Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Modified Bridge (for the curious, only)
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Author:  maxwell [ Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Modified Bridge (for the curious, only)

This is Part Three of my series of unwelcome discoveries and trouble-shooting reports about my (previously owned) Model 1996 (6-string, 325 style).

When I initially disassembled my guitar, I simply took the bridge off and put it aside, not really studying it, assuming it was a Rick bridge assembly, other than the black height adjustment screws with grommets on them that seemed to serve no purpose. I saw the rollers, thinking, "Hey, pretty cool -- a roller bridge," thinking this was the high end option for a high end guitar.... So, the other day I'm looking at it, picked it up and realized just how odd its construction was. I first discovered that not all the rollers turned; one had junk in it, the other just wouldn't roll. I next tried to adjust the intonation screws. These required Herculean effort to turn at all, and none of my cussing and swearing would make them turn any easier. Realization: bummer, here I go again. Here's some photos, for the curious. the last photo shows how I had to hammer a small screwdriver into one roller saddle to loosen it up:

How many original bridge parts do you see?

I started to see if I could fix this so that it would function. I went and bought some screws, and today I intended to buy some springs at a guitar repair shop. But, I realized that any screw that required a screwdriver to turn would probably be largely inaccessible because of the vibrato. You really need the screws with the hex/allen wrench holes to most easily adjust the intonation. I'll be ordering a new assembly, as well as extra parts to see if I can ressurect this roller bridge, just for the fun of it.

Now, where's the banging-your-head-against-the-wall Smile?

Author:  BlueRick [ Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modified Bridge (for the curious, only)

The RIC roller bridge was included in the guitar for authenticity's sake, but IIRC, there are a number of folks who have been equally disappointed with it, for the same reasons. I've played a couple of 1960s Ricks equipped with the roller bridge without any issues, but my experience with them is minimal.

Author:  maxwell [ Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Modified Bridge (for the curious, only)

That's interesting to know. Thanks.

I certainly hope that everyone reading this and viewing the photos realizes that the bridge I'm exhibiting here has been extremely modified by a previous owner. :!: So, how many original parts are there? Just one -- the bridge frame (or whatever it's called), and I think that's been modified a little, also. It's obvious that the roller saddles are slightly too wide. You can see that the bolts at one end of the bridge are straight, and by the time the sixth saddle is in place, so much force was used to place them that the last bolt is severely bent. I had a heck of a time disassembling this particular one. I think that the person modifying the bridge did initially try using the stock bolts/screws, but found that his small allen wrench bent too easily to make the adjustments on these tight bolts, and went to a more standard/slot style that allowed him to use a big screwdriver.

A good thing about this finding, if there is such a thing, is that this has been the lease intrusive problem I've had and will be the most easily corrected.

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