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Bought my first neck through, I think I prefer bolt ons

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BrandonBass, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    Been playing bolt ons until I got a Rickenbacker 4003 recently.

    Thing is, I cant get even low action from the first to last fret. On most of my basses, the saddles will go low enough and with some amount of relief the bass plays really well. On some occasions when the saddles cant go low enough, Id just add a shim. Problem solved.

    I cant shim my neck rick though since its a neck through and it irks me that I cant set it up low. Is filing the saddle my only option now?
  2. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    Btw, I didnt hear an increase in sustain : x
  3. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i would take a Dremel to those saddle's!!! i've had to do so on my MIM Fender with that gawd awful "hi-mass-crap-bridge" that's on it.
  4. SBsoundguy


    Sep 2, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Try shimming the neck? :)
  5. the bridge make impossible a lower action... Is that your reason to dislike neck-trough basses? :confused:
  6. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    You can say that, plus they tend to cost more
  7. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    What does your neck relief look like?
  8. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I think that is an overstatement. Neck-thrus and bolt-on's (from my experience) have nearly the same amount of sustain. Honestly, it is going to vary from company to company and even bass to bass.
  9. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    it is pretty straight. Any straighter the first few frets are gonna fret out
  10. That might be part of the problem. Add some relief.

    IMO, file the bottom of the saddles down & play with the setup.
    I've had no issues getting my neckthrus down as low as my bolt ons.
  11. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    I'd rather not do that to my newest and most expensive bass to date, but seems like I have no other option :x
  12. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Have you checked in the Ric club thread? Or Joey's Bass Notes?

    The action on mine is pretty low, and it seems most can get theirs down if they want to.
  13. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    The ric club requires a confirmation from the admin. Joey didnt touch much on the subjectin his site.

    I can get fairly low action on the bass, it is just nowhere near the level where I can set my other bolt on basses to
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
  15. I've yet to meet a Ric 4000-series bass that couldn't be dialed in for lazer-low action.

    All factors need to be taken into consideration: Nut slot depth, fret leveling, dual truss rod relief, idiosyncratic bridge adjustment. I don't know your tech skill level or experience with Rics, but if there's any chance a Ric-experienced qualified tech could do a better job, that might be a good move. Or read and research more on how to set up Rics for low action. No offense, but I doubt it's the bass's fault, and it has nothing to do with it being a neck-through design.

    EDIT: Hold off on filing the saddles down. That is an extreme measure and you need to rule out your other options first.
  16. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Oh lord, don't base your only judgement on a neckthrough just solely on a Rick...............;)

    Basing your bad experience on neck throughs with one instrument is sort of unfair, no?
  17. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    That is true enough, however, I too have a neck-thru where I can't get the action as low as I would like. I know how to set up a bass (I have 6 other neck-thrus with no problem), and while changing the bridge would help, that's not really the problem, problem is the neck.

    Point is, no matter what you say, a bolt-on will never leave you high and dry here because, as the OP stated, you can shim. Thank you Leo!

    I have neck-thrus, set neck and bolt-on basses. I am a Jazz bass kinda guy at heart but even if I weren't, I would NOT be discounting the servicability of a bolt-on.
  18. This point is well-taken. Shimming is an option not available to neck-through designs.

    But if you want to lean on the experience of people who have been playing and setting up Rics for a long time, for a Ric neck to be the problem and inhibit low action is extremely rare, and I've never seen it. I currently own three 4003's, have owned and played dozens more. Perhaps if the bass is defective or has experienced trauma, but only in such extreme cases would I blame the neck.

    Sorry to hear you're having trouble getting your neck throughs to low action, but blaming the overall design of a neck through is not really a valid argument. I also play Peavey Cirrus USA basses and Gibson T-Birds, and I can safely say I have never had trouble setting them up with lazer-low action either.

    Once again, I suspect pilot error. OP prolly just needs a little help.
  19. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    That's insanely unfortunate that it is a common thing for Ric owners to have to file their saddles. At that price, something like that shouldn't be an issue at all. If it comes down to having to perform this to get the action reasonably low, I would just return it for another or drop the idea of having a Ric entirely, but only after having an experienced tech have a go at it. A shim is one thing, but having to file saddles to such a degree is unacceptable on a new instrument, IMO.
  20. BrandonBass


    May 29, 2006
    How I wish this was the case.

    I have done set ups on all the basses I have owned(more than a dozen of them) from SX basses to stingrays and I can get the desired action I want all the time. I have set my rick to a reasonably low action, infact some people would deem it too low. But I like to have the strings almost touch the frets. While I am able to achieve that from the 1st to 12th frets, the last frets still seem too high for my taste. Im pretty certain if the saddles can be lowered just alittle more, the problem would be solved guess thats what Im gonna do.