2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (Korladis) » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:59 am

daveman wrote:
Gilmourisgod wrote:Or just get a Hipshot replacement bridge and be done with the whole hot mess. They aren't perfect either, some reports of the saddles rattling, but a whole lot easier and quicker to intonate. I still don't get why Hall let that aftermarket cash cow slip through his fingers, instead of fighting (and losing, apparently) in court, he could have licensed it to Hipshot and been paid for doing nothing. If I had any metal fabrication experience, I'd make a bridge that looks nearly identical to the original, with a more traditionally adjustable intonation. On the list of aggravations, this is pretty First World stuff for sure, but updating this old hood ornament is long overdue.


Updating is overdue, for sure but (unfortunately) the Hipshot is not the answer. IMO. I do wish John Hall would step up on this with a redesign that keeps the vintage appearance but adds functionality.

I'd rather have some sort of Babicz-esque design.

I have a 4001 with a Hipshot, and a 4003S with the stock bridge. The Hipshot's definitely easier to adjust, but the saddle wobble/rattle is a problem and the height adjustment screws tend to sink over time. The stock bridge I've never adjusted... as after I had my tech set up the 4003S in BEAD, I've never needed to make any adjustments.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (Fred Mertz) » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:00 pm

Just install a Hipshot bridge. Make life easy. I did years ago. Haven't touched it since .
Fred Mertz

runs with scissors......
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (gregson62) » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:24 pm

I'm not a luthier, but I've always been able to make the Rickenbacker bridge work as long as the bass and its parts are in generally good shape. Rickenbacker bridge saddles are about $6.00 each and include the adjustment screw and tension spring. At that price I order 4 at a time. I've gone to hobby stores to get small files so I can cut a decent string groove into them. The string groove depth you cut is how you independently adjust string height. It's extreme, but that's the way it is. I finally bought some nice files from StewMac, along with a string width ruler so I can do this stuff more accurately. The leading and trailing edges of the saddles can be ground down with a Dremel or bench grinder to help give a little more travel for intonation. The shape of the slot you cut into the saddle can also affect intonation and string life, but you might want to get a 10" string radius gauge that inserts under the strings to guide you along--or make one from cardboard from templates available online. Turning the saddle and grinding the edge a bit from the leading edge is what helped me properly intonate a problematic A string, for example. The saddle adjustment tensioning springs can be cut down to prevent coil binding, yet maintain a good tension and prevent buzz at the bridge. You can also rock the whole bridge away from the neck a little to give you more room, if needed. It's a fussy and iterative adjustment process, but I actually enjoy it.

I like the idea behind the Hipshot bridge/tailpiece, but I've read enough about them to have some concerns about quality. Also, they look just a tad too 'blocky' to me in the pictures I've seen--but that's just esthetics. It's great to have options.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (jps) » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:22 pm

gregson62 wrote:You can also rock the whole bridge away from the neck a little to give you more room, if needed.

I did that on both of my '73 4001 bridges. Works a treat with no detrimental effects, IME.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (teeder) » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:30 am

jps wrote:
gregson62 wrote:You can also rock the whole bridge away from the neck a little to give you more room, if needed.

I did that on both of my '73 4001 bridges. Works a treat with no detrimental effects, IME.


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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (jdean) » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:50 pm

My bridge and saddles were a new Rickenbacker replacement back in '88. intonation screws are countersunk phillips. Now that the bass is apart, I,m going to try and get some pan head phillips w/slightly larger heads, otherwise I'll have to resort back to remove ,adjust,install,repeat method
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (meandmybass) » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:42 pm

fazeka wrote:Hi all,

Bought a 4003S new in summer 2015. See other recent thread "2015 4003S relief" for a very little bit of history.

Setting the intonation on Rick basses can be a pain, it seems. I can't get to the intonation screws on the bridge without stripping the phillips head? That means the bridge has got to come out with the strings on. If I am doing this wrong/if there's a better way, please advise.

Anyway, the G string 12th fret was sharp relative to the harmonic. (I think it was sharp). Anyway, it should go away from the headstock (if fretted is sharp relative to harmonic).

Seems I can't remember exactly if it was sharp or flat...(think it was sharp)... but in either case, I had no more travel on the saddle... so I flipped the saddle. But...

It seems now it (the fretted) is now in the "opposite direction" frequency-wise (flat, slightly) and the saddle is also at it's end of travel and "can go no more"...

It's like, really? Is this a quirk of the design? Or is there some trick I am not getting or some lack of common cents (sense, sorry for the pun) on my part?

Chris

I've had 3 rickenbackers in the past and put up with **** intonation, my current one I put the hipshot on and boy what a difference, intonation is perfect and the tone has not changed, this would be my recommendation for you, I've had no problems with it in regards to saddle rattle like others have said and it feels more comfortable to play now.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (meandmybass) » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:50 pm

aceonbass wrote:The bridge DOES NOT need to be removed to set intonation on a 4003, however, a lot of pressure against the intonation screw with the right size screwdriver is necessary. One problem with setting the intonation on a 4003 is that the springs under each saddle are often too long, and stack up the coils when compressed too much. Remove these springs, and cut coils out of them, leaving 3-4 in each one. Then stretch each coil out to provide extra tension. If a note is sharp when fretting at the 12th fret, then move the saddle back. If it won't go back far enough, don't turn the saddle around. Since each one is slotted by hand, they often aren't centered, so flipping it around puts the string off center. Instead, grind some material off of the rear of the saddle foot and round it off. A Dremmel works wonders with this. You can get 1/8 " extra rearward travel this way. Before I do any of this, I first slot the nut to a depth that leaves it just a bit higher than a fret. This can be set by filing the fret slot with a properly gauged nut file, while checking your progress by fretting the string at the 2nd fret. The string should be just slightly above the 1st fret while fretting at the 2nd fret.

You really shouldn't have to do this on such an expensive bass though! Go for the hipshot and be done with it.
John.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (ram) » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:08 pm

The new version tailpiece is quite nice and setting the intonation is very easy on it.
The only thing we can perceive are our perceptions - George Berkeley
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (cassius987) » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:31 pm

ram wrote:The new version tailpiece is quite nice and setting the intonation is very easy on it.


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