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Ricky 4001 neck help!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thasher4001, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Thasher4001


    Aug 22, 2010
    Hey everyone I'm in dire need! My '76 4001s neck is buzzing at the second fret on the a and d strings. I switched from string gauges 105-45 to 100-40 in a scare that i need less tension on the neck and they are a bit more comfortable for me. Basically I need some instruction on how to set the neck. I know the danger of the truss rods because my bass has a fretboard that cracked up to about the third fret in 2005 (I was not the owner then). So I just need a rundown if someone can. I believe that its a backbow towards the headstock end of the neck I have a show tonight, no tech in my area has experience with ricks. so I think I'm on my own. If anyone could give me some steps on how to do this It would save my day! Thanks
  2. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Sounds like you need to slightly loosen the rods, perhaps only the treble side, though.
    Most likely both, but try one first.
    One quarter turn at the most is all it should take, and there's nothing to worry about if you're loosening the rods, no bad things will happen.
    You should become very familiar with the proper way to tighten the rods, however. That's an absolute necessity for any vintage Rick owner.

    I found a slightly alternate method on another forum, this guy uses this procedure for any bass or guitar truss rod adjustment, and I think it makes sense.

    Basically you use a sturdy straight edge as a bridge.
    Use a block of wood as a spacer at both ends of the fretboard, place the straight edge on these blocks, us a clamp in the centre of the straight edge and snug it up.
    Then loosen the rod/rods, and tighten the clamp slowly until it brings the neck to the desired position, then tighten the nuts on the truss rods to hold them in place, no more.

    His opinion is that you shouldn't expect the rods to do all the work of moving the neck into position, just hold the neck in place.

    For clarity here's a pic:
  3. Thasher4001


    Aug 22, 2010
    Brilliant man! Thank you so much that's exactly what I needed! By chance do you know the size tool to adjust the trussrod is? (I'm at work) and do I adjust at full tension strings?
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    On a 4001 bass the truss rods do not move the neck they hold the neck in place only!

    On most basses the truss rods move the neck. On a 4001 you loosen the rods and move the neck and then tighten the rods to hold the neck in place.

    Overtightening will pop the fretboard off of the neck!

    The 4003 from 1986 and later has normal truss rods that move the neck.

    The good news is once you set up a 4001 it is stable for decades. Unless you go to lower tension strings. Then you will need to go through the process described above.

    I say simply go back to the heavier strings and don't mess with the neck.
  5. Thasher4001


    Aug 22, 2010
    Well another reason I switched string gauges is because I was getting buzzing above the twelth fret. Their is none with these strings except at the nut end of the neck especially the second fret
  6. Somehow I knew Ric5 would beat me to this. Cranking away on those older Rick trussrods will not end well.
  7. Thasher4001


    Aug 22, 2010
    Ok well il throw some roto swings on it and see how it does
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I had a 73 4001 that was simply awesome. It was adjusted perfectly. Then I strung it BEAD. It was buzzing all over the neck. BEAD is less tension on the neck so the neck backbowed slightly. I strung it back with the EADG set and it was fine.
  9. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Glad to be of help! Again, it wasn't my idea, I'm just passing it along.

    It's a long shank, thin walled 1/4" nut driver, the one RIC sells is the Xcelite L8, which is made in the US and should be available at bigger hardware stores, orderable online, or from RIC or a dealer.
    It shouldn't be too difficult to find one locally, though.

    The long shank and thin driver walls are very important, otherwise it will be very difficult to get the driver on the nuts.

    As Jeff and others pointed out: NEVER try to adjust the neck by tightening the rods alone, the best you could hope for is having the ends of the rods bent down into the headstock cavity, the worst will be popping off your fretboard.

    The new style rods in a 4003 are supposed to be able to work as a Fender does, but I adjust everything as if they are old style rods now.
    It's just safer.
  10. deliciouspesto


    Jan 18, 2009
    It is a very simple procedure.

    1.Take the TRC off
    2. Make sure strings are tuned to pitch.
    3. Take a seat and rest the bottom of the bass on a towel or something, aiming straight up.
    4. Loosen the truss rod nuts going back and forth until both are fully loosened.
    5. Lift up the bass and look up the neck to find where the dip is.
    6. Rest the bottom of the neck just above your left or right knee and use your opposite foot to hold the other side steady.
    7. Approximate the location of the dip, and then tilt the bass such that the location of the dip is now the point where the neck is resting just past your knee.
    8. Now Pull back on the neck with your left hand so that its curved back over your knee (if you have low action the strings will rest against the fretboard), hold it steady, and finally tighten the nuts until they naturally stop. By over pulling it like we did, you don't have to tighten the nuts as much. Tighten until it stops and don't try to tighten more, we already bent it back a little extra so you don't have to worry about tightening and popping it.
    9. Lift up the bass and look at the neck to see if the dip is gone and its pretty straight.
    10. If its a little too much, you can simply loosen the nuts a tiny bit as is and check until you get it just right, or if its not enough you just loosen the trussrods and do it over again.

    You can loosen/manually bend to shape/tighten as many times as you need to get it just right, which means that you don't have to wait around. This process takes literally seconds to do once you get it down, and what you may find is that less is more with ricks when it comes to the trussrod adjustments. Unless the strings are really high tension, the age of the neck means that it will be pretty stable naturally so you really don't have to do much to make it play well.

    Good luck, and just don't force anything. Remember, you manually bend the neck and then tighten up the nuts to hold the neck in place.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    If your bass already has a crack between the fretboard and the neck then I suggest putting back on the the 105 set of string and see if it plays fine. If it does then use that guage of strings and be happy.
  12. Thasher4001


    Aug 22, 2010
    Ok I've played 3 shows with Rotosound 105s and I didn't adjust the neck at all but I'm getting a lot of random buzzing. Everywhere except the middle of the fretboard (around the 5-11th fret). I'm going nuts trying to sight the neck I can not tell if the thing is straight. Here's some pictures. In order to get the buzzing down I have to raise the bridge and it's seems quite a bit more than my 4003.

    Attached Files:

  13. Thasher4001


    Aug 22, 2010
    Anybody have any idea what's going on?? I've changed the strings about 5 times I just cant get it right!

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