Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Twisted neck (Rats!)
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Author:  maxwell [ Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Twisted neck (Rats!)

I'm starting this thread as a continuation of sorts over from my "truss rods" thread. Today I made a startling discovery -- my neck is twisted! (RIC 325 style Model 1996, purchased used.)

Well, here it is, in a few different perspectives. Notice the relationship of the upper edge of the neck and upper edge of the headstock (and edges of tuners) in relation to the body:

I'm not sure how serious this is, but I know it ain't good! I suppose that I might not have noticed it, and simply made adjustments to get the action I desired and simply played away...?

Comments, advice -- all welcome!

Author:  jbudweiser [ Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Maxwell......Fantastic post and great effort!

The photo that shows the tuners and headstock seem to indicate a twist, it is not so obvious in the other photos, it may be camera angle that is not perfect but still that head stock looks angle toward one side

It is best others look at it and make comment. You never know once you have got it all together the twist may not be so bad....it's impossible to know until the end. You may need some good advice on this call

Author:  Rickenbrother [ Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Right now you have no string tension. With the the right truss rod adjustments with string tension, you might get the twist out of the neck. You have a better chance of getting rid of the twist or at least minimizing it better with the two rods instead of if it had just one. Even if you can't completely eliminate the twist, it might still be a very good playing guitar.
I used to have a Gibson 20th anniversary Les Paul that had a slight neck twist. That didn't stop it from being a great player.
If you can't get rid of the twist and it bugs you, a luthier might be able to heat and clamp the neck to get rid of the twist.

Author:  cjj [ Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Well, you may not know this. but some instruments are actually made this way to help playability:
Torzal.jpg [29.94 KiB]
Not downloaded yet

Of course, your wasn't made that way. As others have said, see what it's like with string tension and try adjusting from there...

Author:  jbudweiser [ Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

cjj wrote:
Well, you may not know this. but some instruments are actually made this way to help playability:

Of course, your wasn't made that way. As others have said, see what it's like with string tension and try adjusting from there...

Are you sure that's not Dali's impression of a Ric!

Author:  jbudweiser [ Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Maxwell! Just an idea ( I wonder if you tighten the rod on the side that has the twist) a tad bit more, and just see if it may have an effect on the twist. Also this twist may change when all string tension is in place and truss rods tightened. The most common twist on single truss rod guitars is a twist sloping toward the treble side
A twisted neck in a single truss rod guitar normally goes the opposite way to the clockwise truss rod adjustment. It will twist anti clockwise in majority of cases

You may have some luck correcting the twist with 2 rods.

Author:  maxwell [ Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

jbudweiser: That's a good idea. Thanks! I think I'll slightly loosen the side not twisted (bass side) as well as slightly tighten the twisted treble side. I'll see how it goes for a day or two before putting on the strings. (Curious)

(Back in time to edit:) I've just started plowing through some Google search results about twisted necks. I've just read this one, and decided that I'm going to completely loosen both adjustment nuts and see if this makes any difference before I start (re-) tightening:

Author:  jbudweiser [ Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Hi Maxwell! I may have some good news. Firstly I wish to ask is the twist located or worse near the head stock? Or is the twist fairly evenly distributed over the fret board? If you have only a slight twist on the fret board this maybe of no major consequence, it may work as an advantage. I have a Taylor with a slight anti clockwise twist and it plays great. You may have to loosen both rods to see how/where the natural twist is situated, this will serve as a reference point. You still maybe able to get a flat neck with a slight twist, the effect on the frets may come in to play though .

OK if the twist has set in, I'm not sure what to do, however with two rods and if there's some flex left in that neck you may get it better than present. I doubt there was a natural twist in this neck, I reckon it's an anti clockwise truss rod twist. It can be caused by not using the correct tool in the right manner and or with too much force. Sometimes people tend to grab around the first frets or head stock and twist the (neck or headstock) while turning the nuts perhaps with the incorrect tool. As you know you should be directly behind the rods and turn the nut not the neck!!!! If an incorrect method is used and the treble side rod was tightened too tight it can cause this anti clockwise tilt that is present on your axe

Keep in mind it has a trem. It's not only the strings trem and tuners that have forces applied to them when using the trem. Strings flex, trems and tuners are solid......it's the head stock and the neck that comes into play next. The head stock and neck takes some punishment that's for sure. Also one tends to push forward with the left hand while pushing down on the trem, at this stage your really bending the whole guitar.! That's why all those old Gretschs with Bigsby all need neck resets! The glue wasn't that good and people tried to bend them in half! Lucky you have two rods for some protection and adjustment

I'm X 'ing my finger that the twist is in the head stock mainly but even if it's not you maybe able to compensate and it might all come together OK!

Author:  maxwell [ Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Hey, Jbudwiser - Thanks for the reply. The twist appears to be evenly distributed over the entire length of the neck; I tried to capture that in the first photo I posted. (Of course, I have a 3D advantage that you don't have.)

I'm not sure how/why the twist is there. Based on my reading, it could have been from being in the heat. But, anyway, it's there.... I did not see any change in the degree of twist leaving the rods totally loose for 15 or so hours. Right now I have tightened only the adjustment nut on the treble/twist side, and the other side is totally loose -- I can see no change. I will go back to adjusting both sides fairly evenly (paying attention to neck contours) and will go ahead and put strings on soon.

I'll see how it goes. It may be OK, anyway, as Rickenbrother has said. The biggest problem may be, afterall, my not being able to leave well enough alone. ;)

Author:  cassius987 [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Looks like you have less relief on the "treble side" (G, B, E strings), which is how several of my basses are when I'm done setting them up, although not anywhere near as dramatic as your photo--the "treble side" usually has about 0.5-1 mm less relief in my case. This works well with string excursion however, by giving the bigger strings more room. The other thing to consider is your upper strings usually carry more tension in traditionally gauged sets and could correct this on their own, as others have suggested.

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