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 Post subject: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:41 am 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 155
Location: London, UK
Hey everyone,

For those who haven't read my posts mentioning it already, I have a '79 fireglo 4001 Rickenbacker.

Also, for everyone: I ended up modding it with the authentic Rickenbacker push-pull pot, which I got from RIC's official distributor in the UK (Rosetti). Because I am a purist, I asked for it to behave in the inverse way: when PUSHED (down) it works like my 4001 is supposed to, when PULLED, it bypasses the .0047 cap. :) The bypass sound is gooooood, but I think I'll stick to the VINTAGE sound unless I really need that low end! But it depends on what I want to play, really. I like having that option. :)



Anyway, let me get to the point now...

I also got new strings for my 4001. I had never changed the strings it had when I bought it, which apparently had been on it for about 8 years prior to my purchase. So they were quite dead! I had read MANY good things about DR strings from A LOT of different users here in the RIC forums, many of whom said they were using DR High-Beams on their 4001's and had no problems.

I asked the guy who did the mod to re-string my 4001 with a brand-new set of DR High-Beams I gave him (gauge 45-65-85-105), and to do a full set up (action, truss rods, the whole thing). When it comes to action, I like it medium, not too high, not too low. Almost like a factory action when you buy a new bass. Originally the guy at the guitar repair shop had left it with some action that was a little too high for me, so I asked him to lower the strings.

The thing is, it's been ONLY 2 (TWO) DAYS, and I've already noticed something on my frets going on and I don't remember seeing it before!!! :( :(

The worst thing is that everyone had said that DR's are great and don't cause any trouble... Hell, they're even MARKETED as "they don't eat your frets"... But it looks like they're already munching on mine!! :(

Here are pics I took of how some of the frets on my 4001 look like now. It's rather hard to get the marks to show in the pictures, but I managed to do so in these 3 pics.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v177/ ... Frets1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v177/ ... Frets2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v177/ ... Frets3.jpg

What should I do? Should I get rid of the DR's RIGHT NOW and get some flatwounds before the frets get any worse??? Can I fix the damage that has already been done?? (nearly every fret seems to have been eaten, even if a little bit) ... Am I completely screwed??? :( PLEASE HELP!!

Magellan


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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 573
Location: Stanstead, QC
Why not bring it back to the tech who did the original set-up for his advice?

If it's just the beginning of a problem, it should be easy enough to file the frets a bit, do a new set-up, change out the offending strings, and you're back in business.

Not his fault if you specified those strings.

I can't quote you chapter and verse with references, but I have in the past read Mr. H. strongly suggesting that folks stay away from any hand-made strings, especially when the name DR came up.

He may or may not have some inside information on potential warranty or incompatibility claims by users of these strings, since he's normally quite open to other name brands and styles.

I usually don't trust any mfgr advertising too much. Decide on a few alternatives and ask your local shop what they think. Naturally, they will want to sell what they have in stock, but may have witnessed a few horror stories along the way as well.



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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:38 pm
Posts: 1163
Location: Sydney, Australia
Hibeams are stainless steel rounds. The conbination of stainless steel and round wound is perfect for eating frets. I stopped using stainless Rotos many years back because of a nasty experience with a P-bass.

You may need to get those frets dressed and you should switch to nickel wound strings to minimise wear in the future. There are a heap of good nickel roundwounds out there - I tend towards GHS Boomers and D'Addario XLs, but I hear good things about TI rounds as well.....

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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
I would get those strings off immediately.

If you play hard enough to do that kind of damage in a couple of days, you shouldn't be using stainless steel roundwounds. (It IS the combination of the strings and technique by the way!)

DR make many different strings, including nickel roundwounds - I'm using a set of Nickel Lo-Riders, and one of the reasons I chose them is that I have a habit of playing quite hard and chewing up frets with stainless steels. No fret wear so far, and they've been on a couple of months.

Before you put any more strings on I would be inclined to have a very light fret dress done too - just enough to take those marks out - so you can monitor what happens with whatever you put on next.


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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 155
Location: London, UK
Strings have been taken off. I decided to buy these strings to replace them:

http://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/products ... ring_bass_

I'm pretty sure I CAN'T mess up with that choice. Right?


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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:38 pm
Posts: 1163
Location: Sydney, Australia
They're hard to get down here but word of mouth from Rick users is that they are excellent strings. I'd be very interested in your feedback re sound and feel!

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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 155
Location: London, UK
Question: would it hurt my bass to leave it de-stringed for a couple of days? The lack of tension on the neck... Are Rick's OK with that?


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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 2962
Location: Scotland
Yes, it's fine to leave the tension off for a couple of days.


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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:53 am 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 155
Location: London, UK
Ricky strings came today. Gonna have to wait until Monday to send the bass + new set of strings to the shop for fret dress and new set up. I hope the Rick doesn't mind waiting an extra 2 days without its strings.


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 Post subject: Re: DR's ate my frets??!?!?!? :( :( :( HELP?!
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 235
Location: Hickory,NC
I used DR Hi-Beams on my 4003 for the several years I had it, and never, ever, had any issue with fret wear. I don't play particularly light either. And the frets were in perfect shape when I sold it, and I'm picky about the frets. So I can't imagine what happened here. DR's are generally very good strings that have been very fret friendly in my experience.

I've got DR nickel Lo-Riders on my C64 with little to no wear at all, although I don't play as much as I used to anymore. The frets are in better shape than my V63, and I've had mostly flats on that bass since I've owned it.

As far as the Rotos go, that's the reason I'm picky about the frets. They did eat the frets on my old '77 4001. Haven't used them since. Although I have used the flats on the V63.


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