2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

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2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (fazeka) » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:56 pm

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
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (cassius987) » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:55 pm

1. Tune up all four strings.
2. Set relief and action where you want it (some people say to tune down before adjusting relief, YMMV).
3. Note the intonation of all four strings -- sharp or flat, and by a little or a lot. Have a notepad if you're not sure you'll remember this.
4. Tune all the stings down completely and remove the bridge.
5. Adjust each saddle so the string is shorter if it was flat or longer if it was sharp, according to the magnitude of the error. A 3 cents error may mean you only need 1-2 quarter turns, but an error 2-3 bigger requires about that many additional turns. In very rare cases you have to change the direction of the saddle by flipping it around.
6. Put the bridge back and bring all the strings up to tune evenly (I do 5 turns per keywind before moving to the next) so tension is roughly uniform as you go back to full pitch.

I do this whole thing routinely with the stock bridge in less than 30 minutes for the difficult cases... It shouldn't be too hard if you do it as suggested.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (fazeka) » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:23 pm

Cassius,

The process of intonation I am aware of... thank you.

The problem I am having is the G string saddle is seemingly not able to intonate the string in either position.

Anyone else have this problem with the Rick 4001/4003 bridge/saddles?

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (jps) » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:54 pm

fazeka wrote:Cassius,

The process of intonation I am aware of... thank you.

The problem I am having is the G string saddle is seemingly not able to intonate the string in either position.

Anyone else have this problem with the Rick 4001/4003 bridge/saddles?

Cheers,
Chris

Bad string?
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (teeder) » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:50 am

Bad string?


That's what I was going to say.

Wish Rick used allen head intonation screws, btw.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (aceonbass) » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:40 pm

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.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (Isaac) » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:00 pm

teeder wrote:Wish Rick used allen head intonation screws, btw.

Don't we all.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (maxwell) » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:43 am

What about these?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Ricken ... 0752.m1982

Here’s the link for “See Full Description” on this web page....

http://vi.vipr.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAP ... cureDesc=0

I would, however, ask the seller to confirm that the screws have an Allen head, as shown in his photos... (He says they’re from Rickenbacker...? Maybe it’s a typo and he meant to say “for” Rick.... I did not see this type of screw in the RIC Boutique.)
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (aceonbass) » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:08 pm

teeder wrote:Wish Rick used allen head intonation screws, btw.


I've tried those, and found that they strip out real fast. Also, with the spring pressure behind them, it's quite difficult to turn them anyway.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (teeder) » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:39 am

I haven't tried them, but it seemed like a good idea.
The whole bridge/TP system needs an update. IMO.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (Isaac) » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:57 pm

aceonbass wrote:
teeder wrote:Wish Rick used allen head intonation screws, btw.


I've tried those, and found that they strip out real fast. Also, with the spring pressure behind them, it's quite difficult to turn them anyway.

It seems to me that hex head screws would maintain their integrity much better than Phillips head screws.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (Gilmourisgod) » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:58 pm

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.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (aceonbass) » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:54 pm

Isaac wrote:It seems to me that hex head screws would maintain their integrity much better than Phillips head screws.

Nope. They're both stainless. The hex head screws take a small 1/16" Allen wrench, which is too small for the job. Now the larger screws used on RIC guitar bridges are a different matter, because they're bigger.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (daveman) » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:17 pm

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.
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (Dank1631) » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:48 pm

fazeka wrote:Cassius,

The process of intonation I am aware of... thank you.

The problem I am having is the G string saddle is seemingly not able to intonate the string in either position.

Anyone else have this problem with the Rick 4001/4003 bridge/saddles?

Cheers,
Chris



Hey Chris! Did this ever get solved? I just acquired a 1985 4003 and I am having the same issue on my G string! I've moved the saddle back and forth and reversed it's position but it consistently stays about 27 cents sharp at the 12th fret. All my other strings are fine and they are all brand new.

My neck is nice and straight and my action is set pretty much how I like it.
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