What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

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lumgimfong
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What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by lumgimfong »

I hear peeps talking about getting their Ric necks "dead straight" and then the basses sound better than ever somehow.

But on my Ric and every other bass I own, when I try to get it dead straight I get crazy string buzz and have to back off the neck to a credit card just barely grazing the bottom of the low e string at the 9th fret when I capo first fret and press string at last fret. Any lower and the buzz returns. On all my basses. So it's not just the Ric.

To be clear, I use action at 6/64 at 17th fret, no pressing strings. Maybe my action too low? But even at 9/64 still get lotsa buzz. I use 40-95 flats.

How do you guys do it with no fret buzz happening?
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jdogric12
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by jdogric12 »

You keep saying fret buzz like it's a bad thing.
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lumgimfong
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by lumgimfong »

hahahahaha!!! :lol:
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espidog
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by espidog »

jdogric12 wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 2:56 pm You keep saying fret buzz like it's a bad thing.
Why doesn't this place have a 'Like' button? :lol:
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WillyWonka
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by WillyWonka »

Quit measuring **** and play it.

Ric’s do play, sound, set up, with a very flat neck it’s like magic.
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Dirk
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by Dirk »

Yep agreed, go straight and low, you'll get the classic Ric fret buzz, which is expected.

I've heard flats help get rid of it if you don't like that. :)
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lumgimfong
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by lumgimfong »

Been using flats. Buzzes.
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Kiddwad57
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by Kiddwad57 »

Raise the action a bit and stick some flats on it! Ditch that picker, grow some calluses…for goodness sake.
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rickenbrother
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by rickenbrother »

Unless the action is at least slightly higher than the average of players' preference, just about all bass guitars will buzz somewhere on the neck, especially with roundwound strings. I've played countless instruments the ones with comfortable action all buzz somewhere. Watch professional company made demo videos on Youtube, Fendr, Musicman, G&L, etc...you'll hear some buzz. As long as you can't hear it in the mix of the band, it's no big deal. A little audible string buzz and overdrive/distortion worked out well for many players, including Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Roger Glover...
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jps
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by jps »

espidog wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 5:40 pm
jdogric12 wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 2:56 pm You keep saying fret buzz like it's a bad thing.
Why doesn't this place have a 'Like' button? :lol:
rickenbrother wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 2:01 pm A little audible string buzz and overdrive/distortion worked out well for many players, including Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Roger Glover...
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rickenbrother
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by rickenbrother »

jps wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 8:46 pm
rickenbrother wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 2:01 pm A little audible string buzz and overdrive/distortion worked out well for many players, including Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Roger Glover...
OHHHHHHHHH.......how could I forget the unforgettable Jeff Scott?! :lol:
The JETGLO finish name should be officially changed to JETGLO ROCKS! :-)
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jps
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by jps »

:mrgreen:
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henry5
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by henry5 »

I like fret buzz, personally. But everything will depend on your playing style, string tension, etc etc. I typically fret and pluck very lightly. Others who play harder typically struggle with my basses. And of course if you don’t like fret buzz, then it may not work for you. I always think that whilst it’s good to experiment, if it doesn't work for you then don’t fret about it (see what I did there?😂).
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Bighouse
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by Bighouse »

Hey everyone, it's been a while since I posted here. Funny story for you all. I've owned my 1982 Mapleglo 4001 since 1988. I guess it sat in stock for 6 years in a Las Vegas guitar store. Shortly after purchasing it I took it to my local guitar shop (long now out-of-business) to have it serviced and the neck straightened on it. They were unable to adjust the neck to remove the bit of bowing and told me the truss rods were at their maximum adjustability and there wasn't anything they could do to straighten it. So, I've lived with very high action and a curved neck for 34 years. Drop the action and I had to endure fret buzz- which is fine in small amounts and even enjoyable at times- but overall not a good thing imho. I even tried to adjust the neck myself long ago after purchasing the adjustment nut driver tool from Rickenbacker. I too determined that the truss rods were maxed out because I simply could not get the nuts to tighten with that red screwdriver thing. (Which, btw, I had to grind down to make the walls thinner to fit around the nuts...and with the newly created sharp surface on the edge of the tool, ended up removing some of the finish on the tuning head.) I'm not even a novice player, so I never let it deter me from enjoying playing it anyway.

So, this last week I decided to take a closer look at my truss rods, even considered replacing them. I watched a few videos online about the procedure which were VERY helpful and which didn't exist when I first bought and later tried to straighten the neck. And, after cleaning the gunk out around the metal retaining block could see a few threads, at least, beyond the block into the neck! So, there WAS some adjustability left in them! I then calipered the handle on the Rickenbacker tool and modeled and then 3D printed a 90 degree handle to attach to the end of the tool to allow me good leverage on tightening the nuts. I clamped the body down to a table...put a couple drops of DeOxit on the exposed ends of the threads at the nuts...waited a bit for the lubricant/DeOxit to penetrate...pulled way down on the head to backbend the neck...loosened the first nut...then the second...then tightened both with the modified tool..and released the pressure on the neck. The handle gave me the needed torque to allow me to actually adjust the truss rods and tighten the nuts. And, now, when I sight down the length of my neck, it appears almost entirely flat!

I was then able to actually adjust the intonation properly and my bass has never played better! I'm still dealing with some fret buzz, mostly on my A string. I'd rather leave the action lower than it was before and am looking into whether it might be a nut/strings issue (these are not the original ground rounds that came with the instrument) and if am considering of maybe looking into a hipshot replacement for the bridge...or perhaps going back to the Rickenbacker original cables that came with it- if they can still be purchased.

TLDR: After 34 years of living with a curved neck, I flattened mine. Those truss rods really do work well.
Because I told you before- oh, you can't do that.
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ram
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Re: What is this "flat neck" business for Ric basses?

Post by ram »

Great story Robert. If the nut string thing doesn't would out you might just need a little fret dressing, being that it was out of kilter for so long... goof luck with it!
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