didn't know that Rickenbacker still made doublenecks
think that they do. Mine is from 1975, (Serial# OK7557), a
4080, with a bass on top and a 6-string guitar on the bottom. There's
an interesting story behind this instrument. Rickenbacker
started making a limited production run of doublenecks in 1975 -
before that they were special order only - with three models
- one just guitar (12-string /6-string) and two with guitar and
bass - the 4080-12 (4-string on top, 12-string on bottom) and the
mods were done to it?
guy decided to take out the single 3-way neck selector switch
and replace it with a pair of 2-way switches - on/off for each neck.
That in itself is not a bad idea, I probably would have done
the same - this way you can turn both necks off easily when on stage.
The bad part is he used these huge 40-amp
switches for replacements. These things are like the power
switches on industrial machinery. They were altogether too
big to fit in the cavity, so the guy gored this beatiful
instrument with what looks like a drill and a flat head screwdriver,
used like a chisel, and the pick-guard still wouldn't even rest
completely flush with the body. I replaced the big switches
with two smaller ones, and re-soldered the wiring in the whole instrument
- i guess the guy thought that duct tape was a viable replacement
for solder at the time - and now it sounds really great. You can't see
the difference with the pick-guard on the instrument now - it looks
as good as new.
I have just recently heard from the guy who did the original mods. Here's his story :
"Your write up has some misinformation, and an explanation could at least set the record straight.
Where to start.. before the incident I guess. I was playing bass and rhythm guitar in an 80's pop rock group.
The double neck was used in the obvious fashion of switching between guitar and bass. We had keyboard player
who also played bass. I purchased the Ric for $500 (borrowed from the keyboard player, who now teaches music at an ACC University)
The modification was initiated because contrary to your speculation the switch was not a 3 way
(or it was broken). It was only a two way switch that was; "bass on" or "guitar on".
Proper switches were ordered to make the the modification. However, on a Sunday afternoon before
a playing opportunity and just prior to the switches being delivered the modification started. Not
that it makes any difference, but a router and wood chisel were the instruments of destruction, not
a drill and screw driver. The switches were the smallest ones available at a mall Radio Shack on
this particular Sunday afternoon. The idea was to make the temporary mod (thus the reason there was
no soldering) and replace them when the proper switches arrived.
The bass was 'cased' and not used after the switches were delivered.
We started using more and more synths and sequencing. Instead of switching from guitar&bass a
sequencer would simply carry the bass line.
After a couple months I decided to get rid of the 4080. I took it to Atlanta Discount Music on
Clairmont in Atlanta. It was traded for recording gear (mixer and stereo reel to reel for mixdowns IIRC).
The proper switches were in the case when traded. I was assured that their tech at ADM would correct the
temporary, bone headed, mod prior to putting the instrument up for sale. Obviously, it never happened.
In retrospect; a proper three-way switch should have been the modification made, but at the time,
having a both off position made some sort of demented sense."
Heh. This was really cool to hear from him - I was glad to get the straight story, and it's always
cool to learn some of the history of a loved instrument before it enters one's life. He even
sent me a picture of the instrument with all his other gear. Thanks dude! :-) /tips hat
songs do you use it on?
use it at all anymore. I used to use it on "Devil's Advocate"
live, before I got my doubleneck bass, but then I would have to
change to fretless really quickly for "Predator [of Dreams]",
which I don't do now, I just play the guitar part on either the
fretted 7-string neck of the doubleneck bass or on a classical [guitar]
mounted on a stand. I really don't like playing 4-string bass anymore
- feels so limiting to me now.