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 Post subject: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:12 pm
Posts: 9
I most often play an acoustic Taylor LKSM 6-string with a 1-3/4" nut. Right now I'm learning several Scott Joplin pieces--I'm a finger picker. I bought my 650D on eBay primarily because of the neck width and the electric small body. I'm 61 years old and I'm starting to have some trouble with my right arm reaching around the Taylor jumbo acoustic body. I also wanted the somewhat soundless electric solid body because half the time I play at 3 a.m. because of squirrelly work hours. Additionally, my right ear turns sound into the crackle of cellophane, so I use headphones with the right ear disconnected. Got all that?

I was pretty disappointed to find how much wasted string spacing there is on the 650D neck, although it is a 1-3/4" nut width. In millimeters, from E-string centerline to E-string centerline the 650D is 36.9; the Taylor is 38.6 at the nut. I can make a different nut.

The real problem seems to be the bridge. Possibly a Schaller custom-made for Rickenbacker? It's a one-piece with adjustable rollers. Even with the rollers moved to the outer extremes, there is a need for wider adjustment to give me better string spacing. In fact, as it is, the bottom E has a serious kink getting to the roller from the slotted guide and occasionally pops out of the roller to straighten itself out.

Anybody know of a one-piece bridge solution to the problem?


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:35 am
Posts: 12
Location: Jackson Mo
Randy,

I'm in a similar boat as you at 54 yrs. with one bad ear and a fingerstyle rick 650 player. I measure 52 mm from high E to low E at the bridge with the rollers on the bridge set as wide as I can get them and wishing I had a couple more millimeters. I'm new to the forum and don't want to break any posting rules, but Jingle-Jangle is a respected builder on this site (you'll see him in the technical and set-up section
often, and also on the other Rick site). I'm sure he could recommend something. I have found a 57 mm bridge on the Warmoth guitar web page that should work if its not too wide for the pickups on the 650, but again, I don't want to break any posting rules by discussing non-Rick stuff!
Mo.


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:46 pm
Posts: 1
I don't have a solution to your bridge issue, but I find it interesting that the string spacing at the nut of your Dakota is only 36.9mm. My 660 is 39.7mm -- almost 3 mm wider than your Dakota even though they both have 1.75" nuts. I recently discovered the same thing with my Gretsch 6122-1959 -- the neck at the nut is 1.75", but the string spacing is only 36.5mm -- just like most of my other guitars. So you can't assume that a wider neck at the nut equals wider string spacing at the nut.


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:12 pm
Posts: 9
Well, thank you, Mo. I'll check out both suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:12 pm
Posts: 9
Ampeg, if the 660 had been offered in a solid body, I might have been the happy owner of a 660 solid body. I would have had two models to choose from and I might have gotten lucky and become a 660 owner. In fact, the folks at my local guitar store wryly noted that perhaps I'd bought the wrong guitar, the 650D, when I brought it in for their advice. BUT I don't want the louder, janglier semi-solid 660. I want a small plain-vanilla solid body electric guitar with 1-3/4" nut acoustic-spaced-type strings. The specs and reviews on the 650D seemed to fill that bill. Yes, nut width and string spacing do not necessarily go hand in hand. I am certainly wiser, now. Ah, water under imagined bridges...

Oh, and the used eBay Rick worked with my budget. I could have ventured into major custom seas at two or three times the price.

Apparently the Schaller 475 bridge (via Warmoth) in conjunction with a new-cut nut, might get me closer to what I want. After some more advice and a removal of strings for a look-see at the mounting situation I might be on my way to becoming a happier camper.

One of the local store people said, "Hey, look! This guitar's been played!" I said, "Well, it's 10 years old, it's a natural neck..." And the guy said, "That's not what I mean. You don't know how many guitars we see that've never been played, been hidden in a closet somewhere."

Well, I'm a player, not a collector, and even if it ain't broke, I'm gonna fix it so I can play it comfortably.


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:11 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Hamilton Ontario Canada
:(

Umm... Actually the 660 is a solid Body... Perhaps you are confusing it with the hollowbody 360? :mrgreen:

_________________
Brian Morton
A Rickenbacker Fan in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
===============================
67 FG 625
74 JG 4000
76 JG 430
77 JG 620
77 JG 320
79 JG 4001
80 FG 620/12
81 BG 480
91 JG 610
02 BG 620

Amps -
78 TR7
83 TR25


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:12 pm
Posts: 9
I could have sworn the Rick model info from the official website said semi...But no, you're right.

OK...can someone explain to me the source of the reported jangliness from the 660?

I've heard some say the 650 still has some jangle, but with my good ear I can't hear it. Maybe a sort of compressed hollowness (this is like trying to explain the taste of wine). But then I only hear my electric guitar playing through my left-eared Sennheiser 280 Pro headphone--the right ear isn't plugged in. And I alternate my tone settings between the bridge pickup and full-treble, and a mix of both pickups and full-treble and mid-settings. Full bass with the neck pickup is complete mud. So I think I've explored the gamut of tone settings with the boundaries of a headphone. And my small Roland MicroCube. The MicroCube does a great job with the Taylor LKSM through the headphone, so I know it's quite capable of producing quality amplification. The acoustic guitar produces far more complex sounds than the electric with a really nice sustain of the Joplin bass lines I'm working on. Too bad I live in a 900-square-foot condo and get in some really rewarding practice time at 3 a.m.--when my family is trying to sleep. That's when the solid body comes in handy.

Maybe I need to find a 660 in Southern California I can play through the Roland and headphone...

At any rate, the Schaller 475 bridge has been ordered. I don't foresee the extended width to be much of a problem with the pickups on the treble string side; the bass string, though, might be a problem. Interestingly, the pickups are not mounted directly in line with the neck or bridge--they stick out slightly beyond the high E string, with the low E string already barely above the left sides. This is with the factory roller bridge at full roller width. But I get plenty of bass...


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:10 pm
Posts: 782
The jangle tone from any Ric will be best heard through the right amp. Rolands are good, but I'm not a fan of the Ric/Roland combination, though John Hall likes the Jazz Chorus, and I'd say his opinion is pretty important, wouldn't you? ;)

The 650 has Rickenbacker designed humbuckers, which are designed to sound more like single coils, but they're still pretty thick sounding to me. I like them, but I wouldn't attempt to "jangle" with them.

See, this is where things get sticky for me. If you want "Jangle" there are models that do that effortlessly, but I believe Rickenbackers are beyond just that sound. Whenever I hear or read players talk about losing jangle because of this or that, I have to kind of laugh; you don't just buy Rickenbacker for their sound, you buy them for the quality. You're lucky because that 650 is middle ground between the classic sound and more heavy tones. If jangle is all you're after, go for the 660, but either one will bring you superb quality with each instrument.


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:12 pm
Posts: 9
The whole thing is, you see, I'm NOT looking for jangle! I'm looking for widely-spaced strings on a small solid body electric guitar...a quality-made instrument, now that you mention it. I suspect the 650 probably best fills that bill in the Rickenbackers line.

So far I've been OK with maintaining the tuning of the 650, even though I typically drop the low E to D and the A to G. Chiaro's arrangements of Joplin piano works usually drop the E and sometimes the G down, which can be trying for some guitars. When I got my 650 it had ridiculously light strings on it. I eventually went to Elixir Heavy electrics to get a decent tone. (I later found that Rickenbacker advised about that gauge for their short scales.) I have a very high acid content in my hands which rusts uncoated strings very quickly.

I also have a Taylor LKSM-12 with extremely heavy strings tuned down to C# WITH THE TWO LOWEST STRINGS DROPPED YET ANOTHER WHOLE TONE for Joplin. Now THAT's a boomer you don't play at 3 a.m.! Unfortunately my poor old hands need to play that beast at least an hour a day to keep their strength up, and I just don't have the time, so it's fallen by the wayside. The Bach Prelude from Cello Suite No. 1 sounds better on a 12-string than a 6-string IMHO, unless you tune the 6-string close to a cello tuning for a lot of open ring. There's a guy on YouTube who did that to wonderful effect. Maybe I'll see if the 650 can take that on...the strings are possibly high enough off the fretboard for even bigger strings!


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 Post subject: Re: 650 Dakota nut & bridge width
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:50 am
Posts: 33
Location: Southern California
Please do let us know how the Schaller 475 bridge works out for you. I am very curious to know if it does offer any real difference in string spacing at that end. Hard to tell from the web description if it's any wider than the stock 650 bridge.


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