Rickenbacker International Corporation - Forum

Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece
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Author:  telemaster [ Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Has anybody got a XII string tailpiece to fit a 360F. If you have one you know what I am talking about. Whether you will be willing to part with it is another question. If you don't know what I am talking about and have access to either "The Rickenbacker Book" (pg. 43) or "Rickenbacker Electric XII String" (pg. 86) you'll find pix in there. My plan, if I can get one, is to use it on a standard 360 XII string. In my experience if one can reduce the distance from the bridge to the attachment point that anchors the ball end of the string, one can also reduce some tuning problems at the same time. Plus I think it would look cool!

Author:  Clifton [ Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

I wonder if it would be too long. The little tilted area for the tailpiece isn't very long on 300-series guitars. When I was looking at putting a Bigsby on my 1997 reissue, I looked at the longer models like the B6. But it was too long, and the angle was wrong. The B5 fit great, so that's what I ended up using.

You might consider what I did with my 330/12. I finally saved up for the 12-saddle bridge, and then added the trapeze tailpiece. This cleared up minor tuning issues I was having, plus it gave a nice vintage look to the guitar. It also makes it easier to change the strings, too. I find the "R" to be really difficult for changing strings ona 12-string. Before they made the stretched "R" tailpiece for the 360F/12, Rickenbacker had a long version of the trapeze. It seemed shorter than the stretched "R". I wonder if it would work if you could find one of those?

Author:  telemaster [ Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Thanx for the reply Clifton, I have seen the longer trapeze that you mentioned , the problem is I don't care for the look of the trapeze style as much as the "R" style. Too utilitarian in appearance for my taste. Kind of looks out of place to me, all squared off and angular attached to a 360 with all of its graceful curves. I have been contemplating making my own custom piece out of sheet goods. It would string up like the trapeze but be shaped roughly like the harp frame of the stretched "R" type, in order to shorten the length of string behind the bridge. This way it would have the benefits of simpler string replacement, but the more graceful look of the curvy “R” tailpiece. This would be so much easier if these parts were available. I understand why they're not, but it is a bother. I don't think the placement issue of your Bigsby is going to present the same problems with a stretched "R". Without the tremolo handle to contend with, the only difference would be moving the location of the ball ends of the strings with relation to the bridge. Which is what I am looking to do. I just wonder if it would be too long and therefore too close to the bridge. May just be that a custom made unit will be my only alternative. Sourcing a regular "R" type tailpiece (let alone the stretched one) is also proving to be quite a challenge, so a trapeze (stock or custom made) may be the only option open to me to get this guitar playable quickly.

Author:  jingle_jangle [ Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Tuning problems? Curious as to what you're referring to, as this is a radical solution for what could end up being a non-problem, or at least one with an easy solution.

The die-cast "stretched R" tailpiece was used on only one model of Rickenbacker--the second-series "F" body--and that model went out of production before Woodstock. The extended trapeze tailpiece is roughly a decade older, and was only used on first-series "F"s--330 and 360 styles. This makes both of these, for your purposes, non-existent.

I've seen the exact flat stock harp-style tailpiece that you describe, on the market as a non-OEM accessory part, and to my eye it sacrifices all of the charm of a die-cast "R" tailpiece for something that looks like an overthought left-brained solution to a simple right-brained challenge: in short, it's ugly.

Any Rick flat stock trapeze type tailpiece was intended for use with the pre-65 "old-style" body with its flat top profile and non-radiused top edge. I agree that it is out of place on a rounded "new style" post-1965 360 body, though it looks right with any vintage 330 style Rickenbacker.

Stock 12-string die cast "R" tailpieces do pop up online, but lately they've been thin on the ground. The going price for one of these could be considered steep, though. There's currently one on Ebay being sold for roughly three times the accepted price, by a vendor in Germany who's known for his outrageous BIN prices, so don't let his listing throw you.

Author:  telemaster [ Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Jingle-Jangle, thanx for weighin in. I know the stretched "R" is probably made of unobtaineum, but I had to ask. RE: tuning problems, I was really refering to stretching the string by bending a note (not usually an issue playing a 12) forces you to also stretch the string behind the bridge, the less length behind the bridge, the less movement, and less possible slipping on the saddles. Mainly I just think it looked cool. RE: non oem tail piece, I agree that it is not NEARLY as attractive as the proper tailpiece, but then it was cheap enough to buy it now and be able to string up my little beauty and toss in a drawer without feeling much loss when the real thing comes along. And one is available that is drilled for twelve strings. At least my 360 would not lay useless/unplayable in its case mocking me. Well maybe not mocking but certainly teasing me. They also offer a stretched trapeze, but there again I don't care for that look. I do have a line on a proper "R" 12 string tailpiece but it is taking for ever for me to lay my hands on that one, so I am looking for other ways now to hear my first jangly chord. Saw the german listing too.....I don't think so. Saw a bass tail on ebay for 50% more than that one, jeeeeze! I may even fabricate one myself since this has dragged out for so long. I bought this 360/12 in August and the only reason I can't play it is want of a tail piece and jack plate (also made of unobtaneum, but more easily fabricated). I would love OEM parts but I would love even more, just to be able to play the durn thing.

Author:  jingle_jangle [ Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Gotcha, Telemaster...

Re: String stretching...when you manually stretch out the strings upon installation (and I pull on mine--HARD--several times while tuning each up to pitch), you're also stretching the string behind the bridge, so if you're doing it enough pre-tuning to pitch, you should have a minimum of probs with it going out of tune.

I'm glad you are janglin' but, like you, want to see OEM Rick parts on Rick guitars if possible. So, maybe someday?

Author:  telemaster [ Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Not janglin' yet. I'm investigating options at this point. But I'm starting to weaken in my resolve to stick with oem parts, since I cannot seem to lay my hands on a tailpiece. My observations about tailpiece placement don't necessarily apply to 12 strings like my 360. I have noticed that the "stop" tail piece on G*bs*n's 335 for example makes it much more of blues machine than if it had their "trapeze" style. Even after stretching strings to seat them on tuner posts and bed the ball end placement, when there are several inches behind the bridge, it takes more muscle to reach the same pitch of the note you are trying to bend to. And the string might not return to proper pitch, if it should slip on the saddle. That is what I was refering to by tuning issues. This has been my experience, anybody have a different one?

Author:  jingle_jangle [ Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Thanks for clarifying the tuning issue issue! :?

Author:  telemaster [ Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Well, this thread has been dead since last November, but I have news. Not only did I find and purchase the "F" style tail piece that I started this thread about. I found it right on RIC's ebay web presence.... the best part is that it is RAW, that is to say casting flash still on the pieces and it has not been chrome plated. This is going to allow me to modify this tail piece in a way I had only dreamed of doing. The main complaint about the "R" tail piece is the difficulty in stringing the guitar. The ball ends not staying in their slots while one fiddles with the other end of the string trying to affix it to the tuner. My plan is to fill in the slots with weld, which you would not want to do if it had already been plated, and mill the new solid piece so that the faces are all nice and even. Then I plan on drilling holes though this new solid area instead of slots thereby trapping the strings ball ends and rendering the traditional issues with the "R" tailpiece non-existent. This will solve another problem that I found when the tailpiece arrived. I did not know before laying my hands on one that the strings do not "track" straight into the tailpiece. The spread from string 1 to 12 is exacxtly 2.0" on my bridge but the trace is 2.25" on my tailpiece. I haven't been able to check a short (normal) "R" tailpiece to see of the trace is this wide on the shorty too , but this would not be a problem with the "normal" shorter "R" tailpiece as there is enough length of the string behind the bridge to allow the strings to splay out as they reach the tailpiece, but since the end of the "Harp" is so much closer to my bridge, there might be a problem with the angle being too great for the strings to have enough down force to stay seated in their grooves without deepening them. By welding the tailpiece slots closed and making this area a solid block, I will be able to readjust the trace of the strings to a straight through pull. I will post pix of my progress as it happens. But to be sure, it will look cool. I tested it for fit by just laying it on top of the long trapeze style that is on the guitar now and it looks great. Now off to the shop.....

Author:  iiipopes [ Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Looking for a 360F "stretched" "R" type tailpiece

Tuning problems? What tuning problems? Fresh strings of a conventionally accepted brand and gauge, like RIC factory strings or TI custom set from PotR, installed correctly and cleanly with the correct number of winds around the tuning gear posts; clean and burnished bridge saddles set with proper intonation; clean lubricated nut with the "witness point" good; always tuning up from flat and not down from sharp; pickups adjusted correctly; refined playing technique -- what tuning problems?

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