Ric 12-string needs new strings. What to buy?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dave s, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Guys,

    when I posted about a fill-in gig that requires me to play a Ric 12-string on a lot of psycho 60s songs, many of you posted some great advice on how to play and what to expect in terms of performance.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the strings on this guitar are shot AND it plays like a truck! I'm going to restring it and do a thorough cleaning and give it a once-over before reinstalling new strings.

    What strings should I buy? No idea here! All my other guitars are loaded with .009s and are SIT Nickel Power Wounds. Anything similar (to touch) I should be looking for when I purchase new strings for the Ric 12-string?

    Thanks!

    dave
     
  2. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    The Beatle purists will say Pyramid flats. To me, the Rickenbacker sets sound decent on a 360/12. I have also just made my own set from my regular strings. When I had a 360/12, I took off the Ric strings and put the Pyramids on it. It sounded OK with them, but not as bright and twangy, so I went back to the Ric strings.
     
  3. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    I get the Rickenbacker 12 String set. You may have intonation issues and trouble with the nut slots otherwise.
     
  4. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    Yep, pyramid or Ric strings.
     
  5. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Thanks Gents.

    Are the Ric strings something that can be picked up at my local GC?

    dave
     
  6. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Everybody's gotta be somewhere.
    You can get the Ric strings from gary at NorthCoast Music. I put Pyramid's on my 360-12...didn't feel like they were worth the expense.
     
  7. starfish

    starfish Supporting Member

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    +1 Pyramids. I have had the same set on my 1967 360-12 since Oct. 2003 and it still sounds marvelous. Worth the expense? I would have burned through at least 12 sets of rounds in the same period, not to mention breakage.

    Flats were used by all the 360-12 pioneers, so if that's the sound you want, you won't get it with rounds.
     
  8. Falstaff

    Falstaff Supporting Member

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    I am a recent convert to Pyramid flats and I concur. :dude :dude
     
  9. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    +1 Another vote for the Pyramids. They sound and feel fantastic on my '67 360/12.
     
  10. avalonpb

    avalonpb Member

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    You will need to go with the factory Rickenbacker set unless you have the nut, intonation and truss rods adjusted.

    Here is why as told to me by John Hall, owner of Rickenbacker, Oh, and I thought it was BS too until I bought of set of Ric strings and all my intonation, tuning and neck problems went away:

    Seems years ago the Folks at Ric decided to use an "even tension" string set. What that means is that the string tension is the same on the bass side of the neck as it is on the treble side. Regardless of anyone's opinion about this, it means that all Rics nuts, trussrods and intonation are factory adjusted for a non-standard gauge string set. The Ric 6 string lights are 42 34 26 17 13 10 and the wounds are rolled (meaning they are standard wound strings which are put through a hydraulic roller to make them smooth like flatwounds). The 12-string sets are similarly odd.

    Lots of people love Pyramid flats on Rics but realize you will need a full setup including nut work to use them.

    Good luck.
     
  11. da-boogieman

    da-boogieman Member

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    I agree with the advice to stay with the Ric strings. I tried the Pyramid flats including the pain of a complete setup, new bridge and nutwork; they cost me a lot and despite the temptation to love them cause I bought them syndrome, I took them off within 2 days. They just did not do it for me. I've since ordered a custom set of SOB from Dean, but I have not tried them. It's a good looker but not much of a player IMO so it sits a lot :( The Rics sound pretty good, last decent, and intonate fairly well, although I never could get an intonation without the 12 saddle bridge and having it moved.

    Watch what John Hall says with a critical eye :crazy He tried to convince the Ric usenet forum about perfect 12 string intonation with 6 saddles; both luthiers (including 1 who had worked for John at Ric) and experienced users were not impressed by his argument. YMMV of course.

    Edit: The last paragraph came off like an attack on Hall and I did not mean it that way. He truly believes in his stuff and what he says and that is fine. Many of us on the Ric forum came to a different conclusion. Maybe I should have said we should all maintain a healthy skepticism when talking to Owners, dealers and others with vested interests.
     
  12. tone4days

    tone4days Member

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    hey da-boogiean ... great post - thanks

    i have a few questions about 'moving the bridge' ... is that for all models of ric12, or just specific one(s)? ... does it involve filling in holes and redrilling new ones? ... how much can one expect to pay for a job like THAT!? ... i am really close to pulling the trigger on a 660-12, but want ot have my eyes wide open, yunno?

    thanks in advance

    t4d
     
  13. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    That seems quite odd to me. I wonder when "years ago" was. I'm using Pyramids on my '67 and I didn't need to make any changes to the nut, bridge or truss rod adjustment. I did replace the original bridge with a 12-saddle long ago, and the rods in the older Rics need to remain loose (tightening them too much can cause cracking along the fingerboard/neck seam). The guitar is set up and intonated. It plays easily and chimes like a Ric should --- with the Pyramids.

    Now, I'm not a die-hard old-timer advocate of Pyramids --- and I know other strings can sound great on a Ric --- but I've never had any problems with Pyramids and they made a positive difference on my 360/12.
     
  14. Robal

    Robal Supporting Member

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    Dean made up a custom set of SOS for me with the sames gauges as the Rickenbacker 12 string set, so I did not need to change the set up on my Tom Petty Rick 12. I have Pyramid flat wounds on a Jerry Jones 12 string and, while I think they are very nice, they have a lot different feel than the SOS strings, i.e., stiffer and, of course, duller as flat wounds are compared to round wounds. The Pyramid flats are more expensive than the SOS, too. For now, I am staying with the SOS on the Petty Rick.
     
  15. avalonpb

    avalonpb Member

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  16. avalonpb

    avalonpb Member

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    Found the post that John forwarded to me.


    From: John Hall (ceo@rickenbacker.com)
    Subject: Re: RIC's choice of String Gauge
    View this article onlyNewsgroups: alt.guitar.rickenbacker
    Date: 1999/02/11

    simon.kenyon-edwards@frco.com wrote in message79u26c$8u2$1@nnrp1.dejanews.com...
    >Out of interest, does anyone know why RIC factory-fit and recommend non->"standard" gauge 5th and 6th strings, i.e .042 rather than the normal .046>with a .010 set?? Is it to 'lean' the overall sound to the janglystrings??

    The string gauges were chosen for even string tension. This is based on workperformed over 20 years ago in our lab, so if there's another "standard", Iwonder who set it and what research they performed in doing so?Cheers,John Hall
     
  17. da-boogieman

    da-boogieman Member

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    Hey T4D,

    The luthier I mentioned on the Ric forum educated us as to why we could not get our 12 strings to intonate: the bridges were too close to the nut. He gave us the analytical explanation and a way to measure it. He said while Ric was definately not the only maker to put out guitars with a mis-placed bridge, he had seen more of theirs than others. Anyway, I don't recall what I paid but it was not much at all. I had the guy do some fine tuning on the 12 saddle bridge and the whole bill was $50 or $75? Must have been real easy because it did not take long.

    The problem and fix applied to many Ric models and it does involve filling and drilling, although they are hidden under the saddle on my 360/12.

    good luck

    Edit: The Luthier was Mark Arnquist. 6 years ago he was at arnquist@email.msn.com but I have not been in touch since 2000. Check the alt.guitar.rickenbacker usenet group and he may still contribute or someone may know how to get ahold of him. Very nice and helpful guy with several articles he did on setup, intonation etc. He also recommended the Luthier I used in LA, although I'll be darned if I can find a record of it.
     
  18. starfish

    starfish Supporting Member

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    This is probably good advice for late issue (post 70's) instruments. It is not accurate for vintage Ric's. I did not have to change the nut or adjust the truss rod on my 1967 360-12 and it sounds and plays like a dream. Intonation is a different beast altogether. You may have to adjust intonation when changing between two sets of identical strings and always when changing brands and gauges. So, I see this comment by JH as a non sequitur.

    Also, I have nearly perfect intonation with Pyramids and the original 6-saddle bridge. I believe that my Peterson tuner (with sweetened 12-string) really helps here as I've never been able to tune/intonate a Ric so well with any other tuner.
     
  19. tone4days

    tone4days Member

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    thanks da boogieman :D !
     
  20. avalonpb

    avalonpb Member

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    Mark is still around. He's in Seattle. Ric has moved the baseplate on newer instruments. I dont know when this started but Mark and John Hall both confirmed it. Rickenbacker also makes an adjustable baseplate for the bridge that allows a stock bridge to be moved back without re-drilling the guitar. All the online Ric dealers sell this.

    Mark worked at Rickenbacker in the 1970s and is pretty well know in Ric circles as that guy who can set up your 12 string to play great. He does Roger Mcguinns setups.

    The last address I have for him is from 2002

    arnquist@msn.com
    Arnquist Musical Designs Inc.
    8129 30th St. S.E.
    Everett , Wa. USA
    98205
    425-397-7415
     

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