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Thread: Rickenbacker 4001 build : need advise

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    Rickenbacker 4001 build : need advise

    Hello,
    i'm building a Rickenbacker 4001 style bass , and i want to use the ricken pickguard, but use a DIY dual rail humbucker for bridge pickup and a bridge which is not rickenbacker, already purchased.
    But now i'm facing a problem i did not think before, i will have to drill a hole from the bridge PU cavity to electronic cavity and a hole for the ground wire from the bridge to the electronic cavity. The guitar body is not very thick, it's 34mm thick only.
    The problem is that the original bridge PU is very wide, wider than a humbucker, so my hole has to be quite long and almost horizontal. Do you get me ?
    I ordered 30 cm long drill bits, but i wonder if i will be able to do it...
    So maybe i have to buy a ricken style bridge PU
    What do you think ?
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    How do i remove this thread ? I'm screwed, the neck is not wide enough, shit, i'm sick these days, and i made a big mistake. This build is a fail, aaarghhhhh!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    How do i remove this thread ? I'm screwed, the neck is not wide enough, shit, i'm sick these days, and i made a big mistake. This build is a fail, aaarghhhhh!!!
    Nothing's a fail until you give up. This is an unexpected challenge, not a defeat.

    It's a set neck that's harder but possible. Add wood to the sides and refret. It'll go with the neck-thru construction.

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    or find a narrow bridge, but i don't know if it exists. It's my first bass build, to be honest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    or find a narrow bridge, but i don't know if it exists. It's my first bass build, to be honest.
    It's possible to make bridges of different widths and spacings. What is your neck width?

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    Quote Originally Posted by glebert View Post
    It's possible to make bridges of different widths and spacings. What is your neck width?
    There is a big difference! I don't anderstand how i could do it! It's 53,5 mm instead of 57!!! Damned! I saw that some archtop bridges have a string spacing of 15mm, the one i've got is 20 mm between each string. 15 is not enough, but 20 is too much...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    There is a big difference! I don't anderstand how i could do it! It's 53,5 mm instead of 57!!! Damned! I saw that some archtop bridges have a string spacing of 15mm, the one i've got is 20 mm between each string. 15 is not enough, but 20 is too much...
    You could do individual saddles. Something like this. https://www.bitterrootguitars.com/Ba...p/122010bk.htm These are 16mm wide, so that would be your minimum spacing (I think). There are other models available, that was just the first ones that came up in google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glebert View Post
    You could do individual saddles. Something like this. https://www.bitterrootguitars.com/Ba...p/122010bk.htm These are 16mm wide, so that would be your minimum spacing (I think). There are other models available, that was just the first ones that came up in google.
    Yeah great ! I'm gonna look for this, so, More work to do but it saves my build i think...

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    Salut tepsamp,
    Une belle aventure! Hipshot makes a Ric replacement bridge with 17mm saddle width. https://hipshotproducts.com/collecti...acement-bridge which should work for a neck as narrow as 51mm at the heel. Let me know if this is a good solution for you and I can order one for you.

    Regarding drilling long holes for your wiring you need to drill "blind" holes. Basically you start the holes from somewhere around the edge of the body, say from the side preferably under the jack plate to under the bridge and then drill down from the top under the bridge to meet the side hole. To guide you in this process you will stick down two long strips of masking tape 3-4 mm apart on the top over where the long hole is supposed to go to the edge. Line up your 30cm drill bit with the tape lines and start drilling. Stop when you have drilled far enough (which you marked on the drill bit with masking tape wrapped around the drill). When you drill the short top hole make it angle towards your exit hole so that your ground wire doesn't have to make a 90 bend!

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    You can source the original ABM version of the single string saddles in Germany https://www.thomann.de/fr/abm_3710b_...ass_bridge.htm but the Korean copies are probably 90% as good and available on eBay or Alibaba.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    You can source the original ABM version of the single string saddles in Germany https://www.thomann.de/fr/abm_3710b_...ass_bridge.htm but the Korean copies are probably 90% as good and available on eBay or Alibaba.
    But it means individual grounding... no ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    Salut tepsamp,
    Une belle aventure! Hipshot makes a Ric replacement bridge with 17mm saddle width. https://hipshotproducts.com/collecti...acement-bridge which should work for a neck as narrow as 51mm at the heel. Let me know if this is a good solution for you and I can order one for you.

    Regarding drilling long holes for your wiring you need to drill "blind" holes. Basically you start the holes from somewhere around the edge of the body, say from the side preferably under the jack plate to under the bridge and then drill down from the top under the bridge to meet the side hole. To guide you in this process you will stick down two long strips of masking tape 3-4 mm apart on the top over where the long hole is supposed to go to the edge. Line up your 30cm drill bit with the tape lines and start drilling. Stop when you have drilled far enough (which you marked on the drill bit with masking tape wrapped around the drill). When you drill the short top hole make it angle towards your exit hole so that your ground wire doesn't have to make a 90 bend!
    OK, i got it, smart!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    But it means individual grounding... no ?
    NO....the individual saddles are still metal on metal with the tailpiece, so all of the bridge pieces are at same ground potential. Just need the one ground wire to contact the tail piece.

    Nice build so far! Are you using a stock Rickenbacker pickguard for mounting the pots, switch, etc?

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    There is no tailpiece so saddles must be individually grounded or you can use a brass nut or a zero fret.

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    [QUOTE= you can use a brass nut or a zero fret.[/QUOTE]

    So the ground wire would be inside the neck ? Along the truss rod ? I did not know !

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    Quote Originally Posted by tepsamps View Post
    So the ground wire would be inside the neck ? Along the truss rod ? I did not know !
    If you use a brass nut or zero fret the strings will have a metal connection to each other, so only one ground wire (to one of the saddles) needed. Could also put a metal plate underneath the saddles.

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    Last edited by glebert; 09-11-2019 at 07:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glebert View Post
    If you use a brass nut or zero fret the strings will have a metal connection to each other, so only one ground wire (to one of the saddles) needed. Could also put a metal plate underneath the saddles.
    Yes of course, i vote for the brass nut. Great !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    There is no tailpiece so saddles must be individually grounded or you can use a brass nut or a zero fret.
    Sorry....I hadn't looked at the website link, and missed the discrete bridge saddle solution.

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