Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Twisted neck (Rats!)
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Author:  maxwell [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Yeah, I'm hoping that once the strings have been on for a while that a lot of that twist will disappear.

Last night I didn't get around to tightening the bass side rod (totally loose). This morning before I left for work, I checked the twist again--no change. Before tighening the bass side rod, I took a straight-edge and checked the fretboard contour. The treble side was as close to perfectly straight as I could tell. On the bass, totally loose side--and this is so cool--I had the same amount of refief that I had before ever beginning to tighten any of the rods (guessing about 1mm at the 9th fret). The really cool part is that this dual truss rod concept really works! :) The adjusted (treble) side became straight (it adjusted), while the non-adjusted side did not--no change. You know, you read mention of the Rick truss rod design in every reference that discusses truss rods and truss rod adjustment, but I suppose there is a little skepticism in some readers about how effective this is when they read about it (like I had :) ). I am pretty well amazed, actually, how well this dual truss rod feature works.

I tightened the bass side rod before leaving for work. I'll put strings on when I get both sides of the fretboard symetrical.

Author:  jbudweiser [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Thanks for the update! I really hope this all comes together well, things seem to look a bit more promising now. You wont perhaps know till it's all set up but even with a twist you seem to be able to get a straight neck,,,,Hooray for that!

I really think you did the right thing by loosening the rods,...and seeing if that treble side could be adjusted separately from the bass side. You would have no chance without that 2nd rod. Strings are going to be a factor, they say you should use 12.

Author:  jbudweiser [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Maxwell. Maybe prior to tightening those nut give the rods and the nuts another lube. I was also thinking it might be a good idea to wipe a small amount of oil on the washer face and the face of the nut where they meet. When the nuts get turned and pushed into the washers, it will have less resistance with some oil! If you get that neck straight it is only a matter of taking up the string tension. Note in your case maybe do some of the tightening with low string tension.

Once your very close then a small adjustment under all string pressure maybe Ok
I'm just leaning towards being careful until your completely positive all is right and those rods will take the strain

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

Wow. Thanks for reminding me to lube the adjustment nuts. Right-Lefty also suggested this some time ago. Well, I'll do this now. I have some lube gel with Teflon in it. (It's a good thing that I did not have time to string the guitar tonight.)

BTW, there will be no room for washers on top of the spacer. I added one on each rod at the bottom, and I would feel too uncomfortable with less threaded rod length for the adjustment nuts than there already is.


Author:  jbudweiser [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Maxwell Lube the back of the nut and front of spacer perhaps!Maybe rotate the nut back and forth to get the lube in as much suface area on the threads. Good Luck

Yes you have done the right thing, yes you need that thread length ,,,,good work!

That photo will be a good reference, I wonder how far those nuts will come down the rods, we will be able to compare them once they are tight.

Author:  maxwell [ Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

I lubed them thoroughly; should be OK.

Yes, it will be interesting to see where the nuts are on the rods when all is done.

Author:  jbudweiser [ Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Hi Maxwell. How's is it all going with this 1996? Hope all is OK, I know it's been a big task for you!
Your post and photos are so detailed. LOL you should get a job working for National geographic you could be photographing entomology, you get such good close up shoots. Your so talented with that camera. But hope your having some luck with the axe that's the main thing

Author:  maxwell [ Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Hey, J - Well, I'm taking the truss rod nut adjusting very slowly. I do not expect it to do anything for the twist in the neck, but I think the guitar will be very playable, anyway. Hopefully I will be able to set it up properly. I've been tightening the truss rods a quarter of a turn every few days. My feeling is that the neck has been at its current profile so long that it will take a while to adjust it properly; if I try to adjust too quickly, I may not be able to overcome the set-in profile, and erroneously assume that the neck is beyond routine adjustment. I sort of find this situation analogous to trying to push an automobile -- at first you must go slowly, taking your time, to get it to even move a little. If you were to run up to it and try to move it with an immediate strenuous force, it probably would not even budge (momentum).

If I do find that the twisted neck is a problem that requires correction, I will find someone who can straighten it with heat, etc.

Anyway, I realized that the the bridge on the guitar was likely a cheap reproduction which in turn was modified. I consider it a complete loss, and have ordered a new bridge assembly and cover. These are not cheap, and so I did have to consider whether or not I should just go for a conversion to a Bigsby trem and rocker bridge. (You know I already had concerns about the Accent vibrato....) But I decided to keep it "stock" with the proper parts. I'm hoping it all works out. I really think that the Accent vibrato helps to lend a distinct tone to the guitar, similar to belief of Strat aficionados who are convinced that the tremolo springs give the Strat much of its tone.

Author:  jbudweiser [ Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted neck (Rats!)

Thanks for the update! I think you probably made the right decision on the Accent vibrato, at least you are trying to keep it stock. Yes I'm with you on how your slowly tightening the nuts, it's true you can sometimes get a much better result when you do it in increments. Also once or twice I've gone astray with a setup. If I make an adjustment I only do one per day! If I do one adjustment and then have a look and do another on the fly,,,,it's never right,,,,,,,I need up have to re adjust next day
These days I just do one truss rod adjustment one day and play put it back in it's case, and the next day I will do another if necessary. Even a single adjustment takes time to establish itself, it pays to take your time.

Max, I reckon Rickenbacker's with an F hole look so cool, that small size light weight design with a F hole man that's perfect,,,,,, I can do without the trem~ :lol: :lol:
It will be so good when the trem shows up, again best of luck from jbud

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