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 Post subject: greenhorn setup help 360-12 1992
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:22 am
Posts: 2
I am not a musician.. I'm very green about these things. My brother recently died and left me a 1992 Rick 360-12 which was incomplete needing a tailpiece, bridge cover and nut. One screw is also missing in the bridge. I ordered all these parts including a R tailpiece which I got really lucky to find one. I have new Rick strings. I read on the forum about dabbing a little yellow glue to the nut but it also mentioned the nut may be a little too tall, one person said 1/16" too tall. If I install it without sanding down the height, would the extra 1/16" or whatever be too severe and make a perspective buyer terribly uncomfortable in the way it plays?

I am a expert woodworker, a real craftsman.. anybody have any advise on setting this up? maybe knowing the distance from the fret board would be helpful.. I can adjust the bridge and modify the height of the nut to achieve this measurement.

of course I can take it to a guitar tech or luthier and pay the green-horn fee but I prefer not to.
I would tune it with a device then when sure its ok loosen the strings.. I hear these tailpieces like to self destruct.


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 Post subject: Re: greenhorn setup help 360-12 1992
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:09 pm
Posts: 37
For the guitar to be really sellable it needs to be set up properly.
With all due respect you are not even a musician. Get it sorted and set up by a proper technician. It's not that expensive and it's worth every cent.


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 Post subject: Re: greenhorn setup help 360-12 1992
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 163
Location: Central New York State
When talking about the action on a Rickenbacker, a sixteenth of an inch is a lot. The strings only need to be about 5 thousandths of an inch or so above the first fret (when pressing the string down over the 2nd fret). But even if the nut is very tall after installation, appropriate-sized nut files can be used to cut each string slot to the best height, which is the proper procedure during a setup anyway. There are many web sites and youtube videos that explain how to do that. Not that much of a challenge if you're a real craftsman and you have the right tools. You can sand a little off the bottom of the nut to give you a head start, but be careful not to do too much, and especially make sure you do not change the overall angle of the nut either sideways or front-to-back.

A too-tall nut should not change the value of the guitar, since that is easily corrected by anyone with a set of nut files (or sanding the bottom of the nut). A too-short nut would make the guitar unplayable and need to be completely replaced, or fill the slots with super glue and re-cut (not recommended). You don't even need to secure the nut down to the neck, because string tension will keep it from moving when it's all tuned up. Information about bridge-height and neck-straightening are discussed in the Rickenbacker Owner's Manual, which is available under the "Service" tab on this web site. Be sure you have checked that the truss rods are installed properly and work correctly before putting strings on.

And there's no need to loosen the strings after it's been tuned, either. I've had Rickenbackers for over 40 years and never cracked a tail piece, even when using extra-heavy strings. I keep mine always fully-strung and tuned up to pitch and ready to play, whether in the case or on a stand. I'm willing to bet that metal failure only happens during mishandling or an improper installation. When you begin stringing up the guitar, start with the middle strings and work your way toward the lowest and highest strings alternately. Make sure the ball end of each string is secured properly all the way into the tailpiece slot before bringing it up to tension.

The average height of the strings above the fretboard is a matter of personal taste and the next person might want it higher or lower, so if it plays comfortably for you and sounds good, that's all that matters. However, if you are unfamiliar with setting-up the action on a guitar and you are not a player, you had best take it to a luthier who has experience with Ricks. A standard set-up fee is around $60 or so, if it doesn't need parts or extra work. If it does need extra work, ask the technician exactly what that is and if you can watch him do it. Not that you don't trust him... you want to learn how to do it yourself for the next time. ;)


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