Tips for intonating Rickenbacker 12 String ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Biddlin, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    As I prepare to go batsh*t crazy, spending the next 2 hrs trying to intonate this beast, does anyone (Wade) have any tips to enhance my experience ? Biddlin :>(/
     
  2. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    Quickest way I know is to string it using half the strings at first. Use the bass strings and such and work it like a 6 strings. When your're on, then string it up with the remaing 6 and then go at it again. You should be pretty close. This beats the heck outta stringing up all 12 and then having to slack all them to adjust no? Further, by using the bass wound strings and singles on the treble, you avoid the issue of them droning and such that can play a mean game on you with a meter. You often get false reading when strung up fully for this kinda thing. This should put you real close and then you can tweak just a few strings rather than a bunch.

    Good luck pardner!

    Wade
     
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  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Wade !
     
  4. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    As we say here is Texas, "Ain't no thang." Hope it goes easy for ya.
    Glad you're not building a compensated saddle for an acoustic 12! That is a MAJOR pain in the backsides I'm here to tell ya!:)

    Wade,

    My door is always open.....
     
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    :thumb:Thanks again, Wade ! Got 'er done . Some jobs you can't charge enough for and this is just about one of 'em ! More good news he just bought a fender b-bender tele that should arrive next week for a string change and set-up .:wow: Maybe the tinnitus from this one will be better by then !:laugh2:
    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  6. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    Good deal. Glad I could help. Easy that way huh? :naughty:

    Have fun and fix 'em good!!

    Wade
     
  7. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    One other suggestion - I've never owned one, but in my tech days, I was told by several reliable sources that had worked with Roger McGuinn of the Byrds that the best strings for those rick 12s were, of all things, a set of Pyramid flatwound light gauge 12 string guitar strings.

    Pyramid Gold Pure Nickel Flat Wound 12 String, .010 - .0465, GF1210

    Supposedly this is "the" set for that particular guitar...along with a compressor.

    threads of interest....supposedly Thomastic now is the "best".

    Rickresource Rickenbacker Forum • View topic - Why are Pyramid strings suddenly the worst?

    Tone Secrets of the Electric 12-String Guitar
     
  8. oldleftySG

    oldleftySG Active Member

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    There was a hillarious thread years ago on a board I used to frequent (Vox Talks) about setting up a Ric 12. No easy task.
     
  9. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    I still wish we had a pic ;)
     
  10. Matt Rayner

    Matt Rayner Member

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    Can you please show pics of a Ricky 12-string bridge for those of us who ain't got one?
     
  11. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Here's a couple of recent models
     
  12. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, did you get the Pyramid or Thomastik strings?

    I NEVER recommend flatwound guitar strings - except for this. Supposedly it is a big part of the sound and what the guitar was designed for.

    Rossmeisel? Rickenacker?
     
  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    My first VW cost the same as a set of Thomastik

    :laugh2:
    :wave:David, it was another picker's axe and we put D'Addario on . [​IMG]:hmm:

    I may try flatwounds on my Sarasota 12 next change . I'll let you know . It will most likely be a custom set cobbled together from GHS singles . EB's have worked great for me, because I use the 12 string to mimic dulcimer and mandolin parts more often than Byrds or Mamas and Papas, but a long lost Appalachian dulcimer seems to be finding its way home :applause: . I had a Larry Coryell jazz box strung up with flatwounds when I played in a beatnik jazz trio . They complemented our hot singer's languidly salacious style .:naughty:

    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  14. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    The word in the tech world was that the German flatwound very light 12 string sets were Rick-specific and no one used them on anything else.
     
  15. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    When you spend that much on a 12 string, $50 for strings makes sense !
     
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  16. jangler

    jangler New Member

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    Those pics depress me because I bought one of those with dreams of a properly intonated 360/12 (especially the low E pair that couldn't live together on the same bridge). But I discovered that I needed the little notches for the strings to go over the saddles. I bounded to Lowe's and bought a triangular file and went to work....and promptly ruined my bridge.

    Let's say this slow learner wants to try again. How can the string slots be created properly?
     
  17. jangler

    jangler New Member

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    Also for the record: I was sorely disappointed by Pyramid strings. One dose and I was straight back to D'Addario sets.
     
  18. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    OK, but you're gonna destroy a set of your preferred strings for this . This is the way Gibson and Dan Erlewine endorse . Using this method allows precise placement of the slot . Get ready to ruin a set of strings.

    Put the new bridge on, tune the strings so there is a light tension, space the strings so they line up with the poles on the pickups and are spaced evenly across the fingerboard, whack the top of the string directly on top of the new saddle with a small plastic faced hammer[​IMG], change the strings and play. The saddles are custom notched to the gauge of strings you use.

    Biddlin ;>)/
     
  19. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Use old strings!
     
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  20. jangler

    jangler New Member

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    Thanks. Strings are cheap relative to the guitar and bridge, and very cheap in terms of a properly intonated Rick!

    I have to say some of their 'we do it our way no matter how counterproductive or how awkwardly engineered' attitude really gets on my nerves. The Rick forums are full of people slobbering over John Hall with John Hall smugly defending the indefensible such as 6 string bridges for 12 string guitars and these damned Hi-Gain (nailhead) pickups when the entire world wants toasters.

    People make requests and John Hall tells them to get stuffed. Their production schedule is downright leisurely and subject to his whims, apparently. Custom orders taking up to 2 years?!? What's that about?

    But there's nothing like a Rick and he knows it. And so like muscle-back blade irons, Jaguars from the 60s and other originals that frustrate and delight in equal measure, we live with it.
     

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