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 Post subject: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: October 24th, 2019, 3:59 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
Posts: 205
After much thought, and hesitation, and with the possibility of tariff increases looming- I finally ordered this bass in September. After quite a few confusing e-mails, and messages from the builder, Jugg Guitar, I ordered it through DHGate. Yeah, I have issues with the Human rights in their nation. Yeah, I'd love a real Rickenbacker 4005. Rickenbacker, last I saw, flatly stated they'll never make the 4005 again... and leftys? I'll be dead before I'll ever get one, or find one for sale.. let alone have the $15-20k necessary to choose between buying a bass that, truthfully, will see limited use, or a nice late model vehicle. So, $405.00, and a month later.. I received these photos today. Now, I await shipment.
I KNOW I will have work to do on it. The spacing looks like either there is little or no tension on the strings, or they didn't file the saddle slots. I'm a professional repairman, and will fix all of it. This bass looks pretty nice..a copy? Yeah. I owned a Japanese Beatle Bass copy back in 1968 when I was a beginner. The Asians are great craftspeople, regardless of the political regime, or their situation. Someday, perhaps that will change. I hope it does. These Chinese instruments, have plenty of drawbacks, but are well crafted overall. Just like the Korean ones from the 70's and 80's did. We know how those have improved.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: October 24th, 2019, 4:22 am 
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Joined: December 20th, 2011, 11:42 am
Posts: 732
Location: Philly Area
Great looking bass! Good Luck! I agree with all your comments.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: October 24th, 2019, 4:50 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
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Thanks, Bob.. I'm lovin' the T-bird, by the way. Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: October 24th, 2019, 4:58 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
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Usually, these have stained black fingerboards.. This one, perhaps due to the new ruling, that completed instruments are exempt from CITES restrictions, it has a light rosewood board. Perfect. I think the first mod, will be to apply some lacquer to the fingerboard, and fix the saddle weirdness. New pots, switch, and jack..and wire it up like a real Rick. Will post progress as it happens. Now, I wait for it's voyage to The U.S., and trip out west to Nevada.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: October 24th, 2019, 10:18 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2013, 6:09 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Cincinnati
blablas got one of these and worked his magic into it. Maybe his thread can give you some idea of what to expect. (Or maybe AliExpress instruments are like a box of chocolates...)

Here is what he said:

blablas wrote:
Most of what I did was fixing 'just off' things.
- Center aligned the pickups to the strings, the bridge pu was moved over by 3 millimeters, the neck pu by 1 millimeter.
- Due to the moving of the pickups I also had to move the pickguard.
- Reshaped the nut, they just put on a right handed one so this needed to be seriously modified, I'll probably make a new one in he future.
- Gave the tuner bushings a few knocks on their head, they were mounted crooked, tuners are also not up to my standard so will be replaced later on.
- The fingerboard had several less good looking and finished spots, re-finished these.
- Crowned the frets where needed and polished them, they were level but rough finished in a lot spots.
- Changed the rotation direction of the pots, they were wired lefty so nothing wrong there, I just can't and won't cope with this reversed crap!
- Done a full shielding of the controls cavity, there was none whatsoever.
- Made a thumb rest.
- Replaced the strap holders, what was on there was mounted with very thin and short screws, to leave those would have been waiting for an accident to happen.
- Checked if all the screws and bolts were tightened and if they weren't tightened them (more often than not they were loose!).
- Did a full and thorough setup.

Conclusion:
After all the things I did I mentioned above this bass has transformed into a very nice, good working and playing Rick 4005 interpretation.
Sound wise it has some settings that can resemble the Rick sound very closely, luckily it also has it's own sound, the pickups sound good enough for me, only minus is that the bridge pickup is slightly microphonic but I can live with that.
The lacquer and finish is not bad - there are some blemishes and rough spots, most blemishes are underneath the lacquer!

This is another AliExpress bass I would advise not to buy to most people. If you are in to tinkering it's perfect, if you are not you should stay away from these basses. It can be turned into a good player (and looker) without too much effort.

The build quality on this one was a lot better in comparison to the two Jazz V basses I bought through AliExpress before. These two needed some serious work to make them playable, straight from the box they were unusable.


Here is the thread. It starts at the bottom of this page and continues on the next:
http://www.leftybassist.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5595&start=20

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Gilmourisgod wrote:
I never really "got" what a Rick is capable of until I ran it stereo a few times in my college band. We used to call it the "Piano of Doom". You get all the bottom and all the top in total a**kicking mode.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: October 24th, 2019, 12:28 pm 
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Joined: February 14th, 2012, 10:17 am
Posts: 262
Location: The Netherlands
click

Without the PhotoFuckit muck. ;)

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My DIY de afwerking basses


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: October 26th, 2019, 3:17 pm 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
Posts: 205
Kudos to Blablas for making his bass better. As a repairman, I try to educate people on just how to do things like that.
His bass is very different than mine. Those are cool, and I'll bet that they actually are more usable tone-wise, because of the pickup placement. I didn't order one of those, because it is too off from the original dimensions for me. The body shape, pickup placement, pickguard size, are the most obvious. I still do not know what this 4005 I bought will be like. I just don't have the time with my repair schedule, to build one from scratch, which I could do. My need for a 4005, pretty much came down to waiting until they got all the dimensions right, and made these look like the originals. I don't see myself taking it to many gigs, except maybe to play some Beatles stuff, where a hollow body 'bloop' is needed.
I will also take pics of the before/ during/ after in progress of my improvements.
I just noticed, that JUGG_GUITAR, the DHGate seller I got this from, has noted that these are now 'not in stock.' I'll bet they are rethinking their cost to build them.
If I like this instrument- I'm going to see how the 4001S V63 they offer are.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: November 5th, 2019, 10:06 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
Posts: 205
Update, Nov. 5th. 2019....The bass arrived yesterday. I really don't know where to begin, but I'm going to give you all my initial impressions, and what I HAD to do, to make this instrument playable.
First impression, the styrofoam box they send these things thousands of miles in, seems to do a pretty good job of protecting the instrument. A real mess when you have to open it, then discard them.
The bass looked really nice unboxing it. Initial inspection:

1. The sunburst, and the final topcoat, are very nicely done. The bad: There are numerous underneath the finish 'glitches' and repairs. Some finish has not filled places on the fret board. There are obvious doweled imperfections in the wood billet for the neck.
2. The bridge- is a GUITAR bridge, with six saddles! THAT'S why the spacing looked weird in the photos they sent me. The bridge cover needed to be removed for me to correct this.. it was like pulling a tooth, the screws were apparently driven in with a power driver. Tough to remove.
3. The bass DIDN'T WORK when I plugged it in!
4. The neck- was backbowed horribly. Strings were tuned down, but not that much
5. The truss rod cover made me wonder what anyone there knows about these basses. It was machined crooked, too- a touch on my belt sander fixed that fast. It's pretty hysterical looking with the upside-down logo... see photo. The nut was too tall, and had sharp edges.
6. The neck, is 'spongy'...not a very high quality piece of wood.
7. This bass is HUGE. The headstock, is HUGE. and the tuners are BIG.

O.K., so what did I do?

First thing, was to adjust the truss rod. Thankfully, it does adjust.
Second, was to diagnose the electronic issue. I discovered that the switch is the main culprit, and the bridge pickup ground wire was nearly off the pickup at the bobbins. I stripped new wire, and re-soldered it. Got it working..later that evening, I decided to install a Switchcraft 1/4" jack, in place of the awful stock one. As you all might already know, the pots and components on these Chinese instruments are pretty bad.
Now, the pickups.... they are microphonic. Not terrible, but they are. They actually are decent sounding, and fairly quiet. They have a major flaw. The bobbins are too short, and you need to disassemble them, and remove the black hardened silicone/ glue- and use wooden, or plastic spacers to position the coils so that there is less of an amplitude issue. This bass had a weak 'E' string, until I messed with the internals a bit. A good set of real Rick pickups would likely correct this issue for good.
Third- The frets! UGH... not even close to being level, So, a level, recrown and polish, rounded off the rough ends, and solved that problem.
Fourth- Setup- I removed the stock, and actually decent feeling and sounding rounds, and installed a set of Fender 9050 flats. I slotted the bridge saddles to get the spacing I wanted, and set the intonation. I filed down the top and edges of the nut, and rounded it off. The little nut and washer have to be loosened each time you need to move the saddle then locked back down. I got the intonation spot-on.
Fifth- I removed the large- and pretty god quality strap buttons, and installed Schaller type straploks.
The bass looks, feels and plays nicely now. And it sounds surprisingly great.

Conclusion: Unless you are a professional repairman like I am, or know one that is generous and patient- or you are good at tinkering, I'd avoid buying one of these Chinese basses. The overall- This bass looks like it was made IN A HURRY. Telltale signs of a stressful and rushed production line are all over it. I wonder what kind of instruments they'd make if they had the TIME to really make them right.

The pluses are- you can have a bass that looks like, and SOUNDS damn close to a real 4005, which are- last I checked about 16-20k and up- if you can even find a lefty for sale- for about 400 bucks. The minuses- It will take some time, maybe some money, to invest in a bass that you'll always know is really a copy made in a nation where they don't really care what happens to their workers.

Future mods: The gigantic tuners will be replaced
New, better pickups.
Total replacement of all the stock electronics.

Now, the photos.


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Last edited by LHBASSIST on November 5th, 2019, 11:34 am, edited 4 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: November 5th, 2019, 10:07 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
Posts: 205
The weird, awful bridge...and the Completed bass.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: November 15th, 2019, 1:27 am 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
Posts: 205
I fiddled with the stock pickups, and although somewhat satisfied, I wanted to replace them. Creamery pickups are pricey, and theres a wait. AND a set of them, is half again what this bass cost me! I discovered, to my surprise, that Guitar Fetish, sells a brand new 'metal foil' pickup- in a surface mount configuration, for Rickenbackers! They have them in Ferrite magnet, and in Alnico 5. I bought two 6k Alnico's- $37.95 each. It took me about 20 minutes to install these. They are quiet, and no more amplitude issues! I was wondering how to mod these to put them in the Toaster' housings- but I like the way they look, so.. its fine as is. One more mod, new tuners, then out to do some gigs on occasion. The pots work o.k. for now. I think I may even install an onboard EQ.

For those so inclined- here's the website.

https://www.guitarfetish.com/message.asp?msg=49

And directly to the page where I got these.

https://www.guitarfetish.com/Specialty- ... c_582.html


Here's the new pickups, and they sound great.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: November 29th, 2019, 10:53 pm 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
Posts: 205
Well, it just seemed like too good a deal to be true- a decent, inexpensive copy of a left handed Rick 4005. The neck tenon was installed at an incorrect angle in the bass. I told the seller/ builder, and he didn't really acknowledge my complaint. Hey, I'm a repairman, I can fix it, right? Oh, well... I had an easy workaround, I put a little backbow in the neck, and raised the action, and the bass was quite playable. I was thinking of making a saw cut at the heel, at an angle, and just reset the neck using a scarf joint. That, is now no longer an option. The reason, is that the neck is literally pulling away from the back at the place where it goes into the body. The angle is increasing, too. The back will need to come off. The neck removed, a new, or reinforced tenon made, and then, back together. Like I didn't already have a lot to do. This will sit in the waiting line for a while. This is a disappointment, to say the least. The bass sounds great, looks great, but is in truth, sadly, a p.o.s., a pretty p.o.s., but setting the neck incorrectly, is just a bad thing. Especially one this difficult to remove and reset.
A lot of you have looked at this bass- and wondered if you should get one. My advice? Get one if you must- but DO NOT buy from Jugg_Guitar. There may be some other shops in China making these, but this one. A bust.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: December 1st, 2019, 1:02 pm 
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Joined: November 20th, 2008, 7:01 am
Posts: 205
December 1, 2019, kaput. I discovered the failing glue joint at the neck tenon recently... and pondered what to do. I deliberately left tension on the strings, to see how far the opening would develop. Last night, after coming home from my gig... I found out.
Total failure of the glue joint. I have not yet tried to take the neck out. I will later on, and post updates. I'm not really too upset, I knew I might either have to send this bass back to China, at my shipping cost at least one way- or try to take the back off to repair the tenon. It seems like the Chinese builders may have used a short tenon, inadequate to withstand the leverage placed upon it by string tension. This may be an opportunity to simply strengthen the existing tenon from the unseen part, and surface it properly, to achieve the correct angle of set- and then glue it back in, using real glue... not some factory crap that I've seen in Chinese upright basses.

Here's some pics. Again, unless you are a repairman/ woman- or are just taking a chance- if you MUST buy a Chickenbacker, get a neck through 4000 series bass.


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: December 1st, 2019, 2:57 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2015, 6:36 pm
Posts: 2247
Location: Cambridge, MA
Ouch!


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 Post subject: Re: CHINA Rickenbacker 4005 copy
PostPosted: December 6th, 2019, 3:41 pm 
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Joined: June 18th, 2009, 2:36 pm
Posts: 755
Location: NYCeeeeeeeeee!
Sorry to hear about your troubles! If you can get it functional again, it will still be worth it though. 4005s are about the look as much as the sound and it seems like both of these were going ok until neck detachment. Please keep us posted on your progress.


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