Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

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RobW
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Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by RobW »

I thought they fixed the tail lift problems with the double truss-rod, but I looked down today and saw this on my '09:

Image

I've had TI-Jazz flats on this since I got it, which I thought were lower tension than the originals (?)

Why is this happening, why didn't Rickenbacker fix this known problem, and what can I do to fix this myself?
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chefothefuture
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by chefothefuture »

:shock: :shock:

I've never seen tail lift like that with TI's .

Unfortunately, with the zinc tails, the fix was extra screws. Rick added two when they introduced the zinc TPs in '73, and added two more in the mid '80s.
Problem was, people complained about the look.
Then, when the C series was introduced, Rick went back to three screws but failed to cast the TPs in aluminum as the originals were from '63 to early '73.

If you're not adverse to changing parts, people have had good things to say about the aluminum Hipshot, though you'll lose the mute.
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aceonbass
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by aceonbass »

Rick basses have always had two truss rods, so that has nothing to do with tail lift. The problem is that without the two extra screws as you'd find on a standard 4003 model, the tailpiece bends at the weakest point, which is at the rear of the bridge pocket. You can do either of two things...drill the two holes at the rear as found in early 4003's, and bend it straight again, or replace this with a late model 4003 tailpiece, which has two screws just in front of the holes that the strings pass through. This area is much beefier, so the tailpiece doesn't lift behind it. I have a current 4003 tailpiece that I'll trade you for your bent C64 piece. I'll even cut the little notch out between the center "tooth" like your.
RobW
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by RobW »

We shouldn't have to drill holes and put in new screws on a $2,500 bass, aceonbass. Rickenbacker should have done that when they re-made it.

Paul McCartney stopped playing his Rick around '85, and I'm wondering if it's because the tailpiece is bent way up and not playable anymore?

Just something to consider when buying a 4001 reissue vs modern 4003 (where they've probably fixed that problem).
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aceonbass
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by aceonbass »

RobW wrote:We shouldn't have to drill holes and put in new screws on a $2,500 bass, Aceonbass. Rickenbacker should have done that when they re-made it.
Paul McCartney stopped playing his Rick around '85, and I'm wondering if it's because the tailpiece is bent way up and not playable anymore?
If you paid $2500 for your C64, then you over paid. The 3 screw tailpiece used on those basses was used because they looked like the original tailpieces used on 60's 4001's. Even though zinc has a higher tensile strength than aluminum, the current casting has voids that the original didn't have. I've never seen a C64 tailpiece lift more than a millimeter or so. I'm surprised that the current 1/8" or so of lift was just noticed since it must have taken years to do so.
Paul started getting free basses from other manufacturers in the 80's, and has since stated that the Hofner is so much lighter and easier to play for a show. The original cast aluminum tailpiece on his 4001S had broken some time in the early 70's, and was replaced by an early version of the 5 screw tailpiece currently being used.
prowla
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by prowla »

I've got the original 3-screw tailpiece on my '64 Ric.

It was only when they shifted to the inferior alloy that they started having the issue; my '72 one's bridge pooped.

They then introduced an extra pair of screws, but they don't really fix it; they added a further pair of screws for the 5-strings.

But they're really sticking-plaster rather than a fix; you'd think that they might've been able to sort out the issue in 45 years...

One practical option is to replace the bridge with a Hipshot and keep the original in a box to dress up the guitar should you wish to sell it on.
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aceonbass
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by aceonbass »

RIC bass tailpieces were cast from aluminum till early 1973, when they changed to the die cast zinc (an element, not an alloy) tailpiece, which had five screws from it's introduction. Some lifted, some didn't, but it was an almost hollow casting, which is why it bent. Zinc has a higher tensile strength than aluminum, and is what most manufacturers use for cast bridges. The current five screw tailpiece is quite beefy, and resists bending, but the same casting with three screws does lift. There's an easy fix for this, or we could keep complaining about RIC.
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by prowla »

My '72 gap-tooth bridge wasn't aluminium.
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xsubs
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by xsubs »

prowla wrote:My '72 gap-tooth bridge wasn't aluminium.
It most certainly was (if it was original)... they all were since that design was created, until the spring of '73.
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tcsmit29
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by tcsmit29 »

RobW wrote:Paul McCartney stopped playing his Rick around '85, and I'm wondering if it's because the tailpiece is bent way up and not playable anymore?

The last time I saw Paul's 4001 is on the cover of "All the Best" released in 87. I can't remember my source for this but I do recall that Paul had stated that Elvis Costello convinced him to pull the Hofner out of storage during the recording of "Flowers in the Dirt".
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by prowla »

xsubs wrote:
prowla wrote:My '72 gap-tooth bridge wasn't aluminium.
It most certainly was (if it was original)... they all were since that design was created, until the spring of '73.
Well, it wasn't.
The bass in question is s/n LJxxxx, which makes it a '72, and it had a 3-screw gap-tooth tailpiece.
I first saw the bass in the mid 70s; I became friendly with its owner and I bought it off them in the early 80s.
In the late 80s I replaced the tailpiece & bridge with a Badass.
I broke the original tailpiece in half (I won't bore you with why/how).
A couple of months ago, I asked an aluminium specialist (Peter Longfellow, who makes aluminium guitars) to see if he could weld it together; he returned it, saying it wasn't aluminium.
So, I have a non-aluminium '72 gap-tooth 3-hole tailpiece.
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aceonbass
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by aceonbass »

prowla wrote:A couple of months ago, I asked an aluminium specialist (Peter Longfellow, who makes aluminium guitars) to see if he could weld it together; he returned it, saying it wasn't aluminium. So, I have a non-aluminium '72 gap-tooth 3-hole tailpiece.
Could you post a pic please?
prowla
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by prowla »

Will do.
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jps
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by jps »

aceonbass wrote:
prowla wrote:A couple of months ago, I asked an aluminium specialist (Peter Longfellow, who makes aluminium guitars) to see if he could weld it together; he returned it, saying it wasn't aluminium. So, I have a non-aluminium '72 gap-tooth 3-hole tailpiece.
Could you post a pic please?
+1. This would be a first, I think.
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bassduke49
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Re: Tail lift on a 4001C64 re-issue

Post by bassduke49 »

Historically, it is rare to find an early aluminum tailpiece that has "lifted" unless it was seriously abused. Jeff, you have a series of photos of the sequence of Rick tailpieces, don't you? Was the first iteration of the cast zinc tails a 3-screw design? If so, this may have been the culprit. And it could have been a replacement as '72 seems to early for the cast zinc tails.
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