Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

'77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment
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Author:  arnod [ Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Hi everyone,
I'm new here & also new to Rickenbacker since I've just bought a nice '77 4001.
This bass needed to be tuned (I should say repair):
- Nut is missing
- truss rod is bent (threaded part) and fretboard has popped up on 2 inches
this is what I've done so far:
- Glued fret board back into position
- before repairing truss rod, I checked neck relief to see if it was ok. There was .010" at 8th fret (capo on 1st fret, last fret depressed). seemed ok to me.
- bought a new nut (black Rickenbacker 4001/4003 nut replacement). Glued it.
This is where the problem begins: nut seems too low. 3 strings are touching 1st fret. nut is definitily too low.
Before starting shimming the nut, I read almost all topics here covering truss rod and nut set up and decided next to repair truss rod to see if it could fix the nut problem. I removed truss rod, made it perfectly straight and now I'm going to put it back.
Here are my questions for you 4001 gurus : I'm almost sure that the fixed truss rod won't give me enough nut height to avoid fret buzzing (unless I give lots of relief to the neck which isn't a good thing for 4001, right ?). Can you tell me those of you with a perfect 4001 set up what is the good distance between nut slots and fret board to avoid fret buzzing on 1st fret ?
Also what should I use for shimming the nut ? plastic ? wood ?

thanks a lot for your answers and sorry for my not so good English (I'm French).

Author:  morrow [ Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Oh my.... You can do damage to the neck and fretboard on the older basses if you do not put tension on the rods before you tighten them. It also sounds like you will have created new problems by straightening the truss rods.


Here's a link to a nice site with some information on some basic maintenance.

good luck

Author:  kenswear [ Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Actually sounds as if your you have back bow if your bottoming[fretting] out at the first frets.add relief

Author:  arnod [ Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Thanks Morrow,
I've already read this site you're pointing me to.
Even before I straightened truss rod, the nut I installed was already not high enough (with a relief of .010).

Now straight truss rod is back and I can't go less than a relief of .010. I don't want to add relief too as it does not eliminate buzzing at 1st fret (relief would be so high for no buzzing at 1st fret that there would too much height at 12th fret, something like 8/64 or 10/64 which is way too high knowing that bridge height is already at its lowest.

I know that previous owner messed up with neck and truss rod.
Now I have a straight neck (almost no relief) but a neck nut that is too short. Maybe this replacement nut is too short comparing to the original one (if not, there is a problem with the neck). How high is your nut ?
If mine's too short, I need to order a new one. If it's normal size, I need to shim it.
I tried with a shim of 1/64 or 2/64 size and there's no buzzing, almost no neck relief and string height at 12th fret of 7/64. Seems pretty good to me.
Now I need to fine tune this shim. That's I would like you to tell me how high is you nut comparing to fretboard (from fretboard to slot) and how high are the strings at 1st fret.

thanks guys

Author:  fishoutofwater [ Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Man if I where you I would contact Dale Fortune that regularly writes on this forum, mainley under restoration section and ask his advice or have him do the restoration for you before something goes real bad with your bass.

Author:  morrow [ Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Arnaud , my strings are very close to the first fret and my action is very low. I suspect that my nut was filed long before the bass came to me. I use a low tension flat wound string ( TI flats ) and don't get any buzzes or fret noise ... but I play with a very light touch.

The slots seem to be cut at around 1/16 from the fretboard. It isn't much higher at the twelth fret. The strings are close to the frets.

It is very low and effortless to play. I tune it down to Eb for one gig that I play and still don't get buzzes but as I mentioned , I do use a light touch with those low tension strings.

Author:  johnallg [ Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Arnod, how many truss rods does that bass have? You talk as if there is only one, and real Ricks have two. Do you have pics?

Author:  arnod [ Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Yes, it's a dual truss rod (4001 from 1977).
I pulled out both rods, they work good but once they're back they can't keep the neck in place enough to have a straight neck. The lowest I can go is .020 as neck relief.
I can live with that relief except that I can't go under 8/64" at 12th fret because bridge is at its lowest.
Before bringing the bass to the luthier, I will try lighter gauge and maybe sanding the bridge.
Thanks for all your answers,

Author:  johnallg [ Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

I would try lower tension strings, and if you cut the notch in the bridges lower, it will lower the action, but also move the intonation point too, which will have to be reset. Easy though.

Author:  arnod [ Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: '77 4001 truss rod and nut adjustment

Thanks John for your suggestion.
I will try those TI strings : flat JF344 (43-100) or round JR344 (43-89) and see which one offers best action for my bass.
Also John, what is the notch you're referring to on the bridge ? bottom of bridge ? English is not my first language, I'm sorry !
You say cut. Is it really cut or sand ?

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