Every once in a blue moon, one can run across an instrument that you just have to have and this fretless 4001 is just such a bass. I'd never owned a fretless Ricky in the 18 years of being in this business, so when I first laid eyes on it at this past Philadelphia show, my mind was set in stone. This 4001FL was going to be mine.
During the negotiations for this bass, I was met with a bit of opposition on actually purchasing it. It seems that, on dealer day at a guitar show, the atmosphere can get a bit testy when a really cool piece becomes available for sale, but no matter the difficulty in closing the deal, on this bass, I was not to be deterred. I played it and immediately loved the thinner profile of the neck- maybe that was because it has no frets, making the profile thin, smooth and quite silky. I'm not a fretless player by any means, but to noodle around on this bass was a pure joy, even if I was playing the wrong notes. Even I can eek out "Smoke on the Water" on a fretless bass and get close enough for government work. As we speak, this Ricky is hanging on the wall of our office, right above a 1964 Ampeg B-15-N and trust me when I say that in itself is a perfect excuse to not get very much work done in a day. This is a solid, great playing and sounding bass.
This one comes in at a weight of 9 lbs, 7 oz and features a gorgeous Bubinga fretboard. The thing that must also be mentioned is, at some time in the past, the pickguard was changed to one made by Pickguardian. That said, of all of the functions a pickguard must dutifully perform, the Pickguardian version does them all with flying colors. I mean this pickguard can stand on its own when it comes to the world of pickguards. It holds the pickups, electronics and most importantly of all, it guards the body like a rabid rottweiler. When I discovered this change, I automatically knocked off a dollar, just to make things right with the world.
I have to assume that these basses were produced in relatively low numbers, so you'll need to be a horse of a different color to accept the challenge of playing this fretless machine. It's most assuredly one of those "bucket list" basses that must be played over a lifetime of being a bassist, so please feel free to call or email with any questions. Remember, some things in life are worth fighting for and I'll include this bass on that list of "some things..."