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Rickenbacker repair in Canada

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by megadan, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Hello fellow TBers. I'm hoping someone can give me a lead on this.

    I have a 1974 Rickenbacker 4001. It has Seymour Duncan pickups from sometime in the 70's installed. It also has an original Bad ass bridge.

    I really like the way this bass sounds, a lot. The problem is that when I got it, the the action was quite high. Lately it's become quite an annoyance, I've been playing more complex bass lines and longer sets with my band. I don't like playing it physically anymore. Obviously I'd like to rectify this situation. I wouldn't call myself a luthier by any stretch, but I do setups/repairs for lots of people in my city. The bridge saddles are as low as possible. The neck is quite clearly bowed. Here in lies the problem.

    The truss rods on this Ric seem to be completely frozen - unable to move either tighter or looser. The low side truss rod bolt can be unscrewed, but it does nothing to the rod - it just takes the nut off. The treble side rod will not move at all.

    As well, there is a hair line crack on the bass side in the neck near the nut to about the 1st or 2nd fret. Likely as a result of someone adjusting the truss rod improperly (as you probably know, the 4001 series truss rods had to be adjusted with force applied to the neck). I'm not too worried about the crack as it doesn't seem to be spreading, and the bass is in no where near mint condition (that's one of the reasons I like it, if I owned a perfect Ric I might be scared take it out of the house).

    Anyway, I'm wondering if this is a) something that can be fixed, and b) who can fix it for me in Canada. I don't mind shipping the bass but I'd rather not deal with having to send it over the border and back. I've asked at the Ric forums a few times but no one seems to be able to help me.

    I realize it will probably be an expensive repair, but it will almost surely be cheaper than trying to find another Ric (I got an excellent deal on this one, probably $600 - $1000 cheaper than most 4001's or 4003's today.
    One final note, I don't really want to invest in this repair if it's not going to give me the super low action a Ric bass should have. If that's not possible, I'd rather just cut my losses and start (sniffle :crying:) looking for another bass.

    Thanks in advance
  2. melt


    May 16, 2007
    He's not in Canada, but I'd try Dale Fortune (I think he's in Oregon). He used to work at the Ric factory in the 70s and knows them inside out. Dale (and Paul Wilcyzinski who would be my other suggestion; he's in SF) post on the official Rickenbacker.com Forum so you may be able to contact them via there.

    Alternatively if you can take the nuts off the truss rods and slide the rods out, then all you have to do is straighten them if they're too bent. You can just reglue the crack. You may need some lubricant to loosen the sticky nut. Unfortunately I'm not a luthier, but I do have several Rics, and the mixed experience of maintaining them!

    Have you tried the Rick Resource Forum?
  3. I can't get on there atm (I'm at work) but I will check it out later.

    I've seen and heard about Dale on the official Ric forum but no one there has offered me any help or contact info for them (the Ric forum has no PM function).

    Thanks for the suggestions though; I've thought about taking it to a local luthier and guiding them through a vintage Ric crash course, but there aren't really even any luthier's I would trust with a modern expensive bass around here, much less a 30 year old Ric.

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