Rickenbacker 6 string set up question

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scarry67scarry67 Frets: 37
My 2009 330 has almost no relief and a very low action of just a shade over 1mm at 12th fret. The only other Riks I’ve played have been similar. Now it’s mighty easy to play like this but I’m wondering if I should raise action a bit to get more clarity/volume. Currently using 10-46 strings...how do others here set theirs up?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32776
    I would only raise the action, not increase relief. Ricks are meant to be set with the neck dead straight (or as close to it as sensible) and do play best like that. The action is a bit low but not really a problem unless you thrash it.

    Personally I would go up to 11s or at the very least to 10s with a wound 3rd if you aren't already. Ricks always sound better with a wound 3rd in my opinion - it stops the G sounding so clangy. Essential with Toaster pickups but still better with High-Gains.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • scarry67scarry67 Frets: 37
    Yes, I think it’s time to try 11s. Will probably feel like the 10s on my Tele...
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4828
    Mine came with the kind of relief my Fenders have, but I read about them playing better with a straight neck so I gave the truss rods a tweak. Big improvement. I would have guessed my action was a shade under 2mm, but after a crude measurement I find it's close to 1mm. Just a little bit buzzy, I might raise it a smidge. Quite tricky with the 4 bolts to raise the bridge - I always end up with one not contacting the bottom plate and rattling.
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  • scarry67scarry67 Frets: 37
    Yep, I think we can agree the Rik bridge design is on the “quirky side. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32776
    Once you’ve got it right, put some varnish on the screws where they go through the plate, that will stop them working loose.

    Or superglue if you’re really sure...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Any thoughts on optimum pickup height for Ricks? I have toasters on my 360. Just gone up to 11s in string gauge too.
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  • kt66kt66 Frets: 162
    Ricks are meant to have a straight neck. 10s are standard and fine,  I have my pick ups on my 340 set super high using 10s. On my 360 I use 11s, as a slight nod towards Peter Bucks sound.  Surely action height is purely personal,? I like mine stupidly low, with Ricks you can get that easily with no  fret buzz. The only brand I never have a problem with!
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  • kt66kt66 Frets: 162
    Grocer, 11s will naturally give you a bit of neck relief and higher action.  Peter Buck uses 13s! but I'm not quite that brave. 
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  • Thks. think I need to tweak the heights a bit, especially bridge. It sounds ok, and jangles nicely, but I feel it should sound a bit more 'alive'. I'm so tuned into Fenders that Rickys always sound a bit odd in comparison. It does come to life at gig volumes but even then I can't really lock on to what I'm hearing - too many mids? Too scooped? More treble on the guitar, more on the amp? Less top-end? 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32776
    Rickenbackers are quite middy, especially with High-Gains - I've always found they work better with a quite scooped amp sound, Blackface-type clean and Mesa Rectifier-type overdrive (really :) ). Toasters work best with something like an AC30 which is quite upper-middy but also still a bit scooped in the mid-mids.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • scarry67scarry67 Frets: 37
    With you there, Grocer/ICBM - Fenders are more trebly and a Rik actually full of mids in comparison to a Tele bridge pickup. I've also found the High Gains notably louder than the Tele pickups. But there is real character & "depth" in the Rik's sound - just not quite the mythic jangle of Marr when first plugged in.
     
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  • shugzshugz Frets: 515
    Slightly OT I know, twas looking for something else and found this over at YT:



    Heavy strings work for me on Rics. Great guitars if you can get along with them. Had a few, now have zero. I should do something about that.

    Cheers
    Hugh

    www.proudhoney.com

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  • ICBM said:
    Rickenbackers are quite middy, especially with High-Gains - I've always found they work better with a quite scooped amp sound, Blackface-type clean and Mesa Rectifier-type overdrive (really :) ). Toasters work best with something like an AC30 which is quite upper-middy but also still a bit scooped in the mid-mids.
    I had a set of early 2000s hi-gains on a 330 that were awful - too hot and very, very middy. Couldn't dial them in on any amp. Apparently they lowered the output  (again) post-2007ish and the hi-gains after that are decent. My 360 is from 2013 and the stock hi-gains were good. I got the chance to get a set of Toasters and they're now in the 360. It sounds good through my gigging AC15 - but I was expecting a bit more from the Toasters somehow. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32776
    I've got late-80s High-Gains on my 381, and a friend was round the other day with his Rose-Morris 1997 reissue with the 7.4K Toasters - very different, the 381 was a lot more powerful and darker, but not muddy. The 7.4s do have that classic British Invasion tone, but I find them a touch too bright and a bit microphonic. I actually find the 12K Toasters a bit muddy though - I like them in the bridge position with the vintage cap on, but not the neck really.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Yeah mine are 7.4K. First album Who is what I'm aiming at really.
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  • scarry67scarry67 Frets: 37
    Are the Rik compressed round wound 10-42 set really worth £12.00 for 60s type sound? (Cheapest I can find online...)
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  • scarry67scarry67 Frets: 37
    (Actually 11.25 from RickySounds - old style apparently) 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32776
    scarry67 said:
    Are the Rik compressed round wound 10-42 set really worth £12.00 for 60s type sound? (Cheapest I can find online...)
    In my opinion no... the problem is that they have a plain 3rd.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • NervousJohnNervousJohn Frets: 166
    I tried the Rickysounds strings on my 330-12 and wasn’t that impressed. Intonation was all over the shop and they didn’t seem to last very long either. Nowadays I use the Rickenbacker own brand strings which work exactly as they should. 

    The bridges are a pain the bumhole, but once you get all four screws where you like them, dab a little superglue with a cocktail stick where the screw thread touches the plate the saddles sit on. Then they won’t turn. Or fall out...

    Loctite threadlock is another option but it tends to be coloured. I believe nail varnish can also work, but I’ve never tried this. 

    For a “60s” sound you need a compressor turned up as squidged as it can go. That will get you a lot closer than strings or pickups. 
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