335 neck relief/truss rod

Early years of Rickenbacker Guitars prior to and including 1972

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335 neck relief/truss rod

Postby (charlie chitlins) » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:51 pm

Heya...Rickenbacker newbie here...
I recently took a '67 335 in trade for a '69 Gibson ES330 (I gained 5!) and the whole truss rod thing on these guitars scares me a bit!
I did the most hair-raising refret ever because I can't even straighten the neck with strings on...not to mention with them off.
I had to go fret-by-fret with a rocker looking for high spots, then do some touch up when I put the strings on and brought them to tension.
Anyway...
From what I can tell, the neck joint is solid and the top is good...there's plenty of room to lower the bridge even with very low action.
But even with the truss rod slack, not only is there no relief, but there is a SLIGHT back bow.'
I can deal with this, as there is no buzzing when I put the action where I like it, which is a bit high.
I feel like I want to have at least a LITTLE relief, though. I'd settle for dead straight.
Due to some hand problems, I've been using light strings with a heavier bottom...9-46.
I could go with 10s, but I kind of doubt that the 3 higher strings being a little heavier would help much.
A number of years ago, I dropped my beloved '69 Tele and it developed (immediately) a back bow.
I blocked up the neck at each end and put weights in the middle and left it that way for a couple of days...this worked great and, years later, it's still fine.
Is this something I could try with the Rick?
These guitars sure seem to be like no other and I'm reluctant to treat it like I would a "normal" guitar.
As an aside...I'm shocked at how versatile this guitar is.
I play Blues...mainly Jump style...and I get really great fat honk from this guitar that seems to be pigeonholed to "jangle."
I also play some pretty gritty Chicago-style stuff, and the Rick really does everything I need!
Great guitar!
(charlie chitlins)
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Re: 335 neck relief/truss rod

Postby (jdogric12) » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:19 am

Welcome Charlie. I'll withhold congrats on the deal until you can determine if your 335 is reasonably fixable or not...

The 9's may be doing your hands a favor, but not the guitar's neck. Ricks like 10's or 11's.

Sounds like it may have sat for a long time (years?) at no tension. I had a Rick bass like that once. Sat for about 3 years with no strings on it - the backbow was nearly impossible to fix.

If you've already given the truss rods about 72 hours to do their thing and they still failed you, and you're certain they're catching and functional, you might want to try that block weight thing, although a proper tech would likely be safest.

Good luck! Post pics!
(jdogric12)
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Re: 335 neck relief/truss rod

Postby (charlie chitlins) » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:40 pm

Thanks, Jason.
I don't think 10's would make any diff, as only the 1st 3 strings are like a 9 set; the low strings are 26,36,46.
Maybe I'll try 11s and see.
Maybe I just have to leave them on for awhile an a nice hot closet. :shock:
How do I post pics here?
Do I need a hosting site?
(charlie chitlins)
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