Original 1982 String Gauges?

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Bighouse
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Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by Bighouse »

When I purchased my 4001 new, back in 1988 (it was made in 1982), it came with ground rounds, I believe. I changed them out for D'Addario XL round wounds shortly after purchasing the instrument (0.045, 0.065, 0.080, 0.100 - just calipered them). I'd like to revisit the original strings, but alas, they are long gone.

Does anyone know what the string gauges were for a 4001 made in 1982?
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Bighouse
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by Bighouse »

Well, anyone with a 1982 or thereabouts year want to put a digital caliper on your original flat-wound strings and give me their gauges???
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ilan
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by ilan »

I believe that most if not all owners of 40 year old basses have changed strings since then. For those who haven't: get a tetanus shot.
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iiipopes
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by iiipopes »

On the off chance that basses made that late still had the OEM Maxima flat strings, I recommend you string it with a set of Optima RB flats (RB - get it?), as these are the closest and the spiritual successor to the OEM Maxima flats that were on the basses in the 60's and 70's; I just don't know how far into the 80's this went before changing over to rounds.
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Bighouse
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

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ilan wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2022 7:08 am I believe that most if not all owners of 40 year old basses have changed strings since then. For those who haven't: get a tetanus shot.
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Bighouse
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by Bighouse »

iiipopes wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2022 3:10 pm On the off chance that basses made that late still had the OEM Maxima flat strings, I recommend you string it with a set of Optima RB flats (RB - get it?), as these are the closest and the spiritual successor to the OEM Maxima flats that were on the basses in the 60's and 70's; I just don't know how far into the 80's this went before changing over to rounds.
Oh surely Optima didn’t engineer and manufacture a set of strings just for RickenBacker basses??? RB must stand for something else, right?

(They’re pretty pricey strings!)
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lumgimfong
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by lumgimfong »

Or, if anyone has an 82, you could see what guages the nut was cut for by the factory by putting wider and wider sets on til they didn’t fit anymore, as evidenced by them not sitting flush on the bottom of the slot.
But that does not answer the question of string tension and physical makeup, if that is what you are after, too.
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ram
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by ram »

This seems to be a little backwards. Shouldn't the desired strings be selected and installed, and then flatness and all that set, and then see if the nut is working with the desired strings. If not make a new nut???????? Just a thought...
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Bighouse
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by Bighouse »

I'm no luthier- but my research has indicated that the leveling and dressing of the frets needs to occur when the strings are removed, and the fingerboard is perfectly flat/straight. Only then can the frets be leveled in relationship to each other. Once the frets are all leveled and dressed, strings will be put back on (I did order a set of Optima RB Flatwounds- thanks!) and my truss rods will be adjusted as needed to restore flatness once proper tension is applied to the strings. At that time, I will examine the string height in relationship to the frets/fingerboard. I'll adjust the bridge saddle accordingly and check my intonation. IF it seems like my strings are too high at the nut, I'll consider adjusting the nut, but since these RB Flatwounds are the descendants of the Maximas that the bass was issued with, I'm hoping they sit well- even after some fret leveling. If not, I'll research more and lower the grooves in the nut.

Worst case scenario is I'll take too much of the frets and I'll have to have the entire bass re-fretted. But, since it's never been through any kind of fret leveling yet in its entire life, I'm hoping there's plenty enough metal left on the fret wires to allow me to do some adjustment.

I'm really looking forward to doing this work! My tools and supplies are all on order and I expect them to arrive within a couple of weeks. The notched metal straight edge to check the flatness of the fingerboard arrived yesterday and it looks good. I can see I'll have a bit more adjustment to do on the neck before I can begin the leveling process, but I'm confident that now I know how to adjust the truss rods and have done it once already with great success, I'll be able to get it flat before the process begins.
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iiipopes
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by iiipopes »

Bighouse wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 12:24 am
iiipopes wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2022 3:10 pm On the off chance that basses made that late still had the OEM Maxima flat strings, I recommend you string it with a set of Optima RB flats (RB - get it?), as these are the closest and the spiritual successor to the OEM Maxima flats that were on the basses in the 60's and 70's; I just don't know how far into the 80's this went before changing over to rounds.
Oh surely Optima didn’t engineer and manufacture a set of strings just for RickenBacker basses??? RB must stand for something else, right?

(They’re pretty pricey strings!)
Actually, they did. Even to the point of modelling the package after the old Rickenbacker red string box and calling it by the same part number: 4440.
Here is the link to the web page, complete with a picture of a 4001S:
https://optima-strings.com/shop/de/elek ... long-scale
Optima RB Flatwound Package.jpg
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Bighouse
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by Bighouse »

I don’t see the 4001S, my browser’s not bringing up the same info yours is for some reason.

I do know that when I was researching the Maximas, in another online forum thread about the strings issued on the vintage Rickenbacker basses, an actual representative from Optima entered the discussion and touted the RB Flatwounds and their genetic connection to the Maximas. If I recall correctly, when someone mentioned something about a noticeable difference in the tonality of one of the strings, the rep said that he would have to go pull their file on the maximas and examine it against the optimas. It led me to think that Optima had all the proprietary engineering data and specs on the maximas.
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Guzzitd63
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by Guzzitd63 »

It's Turquoise! I dig it.
RB = Red Box
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Screenshot 2022-06-16 at 11-00-35 E-Bass RB FLATWOUND STRINGS Satz Long Scale.png
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bassduke49
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by bassduke49 »

Ooh! A Turquoise 4001V63 no less!
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Bighouse
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by Bighouse »

What’s the significance of a “red box”?
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iiipopes
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Re: Original 1982 String Gauges?

Post by iiipopes »

Bighouse wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:49 pm What’s the significance of a “red box”?
Rickenbacker strings used to come in red boxes instead of plastic envelopes as most strings do now. Here is a picture of a guitar strings box.
Rickenbacker Red String Box.jpg
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