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 Post subject: Buzzing and tailpiece problems
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:58 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:50 am
Posts: 2

I have a Rickenbacker 4003 bass. It's in dire need of some attention.

I get a terrible buzzing from the frets about halfway down the neck (more towards the nut of the bass and not the body)

Upon closer examination, I noticed a slight gap...maybe 1/16th of an inch, and 1.5 inches in, where the bottom end of the chrome tailpiece, has lifted off the wood of the guitar. In other words, the tailpice is not sitting flush.

I removed the tailpiece from the bass. There is some evidence of the screws that held the tailpiece to the bass, being worn and stripped. So, maybe refastening them after applying some wood filler in the existing holes, may help.

When I force the tailpice to be flush with the bass, by putting hand pressure on the bottom part of the tailpice, it causes about a 1/8inch gap at the top of the tailpiece. In other words, it causes a 1/8th inch gap, at the uppermost part of the tailpiece (the part closest pointing to the nut of the guitar)

So I am wondering if the tailpiece itself could be bent. or is this little 1/8th inch gap normal?

Any tips or help would be greatly appreciated.


 Post subject: Re: Buzzing and tailpiece problems
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 3362
Location: Atlanta, GA
Hi Cal -

First, welcome to the forum! You'll be able to find lots of help here from knowledgable people. By using the search tool, you can look into the archives and find a lot of the information you're asking about.

Your fret buzz could be caused by by a slight bow in the neck - Usually helped with a good setup, including possible truss rod adjustment. Before we get into that, it would help if you supplied some more information. What year is your 4003? Do you use round or flat wound strings? How about string gauge?

The gap on your tailpiece is known as tailpiece lift. It's fairly common with 4001 and 4003 tailpieces. An eigth of an inch isn't bad. Some owners have lift of half an inch or more. Lower tension strings should help this from getting worse.

If the screws holding the tailpiece on are not tightening in the wood due to the holes being stripped out, wood filler won't help you. It won't last. A more appropriate fix involves drilling the holes smooth, and inserting a hardwood dowel with wood glue. After the glue dries (at least 24 hours), redrill holes through the dowel for your screws.

As I said, do a search for the problems you mentioned, and read up on it. You also might want to solicit advice from Jingle_jangle and Dale Fortune, both members of this forum.

Good luck!

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