Ritter Bass Problem...please advise

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Indubious, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. Howdy..

    I recently purchase a beautiful used Ritter Standard 4 and just got the puppy home. I unwrapped it, adjusted the truss rod, tuned up, and realized that the action was way to high, and the worst part was the tension.....super tight, no play in the strings. At first I thought nothing of it......played with the bridge a bit....and nothing....then nothing...then nothing. Still super-****ty.

    The whole time im thinking...."Ritter" --this shouldnt be hard. I have a fairly vast knowledge of setups, but have primarily played jazz basses and the Ritter bridge seems tricky.

    So I need help....who has Ritters, has set them ups, or has some useful advise as to a direction to take.

    Im stumped.....
  2. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    If I were you I would contact Brian Barrett from The Low End (www.thelowend.net), he should be able to help.
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    "adjusted the truss rod"

    why was that one of the first things you did? what gauge strings do you have on it?
  4. I adjusted the truss rod because the person I bought it from loosened it for shipping to full slack. Wouldnt have been my choice, but thats how it was received. The strings were medium guageish....i used what he had on. Im planning on stringing it piccolo eventually.
  5. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    National Reso-Phonic Guitars

    im not familiar with ritter basses, but are you sure you turned the rod the correct way?? different manufactures use different rods that straighten or add relief differently. for example, on a fender jazz, turning the rod clockwise will create a back bow.....counter clockwise will add relief. older warwick necks are the opposite of this. if i were you i would loosen the strings completely and start over. you need to find the "neutral" point in the truss rod.(when the strings are slack and no tension from the rod is pushing against the neck) work slowly with quarter turns on the truss rod and "sight" the neck.(look down the neck from the nut to the saddle) slowly bring the strings up to pitch. you should be aiming for a straight neck with just a slight amout of relief. because of the build quality and price of this bass, i doubt the bass had high action before it was shipped to you.
  6. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    What does "I have a faily vast knowledge of setups" mean? :eyebrow:

    Did you work as a setup guy in a guitar shop? Or did you just setup your last couple of basses?

    First of all, do you have a straightedge?
    Did you use it to look at the neck's straightness?
    Did you measure the action with a ruler?

    Before you do anything else get that straightedge on the neck under string tension and see if its flat. Adjust the neck itself before you play around with anything else. Once its flat you can play with the bridge action and intonation and check for buzzing.

    If you're not sure about all this send it to a pro, last thing you want to do is screw up a neck on a $5000 bass (or more)
  7. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Let me be the first to remind everyone that loosening your trussrod or detuning your instrument before shipping it is a really Really REALLY! dumb thing to do.

    I just received a Fury Bandit (guitar) I bought on Ebay from England. There were some shipping issues and the thing was in transit for nearly 3 months. When it got here it was still in tune (1/4 tone flat b string) and played like the day it left the shop. The guy shipped the guitar in playing condition and at playing tension.

    Hopefully there is nothing wrong with the neck already. :meh:

    Depending on the climate change it might just need a day or 2 at tension in the new enviroment.

    Best of luck. Give the shipper heck for me please.
  8. Yeah, it was an *interesting* choice.

    And Phil,
    Let me recant and revise by saying "vast" was not the best choice. Ive never professionally done setups, but have been doing my own, and friends for years. Ive always been successful.

    What I dont understand is that Im not even getting close. The Ritter bridge is new to me, but its not a f-in rubicks cube. I may be getting ancy, as I normally wait an 18 hour period between truss adjustments.

    I like my action about medium low, but my tension rubbery and pliable. With this, so far, neither. Ill try and locate straightedge, as i dont have one on hand.

    So much frusteration, on such a nice bass!
  9. Simply bring your bass down to a qualified professional luthier and have him dial in the set-up that you seek. Go back to their shop a day later and you two can go back and forth on 1/8 turns until the next feels perfect for you.
  10. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    National Reso-Phonic Guitars

    use your E string as a straight edge. with your left hand: fret the 1st fret with your index finger, with your right hand: fret the 15th fret with your pinky, and use your index finger to "TAP" the string at the 9th fret. it should be easy, look at the gap between the top of fret 9, and the bottom of the e string. that gap should be about the width of a thin guitar pick, more for some players.
  11. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Getting medium low action on a Ritter should be no problem, assuming everything with the neck is ok. Don't forget to loosen the diagonal screw on the bridge brackets in addition to the front two and rear one (but have the bass on a flat surface so that the bracket doesn't move and mess up intonation). If you can't see obvious bow or have a straightedge, first set the bridge height very low and figure out where the buzzing is so you have a better sense of how the neck needs to be adjusted.

    In terms of string tension, sounds like you need a different set...especially if you're doing piccolo tuning.

  12. Thanks for the help everyone....i think ill just stop trying to be my own hero and bring it to a pro. I think this f*er needs a neck shim to be what I want anyway.
  13. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA

    Did you ever rectify the problem with your Ritter?