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 Post subject: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:30 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Italy
hello everybody,

after having browsed the forum a while I have decided to start this thread because, even if the the problem of string spacing of the 360 models has been a topic discussed in the past, no one ever focused on saddles so far.

I am the lucky owner of a wonderful 360 fireglo that sounds better that any other guitar that I ever played.

my problem is that the narrow space between the string causes problems to my right hand (which already is not 100% functional because of a serious car accident I had).

it's really a torture the fact that I can't use this guitar more that what I actually do because of this. I play the Smiths'songs with one of my bands and I would LOVE to use just my Rick for all of the work.

the question is: since the fingerboard has quite plenty of room unused on the fingerboard because of the binding, is there a way to fit more space between the saddles in order to have more string spacing and a easier way for my right hand?

thank you for any help guys and sorry for my english!


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:54 am
Posts: 405
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Quote:
hello everybody,

after having browsed the forum a while I have decided to start this thread because, even if the the problem of string spacing of the 360 models has been a topic discussed in the past, no one ever focused on saddles so far.

I am the lucky owner of a wonderful 360 fireglo that sounds better that any other guitar that I ever played.

my problem is that the narrow space between the string causes problems to my right hand (which already is not 100% functional because of a serious car accident I had).

it's really a torture the fact that I can't use this guitar more that what I actually do because of this. I play the Smiths'songs with one of my bands and I would LOVE to use just my Rick for all of the work.

the question is: since the fingerboard has quite plenty of room unused on the fingerboard because of the binding, is there a way to fit more space between the saddles in order to have more string spacing and a easier way for my right hand?

thank you for any help guys and sorry for my english!


Don't misunderstand me ... but I really think much of the Rickenbacker string spacing talk is a bit strange.

I've compared my 360 carefully with the string spacing on my Strat - and there's only a millimetre or two in overall string space difference on these two otherwise very different guitars.

Anyway, there are space enough within nut wide and on the bridge posts to widen the string spacing that little bit up - but you'll need cutting a completely new nut. The bridge posts must be smootehed down and cut again for new notches for the alternative string spacing.

If you are not experienced a new nut is a pro job...


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:30 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Italy
thanks for your answer.

I know it's a matter of micromillimeters but still, even if I try to arrange the strings of the rick outside of their notches to expand the spacing using all the fretboard's room the feeling of playability improves quite much.

about the nut: since my rick has been made around 2000, I guess that the standard replacement nuts are already a good choice for a job like this aren't they? considered that I will obviously go to a luthier to make all the job.


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
All you really need to do is file the saddle tops down smooth - it's best to do this by setting them all in a straight line and doing them at once, as they were made - then put new string notches in where you want them. It should be no more than about half an hour's work for a tech, probably less.

There is quite a difference in string spacing between Rickenbackers and vintage-style Fenders, about 1/4" across all six - OK, this is less than 1/16" per string pair, but it's enough to make a big difference to the feel.


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:54 am
Posts: 405
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Oh my English... that's actually what I meant :o) The trat I measured is my 1976 with original nut. I put a paper neneath the strings and draw points for every strings and then put the paper under the strings of my Ric. Visually it seems only a moderate difference... but maybe it's a bit more pronounced closer to the bridge. I actually think of adding the extra space on the bridge too.

BlueAngel, please read my latest post in the 360/330 thread. Maybe you can help me with some information on vintage Gibson ES guitars. These days (maybe right now :o) ) the Albert & Victoria Museum in London are performing an infra red electroscopy of a samle of an early ES-330 plywood rim - to find out what kind og glue used. Gibson can/will not give these informations out. The problem is, that urea formaldehyde resin glue (which they used - but I don't know the additives - phenol? melamine?) is well known to loose it's initial strength over years. Urea app. 10% per 10 years and phenolic formaldehyde 3 to 5% strength per 10 years. We don't know then when Gibson laminated tops, back and sides give completely out - and that may be a unpleasant surprise if you own a 1959 ES-something. I'm trying to find out as part of research for the utimate book on ES-guitars - much more detailed than Adrian Ingrams book on ES-335 (and sisters...).

That's why too 'm interested in hearing a bit more about the collapsed 330-tops you are refering to :o)


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:33 am
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Location: Denver
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micromillimeters


Like nanometers? ;) 10^-6 * 10^-3 = 10^-9 = "nano"... Just kidding, I know you were using that term figuratively.

In spite of my snarky comment I think your English is quite good. :) Welcome to the RIC forum, I think generally you will find there is a wealth of good info here.


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:54 am
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
I actually widened the string spacing on my 360 last night. I took my Dreml (tiny electric drill) and put on a rotating fine grinder. Took less than five minutes to remove the old notches (I think the saddle pieces are aluminium). Then I visually spread the strings in the new position and marked vist a pencil. A light adjustment upwards of the bridge to compensate for the slightly lower bridge - and there we go - now the string spacing is identical to my Strat (at least in the bridge end...).


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:30 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Italy
well guys, thank you very much for your useful advices and the welcome I've received.

going to order new saddles with no notches to make the operation...unfortunately the website doesn't ship to europe but I hope to find a way to get them.

if you want to check out my band here it is:

http://www.myspace.com/themozzers

cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:54 am
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Maybe this is only in my head... BUT I think I can hear a difference in the sound of my 360 after the operation.

The strings has come offcenter of the "carpet nail" pole pieces - and I think that particularly the treble E string has a slightly weaker response.

I usually play the "Nowhereman" solo for testing string response and guitars a general (before going more tough tones...) as it involves all the strings, single string, open strings and a flageoletto (12th fret)... and particularly the open string sound (maybe) a little weaker.

Maybe BlueAngel have some experiences with that?


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 Post subject: Re: 360 saddles and string spacing
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
As long as the string is over some part of the polepiece, the response should be the same - it doesn't have to be over the centre, as the magnetic field is not that focused. You can test it easily - just temporarily move the string back to where it was (it will sit on the saddle without being in a groove, just for a quick check) and see if it gets louder again.


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