Most break angle from a 620/625?

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Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:15 pm

Which tailpiece is gonna give the most break angle? R? Trapeze? Accent? BIGSBY B5?!
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:36 pm

Looks like the break angle COULD be steep enough to be problematic...

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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (collin) » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:38 pm

Well, it is a neck-through, right? Neck angle shouldn't be affected by a steep break angle.

I'd rock it as-is unless you are experiencing issues. Would be worth mocking up a trapeze w/o screws to see how the string tension changes.

Btw...on your new 625.... schwing! 8)
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:04 pm

Break angle has little, if anything, to do with neck angle.

It affects string stability and longevity, and sustain too, somewhat. An excessive break angle (like the 620/5 above) will take its toll on string longevity, too. Fortunately the saddles in this case are soft alloy, but wear can still become an issue over time.

An angle such as this guitar has will transfer more energy to the body than a shallow break angle. King of the shallow angles is an original Fender offset like a Jazzmaster or Jaguar. Part of my offset setup regimen is to file the string slot in the bridge saddle (which is typically a screw thread) a bit deeper so strings don't pop out. The sound of both these instruments is typically not known for long sustain.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (Clifton) » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:23 pm

Wow, how did you fit a Bigsby B5 on a Rick 620? I didn't think there was enough room without the curve of the Bigsby hanging off the end if the guitar.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (Clint) » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:09 am

My 620 has the standard "R" and it has the shallowest break angle of any RIC I've owned. Quite slinky, good for bending strings.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (kennyhowes) » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:35 am

Reviving dead old thread as I’m contemplating B5 on a 620, and/or options.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:45 pm

I had initially started this thread because the the break angle on my '67 625 (with Accent) was really bad. The strings were practically floating over the bridge. Are you having similar issues Kenny?
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (kennyhowes) » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:45 am

I have yet to acquire a 620, actually. Just daydreaming about getting one, and wondering how a Bigsby would serve the cause.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:22 pm

kennyhowes wrote:I have yet to acquire a 620, actually. Just daydreaming about getting one, and wondering how a Bigsby would serve the cause.


I think the Bigsby would cause the angle to be too steep - check out the photo above.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (maxwell) » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:05 pm

sloop_john_b wrote:
kennyhowes wrote:I have yet to acquire a 620, actually. Just daydreaming about getting one, and wondering how a Bigsby would serve the cause.


I think the Bigsby would cause the angle to be too steep - check out the photo above.


If the condition of your guitar makes it essentially unusable, or just not appealing, then the question is: What else are you going to do? Well, short of a neck reset....

If you agree that the "old" suggestions of collin and jingle-jangle are (still) valid, then go for the Bigsby. If the increased wear, resistance, etc. on the bridge that would result is a concern, then invest/upgrade to a roller bridge (but they often have their own "rattling" problems; those seem to be most often remedied by replacing with a stock bridge :) )... Just use lube.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (maxwell) » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:17 pm

I bought my RM1996 used via Craigslist. I had no previous experience with any Rick, and didn’t have that much with guitars in general at that time. The guitar looked to be in really good shape. The odd thing about it was the really heavy strings on it; the action seemed to be about right. I figured, “no big deal – I can easily put new strings on it. So that’s what I did.

I was surprised, and then quickly dismayed, when I had to raise the bridge up very high to even make contact with the strings. The Accent vibrato was in good shape, original equipment, secured securely with the end bolt. I tried like crazy to figure out what was going on. I accidentally discovered the twist in the neck. I read a lot about problems with Rick necks online. It seemed obvious that the spring was too high; I would have to lower it to get a decent break angle, and the ability to lower the action of the strings. One thing I noticed was the rubber rests/stops on the bottom of the spring. I took those off, and in their place attached a lengthwise piece of “mole skin” (a kind of fuzzy felt-like bandage). That got a couple of mm of height reduction. I found the diagram of the Accent on the RIC website and the spring shown there was much shorter in height than mine:

http://www.rickenbacker.com/pdfs/vibratos.pdf

Anyway, it was apparent that those heavy strings that came with the guitar were stretching and thereby lowering the height of the original spring (and perhaps wreaking havoc on the neck). At one point I thought of compressing it in a big vise… didn’t have one of those. I also thought of replacing the spring with “something” else, I didn’t know what, just brainstorming; never thought of a good idea.

Fast forward beyond my removal of the truss rods, etc., and the futile attempt to counter at least some of the neck twist. I eventually discovered the spring for sale by Winfield. I didn’t buy one of those back then; I should have. Winfield mentions that his spring is short, like the vintage style that RIC used to use….

So, Collin mentions spring tightness, implying that the spring might be too tight. An idea pops into my head: that I could adjust/reduce that tightness by evenly perforating the spring with a carefully laid out pattern of holes (carefully, so as to not create a longitudinal line of relative weakness could potentially permanently deform under use). Well, just to have some “fun” again, I thought (rather than mess with my original spring, which appears not to be readily replaceable) I’d buy one from Winfield, and use that to drill those holes, relatively few and/or small at first, test & adjust, drill more, as necessary. Maybe the lower height of the unaltered spring alone will suffice to get the action down far enough, but I’m suspecting the drilling will be necessary and beneficial. Winfield is apparently on vacation until the end of October. I’ll order one then. It will be interesting to experiment with this.

Before I do that, I may buy a couple of three-foot square metal rods, paint them canary yellow, and analyze & photograph those sitting on the neck and body of the guitar for comparison, much like Collin digitally did a few months ago in another thread here. That would be fun.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:32 pm

maxwell wrote:If the condition of your guitar makes it essentially unusable, or just not appealing, then the question is: What else are you going to do? Well, short of a neck reset....


Sell it, of course.
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (maxwell) » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:05 pm

Re: My RM1996 neck-to-body investigation

I bought two 3 ft. x ½ in. aluminum solid angles at Lowe’s. These seemed better than a square. They are very light weight with rounded edges. Both, with sales tax were about $10. I decided not to paint them; didn’t seem worthwhile.

I initially set the guitar on top its case, in that classic Rick style, but found that the surface was not truly flat all around. I placed the guitar on my kitchen counter. The guitar was a little neck heavy, so I supported it with a stack of index cards under the very end of the headstock; with my hand I pressed the guitar body down against the counter top, and added index cards until the final card met with moderate resistance sliding in. The angle on the neck was heavy at the guitar body end, so I used a rubber band around the neck & angle to keep it flush with the neck. The angle placed on the body sat nicely. I noticed and avoided placing the angle on the neck forward (not resting on) the nut, since that was higher than the frets of the fingerboard. I kept the angles apart across their lengths by 4.5 inches to keep viewing errors to a minimum. You might think that one (neck) aluminum angle is bending downward, but I don’t think so. With the longitudinal angle/two perpendicular surfaces, they are pretty stiff, and very lightweight; optical illusion.

Well, the photos attached speak for themselves. The two angles are pretty much parallel, with the neck angle revealing a very slight downward slope to the guitar body. I have to admit, that I was surprised, but in a good way. After viewing and photographing the angles in close visual approximation, I set the angle up on the neck to simulate string height/action. I moved the end near the nut onto the nut, and placed index cards under the frets at the other end of the fingerboard to yield an approximate “OK” string action; maybe you can see the spaces between the frets (e.g., at 12th fret) and the bottom edge of the angle. I adjusted my bridge to just touch that bottom edge of the angle to approximate its height relation to strings; I had to lower the bridge a lot; photo attached.

So, things aren’t as “bad” as I had assumed. Placing strings will induce some neck relief/upbow that could change things a little, esp. if I can’t compensate with truss rod adjustment. I’m (still) pretty certain that the non-vintage style of spring is simply too high as well as being too stiff. I don’t know if I’ll keep the Accent vibrato on this guitar, but I’m going to, as I mentioned before, get a low profile spring from Winfield and try that. If that is unsatisfactory, I’ll perforate it to lessen the stiffness.
Attachments
Set-up for analysis.JPG
Set-up for analysis
Parallel angles 1.JPG
Parallel angles 1
Parallel angles 2.JPG
Parallel angles 2
Simulated string action.JPG
Simulated string action
Simulated strings-to-bridge.JPG
Simulated strings-to-bridge
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Re: Most break angle from a 620/625?

Postby (collin) » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:44 pm

Interesting, Orville. You pretty much took my little MS Paint graphic and brought it to life!

Just about all guitars and certainly Rickenbackers will have a bit of positive neck angle, so it's never exactly perpendicular with the body. But your 1996 neck set is fine - the two horizontal lines (the straight edge across the neck and the body) are perfectly within spec, and plenty of room under the bridge for downward adjustment. String pressure may pull the neck slightly forward, but not out of range.

That said - none of the symptoms or issues you're experiencing with the guitar have anything to do with the neck angle whatsoever.

The neck angle affect the height of the strings from the nut to the bridge only. Everything north or south of that is entirely separate.

You're having issues with minimal break angle from the bridge back to the anchor point (in your case, an Accent vibrato). This can only be resolved with the tailpiece. That means changing or modifying the Accent vibrato spring or replacing the unit altogether. The cheapest, easiest way to confirm all this is swapping out the Accent unit for a standard trapeze tailpiece - and you don't even need to screw the trapeze anchor to the guitar. Just use the large strap bolt to hold the "claw" anchor in place (after all, the strap bolt is the only anchor for the Accent unit, it's plenty strong enough), and check out the break angle with the trapeze tailpiece in place.

Many of the newer Accent vibrato springs are too 'tight' and point the "comb" piece upward, causing insufficient break angle over the bridge, it has nothing to do with the guitar itself.
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