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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 1527
Location: S.W. Michigan
How I would do it:

1. Get the nut slots height right how you want it (maybe a professional? - the owner where I bought mine did it for me).

2. Adjust the bridge close to the height you want to end up at.

3. Tune up. Then use a 24" straight edge (I bought a 36" aluminum yardstick (yellow powdercoat painted) at Lowes and cut it to 24" and file the cut end very smooth) and lay it along the frets outside the E string to look for a straight neck. I do this while wearing the bass to have the neck stressed as when playing. Also check the G string side and if adjustments are needed you can use a 1/4" nut driver (ONLY!!) to adjust. Get the one from RIC Boutique or go to Sears and get the Chraftsman set (#4196 - check the number on the red 1/4" and if it is #41971 you can get it seperate). If you have a driver that is too thick-walled, you will bend the rods or break a rod or pop the fretboard.

4. If you adjust the truss rod nuts, only go 1/4 turn max at a time. If there was a gap in the middle of the strait edge, then tighten the nut (righty tighty). If the strait edge rocked, then loosen the nut. Do this for both sides if needed, but check the G side after adjusting the E side to see if it was moved. Retune after adjusting a nut before checking for a straight neck. You want it perfectly straight. This is for the 4003 new rods. If you have a 4001 or very early 4003 (split pickguard) you need to move the neck to where you want it, hold it there, then adjust the nut to hold it there. You may need to loosen the nut first, depending how you move the neck.

5. After the neck is flat and you are at pitch (tuned), set the bridge height for the action you want. You will need to retune when you move the bridge up or down.

6. When the action is where you want it, then you intonate. If you need to move the bridge, use the appropriate size philips head screwdriver, loosen the string, move the bridge, then retune and check. If you are sharp at the 12th fret, move the bridge away from the nut - if flat move towards the nut. You may need to readjust bridge height for the correct action after moving a bridge - more critical if you set the action really low.

7. After you get the intonation set, now adjust the pickup heights to give the tone, attack, and sound you want. You don't want them so high the string hits the polepiece when you play aggressive - you get a nasty click when they hit.

ALWAYS FOLLOW THE RIC MANUAL'S INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS PROCEDURE!! I endevored to give you the order of the setup steps, along with some personal experience and tooling. I invite comments and corrections from any and all.


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:02 am
Posts: 57
Location: Minneapolis
thanks very much johnallg. your description is very detailed, and i expect it will be very helpful. that was just what i was looking for.


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 1:00 pm
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Location: S.W. Michigan
I needed to amend step #6 - after moving the bridge you may also need to adjust the height for the correct action - more critical if you are setting the action really low. I have corrected the origional post.


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:00 pm
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Location: SF CA
I've been using a Dremel rotary tool virtually since 1964, and even with a #409 or #420 wheel, it simply is too hard to control the tool, which cuts very fast.

The best way remains to do it with a good set of nut files. Much more controllable and it's easier to do carefull, thousandth-by-thousandth work.

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Rickenbackers: I love to play them. I enjoy the challenge of working on them. I love the way they sound.


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:25 am
Posts: 66
Location: Seattle
working on nuts is tricky and takes practice but if you mess it up its a pretty cheap fix from a tech. i use nut files but i suppose a dremel would do the trick.

my $.02: when adjusting truss rods *always* loosen the truss nut first even if you want to increse the tension (decrease releif). that way if the rod has been pushed to the limits you won't risk breaking it.

i would also invest in "Electric Guitar Setups" by Hideo Kamimoto if you want to setup your own axes. its worth very penny.

http://www.amazon.com/Electric-Guitar-S ... 0825613795



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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
What is wrong with lowering the nut by sanding the bottom of it? If it is just a general lowering of the action at the nut, isn't that simpler than buying nut files?


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 3362
Location: Atlanta, GA
It involves removing the nut, which while not difficult, has to be done carefully.


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:02 am
Posts: 57
Location: Minneapolis
just thought i'd throw this out there, see if anybody else knows what's going on.
so in the RIC manual it says to use string gauges 40-55-75-95 (sku 95510). in the boutique, however, and everywhere else i've looked, RIC only deals strings of gauges 45-55-75-105 (sku 95511), and i seem to remember reading a post a while ago where somebody asked why they no longer carried the smaller gauge strings. i don't remember the response, but that doesn't really matter.
what i'm wondering (and i would just check, but i don't have the proper tool at my disposal) is whether they have started putting the higher gauge strings on the new basses since they don't even carry the other ones anymore?
this would seem to make the most sense.
can anyone fill me in?

i might be able to borrow the tool and measure them this weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 321
Location: MW Ohio
All the above advice is great. I live in an area where good repairmen are few and far between. I learned how to set up basses by trial and error along time ago, and am still learning today. Just take your time, and learn by your mistakes (and you WILL make some). Remember, only you know what you want your bass to feel like.

My tip: For RIC basses with the modern truss rods.

Alot of people are scared to death of the Rickenbacker double truss rod system. When I get a new Rick bass, the first thing I do is take the old strings off, loosen both truss rods till slack, then tighten them till both rod nuts are just snug against the baseplate, then tighten them another quarter turn. Install new strings, tune to pitch, and make additional rod adjustments as needed, but do it "equally". This way you know that both your rods have equal tension.

*Never force a rod that seems to tight.


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 Post subject: Re: professional job or do it yourself?
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 3362
Location: Atlanta, GA
As far as I know RIC string set #95510 is no longer available, which means that set #95511 is the one to use. Revision D of the manual (available in PDF format on this website, under the 'Service' tab) has a table showing string gauges for all their guitars. It says that the gauges for all 4 string basses are 45-55-75-105. Looks like you might have an older revision of the manual.


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