My Rickenbacker 4001 collection hanging out in the living room.
There are no shortages of great bass guitars and great bass guitarists in the world of Rock and Roll. And there is something about the Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar that puts it into a league all its own.
Never sold in the same quantities as Fender’s Precision model, the 4001 model was built for the most discerning bass guitarists who were looking for a sound with more treble, more sustain, and more tone. Some say it’s similar to the sound of a piano.
Rickenbacker produced the 4001 model with what’s called “Rick-O-Sound”, a two input system that has one jack used for standard mono use and a second jack designed for use with a stereo equipped amplifier or with a “Rick-o-Sound” kit.
Due to its unique sound configuration, many bass players seeking a particularly aggressive or progressive sound were
attracted to it’s piano type low end growl. The Rickenbacker 4001 became the bass guitar of choice amongst many of Progressive Rock’s greatest players.
Perhaps the most famous bass guitarist to use the Rickenbacker 4001 is Paul McCartney who selected this bass over his traditional Hofner violin bass, when the Beatles began to explore more progressive music.
Chris Squire, bass guitarist extraordinaire for the legendary Progressive Rock band
Yes, used the 4001 to define bass guitar in the Progressive Rock genre.
In a similar vein, Canadian bass guitarist Geddy Lee from the band Rush was synonymous with the 4001 sound. He used a black double neck version during live concerts. An unforgettable sight for me as a young lad.
But the 4001 is not only a bass made for Progressive Rock, Lemmy Kilmeister of
Motorhead as well as Cliff Burton from Metallica used the 4001 to place the bass guitar closer to the front of the band. All you have to do is hear "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead to know exactly what I mean.
At least this is my humble opinion. :)