Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

1966 Rickenbacker 365 neck rattle...
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Author:  Modfather1965 [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:21 pm ]
Post subject:  1966 Rickenbacker 365 neck rattle...

I'm hoping someone here can provide a rookie some assistance...

I recently acquired a 1966 Rickenbacker 365 which seems to have developed an annoying neck rattle rather abruptly. The rattle can be heard both when playing (esp. a C chord) or when the back of the neck is gently tapped. The neck is straight, and the nuts on both truss rods are snug, so that doesn't seem to be the problem. What about the rods themselves? Can they somehow come loose from their moorings, and might this be the cause of the problem? How might I attempt a remedy, short of sending it to a lutheir? I really like the guitar and hope to solve this problem. Thanks in advance for any input.

Author:  maxwell [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1966 Rickenbacker 365 neck rattle...

I can't offer much advice, except:

1. Be sure that the truss rods are truly engaged by carefully tightening a little further -- to see if you're getting increased resistance, which would likely confirm that they are properly engaged and not spinning. You can always back the rods off later.

2. The rods usually have a covering that covers nearly the entire rod (except for the ends, of course). It used to be a paper tape, but RIC now (as of this year) uses a 'shrink tube' covering. These coverings are meant to overcome any rattling noise....

Anyway, I'm a big YouTube fan of yours. A few weeks before you put your 1996 up for sale, I had a chance to buy a used one. Did research, including YouTube examples. You and engineer909 convinced me to make the purchase. (Sort of got bit in the butt on the purchase... my lament is all over this forum.) (I suppose you sold your 1996 for this...? I saw it on ebay -- a real beauty.) I'm sure someone more knowledgable than me will be along to give you further advice. Say, maybe you could post a YouTube example of your playing it, maybe picking up the rattle with a mic close to the neck. You'd get advice from around the world. Anyway, just wanted to say 'Hi' and please check in more often than you have been doing. ;) :lol:

PS - Unless simply tightening the rods a little more can decrease the rattling (by placing greated tension on them) to an acceptable level, I'd seek out an experienced Rick luthier. Had I noticed the twisted neck on mine early on, I would not have messed with the truss rods. It was interesting and educational, but I was continually afraid of screwing up the finish -- scratching it at the areas of the truss rod openings. It's not worth it, especially with an older model like yours.

Author:  Modfather1965 [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1966 Rickenbacker 365 neck rattle...

Hi Maxwell,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. The rods do seem to be "engaged", as I slightly tightened the bass-side nut after the guitar arrived and warmed up from the cold, which removed the slight bow it had.

I read on a previous forum that the rods themselves can come loose and cause a rattle in the neck, which sounds like what's going on inside my guitar's neck, though I don't know just how to tighten a rod itself. I took off the bass-side nut last night and attempted to turn the rod with a pair of pliers, but I was afraid of possibly stripping the rod end, so I replaced the nut to where it was before and closed up the TRC cavity. I'm planning on taking it to my luthier today, though over the phone, he seemed a bit perplexed about what to do.

Regarding the 1996--yes, it did finally sell, and I used the proceeds to buy a Billie Zoom tribute Gretsch. However, that didn't turn my dials as much as I thought it would, so I sold it and acquired this '66 365. I really like this guitar, but need to solve this problem, else I'll be in a bad way with it all :cry: . Loved the 1996, but I just didn't play it much after learning 8-9 old Beatles songs with it. Sorry to hear you've had some troubles with yours. They are wonderful little guitars.

Author:  Modfather1965 [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1966 Rickenbacker 365 neck rattle...

Just to follow-up on my own post in case someone else in the future deals with the same problem I had (yes "had")...

I took my guitar to my luthier. Although I paid $95.00 for the work, and he didn't do much, he did solve the problem. After hmmming and hawing for 5-10 minutes, and after my showing him that a bit of back-bend pressure on the neck got rid of the rattle while playing (who plays a guitar like that?), he decided to tighten both truss rod nuts fairly aggressively (i.e., 3/4 to 1 full turn); then he switched my strings from 8's to 10's, one at a time. The heavier gauge of string pulled the neck back straight, and VIOLA! The rattle was gone. I could have done these adjustments on my own, but I'm not sure I would have had the gnads to tighten the nuts on the rods as much as he did in one go. Anyway--guitar plays beautifully again, and no rattle...

Author:  maxwell [ Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1966 Rickenbacker 365 neck rattle...

I'm glad you got it fixed. $95 may seem like a lot, but you're paying for the expertise (like going to a lawyer or doctor). Someone else might have pulled your truss rods to investigate, and charged you accordingly. To paraphrase a popular TV commercial:

Fixing your neck -- $95.
Fixing your smile -- Priceless. :)

Anyway, we all learned something today. Thanks for posting!

PS - BTW, what reference (tabbed music book, other, etc.) did you use to learn those Beatle songs you played on YouTube?

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