Classic gear: Rickenbacker 4001

Rickenbacker 4001
(Image credit: Future / Adam Gasson)

Following the release of Fender’s game-changing Precision Bass in 1951, most American manufacturers had introduced an electric bass guitar to the market by the mid-'50s, but it wasn’t until 1957 that Rickenbacker introduced its own.  

Although it was slow to arrive, the model 4000 ultimately became one of the most influential bass designs ever. It was the first of its kind to feature a neck-through-body construction and dual truss-rod system. This, along with its “extreme cut-away” body design and ‘cresting wave’ three-piece headstock profile, made the company’s fledgling bass appear altogether different. 

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.