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Fake RickenBacker 4001 Bass

by vaughn skow December 17, 2014 2 min read 1 Comment

Rickenfaker? Fakenbacker? Humm, call it what you want, the bass I recently discovered in a little mom-n-pop music show was most certainly not the Rickenbacker it claimed to be!

On a recent trip to a small Kentucky town not many hours out of Nashville, TN my eyes caught something not often seen in this types of music store, a cool vintage-looking Rick 4001 bass.  I took a quick look at the price and got a little excited … five hundred bucks!  Here is the bass, I handed it to my buddy Brad to snap a quick pic of my “find”.

Fake Rickenbacker 4001 Bass

Then I decided I’d try to determine its approximate age.   Here is a pick I snapped of this “MADE IN U.S.A.” 4001:

Fake Rickenbacker 4001 Bass Headstock 

Then I flipped it over:

Fake Rickenbacker 4001 Bass bolt-on neck

Hey … wait a minute!  A bolt-on Rick 4001?  No way!  This thing was as fake as a three dollar bill.  What had made it look so convincing was the fact that it looked like an old club-gig war horse.  This thing reaked of cigarette smoke and sported what appeared to be the signs of a lot of actual play time.  And, so I figured the somewhat strange pickup and a few other things were just unknown “battle scars” from less than professional “fixes”.  But the bolt-on neck … nope.  My poor little heart was broken.

Now, possibly the weirdest part of this story is this:  on my last trip to this same small town I looked at a “Gibson Zack Wylde Les Paul” in a pawn shop that was also a fake.  What the heck?  Are fake guitars really that rampant?  I’m not sure I know the answer to that question, but I do know this, when buying a guitar second-hand, be sure it’s REALLY what it claims to be … especially if the deal is too good to be true!  Consider yourself warned.

emailVaughn   About Vaughn Skow 

1 Response


June 08, 2024

I’ve actually got one exactly like that. Bolt-on neck and everything. Before looking into it, I actually discovered that it was fake when I opened it up to fix some shitty wiring and saw that nothing matched any schematics I could find for the 4001 😅 From there on I noticed more and more irregularities and now only keep it for sentimental value… it’s the bass of my childhood.

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