Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Setup, repair and restoration of Rickenbacker Instruments

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Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (maxwell) » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:27 pm

If you look down the neck of your guitar, you may find that the headstock is not parallel to the guitar body. Here are photos of two different guitars that have similar neck-body relationships. In both cases, it looks like the headstock on the lower, heavier string side is lifting or rotating the neck. This, really, doesn't have much, if anything, to do with truss rod adjustment, as those rods control/adjust neck curvature along the length of the neck, and really can't control rotation around its longitudinal axis. I have spent hours fooling with truss rods trying to reverse/correct this, all to no avail. This seems to be an occurrence that gradually happens over time. If you focus on the relatively wide end of the headstock, you'd think this is really bad, yet, it may not be a big deal on the relatively narrow fret board, where the effect would not seem to be as prominent.

So, what do you all know about this? Big deal or not? Common occurrence or not? If you don't know, would you all please sight down the length of your necks and see if there is a difference between the headstock and body attitudes...? I'm really curious.

I'm thinking that this is far more common than what any of us think. Please discuss. Thanks.

PS - I'm posting here first as I think this is the most appropriate place to post my question. However, one of the other two general topic links may get more traction.... I'll wait and see, maybe re-post elsewhere if there's not much action.
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325 neck #1.jpg
325 neck #2.JPG
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (maxwell) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:27 am

I got out and took photos of my other two Ricks this morning. Both being "long-scale" with smaller string gauges/less tension than on the 325s, I didn't expect to see any deviation in the headstock-body parallelism with these two.

Yet, there it was, on both of them. So far 4 for 4 having some degree of difference. Well, you can't help but think, now that this is a common, and perhaps universal occurrence; possibly just simply a normal RIC factory output.

The four guitars (two 325s above) and these below:

1999 325
2006 325
2007 330/6
1991 330/12

There are different degree of discrepancy, with the 330/12 seeming to have the least, but they are all pretty similar. This shines a new light on my outlook about my worst one. I'm betting that if anyone else takes a moment to gaze down their guitar(s), they would likely find something similar.
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2007 3306.JPG
2007 330.6
1991 33012.JPG
1991 330.12
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (collin) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:18 pm

Not a big deal. You might be overthinking this.

I wouldn't pay too much mind to what you think you're seeing on the headstock end - the only real indicator of a neck twist that is problematic is if there are issues on the fretboard, fretting out on one side etc.
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (aceonbass) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:23 pm

This is an illusion caused by the tilt back angle of the headstock, and it's shape at the end.
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (maxwell) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:18 pm

I appreciate the news. But, here's a shot with the fretboard up -- the RM 1996 FireGlo that is in my first post:
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alt. view of neck.JPG
Alt. view of neck
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (jps) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:13 pm

maxwell wrote:I appreciate the news. But, here's a shot with the fretboard up -- the RM 1996 FireGlo that is in my first post:

I don't see any problems, there, either.
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (maxwell) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:15 pm

Really, though, I see a distinct tilt of the fret board down towards the left, as we look at the photo.

Anyway, I’m also having the same problem mentioned (resurrected) in this forum, namely, that with the Accent vibrato, I have to raise my bridge up to the max just for it to simply touch the strings; forget about dialing in a decent action. So, I now suspect that any perceived twist will likely be inconsequential, providing a decent range of bridge adjustment is possible. That will first require getting those strings “down” to the bridge and achieve a decent break angle. I did buy a Bigsby B5 to enable that objective, but for some irrational reason, I’ve been hesitant (chicken) to proceed with the project. I’ll have to get the drill out soon....
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (jps) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:19 pm

The '99 Jetglo 325 you have with the "twisted neck", is it this one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/254349584072?ul_noapp=true
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (maxwell) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:26 pm

No, not my guitar. See my posts in the Marketplace/Sightings...
Last edited by maxwell on Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (collin) » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:44 pm

Orville, your issue with the Accent is due to a spring that’s too tight, and/or mounting the Accent incorrectly.

If you have any actual concerns about the neck, You need to troubleshoot these issues with the original tailpiece, with the proper break eagle over the bridge
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Re: Evaluate this twist/rotation of neck-to-body

Postby (maxwell) » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:39 am

Well, I don’t want to divert this discussion away any longer from its original focus, that of potentially twisted necks. I would like to discuss break angle and Accent vibrato, but would like to continue this in the “break angle” thread that’s listed just below this thread. I’ll post there later.

So, perhaps there isn’t much more to say, then, about necks that look a little peculiar? I know that you guys who posted in this thread are really knowledgeable and experienced, and your input has given me confidence in considering another Rick purchase. I appreciate the advice.
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