Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing
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Author:  Cavendish [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

Greetings, I am a new member to this forum and unfortunately a very disappointed owner of a brand new Ric 325C64 Jetglo that arrived at my doorstep this past month. At the age of 60, this will be my first brand new guitar since my Yamaha FG200 in 1975; all my other guitars are 2nd hand purchases and I have done well... I ordered this guitar post Xmas through Guitar Center (GC)My desire was to have the guitar John Lennon once played in the early days of the Beatles.

Let me cut to the chase: I opened the case and plugged it into my Fender Blues Jr and tuned it up, etc... I experienced severe buzzing from my E, A, & D strings... It was severe... I called Rickenbacker Corp yesterday afternoon. The gentleman who answered was very courteous and professional and knew exactly what I was experiencing. He admitted the buzzing is inherent in the 325 saddle setup and it would need to be modified to solve the problem. The friendly people on another Rickenbacker forum confirmed this flaw with the 325... The Ric representative said that most go towards the 350v63 guitar with the updated saddle and bridge setup... This might have been useful during the ordering phase...

I still find myself trying to decide whether I …
• Can live with the buzz for the sake of owning this cool piece of history
• Modify it? Not
• Return it for a new one?
• Return it to GC and get full refund because I’m well under 45 days, etc…
Or do what the RicSource forum members suggested with changing out the strings, a little bit of grease in the roller bridge, etc...

Can anyone offer me advice? Thank you Scott

Author:  4005Player [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

Hi Scott,

I had the same issue on a 1996 (325) I bought from GC a few years ago, and I switched out the roller bridge for the modern one....no problems since.....

http://boutique.rickenbacker.com/BRIDGE ... p_531.html

Good luck!

Author:  maxwell [ Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

Hi Scott - I'm back, and have some further thoughts....

Your post here is nicely detailed and thought out. If you are also disenchanted with the Accent vibrato, then a return to GC with an "exchange" for a 350v63 probably makes the most sense. But, we all want something as close to the guitar Lennon played. (But then, again, we have to be pragmatic.)

I had the opposite problem you have -- my bridge rollers did not roll, and therefore, did not rattle; they were wedged tightly due to a misalignment of the three opening through which each adjustment screw goes through: the two holes on each side of the bridge frame and the threaded hole of the saddle. My idea/suggestion is, rather than buy a new bridge ($75 additional dollars!), simply make your rollers too tight to turn & rattle, too. Even if they did not freely turn, the string, lying over the convex surface of the roller wheel, can move with use probably better than over a standard saddle that has a more acute surface angle. With a little dab of Nut Sauce or white lithium grease at the string contact points, everything should be smooth.

I have a couple of ideas how to simply (and easily reversibly) do this, I'll experiment on my own roller bridge before I throw out unsubstantiated ideas now. Just for kicks. I'd be interested in what you discover if you take a toothpick and hold/press it between two of the rattling rollers and strings while with your other hand pucks the strings that go over the two rollers. I'm imagining that there will be no rattle. This makes me wonder how grease on the roller string surface itself controls the rattle.... Maybe the slippery grease allows string vibration without moving (rattling) its roller wheel...? Anyway, I'll post here again this weekend after I have a chance to fool around with my bridge.

I hope some other guys here will chime in with other ideas! We had some nice discussions back when I was posting regularly -- maybe a couple of those guys are still checking in.

PS - If you want to feel a little better about your situation, search for my name here and read a few of my posts (woe is me): twisted neck, as well as a neck set misalignment that does not allow for proper adjustment of action.... (I bought mine used and abused; too naïve to recognize the problems. Live & learn.)

Author:  maxwell [ Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

I pulled my roller bridge out of the box with other parts, and was very surprised how I imagined what the design of the bridge was. It had been a while, and in my mind I imagined large roller wheels; something totally different than what the design is in actuality. I wanted to edit my previous post, but too much time, apparently, has elapsed and there is no longer an option to edit. Anyway, I feel like a dummy. But I have been examining my bridge and recalling details about it. (It's been a few years.) I post again, later. So, forget the previous post; it is so wrong.

Author:  maxwell [ Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

*** I tried to post photos but for each of the six photos I got a message that the size could not be determined. The first two are 890 pixels in width, and the other four are 445. These should have posted. I'll also post over on the other web site.

Looking down on my roller bridge, I could see spacing between the saddles, especially the ones on the bass side, corresponding to the strings you reported as having rattle. I used my finger tip to see if I could wiggle the saddles, and I could. The locking nuts that retain the saddle assembly were lightly snugged up; firm snugging makes for a tight assembly that requires a lot more torqueing force with a screw driver when doing saddle adjustments for intonation. Out of curiousity I really tightened the nuts, if anything would change. It did – I could not wiggle the saddles any longer. Shaking the entire bridge next to my ear, I could only hear the faint rattle of the small rollers. In my opinion, the loud rattling that you describe most likely comes from the saddle assemblies. So, the easiest thing to do (after you have done the intonation) is to finger tighten the nuts as far as you can, then while holding the nut from turning with your finger tip, tighten the screw. The screw may turn a little, but not very much and probably not enough to significantly move the saddle noticeable out of intonation. This only takes a couple of minutes if you can do this while the bridge is on the guitar and may confirm (or not) that most of the rattling is coming from the entire saddle moving.

Comparing the roller bridge vs. the standard bridge, you can see differences in design beyond the obvious roller saddle vs. non-roller saddle. To me the most obvious was the presence of a spring on the standard saddle assembly. This spring secures the saddle screw with constant pressure and obviates the need for a nut on the end of the screw. That constant pressure, I surmise, is what is keeping the standard saddles from moving/wiggling/rattling.

Beyond tightening the nuts, perhaps a more convenient, reliable solution would be to simply place a spring on each roller saddle assembly. They’re cheap, with the shipping charge probably costing more than the springs. (06113 SPRING 3/16OD X ½ LG BRIDGE)

The bridge frames are the same size and design. Maybe the saddle screws are the same size, too? Well, they are, in diameter (1/8 in.), although, since the standard bridge/saddle does not require that nut, the screw length is shorter than the one used for the roller saddle and is flush (doesn’t protrude) with the bridge frame. Of course, there is no reason why you can’t put the nut on anyway, to retain the same appearance. The only visual change is the presence/addition of the spring. The roller saddle with the spring in place is rock solid – can’t wiggle it with finger pressure.

If you like the idea of being able to adjust the saddles with an Allen wrench, they you could buy the shorter screws, which take that wrench. Pick of the Ricks sell these screws with springs, a set of six costing $12. Whether you buy only the springs or the combination of springs and standard screws, you should by a few extra springs. The springs compress to a minimum length of 6-6.5mm. If you have to move your saddle(s) rearward closer than that to the rear frame, you’ll have to cut the springs shorter to allow that greater saddle adjustment. So measure each distance, from the side of the saddle to the frame, after you intonate and then record the measurements. If any are less than 6.5mm, cut the spring shorter. You can then stretch the spring a little if you need to.

If, after trying this you still feel that some rattling exists and that it must be coming from the rollers themselves, you can crimp the sides of the saddle uprights that hold the rollers (photo above). Of course, the rollers may not turn freely any longer, but with a little lube the strings will happily slide over them.

If you disassemble the bridge completely all at once, remember that the rollers are installed on the saddles at differing heights in order to mimic the radius of the guitar’s finger board.

That’s about all I have. It’s easy to do. I think your biggest concern will (still) be deciding to try this vs. returning your guitar within its 45-day return window.

Author:  maxwell [ Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

Still can't post a photo / img. Trying as an attachment.

OK! That worked. Adding others:

--------- Well, only three (3) files could be added, and they are in reverse order. The first digit of the file name is the intended sequence number.

File comment: Here's a bag of springs I ordered along with several other things a while back. "6113" is the basic item number; the "10" is only the quantity I ordered.
3.IMG_2036.JPG [30.81 KiB]
Not downloaded yet
File comment: End view of both bridge types for comparison. The standard / "new" bridge has springs on the saddle adjustment screws. Good idea!
2.IMG_2061.JPG [83.83 KiB]
Not downloaded yet
File comment: Roller bridge view from top, to show spacing between saddles, esp. on the bass / left side.
1.IMG_2054.JPG [57.01 KiB]
Not downloaded yet

Author:  maxwell [ Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

Here's the other three photo attachments. The first digit of the file name is the intended sequence number.

File comment: A fix for those tiny, wiggling rollers.
6.IMG_2029.JPG [31.73 KiB]
Not downloaded yet
File comment: Here the saddle has been adjusted rearward as far as it can go, with the compressed spring length about 6mm.
5.IMG_2018.JPG [31.03 KiB]
Not downloaded yet
File comment: View of spring on a roller bridge saddle adjustment screw. There is no need for the nut, as the spring holds everything in place.
4.IMG_2065.JPG [37.98 KiB]
Not downloaded yet

Author:  maxwell [ Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

So, I took apart my bridge completely all at once some time ago, and after reassembling, I noticed the incongruity of the roller heights. I had to disassemble it and rearrange the saddles so that the assembled rollers formed a convex curve resembling the curvature of the finger board. Here's a photo, just for kicks:

Here's the ID number of the "new" shorter screws: 05303
Here's the ID number of the Allen wrench to adjust them: 02901

File comment: Side view of roller bridge. Note the differing heights of the rollers and their arrangement.
7.IMG_2067.JPG [96.92 KiB]
Not downloaded yet

Author:  maxwell [ Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

The more I look, the more I see. Now, at this point, I'm pretty well convinced that the problem is the individual rollers themselves. (But, adding springs is a nice touch; I'll be doing this, anyway; functionally, those nuts are a PITA.) So, maybe a little grease or oil on the rollers can eliminate (or, at least, attenuate) roller buzz. I'm going to post some photos and thoughts on another thread, perhaps naming it: "A Comparison of Two Roller Bridges"

Author:  Cavendish [ Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Brand New 325C64 Roller Bridge buzzing

To all that responded to my issue with my new 325; I am sorry to say I returned it to GC this past Saturday... I felt that for the money I paid for this beautiful guitar was not worth the aggravation of fixing, modifying or living with the roller bridge noise... However, I did purchase a very clean previously owned Ric 620FG the very same day at GC... About $1,500 less money and the guitar plays amazingly.... So I am still in the Ric family and look forward to be a part of this forum. Scott

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