Fret bubbling

General Rickenbacker discussion

Moderators: rickenbrother, ajish4

Fret bubbling

Postby (thevince) » Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:35 am

My 2004 330 has bubbling near the frets. Is this any long term concern? It does not seem to impact playability.

There is a 4003S for sale locally I am considering that has a similar issue. If it's no major concern, I may get it!

Thank you.
New member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 10:27 am

Re: Fret bubbling

Postby (scott_s) » Sat May 01, 2021 12:54 am

For what it's worth, I also have a 2004 330, and it has some finish lifting at the frets, too. My understanding is that this is normal -- metal, wood, and finish all expand and contract at different rates, so they tend to pull apart over time. You can see a bit of it here and there in the Bacon and Day book, as well as the little poster that comes with Rickenbacker instruments!

Durability-wise, I figure we're no worse off than guitars with rosewood boards that are unfinished in the first place. But aesthetically, it *would* be nicer if they didn't do that at all. ;)
User avatar
Veteran RRF member
Posts: 593
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:59 pm
Location: CID

Re: Fret bubbling

Postby (jdogric12) » Mon May 03, 2021 8:40 am

Yep, looks normal.
User avatar
Posts: 10584
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:00 am

Re: Fret bubbling

Postby (farace) » Mon May 03, 2021 12:09 pm

My 2015 4003FG had the finish lifting from the frets, much worse than that, and with the intercession of the local dealer where I bought it, it went back to Ric for refinishing, so I guess they agreed that it wasn’t right. It still has some, if you look, but nowhere near what it had been.

(N.B.: Along with the refinish came new stickers (which were removed promptly upon its return) and new strings.)

2015 4003 FG
1992 4003FL FG
1983 4003 WAL

Gone (stolen) but not forgotten, 1978 4001 WHT
New member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Fret bubbling

Postby (thevince) » Fri May 07, 2021 3:39 am

Thank you for confirming! I'm not worried anymore about this.
And I did end up getting a 4003S this week, which fortunately did not have this issue at all. :D
New member
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 10:27 am

Return to Rickenbacker General: by Howard Bishop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests