360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

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360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (akpasta) » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:21 am

Just bought a really cool 360/12 from 1985 with a 12-saddle bridge and toaster pickups. It arrived pretty much perfect and ready to go, beautifully intonated and set up, played great however the strings were VERY old roundwounds and felt a little too slinky, like a .09 gauge set or something. Also the low octave G was unwound, which never works on a 12 as they always fret sharp and come out of tune with the high octave G.

So I replaced with .10 GHS Rollerwound strings, which tend to be a nice halfway point between rounds and expensive flats. They were visibly much thicker than the set that came on the guitar and these strings tend to have higher tension than roundwounds anyways.

Predictably the tension seems to have bowed the neck forward, raising the action and making it a little too difficult to play. Everything else seems perfect. Intonation, everything but just the action feels and looks noticeably higher now due to increased tension.

I don't want to go messing with too much. Can someone give me a quick run down of what truss rod adjustment I would need to make to lower the action? Both rods clockwise to tighten? What size is the allen key in case I don't have the right one on me?

Thanks!
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (Tommy) » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:16 pm

Maybe the experts here can correct me if I am wrong regarding a 1985 Rickenbacker, but Rics do not use allen keys for truss rod adjustments. It is a 1/4 inch socket.

These can be purchased at the Ric boutique or any Rick dealer. Can probably get one at Home Depot/Lowes stores, too. This style -- long handled screwdriver type -- is very much recommended. Far safer and easier to use than the wrench style. Costs about twenty bucks.

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Truss rod adjustments on a 12 string Ric are a pain in the neck. You can not get the truss rod tool at the truss rod nuts on a 12 string with the strings at pitch like on other guitars. The strings must be slackened. All the strings must be loosened in order to get the truss rod cover off, then truss rod adjustments are made, then all strings must be tuned to pitch just to check if your adjustments were correct. If off then the whole thing must be done again..and again..and again if needed.
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (akpasta) » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:17 pm

Thanks for the primer. I found out the gauge of the original strings and they were .10s but a light set with much lighter bass strings. The set I put on had wasaay heavier strings at the bass side and that probably pulled the neck forward.

I might just try my go-to pick of the rick compressed roundwoubds and it might split the difference on the neck. On a guitar that hasn't had truss rod adjustment in at least a decade it might be smart to leavw things be.
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (Tommy) » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:02 pm

akpasta wrote:Thanks for the primer. I found out the gauge of the original strings and they were .10s but a light set with much lighter bass strings. The set I put on had wasaay heavier strings at the bass side and that probably pulled the neck forward.

I might just try my go-to pick of the rick compressed roundwoubds and it might split the difference on the neck. On a guitar that hasn't had truss rod adjustment in at least a decade it might be smart to leavw things be.

Yes, back then Ric guitars came with .10s on the high E and a .42 on the low E. That .42 is relatively light for a low E. If you put on the standard .46 then, yes, that definitely would put the guitar neck out of whack.

I would buy the correct set for the 12 string: .10-.42. They are hard to come by, but Pick of The Ricks sells that original Ric set. I just bought a set and put it on a few days ago. That set really does bring back the chime of the guitar. Chris at PotR says he found the original supplier of Ric strings and he makes sets of those strings for the old Rics. I believe around 2008 Ric made the change to the standard string gauge of .10-.46. Earlier guitars should go with that .42 on the low E.
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (collin) » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:58 pm

+1 on the .10-.42 strings, or even lighter if you like.

Everyone who has played my 12-string Ricks has commented on how easy the guitars are to play, low action etc, and always sound like a Rick 12. Light strings are all that you need on a 12-string guitar, as you're not bending notes.

And light strings are much easier on your neck angle!
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (jdogric12) » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:22 am

You don't need to loosen the strings to get under the TRC. See the McGuinn video.
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (akpasta) » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:37 pm

Hi Folks,

Thanks for CHIMING in lol.

So I dug a little deeper after your comments on light strings.

The guitar came with:
D'Addario Lights. I now realize these felt so light because of the light D and G pairs. The G pair is especially light.
.46-.26, .36-.18, .26-.12, .17-.08, .13-.13, .10-.10

I installed GHS Knickel Rockers (rollerwound) - three strings are heavier, and they're nickel roller wound (half way to flatwound) which are known to have higher tension. No wonder these pulled the neck forward.
.46-.26, .36-.22, .26-.13, .22-10, .13-.13, .10-.10

Pick of The Ricks "Compressed Roundwound" - I've used these on other guitars and they are another option that is half way to flatwound but much less tension. These feel less tense than typical roundwound strings, if you can believe it. I have these on my Fender Electric XII and they do feel light on that guitar, but not unusually.
.42-.26, .34-.20, .26-.13, .20-.10, .13-.13, .10-.10

I had never bothered to write down these gauges before and also assumed the POTR strings had a heavy bass, but check that out. Very interesting! Can't wait to try them out when I get them. Thomastik Flats, I will note, have heavier guages than POTR as well, but not quite as heavy as the GHS Rollerwound.

Perhaps I will have my local shop custom make me a set of rollerwounds with the correct gauges, because I do really like the feel and tone of them.

Final question. As far as truss rods go, should I loosen the strings until I put the new, lighter set on, or is it okay to leave this much tension on the neck? Will it bow back once lighter strings are on it?

Thanks!!
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (Tommy) » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:13 pm

akpasta wrote:Final question. As far as truss rods go, should I loosen the strings until I put the new, lighter set on, or is it okay to leave this much tension on the neck? Will it bow back once lighter strings are on it?

Thanks!!

If it bothers you, just loosen the low E and the A. Those are the strings you have on that are too heavy a gauge for that guitar.

The Pick Of The Ricks 12 set are real nice. As I said I just put a set on a few days ago. Had everything off the guitar and it gave me a great opportunity to really give the guitar a great cleaning and waxing. The guitar looks and sounds brand new.

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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (paologregorio) » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:23 pm

[vimeo][/vimeo]
collin wrote:+1 on the .10-.42 strings, or even lighter if you like.

. . . . Light strings are all that you need on a 12-string guitar, as you're not bending notes.

And light strings are much easier on your neck angle!


I do bends on my 12 strings. ... So does Tim Finn from Split Enz and Crowded House. Our own Jim Krause bends on a 12 string as well; I recommend it; 12-string bends sound great, Kenny Howes' opinion they're "weird" notwithstanding. :)

I have tried various gauges on my 12 strings. My 381/12 and my Vox Tearsdrop both have the Ernie Ball .08-.40 12-string set, while my 360/12 C63 currently has has the standard D'addario EXL 150 .10-.46 string set, but I like the Rickenbacker .10-.42 set as well; felt really good on the C63; I didn't realize until later that the bottom strings were lighter than the standard D'Addario 12 string set. D'Addario used to make an .09-42 or .44 set, but not for a long time. Ernie Ball makes a .09-.46 set, but D'Addario is a superior-quality string: The strings are made with the string-making equivalent of a CNC machine, so the thickness/winding is consistent along the full length of the string, which minimizes the chance of intonation issues resulting from inconsistent string diameter.
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (BobKat) » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:52 pm

Tommy wrote:
akpasta wrote:Final question. As far as truss rods go, should I loosen the strings until I put the new, lighter set on, or is it okay to leave this much tension on the neck? Will it bow back once lighter strings are on it?

Thanks!!

If it bothers you, just loosen the low E and the A. Those are the strings you have on that are too heavy a gauge for that guitar.

The Pick Of The Ricks 12 set are real nice. As I said I just put a set on a few days ago. Had everything off the guitar and it gave me a great opportunity to really give the guitar a great cleaning and waxing. The guitar looks and sounds brand new.

Image



Woof, is that nice! That must be an early '90s. '92-'94 or so?
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (Tommy) » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:17 pm

BobKat wrote:Woof, is that nice! That must be an early '90s. '92-'94 or so?

Thanks.
1992. Going to be a 27 year old guitar in a few months. I wonder if that qualifies as vintage?
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (collin) » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:32 pm

paologregorio wrote:[vimeo][/vimeo]
collin wrote:+1 on the .10-.42 strings, or even lighter if you like.

. . . . Light strings are all that you need on a 12-string guitar, as you're not bending notes.

And light strings are much easier on your neck angle!


I do bends on my 12 strings. ... So does Tim Finn from Split Enz and Crowded House. Our own Jim Krause bends on a 12 string as well; I recommend it; 12-string bends sound great, Kenny Howes' opinion they're "weird" notwithstanding. :)


Clear exceptions to the norm, here.. all of them. Most folks do not bend on a 12-string.

On a related note, I remember that Vox XII you had a number of years ago... with a vibrato. :shock:
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Re: 360/12 New Strings - Truss Rod Adjustment?

Postby (BobKat) » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:36 am

In my book 1992 is vintage.
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