Reassembling a 310C64

Setup, repair and restoration of Rickenbacker Instruments

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jps
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by jps »

thevince wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:21 am I'm really stuck on resolving the B string "ping" sound. I've tried smoothing out the saddle and also cutting a new saddle. Still has the ping.
Have you tried wrapping something around the string between the saddle and the tailpiece to dampen it? Maybe the "ping" is some kind of sympathetic vibration in that area.
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jdogric12
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by jdogric12 »

Is it happening at the saddle or at the Accent?
thevince
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by thevince »

Thank you for the suggestions. This encouraged me to check beyond the saddle. I temporarily borrowed the bridge from a 330 and the ping was still there.

This has a Winfield accent vibrato. Shifted the pieces of the tailpiece a bit. The ping sound has improved, but there's still a bit of ping sound there. So I might just need to keep sliding this around. Any other suggestions?
maxwell
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by maxwell »

What's left to check? ---> the nut /B string slot. If that string is binding in the nut slot (especially if it's pinging when using the vibrato), then you have to enlarge (widen) it a bit, being sure you maintain correct string-break location (at the fretboard edge of the nut). If you have a set of nut files, you're good to go; gently widen, being careful not to deepen the slot. It will only take a nearly-imperceptible amount of adjustment. If you don't have the files, be careful trying to do this with something else, or else you may mess it up. But you can clean out the slot with some dental floss, just to see if it makes a difference; takes about 45 seconds, including loosening the string and lifting it out of the slot. Slim odds, but what do you have to lose? You might get lucky. In any event, lubricating this and all the other nut slots with a lubricant would be a good idea, especially if you're using the tremolo. Nut Sauce is a popular item; some guys like to use a "lead" pencil to apply some graphite inside the slots. Again, easy and quick to do, once you gather your materials.

I don't think there is anything you can use under the Accent vibrato spring that won't--at least to some degree--leave a trace behind; after all, there is physical contact. At the very least, some dulling/superficial marring of the guitar's finish is likely, something that can be polished out if needed someday. Discoloration would be worse. You have to trust the manufacturer of the trem to have provided a non-reactive material (e.g., quality mfrs. of guitar stands use a finish-friendly, non-reactive rubber as to not affect a guitar's finish).
thevince
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by thevince »

Thanks for the suggestions here so far. I'm still getting a metallic grinding buzz on the B string, mostly noticably frets 4 through 6.

Tried widening the nut.
Installed a Mastery bridge.
Repositioned the vibrato tailpiece a bit.
Different string brands and gauges.
Truss rod adjustment.

Still rattles. It's a bit of a different sound than usual fret buzz. Open to any more suggestions. Thanks.
maxwell
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by maxwell »

This is interesting, as I’ve recently modified (shorter Accent spring, Mastery bridge) and set up my guitar, and have a buzz on that B string also; it could be a ping… not sure I can distinguish, now that I’ve read your last post. I assumed that on that half of the neck that a greater neck relief would be in order (as posted in the thread nearby, re: “Most break angle…”). Well, I don’t have any further suggestions. I can’t help but thinking that string contact on the bridge saddle has something to do with it. I might try lubricating that B string saddle; perhaps applying a small piece of tape over the saddle just to see if the ping disappears (a diagnostic procedure only). I might (again, solely as a diagnostic) raise the saddle way high, beyond any reasonable playing height, to completely ensure that there is absolutely no possibility of fret buzz and see what becomes of the ping….
thevince
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by thevince »

Sorry you're having similar troubles. What model guitar? Please share if you're able to solve the issue.

I have a cheap trapeze-style tailpiece (12 string version) laying around that I tried just to rule out the tailpiece. Didn't seem to make a difference.

You might be on to something with a temporary piece of tape on the saddle. When I first had the issue, I used a piece of paper between the string and saddle. That seemed to help a bit temporarily. Doesn't seem to help anymore, though.
maxwell
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by maxwell »

My guitar with the B string ping sound is a Rose Morris, model 1996, similar to a 325C64:
http://www.rickenbacker.com/model.asp?model=1996

I can really appreciate all the thought and work you have put into finding the cause and correction of the problem. I haven't really addressed my B string further; I've been trying to figure out why my neck/bass tone control has no effect when turned.

Have you considered reinstalling the stock bridge, just to see if the Mastery bridge is the cause? That's a lot of work, though. With a Zen-like approach and attitude, it could be fun. :)

I'll do some experimenting in a day or two. If I discover anything noteworthy, I'll let you know.
maxwell
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by maxwell »

I just finished experimenting on my short-scale guitar. My "ping" occurs at Open String thru the 6th fret:

1. The harder you pluck the B string with a pick, the more noticeable the sound. I Googled "ping" and that sound or phenomenon seems to be limited to the sound of a string as it moves slightly within a nut slot. I kept listening, over and over to this sound, and to me it sounds like a miniature tambourine sounds off at the same time the string is plucked. I can't really hear much if I pluck/strum lightly.

2. Placed light machine oil (sewing machine oil) on the Mastery Bridge B string saddle --> no change

3. I placed two different small pieces of tape over the B string saddle, relatively thick electrical tape and regular clear (Scotch) tape. I think the "ping" was less noticeable with both types of tape, but it did not disappear.

4. Of course I had to de-tune the B string in order to lift it off the saddle. I used a clip-on tuner as I tuned the string back up. As I approached correct tuning--but with the string still somewhat slack and tuned down/flat--I could hear that ping. It showed up flat of B, and not necessarily at B. Just to see, I tuned the B string sharp to about a D, and the sound seemed to disappear soon after tuning sharp before reaching D.

5. I took a small piece of paper and slid it under the e & B strings. I lifted the paper slightly when hitting the e string as a test, and that string buzzed on the paper; checking to hear what a string vibrating would sound like if it contacted the paper. Anyway, I slid the paper up and down the entire fretboard --> no contact with the paper (no string-fret buzz); the string high enough off the fretboard to eliminate fret buzz.

6. I tuned up my 330/6
longer scale length; 24-3/4 inches) and all the strings sounded good; no odd sounds. The B string rang clear.

You know, some people think that a G string inherently has a weird sound; difficult to tune properly. I'm thinking that this sound might be something unavoidable, inherent for this particular string and scale length (20-3/4 inches).

I'll keep thinking....
maxwell
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by maxwell »

I checked this "ping" thing on my other short-scale Rick today. I did NOT get the mysterious tambourine sound. That pretty much shoots down the scale length theory. I was thinking that maybe the string had these overtones/secondary tones created by string vibrations. I have no idea whatsoever. All that's left, it seems at this point, is the metallurgic composition of the string and maybe the method in which it was manufactured. The point being that perhaps these things are setting up some sort of secondary sound.... I'm just guessing....

BTW, I'm using D'Addario Chromes, 12-52, on my ping guitar. In a few days I'll put Thomastik-Infield George Benson 12-53 on the non-ping guitar. I think, however, both sets are nickel, at least the wound strings; no idea about the plain strings.

PS - No Mastery Bridge this time…. That bridge may be a factor.
thevince
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by thevince »

Thanks for sharing your details of trying to solve the problem! Sounds like we have a very similar issue. The tambourine rattle is a great way to describe it.

Bridge:
I've tried 3 bridges on my 310C64. The guitar was completely butchered when I got it. The only removable piece left was the nut, so I bought a new Rickenbacker bridge. It was my first time filing saddles, so I assumed maybe I did a bad job. Borrowed the stock bridge off my 330 and it still had the B string ping. Decided to try a Mastery bridge and still had the issue. I think it's not a bridge issue on my 310C64.

Nut:
I don't get the ping on the open string, so I think it's not an issue with the nut. If you put a capo on, do you still hear the ping?

Strings:
I've tried D'Addario flatwounds, Thomastik-Infeld flatwounds, the Rickenbacker short scale set, and a variety of single B string brands/gauges. Same ping sound for all of them. The TI flatwounds were my favorite set overall.

Truss rod:
Have you adjusted the truss rod? I noticed if I loosened it, my high-E string started to rattle but not quite the same ping. Made no difference on the B string ping.

What else could it be?
I seem to have ruled out the bridge, tailpiece, strings, nut, string height, truss rod adjustment on my 310C64. I'm now considering taking off the pickups, wiring, and pickguard to see if something else is causing this rattle. When I first started reassembling the 310C64, I installed bare minimum parts to check the condition of the neck. I didn't notice the ping sound at that time. It showed up after I started putting in other components. Could the tuners be an issue? I bought a set very similar to the ones originally on the guitar.

Tips:
You mentioned changing the Accent spring. I recommended checking out how your vibrato sits on the guitar body. I didn't have mine at a good angle when I first set it up and the rubber pads chipped the finish. It's too bad because the 310C64 originally came with an R tailepiece, but these marks would be visible now if I ever put an R tailpiece back on.

Be careful with a clip-on tuner. I left one on my 310 headstock for a couple weeks while I was trouble shooting and it bubbled the finish a little (bad move on my part). I now clip it on to the pickup selector switch.

For your 1996 tone control, did you find the issue? I wonder if those are wired differently than a standard 325C64.

Best of luck narrowing down the issue!
maxwell
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by maxwell »

I really admire your perseverance. I'm still no closer to find a cause/effect of the "ping" on my guitar. Dampening the strings behind the bridge, between it and the Accent, had no effect on anything, incl. tone, output, etc.; pressing on the strings, as you would expect, made notes go sharp. I'll try experimenting again soon. My odd sound occurs on Open B string as well as the first few frets; I eliminated any influence by the nut/nut slot because of this finding.

Re: Loss on tone control on Rick 1996. My guitar has that little treble cap for the treble pickup, so I couldn't perceive a change in tone while adjusting that PU's tone control; lots of Byrd jangle. Adjusting the tone control for the neck pickup did nothing. I hooked up another Rick guitar and noticed I was having the same problem! So, I used my DMM to check the resistances of three different amp cords, and they all seemed OK; resistance varied by respective length of the cord, but all were under 3 ohms. So I hauled out another amp (an old simple Gibson D5 with no tone controls) and miraculously my missing tones reappeared. So, the other, defective amp was promptly retired (VOX Pathfinder 15R; I also noticed the volume output/loudness had become diminished).

Well, good luck on your continued quest. I'll post any further findings.
maxwell
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Re: Reassembling a 310C64

Post by maxwell »

I pulled out my ping guitar today. I thought I’d raise the action (height) of that noisy B string. On a Mastery bridge, however, this means raising three strings at the same time. So I’m just messing around checking this string’s action first. To my surprise—because what I found is so fundamental, but not really a problem most of the time—is that the closer I moved my fretting finger to the fret, the odd sound became less. And if I pressed/fretted a little harder, it seems to get less obvious, also. So I wanted to see if I raised the saddles if things would get better, and this seemed to lessen the sound. (I didn’t get the sound on the open B string, well, sometimes, but mostly not.)

I’m thinking that this problem is related to finger-fret position: the closer your finger is to the fret, the less string there is to buzz (like a tambourine). On full-size/full scale guitars I sometimes get my fretting fingers too far away from the fretting fret, and as you know, you get that string/fret buzz characteristic of poor fretting. For some reason, on this particular string, you are forced to stay close to the fret, while at other strings and frets, there is a lot of non-buzzing freeway; maybe you can move two thirds away from the fret with your fretting finger and still have a clear note; as an example, fretting an open A chord with three fingers you have those fretting finger tips all over the fretting area—they all can’t get next to the second fret, yet you rarely get a buzz note. As you know, the higher the fret, the easier it is to get a clear note no matter where your fretting finger is. The frets on my ping guitar are pretty small, I guess. I have an acoustic with smaller frets and there is no buzz anywhere you fret within a fretting area.

So, experiment, different fingertip fretting positions and differing finger/fretting pressures. See what you get. I still have no idea why this particular string has this problem. If you wanted to increase the string break angle over the fret, and increase the string-fret pressure, I’m thinking you’d want to lower the saddle as much as possible. This has not been my experience, yet—but I need to investigate further; I just felt like quitting for the day. I bought a nice little String Action Gauge (MusicNomad) and I like using the millimeter portion (vs. 64ths or decimal inch fractions). My B string action at the 12th fret is a little over 1.5 mm (just under 4/64ths, about .06 inches). This seems to work for me—minimal ping, OK action. I’m going to try an see now low I can lower it without regular string buzz (action too low) and see what it does with the ping.

Right now the only thing I can think of is to use different size (diameter) strings for the B strings, like an unwound G, for example. Well, I’ll keep experimenting.
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