Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

4003 neck repair
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Author:  Mylos [ Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  4003 neck repair

Hi everyone,

i bought a rick 4003 in 2010 and it sounds great. But for some reason my neck is bending on the side of the E string in the wrong direction. I live in montreal canada and asked some luthiers if it can be fixed and most of them told me that the neck had to be changed.it doesnt really affect the sound or playability right now but can it get worst?

So my questions are, is there another way to fix this problem? And if i have to change the neck how much would such a job cost?


P.S. sorry if im not clear english is not my first language... :?

Author:  buchrob [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 4003 neck repair

If you are willing to travel as far as Sherbrooke, QC, Albert Roussel did a perfect repair for me on a 4003 that originally looked like a corkscrew.

Many luthier's are not experienced on anything other than the usual F* and G* + clones, and will chase off any other type of job.

The neck needed a heat-set in a rack to be straightened out. Took about a week's wait and cost less than $50.

Author:  flyingeagle [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 4003 neck repair


It can also be something as simple as a truss rod adjustment. There are 2 Truss Rods in the neck. It is possible that the proper adjustment will fix it. Good luck.



If your Rickenbacker is an older model (Pre late 1984), DO NOT TIGHTEN the truss rods if the neck is bowed! This will cause the fingerboard to separate from the neck. The truss rods have to be loosened and the neck manually moved into place. When I am alone, the way that I do it if the neck is bowed and has to be tightened is to loosen the rods slightly, lean the neck at about the 7th fret on my knee with the body hanging down and then snug up the rods. The weight of the body hanging will bring the neck to its correct position. If I have someone with me, I place the guitar on my workbench and I have the other person hold the body in place. With a soft neck rest (I use a beanbag type), I then loosen the rods slightly, manually move the neck into place using the beanbag as a cushion, again somewhere around the 7th fret and then snug up the rods. If the neck is back bowed, then just loosen the rods evenly no more than ¼ of a turn daily until the neck sets. You can and should play the guitar between adjustments to get the feel that is right for you.
There is one other very important thing to know. ALWAYS USE A LONG SHAFT ADJUSTMENT WRENCH (¼ Inch Socket) WITH A SCREWDRIVER HANDLE such as the one that usually is available in the boutique section of this website, and NEVER use a "T" handle wrench. The reason for this is because on the screwdriver handle, if tightened too much your hand will slip on the handle and the truss rods will not snap. With the "T" handle, the danger of snapping the rods is much greater!
It really is a simple procedure once you get over the fear of doing it.


If it is a 1985 (Actually late 1984) or newer, then you can move the neck by adjusting the rods. The neck should be completely straight. Either way, the neck really should not be adjusted more than ¼ turn daily, regardless of the age. Of course you can play the guitar between adjustments to see how it feels to you. One adjustment may be all that it needs. Once the neck is straight, you may want to simply lower the bridge just a bit and also lower the pickups as well. This should keep the sound that you desire.

Please keep in mind that the neck should be perfectly straight on all Rickenbacker's, both older and newer.


Each rod is more than strong enough to handle all the tension. The system is designed so that each side is as independent as it's possible to be sharing one neck.

Adjust each side to as loose or as tight as necessary to achieve the action you prefer; each piece of wood is different, so it's possible for the rods to be at extreme opposite adjustment to get best results.

Yes, there is some interaction; it's unavoidable. But any combination that provides the desired results is the right setting.

Author:  Mylos [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 4003 neck repair

thanks,i could call this luthier in sherbrooke and see what he thinks. it's an hour ride or so

from where i live, i think i can manage. But in case im not clear enough i am not talking

about a relief or a backbow on the E string...the neck is dead straight. I dont think it's

twisted but its bending the other way contrarely to a backbow or relief.

thanks again

Author:  coolhandjjl [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 4003 neck repair

Are you the original purchaser, did you buy it from a Ric authorized dealer? If so, you have a warranty for that I believe.

Author:  Mylos [ Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 4003 neck repair

yes i bought it from american musical supply, but unfortunately i did not respect the 10 days

purchase rule... a big mistake that i now begin to see.

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