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Fender RI 70's: 3 Bolt Neck

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by invisaman75, Mar 13, 2008.


  1. invisaman75

    invisaman75

    Feb 7, 2008
    Are the RI 70's Fender with the 3 bolt neck better than the ones actual Fenders made in the 70's? I had a bad experience with mine years ago. I remember having to adjust the neck many times.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Nope.
     
  3. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Nope. 3 bolts still suck.
     
  4. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    Its not just the three bolt setup (which does suck), but the micro-tilt system puts a lot of stress on a very tiny portion of the neck. I wish Fender had AVed an early 70s four bolt jazz. It would have still had blocks, binding, and 70s pickup spacing.
     
  5. invisaman75

    invisaman75

    Feb 7, 2008
    Thanks for the reply!
    I saw a few MIJ Jazz basses but they were 3 bolt. I guess the 3 bolt thing is for collectors.

    I would like the 70's Jazz Bass look but not a 3 bolt.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Slax

    Slax

    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I heard bad things about 3 bolts a while back. I never actually owned one though...

    I heard it was a way for Fender to cut costs. Apparently by removing a single screw from the neck, they could save a decent amount of money total... *shrugs*
     
  7. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    what are all these problems people are having with the 3 bolt? ive had 3 late 70's fenders without any problems and i currently have a ri with no 3 bolt problems.
     
  8. swamp2

    swamp2

    Feb 27, 2008
    FWIW, I have a 3 bolt G&L SB-2 about '83 vintage - owned since new, never touched the neck. I have a '79 strat w/ 3 bolt, it had a sloppy neck pocket, I shimmed the pocket w/ an .011" feeler gague, never had a problem since.

    IMHO, the 3 bolt isn't a problem if you have a snug neck/pocket interface.
     
  9. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    I don't think that's the reason. Its actually an interesting idea, because it allows a simple way to adjust the neck angle in relation to the body. It can and does work fine most of the time, but its still a week point on these instruments.
     
  10. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've had a few in doing setups for friends, and they never quite feel right if they've got a sloppy neck pocket... and don't even think about using the micro-tilt... I've found I really lose sustain doing that.

    My Miller is a 3-bolt, and being that it's a tight neck pocket, I've never had a problem with it. But other 3 bolt necks, I have.
     
  11. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    I agree, but the pocket has to be pretty tight. However, the microtilt system is still a really bad idea, because, again, it puts too much stress on a very small contact area of the neck.
     
  12. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Memphis
    In my experiance they are both decent ...

    Lots of stories about the bad ole 70s Fenders (and there were way to many of them) but I guess Ive been lucky the ones I've had have been really good.

    Both the 76 on the left and the 75 re-issue sunburst are fine basses

    View attachment 85254


    :) ... Actually I have two others a 1975 and 1973 both 4 bolts and can't tell any difference.
     
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    but ive seen sloppy neck pockets on 4 bolts too. that isnt just a symptom of the 3 bolt. maybe im lucky, but ive never heard a difference in tone when using the micro tilt either. i just got through using it a few months back when i took the badass off of my 78.
     
  14. Slax

    Slax

    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Interesting. I guess I was misinformed (no surprise :)) It does seem like a novel idea in the context you display it as... Sort of using the single screw as almost a pivot point while adjusting? (Sorry, it's been about 4 years at least since I played one and have forgot the placing of the screws... :meh:)
     
  15. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    These necks actually have four screws: three wood screws that hold the neck to the body, and a machine screw in the body that is adjustable through a hole in the base of the neck plate, which sets the depth of the heal of the neck, and thuss the neck angle in relation to the body. The micro tilt system works with a four bolt (actually five) system as well, but Leo had conceived the original idea with a three (four) bolt system so that is what Fender eventually implemented. See the link below for a photo of the micro tilt system on a four (five) bolt fender guitar:

    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/images/DCP_2962.JPG
     
  16. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    To the OP, I don't think there's a serious problem with three bolts, they do tend to shift more easily if you don't re-tighten the bolts. The micro-adjust is a waste of time for most people...Your question was are the new ones any better then the originals and the answer is they are the same, no better, no worse
     

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