Voiding warranty

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Voiding warranty

Postby (dlbeaty) » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:09 pm

Recently I was looking at a used Rick 360/12 FG, and the salesman told me he would never buy a Rickenbacker. He said that if you change the string gauge from the original factory strings, it would void the warranty. Has anyone heard of anything like that here?
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Re: Voiding warranty

Postby (iiipopes) » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:51 pm

In recent years, Mr. JH has relaxed the warranty requirements. In years past, with the old-style "hairpin" truss rods, change of string gauges meant (as it does still) adjustment of the truss rods. The problem was that very few people knew how to relax the strings, set the neck, and snug the acorn nuts to the new position, resulting in bent truss rods, warped necks, and fingerboards split from the necks from improper technique. So (my surmise) Rickenbacker just dishonored warranty on non-standard string gauges. This was compounded in that string gauges then were routinely "12s" for both acoustic and electric guitars (remember that "Slinkys" were a new development), and this was not adjusted for 12-string sets as were Rickenbacker strings. This resulted in amazing tension on a neck, since Rickenbacker instruments were marketed and tuned at concert pitch, while the acoustic 12-strings were routinely downtuned at least one fret, if not two or three (think about how many old folk videos with a person playing an acoustic 12-string also had a capo).

Some years ago, under the guidance of Mr. JH, Rickenbacker changed their truss rods. In addition to easier adjustments, the selection of string gauges, within reason, just like with any other instrument, became a moot issue. This even included 12-string electric guitars, because almost all companies now make their standard set of electric 12-string sets based on a "10" as the high e string, as does Rickenbacker.
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Re: Voiding warranty

Postby (dlbeaty) » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:41 pm

The rule maybe be relaxed, but it is still stated on the official page that:

"The warranty is void if, upon inspection by RIC factory personnel, the defect is determined to be the result of damage due to misuse, exposure to environmental extremes, modification, or the use of replacement parts, including strings, not in conformity with factory specifications,"

If they wanted to ease the minds of potential buyers, it would be reasonable to say the warranty would be voided if damage was due to the use of heavier than standard strings. It seems that the factory must have enough orders already, which I assume allows them to focus on the quality.

The wording favors the manufacturer, which could of course lose credibility if it took advantage of people who modified a guitar in a way that did not truly cause damage.

How could a person know what strings are in conformity with factory standards, other than buying only Rickenbacker branded strings? Is there a list somewhere of compatible strings?
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Re: Voiding warranty

Postby (ChuckNOS) » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:49 pm

Ditto on the remark regarding "factory specification" strings.

I like the strings that came on my new 660/12, and I'm more than willing to stay within the specs, but even the online spec page for my guitar doesn't list type/gauge of strings.
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Re: Voiding warranty

Postby (cassius987) » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:07 pm

If you're really concerned about this, why not retain the used factory strings and reinstall them if something happens? Easy enough, right?
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Re: Voiding warranty

Postby (iiipopes) » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:48 pm

The key words are "not in conformity with factory specs." OEM strings are now a standard set of 10-46. Relax.
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