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 Post subject: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 155
Location: London, UK
I have a 4001 from 1979 (I'm the second owner) because I'm a vintage and old-school aficionado.

However, I never really knew the exact differences between the 4003 and the 4001.

I'm sure this was asked before? If so I apologize...

These are the differences that I know of. If anybody knows any others please let me know. :)

*Truss rod design
*Electrical components
and most importantly
*Pickups and pickup design (the 4001 has an even more distinctive thwangy Rickenbacker sound)

* Also, apparently there's another difference with the strings? 4001 were made only for flatwound while 4003 can also take roundwound?

Thanks y'all


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
Mr. Hall may correct this, but I'm not sure there's any real difference other than in the neck construction... I can't really see why they even called it a different model number.

Supposedly the 4003 was designed to take the higher tension of roundwound strings, but in fact not all roundwounds are higher tension, and not all flatwounds are lower tension!

There are certainly differences between older 4001s and newer 4003s, but both models originally had the old-style truss rods, and now both including the reissue 4001s have the new type. A 1979 4001 will definitely have the old type.

4001s originally used Toaster and Horseshoe pickups, but these were changed to High-Gains long before the 4003 was introduced. All 4003s have High-Gains. Similarly the vintage tone cap removal doesn't coincide with the model change. I'm pretty sure a '79 should have the cap.

Earlier 4001s had the neck pickup in a different place from later ones too - about 1/2" from the end of the neck, whereas later ones are 1". But this change occurred in the mid-70s.


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:13 am
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I think BlueAngel is right, the only difference really is the neck. You adjust the rods manually on a 4001. 4003's adjust the same way any other truss rod does.


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 2:51 am 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm
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Location: London, UK
All right, so from what has been said here I can safely say that what matters the most is the PRODUCTION YEAR, not the model number. Say, an '88 4001 would be almost identical to an '88 4003, right?

As far as I know 4001's were made from 1961 or so to 1992, and 4003's from 1981 or so to the present. So whoever wants the really vintage stuff should aim for a 4001, but after 1981 it wouldn't make much difference. Correct?

Thanks all for the helpful info by the way. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:13 am
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If I'm not mistaken, other than re-issue models, the 4003 replaced the 4001 and they weren't made as stock models at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:00 pm
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Location: Kansas
Quote:
If I'm not mistaken, other than re-issue models, the 4003 replaced the 4001 and they weren't made as stock models at the same time.


The 4001 and 4003 were available at the same time. Check out this page from the 1981 Rickenbacker catalog:

http://www.rickenbacker.com/catalog_pos ... 75x-11.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 4:59 am 
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Then I am mistaken.


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:13 am
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Location: Germany
"There are certainly differences between older 4001s and newer 4003s, but both models originally had the old-style truss rods"

To the best of my knowledge no 4003 ever had the old style rods - that was the whole point in redesigning the bass, wasn´t it?
As to question whether or not they were produced at the same time there is some confusion. 4001 and 4003 do overlap for quite some time, but I read somewhere that Mr Hall claims they stopped building the 4001 altogether and switched over entirely to the 4003, selling only the stock they had at that point. Given the fact that the 4001 was still featured in the 1984 catalog (and the 4001FL even in 1986) that must have been quite a lot of stock...


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 155
Location: London, UK
Wow, sorry but that's hard to believe, I mean, correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't Rickenbacker always been a rather small company where the demand is A LOT MORE than what they produce and there's always a backload?

So I find it impossible that they had stock of 4001's until the early 90's... :o

http://www.rickresource.com/rrp/axtbassarticle2.html

This site says the 4001's were discontinued in 1983 whereas 4003's started being made in 1980, so there should be a at least 3 years of overlapping.

I have a friend in Argentina, though, that says he has a 4001 '92, how is that possible? :o (maybe he made a mistake, or I got it wrong, or he's BSing me)


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 Post subject: Re: Differences between 4003 and 4001?
 Post Posted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 27
It's propably a 4001 V 63. They are still continued.


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