70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

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70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (Dirk) » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:24 pm

Hello RR,
I have a curious question, I just played on a nice playing old 70's Rick at a friends memorial.
It played great but was a bit confusing since every fret had a black side marker.

I could see the advantage of that on a fretless, but on fretted it was an interesting challenge.

He said he bought it in the 70's, that's all he could remember.

Oh yeah did I mention it was Burgundy and had dots on the fingerboard.
White trim (no chex), I should have looked at the serial.

What was this model, and has anybody else seen this odd option?
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (jps) » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:53 am

Perhaps it was a fretless that was fretted.
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (Dirk) » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:08 am

The owner has had it since new, and everything else seems original, and the side dots certainly appear to be factory.
And I would guess the frets were original as well.

Just a really curious one, I've certainly never seen it before.

I asked him if he wanted to get rid of it, he said no go.

Thanks,
Dirk
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (FretlessOnly) » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:13 pm

It's actually a complete disaster on a fretless. My April '73 4001FL has dots at every note position (at least better than the brief period of dots at every mid-fret location in the ~'90s on FL's) and it forces me to think. I don't want to think when I'm performing or rehearsing; only when I'm practicing at home. Dots on pitch at 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17 and 19 are much more conducive to fluid playing without having to break out the white-out (which is what I've done) to obscure the useless (actually worse than useless as they are a major hindrance) dots. I love that bass, except for the dots.
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (Dirk) » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:10 am

Hey John,
yeah I found it completely distracting, I don't normally have to look. I've played plenty of fretless basses, some frets removed with normal mid fret markers, some with dots or lines at the fret line. Really don't have much preference, both work well for me.

Your description is spot on, other than having frets.

Like I said it seemed really unusual for sure.

Do you suppose this was a custom option or something?
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (FretlessOnly) » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:40 pm

It's odd that you state that the fingerboard has dots but the bass has plain white binding. I realize that there are variants out there, but the fingerboard dots were used on the FL and S models and the S models have no binding. Since the binding is plain and the dots are black, that places it most likely in the '75-'79 time frame (I'm assuming some '74s have black dots but many are red).

The side dots were mid-fret, correct (and did not line up with the fingerboard dots)? The only halfway logical conclusion I can come up with considering all the info is that it was an FL that was fretted, but that would put the side dots at the frets. And that seems like more trouble than its worth (and I'm sure he would have mentioned it). A custom order? Possibly.
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (Dirk) » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:44 am

Hey John,
yeah thanks it just didn't add up when I saw it.

The body binding combo with face dots on the fingerboard were confusing enough.

If it wasn't so confusing to play I'd get in touch with the guy and make him an offer.
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (FretlessOnly) » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:55 am

Hey Dirk: FYI, I never use the fingerboard dots on my FL. For one, they are a vestige of fretted bass fingerboards and therefore useless in a FL context and secondly, in normal playing position, I can't see 90% of them. I use the side dots and my ear.

In any case, I don't know if that's you in your avatar, but whomever that is, the right arm technique is flawless. Folks complain about the body binding hurting their right arm, but having that right elbow up and away from the body (both the bass and the player's) is the way to go. It gets one on top of the instrument and permanently removes any binding issues.
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (Dirk) » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:34 am

I find on fretless I tend to not look at all, let the muscle memory do it's work, well yeah ears are more important anyway.
A former roommate used to have an FL and I loved it, but it had traditional side markers.

Yeah that's a very old picture of me on my well missed '69 4001, man I miss that bass. I had sold my '79 4001 to buy the '69 in Boston while I was at school, one of the best deals I've ever made.

I never noticed but you are right about that arm, I can't rest it on the body as my hand will fall asleep otherwise.
I always figured an S might be more comfortable because of that.

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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (jps) » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:51 am

The '04 4003FL I had had dots (both side markers and face of fingerboard) in the same locations as that of a fretted 4003. It took some mental adjustments for me as I do have a tendency to look at the fingerboard sometimes. Personally, I prefer a clean, unmarked fingerboard on my fretless basses.

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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (Dirk) » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:56 pm

Nice Fl there! I'm a sucker for any Maple Glo.

I tend to look at side only, I guess the fingerboard is to far in front of me.
Or maybe the way I tilt, lol who knows?

Then again the ears still rule in fretless land for me.
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (FretlessOnly) » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:00 pm

Image
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (Dirk) » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:53 am

Hey John,
I never considered a black pickguard on a MG, but that certainly works.
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Re: 70's 4001 Side markers per fret????

Postby (thx1955) » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:42 pm

Dirk wrote:I find on fretless I tend to not look at all, let the muscle memory do it's work,
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Couldn't agree more, I've two Fretless, a Fireglo 73-4001, and a Jetglo 2007-4003, side dots on both, neither has ever given me any bother.
It never crossed my mind as such until reading the thread, I can see however, that a once fretted neck converted to fretless may be confusing as the side dots would be in the wrong locations

Bare binding might look nice without the dots though.
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