As you can see, I’ve just got my Ricky back from the paint shop and I absolutely love the colour. As I said last time, it pays to get this job done by a professional unless you are really confident and have the facilities to do it properly yourself. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can nip down to your local hardware shop, pick up a can of spray and a few sheets of sandpaper and expect to get anything near a professional finish, because you won’t. This is a false economy as it will cost you more in the long run to put your DIY effort right. Only take this job on yourself if you really know what you are doing. The Ricky looks great in its new coat, but it’s now making the old scratch-guard look a bit jaded. I always thought the scratchguards on the 4001s looked like a piece of Formica from a 1970s kitchen, and they really let the look of the bass down – but there are lots of high-quality replacement guards readily available from various outlets.
I made some scratchguard shape templates from cardboard and coloured them in to see what worked best against the new colour of the bass. Finally, all those afternoons watching Blue Peter have paid off.
Eventually I decided on this white pearl effect guard, which really shows off the new paint job and gives the bass that retro look I want. As I said before, there are some bits of my Rick missing, or too badly damaged to use, so I will have to get some parts specially made. The double input plate was one of these pieces, so I sent it off to Mr Matty Dread, a man from County Cork who can make anything from metal. Matt fashioned me an exact replica plate that I am using on the bass, but I’ll keep the original plate as it authenticates the serial number. Matt made me several bespoke parts for this bass: you will see more of his fantastic work as the build progresses. I’m also upgrading the bridge with this Hipshot unit, as the original bridge was missing.
This bridge is especially made by Hipshot for Rickenbacker basses, and it has the same size footprint as the original, so all the screw-holes match up, making it a quick, easy fit with no drilling involved. It looks brilliant.