Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Geddy Lee's Ric
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Author:  signatureaurora [ Sat May 29, 2010 4:49 am ]
Post subject:  Geddy Lee's Ric

Hi. I am new here and I have a question about Geddy Lee's Rickenbacker from the 70's... I also believed he pulled it out the last tour or two which is awesome.

Is his a 4001 bass? I don't know much about Ricks yet. A local music store is selling a black 4001 (year 75 or 76). I am thinking about buying it. How much do you think it's worth? It's in awesome shape, not like new of course... maybe some buckle rash... otherwise it's in great shape. I played it and its (you said bad word)ing great.

Is there any modifications to Geddy's that sets it apart from stock Rics?

Thanks, I'd love to hear some answer to these few questions.

Author:  cassius987 [ Sat May 29, 2010 5:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

Geddy's most famous Rickenbacker bass is a Jetglo 4001 that was built in the 1970s with a Badass II bridge fitted to it--RUSH heads step in here and fill in any gaps in my info--and he also owned some doubleneck Rics and a 4002, a very boutique Ric bass that was built for a short period in the 1980s.

Geddy did bring that bass out as an encore during the last one or two tours with RUSH, which I got to see in St. Louis. It's funny, the tone really did stand out as different from his Jazzes, which I didn't expect considering how chameleonic Geddy Lee has been in terms of switching models of bass, but still sounding like himself, over the years. For a good idea of his original Ric tone, the album Signals is apparently quite Ric heavy, and so is most of his work before that, with the Fender Jazz Bass jumping in to the mix as well. After Signals I don't think he recorded anything with his Rickenbackers (maybe there are exceptions--who knows).

A 1970s 4001 can vary drastically in value from another. Condition, finish, and specific vintage all play huge roles in determining this. There is however a population of "player's basses" from this decade that come from 1975-1979 and can be had for less than $2,000 the vast majority of the time, and are often very good basses. Basses built before 1974 tend to have "collector's features" like special binding and inlays and will be much more expensive.

If you are new to Rics you need to be aware of this: 4001 basses have "old style" truss rods that require you to manually adjust the neck to the proper relief before locking it in place by tightening the rods--this method actually works on all guitars but is mandatory for "old style" rods. A 4003 can be adjusted this way too, but more commonly is done the "normal way". An advantage of the "old style" rods: they are rock solid. I just picked up a 1976 4001FL a few months ago, the neck is as thin as paper, and even though I strung it with some very large strings the neck is still dead straight. I haven't touched the truss rods once and don't plan on it.

Author:  Gin [ Sat May 29, 2010 6:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

The only thing that sets Geddy's from other Ric's is that Geddy has a Badass II bridge on his 4001 instead of the stock bridge. I sort of had the same story as you, I have a 1975 4001 Jetglo with BadassII mod on it and to be honest I wasnt quite thrilled with the mod bridge, it made no difference to the sound at all(if you're trying to sound like Ged). Now I have the standard Ric tailpiece/bridge back on it.

The Badass Mod requires some drilling into the body of the Ric :-( and a thin piece of plastic under the BAII bridge to cover the left over areas because the BAII bridges are much smaller than the standard Ric bridge.

I personally think BAII's work great on Jazz Basses, but tend to do nothing on a Ric, besides, the stock Rickenbacker bridge looks WAAAY better anyways!

Mine cost around $2000 CDN ($1500 USD)

I hope that helps you out a bit.

Author:  signatureaurora [ Sat May 29, 2010 7:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

Guys thanks a lot for the feedback. Apparently that price is right on... he's asking $1500.00 for it. I don't think I can pass this up. I'm a huge Rush fan and Ged fan, but I agree with you, I don't think putting a Badass bridge on there would accomplish anything. I'll probably leave it alone. Now, monday I am going down there to get that son of a bitch!

Author:  ricslinger [ Sat May 29, 2010 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

I think the Leo Quan Badass was aimed mostly at Fender basses.Also don't forget Geddy used Rotosound Swing '66s on his Rick,which was either a late '73 or early '74.

Author:  Ric5 [ Sat May 29, 2010 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

Geddy has owned 2 black 4001 basses from about 73 to 75 range, a 4002, 2 4080 doublenecks, a 3000 or 3001, and maybe a 4003. He played a 70s white 4001 with black trim in at least one video but that bass may belong to Alex Lifeson.

At least one of his black 4001 basses had grovers which fell apart and they wouldn't keep in tune so the tuners got replaced. Also several of his Rics got Leo Quan bridges as do many of his jazz basses.

Author:  gustavito_7 [ Mon May 31, 2010 6:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

I bought my 4003 jetglo in honor to him =) and because i love how it looks of course

Changing the subject a little, i LOVE Geddy Lee's tone in the Signals album.. and before that too.. But after that when he switched to Fender i think he lost something =( It sounds good still, i love fender basses as well but his Rick tone was amazing

Chris Squire has an unbelievable tone too :P

Author:  cassius987 [ Mon May 31, 2010 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

Geddy's Fender Jazz (c. 1972) saw use on several early RUSH records in addition to his Rics. I know a lot of people have concrete ideas about what songs are what bass but honestly, I don't put much stock in any of it anymore, as I have even known people to contradict what Geddy has said in interviews on the subject. I have heard that the 4002 saw use on Signals, which would be cool as that album has some of my favorite bass tone coming from Geddy. But again, it's all just hearsay.

After Signals, Geddy also experimented with Steinberger and Wal basses, and then he settled on his Fender Jazz(es). I think what really changed the most after Signals was the way the music was being produced, and the bass certainly lost some of that visceral feeling it had before. Even though their most recent album refers back to their older work, it really doesn't capture the same energy, unfortunately. I actually think that RUSH has become increasingly inspired by the music that they inspired... when I heard Snakes and Arrows the first time I really thought they were directly referencing TOOL in a few places.

Author:  Ric5 [ Mon May 31, 2010 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

Here's an interesting thread about Geddy and his basses and his tone on talkbass.


Author:  Paul_4003 [ Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Geddy Lee's Ric

Hi All... Didn't he use a steinberger for Signals?? In any case, I was dissapointed when I saw him abandon tradition, I mean, abandon his Rickenbacker... :-)

As for customization, he also changed the tuning pegs to Schaller, (smoother, different gear ratio might be the reason) plus the badass bridge as we all know in order to get (slightly) better sustain.

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