Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

How bad did my youth damage my 4003's value?
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Author:  Low E [ Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  How bad did my youth damage my 4003's value?

It's a beautiful midnight blue with black binding and hardware. For the most part it's in excellent shape aside from the normal chips here and there from jazz band etc use that I did as a typical 14yr old.

As a youngster I didn't like the painted neck. I meticulously sanded all the paint off the back without removing any wood and treated it with tung oil. That was 20 years ago so don't judge me.

Author:  cassius987 [ Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How bad did my youth damage my 4003's value?

Normal wear and tear like dings and dents on an older instrument are often balanced by "vintage" status even if that just means a bass is 15+ years old... everyone has a different cutoff or desirable era for "vintage" instruments. So that's not so bad. If the damage goes all the way down to the maple that's a bit of a different story because it changes a lot more about the "look" of the instrument.

Sanding off the finish from the neck and redoing it in tung oil already sounds pretty bad but it will be impossible to evaluate the damage without pics, to see how clean a job you did. No judgement of course but this definitely devalued your instrument. If you did an immaculate job of it and there have been no negative consequences besides the obvious loss of the factory finish you could probably market it as a "player's bass" and still do reasonably well. If you did a shoddy job even the "player's bass" market won't be enthusiastic about it. If it's in that bad of shape (and the value catastrophically low) you may want a RIC-knowledgeable pro like Paul Wilczynski to refinish it for you if you are thinking of selling it, or even just for your own benefit.

Author:  iiipopes [ Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How bad did my youth damage my 4003's value?

What Cassius said. It is probably of lesser dollar value. And it's difficult to refinish over tung oil, just due to the nature of tung oil being a penetrating, hardening oil.


I understand why you did it. I actually specified tung oil on my custom fanned fret bass that has an HB-1 pickup in it. I know the neck feels great and is a pleasure to play.

Now, think about it: this is your bass. You're the player. You got the bass when it was relatively new, and made it fit you and your playing, knowing at the time more were being made. George Gruhn talks at length about "players' instruments," and how the tools of the trade have to fit the player to be really useful, not just "collectible" by some abstract standard.

http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... cians.aspx

Bottom line: you did what you did. Unlike changing a pickup, knob, or pickguard color, it is irreversible. So what! What you did made your bass playable for you for all these past years of enjoyment, and all the ongoing years of enjoyment to come. The bass is still good bass. I would focus more on the enjoyment of the bass and the fellowship of the people I get to jam with playing it, and less about any abstract dollar value.

Author:  Low E [ Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How bad did my youth damage my 4003's value?

Thanks for the responses.

I have no intention of ever selling it but I was amazed how much the value of these has escalated since I bought this 86 Rick in 1993 for my life savings, $800. I was hoping I hadn't ruined any future collectability, didn't really think about the players bass aspect. It's history means more to me than a dollar figure.

It's been sitting silently in it's case for years because the action was getting so bad that I could hardly stand to play it. I've never adjusted the truss rods since I've owned it, too scared to mess something up. I don't know why it's a pretty straight forward procedure. Now I have the seized rod out and deciding on how to go about repairing, probably just going to run a die down the threads. I'd love to get this back to the playability and tone it had 20 years ago.

Yes, the tung oil neck does feel nice.

Author:  jbudweiser [ Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How bad did my youth damage my 4003's value?

I think both cassius and iiipopes have given you some great advice and insight into your guitar. From your initial post I was not sure if you wanted to keep this gtr, but after reading your last post it is obvious you have some sentimental attachment to this instrument.

You say you would never sell it! OK in that case the guitar's is indeed precious to you, if you are going to restore the guitar to perfect playing condition you should seek a luthier or guitar tech. If you feel confident enough to get the guitar into perfect playing order yourself, I still would advise you seek some help, whether that be from a luthier, tech, or this forum.
Good luck with your repairs.

Author:  Faz [ Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How bad did my youth damage my 4003's value?

If it feels & sounds good .. play it..... Remember.. Paul McCartney's Ric was fireglo at oew time.. then a crazy psych. paint job.. then sanded totally smooth...points & all..... look how "Iconic" that bass has become

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