jetglo (black), Mapleglo (natural) and Azureglo (blue)|
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. 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, and wiring for Rick-O-Sound (standard after 1971). Rickenbacker also produced six-string and 12 string guitars and a short-scale bass, the 3000 model. 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.
The 4001S (and 1999) model varies in its use of dot inlays, and unbound neck construction. 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.
- Al Cisneros of Sleep and OM
- Andy Warren
- Audun Laading of Her's
- Becky Baldwin of Fury, touring bassist for Mercyful Fate
- Ben Wahamki of The Lumineers
- Bob Hardy of Franz Ferdinand
- Bruce Foxton of The Jam
- Buddy Zabala of the Pinoy band Eraserheads
- Charles Michael Parks Jr. of All Them Witches
- Chris Squire of Yes
- Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear
- Chris Wolstenholme of Muse
- Chuck Panozzo of Styx
- Cliff Burton of Metallica
- Dan Maines of Clutch
- David Paton of Pilot and The Alan Parsons Project
- Don Schiff
- Dougie Thomson of Supertramp
- Dušan Kojić of Šarlo akrobata and Disciplina kičme
- Fabio Pignatelli of Goblin
- Fred Turner of Bachman-Turner Overdrive
- Geddy Lee of Rush
- Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath
- Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Trapeze, and Black Country Communion
- Glen Matlock of Sex Pistols
- Graham Gouldman of 10cc
- Göran Lagerberg of Tages and Kebnekajse
- Haruko Haruhara, fictional character from the anime series FLCL
- Heidi Rodewald of Wednesday Week and Passing Strange
- Inge Johansson of Against Me!
- Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather
- Jesse F. Keeler of Death From Above 1979 and MSTRKRFT
- Jim Smith of Cardiacs
- Joey DeMaio of Manowar
- John Bentley of Squeeze
- John Deacon of Queen
- John Entwistle of The Who
- Jon Camp of Renaissance
- Josephine Wiggs of The Breeders
- Julie Doiron of Eric's Trip
- Kira Roessler of Black Flag
- Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead
- Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr.
- Mario Mutis of Los Jaivas
- Martin Gordon of Sparks and Radio Stars
- Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash
- Matt Gatera of The Seagulls
- Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees
- Mike Mills of R.E.M.
- Mike Rutherford of Genesis
- Paul D'Amour of Tool
- Paul Gray of The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods and UFO
- Peter Cetera of Chicago
- Paul McCartney of Wings and The Beatles
- Paul Simonon of The Clash
- Paul Wilson of Snow Patrol
- Pete Trewavas of Marillion
- Pete Quaife of The Kinks
- Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy
- Prakash John
- Prescott Niles of the Knack
- Randy Meisner of Eagles and Poco
- Rick James
- Roger Glover of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Episode Six
- Roger Waters of Pink Floyd
- Scott Pilgrim, fictional character from the Scott Pilgrim series
- Scott Reeder of Kyuss
- Simon Gallup of The Cure
- Simon Johns of Stereolab
- Stu Cook of Creedence Clearwater Revival, with a 4001 featured prominently on the Bayou Country album's cover photograph
- Timothy B. Schmit of Eagles and Poco
- Tommy Stinson of The Replacements and formerly Guns ‘N Roses
- Tony James of Generation X
- Tracy Pew of The Birthday Party
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