Strings for vintage 450/12

Early years of Rickenbacker Guitars prior to and including 1972

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Strings for vintage 450/12

Postby (sunkingrecords) » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:23 pm


I'm the current owner of a 450/12 Jet Glo (which seems to be already on the register): ... p?id=48359

I'm starting to get used to it, I love the sound! and so far, seems to intonate better than my 620/12 (which I know needs some job done).
I'm having some trouble getting a good intonation, mostly on the Low E and A strings.

I searched the forum and I'm following the procedures of moving the floating bridge, but I have it as far from the headstock as it goes, and the fretted note on the 12 fret is still sharp compared to the open string harmonic. The octave string on the other hand, is fine. If I tune the Open string, freting a G on the 3rd fret sounds sharp.

Should I try changing to thiner strings?

I currently have:

What would be the string gauge expected to work best with this guitar?

Kind regards!

Miguel Canel
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Re: Strings for vintage 450/12

Postby (jdogric12) » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:24 am

Welcome! Those gauges are ok but try 18w on the G fundamental and A octave.
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Re: Strings for vintage 450/12

Postby (iiipopes) » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:06 pm

Yes, the wound unison G string instead of a plain unison string is necessary for good intonation. BUT...

Compensation and intonation are a function of string stretch. On a wound string, the core stretch is what mostly affects the intonation, and therefore the amount of compensation needed at the saddle, more than the windings, which, for the purposes of this discussion, are like slinky toys that don't have appreciable effect.

So, that all said, instead of going to a wound octave A string, which would make things worse, not better, going down a number, say, to a 16 plain, might help the A pair intonate better.

That leaves the E pair. Sorry. No good solutions for the bar bridge on the 450-12. If you try to use, say, a 20 plain, it will thump and not have good tone or sustain, even if it gets closer to being in tune with the unison 44 wound. With a wound 22, if you compensate for the low E, then the octave string will be flat up the neck. Most people split the difference. On a 300-series bridge, I ordered a saddle and filed it offset for the low E string pair, so the unison intonated off the back edge of the saddle and the octave string intonated off the front edge of the saddle. Try a 24 wound. With a hair larger core, it might help.
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Re: Strings for vintage 450/12

Postby (sunkingrecords) » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:05 pm

Thanks for the help, will try the suggestions!

Kind regards

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