Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

360/12 - Two basic setup questions
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Author:  3chordpete [ Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:40 pm ]
Post subject:  360/12 - Two basic setup questions

The Facts:
New 360/12 MG delivered April 2009.
Played far too infrequently, but stored appropriately.
No adjustments, other than tuning, by anyone, ever (at least since leaving the factory).
Long overdue for restringing (restrung once with Rics).

Issue One - Intonation:
Since delivery the low E has very poor intonation - a full semi-tone sharp between open and 12th fret. It's octave string is very close to proper intonation as are the remaining strings. I've read the Boss' posts regarding 6 vs. 12 saddles so I'm not sure swapping the bridge out is a solution. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Issue Two - Tuning:
The Boss says 360/12 necks are strong enough for standard tuning. When the guitar was delivered it was tuned down a semi-tone. So which is it?

Author:  telemaster [ Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 360/12 - Two basic setup questions

regarding your first question, other threads cover this at length and there is no absolute consensus. The 12 saddle bridge gives ultimate flexability for intonation however some feel that the 6 saddle unit is more solid and can be made to work in tune with some modifications, ie: alter the lower strings saddle by filing new saddles to split the load and compensate for the differences in string guage. Some embrace the slight disparity in the tuning as part of the character of the legendary "RIC sound". No real right answer when you're dealing with opinions, I guess. My answer is to have one of each and play around til I find what I like best.
Good luck and happy jangling!
I recently strung my project 360/12 for the first time and found that the neck had to settle in to the stress of once again being strung up. After tuning to pitch I found the guitar had settled in to the stress by detuning more than a whole step after setting for a few days. When I tuned it to pitch again I found it necessary to re-adjust the truss rods to straighten out the "spoon" in the neck. It has taken a few weeks for the guitar to settle down and stay straight and in tune, but now that it has, it is magical. Bear in mind I bought the thing off of ebay and it had been completely stripped of all hardware save for the truss rods. I have no way of knowing how long it sat unstrung before I got my hands on it. Luckily they had loosened the truss rods so the neck did not develop a back set. It may be a matter of getting it adjusted to your preferences , string guage, action, etc, then waiting for the guitar to adjust to the new setup.

Author:  3chordpete [ Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 360/12 - Two basic setup questions

telemaster, thanks for your thoughts. I'm no luthier, believe me, heck I'm not much of a guitarist. So filing saddles and such is way above my pay grade. I do from time to time fiddle with my six strings (tele, strat, LP, and the like) and don't have too much trouble with them. But based on my limited experience I'm not sure I could even get a full semi-tone adjustment out of a bridge. I thought it might be a defective string (???) but changing made no difference.

One of my all time Ric favs is "The Waiting". The first two notes are F# to G. Talk about two clunker notes... So far my only solution is to detune the whole guitar a semi-tone, tune the low and octave E at the 7th fret (B flat), capo on the first fret, and hope nobody is actually listening.

Author:  buchrob [ Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 360/12 - Two basic setup questions

Get that case queen out and do a little exercise!!!

Give the thick strings a GOOOOOD stretch. This will effectively "thin" them out. Clean out the nut slots with fine sandpaper moistened in rubbing alcohol and then add a dollop of graphite lubricant.

Then try re-doing the intonation. It will NOT be perfect, but should be closer.

If your only solution is to capo, then your nut is suspect. Probably needs a touch-up filing.

Good luck.

Author:  iiipopes [ Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 360/12 - Two basic setup questions

I have the six-saddle bridge on my 12-string. The TI set may not need any offset, depending on your setup. The RIC set should not need any offset, either, but if they do, my solution was to order a saddle blank and custom file an offset so the unison low E intonates off the back edge of the saddle and the octave e intonates off the front edge of the saddle. I now have great intonation on my low E string pair.

Author:  britinvasion [ Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 360/12 - Two basic setup questions

The first thing you may want to try before changing your bridge / saddles etc is change your strings. You mention it was long overdue . Even if it hasn't played after a long time period the low strings wrap wire can come loose from the core wire , the warps can flatten where they rest on the saddles etc , all of which can adversely affect intonation.

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