1974 Rickenbacker 4001 Bass

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1974 was another transitional year for the 4001. The four pole bridge pickup's baseplate was no longer made of aluminum. It was now constructed of black plastic. For part of the year (Feb-Aug) the small dot fret markers on the side binding were often red. By March the toaster shaped neck pickup began transitioning to a four pole pickup. As early as April the tuners began transitioning from wavy Grover Imperial tuners with larger chrome bushings to Kluson riveted tuners with smaller metal bushings. By October the bushings had changed from metal to black plastic. During 1974 the Kluson riveted tuners used both flathead and Phillips head screws.

Other 1974 Ric 4001 features: cresting wave shaped headstock, logo on white or black plexiglass truss rod cover, dual truss rods, smaller triangle pearloid fret markers, neck through body design including skunk stripe, 20 frets or fretless option, white or black binding, optional checkered binding, four pole bridge pickup including cover and chrome surround, white or black pickguard, heptagonal shaped knobs with silver tops and usually with lettering, CTS potentiometers, "orange drop" capacitors, plastic wiring in control cavity, ric-o-sound input jack plate, pots cavity marking, 3 way pickup toggle switch, chrome bridge assembly including mutes, black Tolex case with blue interior.

The letters on the chrome input jack plate determine the year and month of production. The digits indicate the number of production. Some examples of 1974 Rickenbacker serial numbers are:

NA xxxx 1974 January
NB 117x 1974 February
NC 142x 1974 March
ND 222x 1974 April
NE 318x 1974 May
NF 400x 1974 June
NG 462x 1974 July
NH 545x 1974 August
NI 586x 1974 September
NJ 631x 1974 October
NK 681x 1974 November
NL 166x 1974 December