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 Post subject: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 14
Location: newcastle UK
Please help,
My Jetglow 02' (4003) ,which i've just recently purchased, has quite a high action, having played Fender Jazz's most of my Bass playing life (i am now fully converted to the Rick now, thanks to the look, build, sound and yes Geddy Lee), ive adjusted the Rick bridge just until i get fret buzz, the neck is very straight, but i love her and can't understand why my previously owned Fender Jazz(Signature Jap model) and cheap Westfield (which i still have), have better action. Is it a trust rod adjustment and if so, do Rickenbacker set set their action higher than others? ... for £800 i would have expected a Bass with Real Pro action ... or have i been sold a "Dud", looks real, with a genuine Rick case, beautifull finish, 2 truss rods and Ric 'o' sound on the Jack Plate .... and serial number confirms date of birth with Rick site. Am i being fussy, should i just adapt? ... but this is effecting the way i play.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Pacific Northwest
Don't panic. You probably just need a neck adjustment. Fortunately on a 4003 it isn't too difficult.

First, get a 1/4" nut driver or buy the neck adjustment tool from Rickenbacker. (which is just a 1/4" nut driver)

Second, be sure you have the proper sized Allen wrench to adjust the action at the bridge.

Third, pop the A and D strings out of their slots at the nut and move them next to the E and G strings, respectively. With the A and D strings out of the way you can easily remove the truss rod cover (TRC).

Fourth, with the TRC off check to see if either truss rod is obviously loose. If it is tighten it snug using the driver and then tighten it past snug about 1/2 a turn.

Put the strings back and check the action. If that didn't fix the problem continue to tighten each rod in increments of about 1/4 turn until the action starts to come in line. At this point you should leave the strings in place as there is plenty of room to work the truss rods.

As you make adjustments, you will notice that you will have to keep raising the bridge to keep the strings off the frets. Continue until you are satisfied with the settings.

You may also have to adjust the PUP height on the bridge PUP if the strings start to brush against it as the action comes into alignment.

I also find that after making a large adjustment, it is best to let the bass sit overnight and then re-check it as the wood will have a tendency to settle in to a new set of tensions.

If you are doing it right, the action will start to improve with each adjustment starting at the first fret and working its way to the last. Also, you will have to re-tune as the adjustment will cause the strings to tighten up.

Just take your time and go slowly. I have a 4001c64 which has the same truss rod system as a 4003. It is very easy to adjust. The 4001 system was very prone to having it messed up if you were careless; however, the 4003 system is very easy to adjust.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 14
Location: newcastle UK
Thanks Ricomatic but 1st do i remove name plate with E and G under tension and then turn clockwise or counter, the rest i understand. I've a gig in 2 weeks and hate to think i can't use her in case i mess up


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 14
Location: newcastle UK
Just attempted the advice and hey .... it worked. Was really nervous doing it, did'nt need too much of a tweak but as said, had to move the bridge pup etc to accomodate the movement ... cheers Rico your a star!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
R.S.L- When I set up my son's 4001, I used the same technique I use with my guitars. Tuned to pitch, I hold down the E string at the first and twelfth frets. Looking from the side at the fifth or sixth fret, you should have just enough relief between string and fret to slide a piece of notebook paper through. Because of the dual truss rods, you flip it over and do the same drill on the treble side. Adjust as necessary for slight relief. Remember that as your tighten the rods, the instrument is going sharp, so you have to re-check and adjust your tuning. I then adjust the bridge until the buzz disappears and you get a good clean sound. Then adjust the intonation. Once that's spot on, you adjust the P/U's until the sound and balance sounds right. Trust your ears here. You may want to keep a small screwdriver handy for a day or two until you're completely happy with the sound. His 4001 plays like glass. Hey, it's a Rick! Good luck! -Dr.Phil


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Pacific Northwest
Glad to help out. When they are adjusted right they play like butter!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 4037
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Quote:
ive adjusted the Rick bridge just until i get fret buzz, the neck is very straight . . .
I guess that neck wasn't quite straight after all . . .

It really is important to have a straight neck on our instruments before the action is adjusted, if you are to get the absolute lowest action.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 14
Location: newcastle UK
Spot on JH, guess my eye ball got screwed up bad, going to the opticians first thing Monday morning !

Thanks all for your assistance, what a great responsive site we have here ....amazing !!


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 14
Location: newcastle UK
Just to say, i'ts been nearly 24hrs since my nervous truss rod adjustment(cheers Rico) ... and the outcome ... well she's still hugging the frets , alot lower than when i first bought her!

Roll on Dec 16th when she'll get her initiation to Snow Patrol, U2 and some Rush !


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 Post subject: Re: Help! ... My 4003 neck action
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 1692
Location: Colorado
there are 3 adjustments to get lower action ... The truss rods, the bridge, and the nut ... The nut is often overlooked ... when a Ric comes from the factory the nut is cut a little high ... in other words they are being conservative ... if the nut is cut too low the open strings will buzz out, but if the nut is cut too high then the whole neck will be harder to play ... theoretically the nut should get the strings off the neck a distance that is equal to or just a little more than the height of a fret ... if the nut is too high you can deepen the grooves with a fret file or a dremel tool or you can remove the nut and sand a little off of the bottom of the nut and then reglue it back in ... if you cut a nut too low you can either shim it or get a new one for a few dollars ...

Also I find I have to do a neck adjustment every spring and fall because of climate changes that lead to differences in humidity levels in my house ... lower hunmidity causes the wood to shrink and higher humidity causes the humidity to expand ... when the wood shrinks you have to tighten the rods and whne it expands you have to loosen the rods ...

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