2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Vintage, Modern, V & C series, Fretless, Signature & Special Editions

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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (Korladis) » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:59 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 10:00 pm

Just install a Hipshot bridge. Make life easy. I did years ago. Haven't touched it since .
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Re: 2015 4003S intonation challenge/issue?

Postby (gregson62) » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:24 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 4:22 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 11:30 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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