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Rickenbacker

Started by Anna Woriboutchu, November 09, 2021, 16:30:29 PM

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Since my teens I have always longed for a 4003 bass. In Jetglo of course. Recently I decided the time was right to take the plunge, however, I have just read that just about all Rickenbacker production will now be with unlacquered fretboards. I'm not sure how I feel about this as whenever I have played a 4003 there was something very slick feeling about the neck, and I worry that something of this guitar's character may be lost with raw rosewood. I've never been keen on buying used guitars (don't know why really) and it's too early as yet to find any reviews of the appearance or playability of the new lack of finish. If anyone stumbles across an enlightening article on the subject I would be grateful to be pointed towards it.

You could always have the fingerboard finished. One of my Strats has a lacquered rosewood fingerboard, it's very nice.

I wouldn't have the courage to hand it over to someone to have that done as I'm one of life's worriers. Also, if it is an oil finished fretboard, wouldn't there be a chance that any residual volatile parts would affect the integrity of the lacquer? Maybe I should take the view that I'm playing a very small part in helping with emission reduction, although I'm guessing it has more to do with lower production cost and increased margin than any pique of corporate conscience.

Well  - rosewood fingerboards aren't usually oil-finished, although peoople like to apply "lemon oil" (usually a mineral oil with lemon scent) sometimes. But the refinisher would degrease it first anyway.

Interestingly, some instruments with rosewood (or laurel, or pau ferro etc) fingerboards have a very thin lacquer applied at the factory, designed to improve the appearance and feel of the wood without making it look lacquered. My 1982 JV Srat was one of these, and I never knew until I had it refretted. I just thought it had a very nice, lustrous fingerboard.

But while it was away being refretted, I had a call from the luthier to tell me that he'd seen a white powder coming off it while sanding the board smooth for the new frets - indicating that there was a thin layer of lacquer. And that he'd applied a new layer himself.

The new lacquer is a lot more obvious than the old lacquer, which wasn't detectable at all. It looks more like a Ricky fingerboard now. But I've grown to love it.

I have a suspicion that my PRS SE has a thin finish on its rosewood, as well. It looks and feels nicer than any of the US PRSes I have.

As I am currently unable to make up my mind about this fretboard change I have been considering whether I should switch my focus to the American Fender Geddy Lee Jazz. I contacted a local store who checked with Fender and called back with an offer of January 2023 delivery. The world is indeed in a state of disarray.

January 08, 2022, 21:57:43 PM #5 Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 22:16:00 PM by Anna Woriboutchu
I appear to have finally found a 2010 4003 in Jetglo. Just finalising a couple of loose ends. Only took me 42 years.


I did notice that guitar recently as I've been looking for some time, but I couldn't possibly justify the price given my lack of talent. ;D

Bass arrived today. Finally a 4003 owner. Why did it take me so long?