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 Post subject: 4003 set up tips
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:11 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

i am trying to resurrect my 4003's old sound and feel. One of the things i have done to do this is invest in lighter guage strings, 40-95's,

my neck is dead straight so if i put these on will i need to loosen the rods to avoid a backbow?

also, is it compulsory that 4003 necks are dead straight? what would happen if i created a slight relief?

should balance between truss rods be equal?

thank yyou


 Post subject: Re: 4003 set up tips
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:32 am
Posts: 272
Location: Orange, CA
Question 1: If the new strings are less tense than the old ones (they won't necessarily be, but it is likely with the lighter gauges), then yes, you will have to loosen the rods a bit. Try one-eighth of a turn a day until you get it how you like it.

Question 2: It's really what you like that is important. RIC recommends dead straight (or very minimal relief) for best results, and I and many others here agree. Action, note resonance, etc... are all best with this setting as the instrument is designed for it.

Question 3: I remember reading once that balance between the rods doesn't necessarily need to be equal. I prefer it that way when possible, but you may find that they won't be balanced if your end goal is to get relief consistent across the whole neck when tuned to pitch. You may have to have one a little looser or tighter than the other in order to keep the neck from twisting under string tension.

Hope that helps! The real pros should start chiming in here soon.

 Post subject: Re: 4003 set up tips
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:33 am
Posts: 3403
Location: Denver
The lighter strings *may* change your relief--they may not. Just take a wait-and-see attitude to things like this when thinking about bass setup, rather than trying to predict, and you'll save yourself a lot of time. Every piece of wood is different.

You can put some relief in a Rickenbacker neck but it will make it harder to intonate in some cases. Experiment with it--again, every piece of wood is different... However, please consider this: a straight neck doesn't mean low action. I've played lots of basses with very straight necks but medium or even high action, specifically factory spec 4004Ciis and a few different models by Ernie Ball-Music Man like the Big Al and the Reflex. This is sort of a setup preference... but essentially it allows you to have a straight neck while still modulating the action to where you want it to be. The benefits of a straight neck as far as resonance and evenness of action are such that I think this is the right approach.

As for truss rod balance, again it comes down to the piece of wood you're dealing with, really you want to work directly with that and not with an academic concept. Ultimately the rod's force is acting against an opposite force that causes relief. You want that value to be the same for each rod in most cases (not always) but that doesn't mean you want each rod to be equal in the amount of force exerted... They may need to be different to get an even response.

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