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Rickenbacker bridge

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jsimmonz, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. jsimmonz

    jsimmonz Guest

    Feb 4, 2009
    I just bought my first RIC bass. 4003 jet-glo. Who can tell me what the two twist knobs are for on the sides of the bridge.
  2. They adjust the string mute height.
  3. They also serve as a hand shredder.
  4. keith christian

    keith christian

    Jun 27, 2012
    They are there to dig into your palm as you mute the strings. Don't get me wrong, I love my rickies but I remove those knobs and replace them with screws that are'nt so in the way.
  5. Lolwut?

    They're not sharp.
  6. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    +1 Never had a problem with the stock bridge. However some folks are looking to mod and would take liberties with a crow bar...
  7. I've never had a problem with em digging into my hand, but I've never had any success using the mute to any useful effect, either. That would be my biggest criticism of it. Maybe some felt would work better. Haven't experimented with it yet. Most Ric players will tell you the same thing. A few have put a pickup in the place of the foam. Bartolini makes one. Not for me. I'm pretty happy with the other pickups, aside from the neck pickup not being adjustable. hrb
  8. I have the hipshot on my Rickenbacker, but the mute adjustment screws weren't at all a reason for my use of the hipshot. It's pretty much just due to it being easier to adjust string height and intonation with the aftermarket bridge than with the stock one. I actually miss the mute feature sometimes. Can't imagine "shredding" my hand on it.
  9. It can take hours and hours to get the tonation dialed in, and it ain't fun, but I've never had to adjust mine again, in 28 years. Once you have it set, you don't have to dink around with it, like with some other bridge designs... and they just look pretty, too! hrb

  10. No doubt!! I always play my RIcs with a pick and those damned screws used to tear my pinkie finger up!! Since 1981, the first thing I have done with any new Ric is to rid myself of those demon screws!!! :D
  11. Nope, not sharp, but they aren't out of the way either. They also have nice little grooves that feel wonderful after an hour or so. This is completely dependent on where you play, though. When I am using a pick I play towards the bridge and those things shred the hell out of my palm. Part of charm I suppose, if you think bloody hands are charming;)
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    The real function of the screws and the whole mechanical mute is simply to make palm muting next to impossible.
  13. +1

    Yeah, it's not that they're "sharp", but when playing, if you have a body part (in my case my pinkie) rubbing against it all night, by the end of the night - there is blood shed....:D

    I got tired of having to throw on a band-aid after every job so I just began removing the screws. Hell, never used them for their intended purpose anyway.....
  14. Yeah, I guess most people just have very different hand placement/technique than I do. Things that others think are in the way (pickup cover, parts of the bridge), for me just aren't, ever.

    I typically rest my hand on the pickup cover when playing with a pick. I pretty much never palm mute. That didn't factor into my decision to put on a hipshot bridge.
  15. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Most people don't realize that the bridge ground wire is attached to the underside of the mute bar, and the screws maintain a mechanical attachment to the bridge.

    It's likely if you just remove the screws, then you no longer have your bridge grounded since there's no longer anything between the metal bar and the bridge.

    Also, if using the Hipshot reaplacement, I like to drill and tap a small hole for a machine screw on the underside to attach the ground wire.
    Much easier than soldering.
  16. No disrespect intended, but you could always twist them & find out.
  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Hmm. I have the stock bridge/tailpiece assembly on mine and I have no issues palm muting or shredding my hands on the mute knobs. It also never takes me more than 15 minutes to intonate. You certainly do not have to remove strings to intonate it.

    The only issue I have ever had with these tailpieces is that I don't like the way they tend to lift themselves up off the body.

    I am in fact palm muting on the E and A string in that photo right there.

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