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My "Rickenfaker"

Here’s my 1976 Ibanez “lawsuit” copy of a Rickenbacker® 4001. I picked her up on eBay a while back. She was in rough condition; the pickups had been spray-painted flat black – without being removed from the bass! In addition, a thumb rest had been screwed into the face of the body! Of course, she had the usual dents and dings that you’d expect on a bass over 30 years old, and she was grungy from having been neglected.

I took her apart, cleaned her up, removed the pickguard and electronics, replaced the pickups, electronics and knobs with genuine Ric parts, and put a set of RotoSounds on her. Once I was satisfied that she was back up to speed, the crowning touch: I fashioned a replacement headstock logo, in the style of Rickenbacker’s type, that says “Rickenfaker.” I figure, it’s not the real thing – so I might as well play up to that fact. It’s a poseur, but it does a good job! We’ve recorded it on a number of the Din Within songs with great success so far.

I also equipped her with a “stereo” output jack (with a switch) to allow me to send the pickups to separate amps (a la “Rick-O-SoundTM”) or both to a single output for normal use.

Here’s a closeup of the “Rickenfaker” overlay. When I first created it, I thought it was such a swell idea that I’d put them on eBay for other owners of copies to apply to their basses – alas, that didn’t last long. Once the Rickenbacker brass caught wind of it, they strong-armed eBay into cancelling the auctions, and subsequently threatened me with eBay banishment. They are EXTREMELY protective, which I understand – but it’s not like I was passing off the bass as a real Ric (or making a kit for others to do so). Legally speaking, my humorous log is a parody, which constitutes fair use (look it up). But I wasn’t about to get into a verbal fistfight with them (and risk my eBay history and account) for a measly $10 apiece.

So, nyah nyah, I’ve got a RickenFaker logo and you don’t.

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