ric setup help



So I have a ric 360 that I love - the sound is just to die for. But i have problems fretting cleanly on it anywhere but at the lowest frets, the neck is just so small (I'm used to fat gibson necks). Is there anything I can do setup wise to help me fret better on it? Raise or lower the action? String guage? (I'm using 10's now). Just wondering if somebody's gone through this...

Also does the 330 have the same profile as the 360?


Ah, that thing with Rics...

I've had a Ric 620 for a couple of years now and it still feels a bit weird unless I've been playing it a lot. It's not so much the fingerboard dimensions, although there are issues there[1], as the string spacing that you're feeling. Rics have the top & bottom strings a bit further away from the edge of the fretboard than most manufacturer's guitars. It's only a couple of millimeters, but it makes the strings a tiny bit closer together and them old conditioned relexes certainly notice. I've read of aome people who get aroound this by having a new nut cut that has the strings spread out as much as possible over the available board, and then they file a new set of notches in the bridge saddles to get the spacing right at that end.

I've not bothered.

- Steve

1) The Ric nut width is the same as Fenders, but the neck widens less between the nut an the body joint.

John Phillips

Yes, the neck is almost parallel all the way up!

I'd definitely think about widening the string spacing at the bridge - you can gain almost 1/4" E - E without putting the strings too close to the edges of the neck - although it sounds like the spacing at the nut is working for you. You'll need to file new grooves in the saddles - it may be best to take them down a bit to remove the existing ones first, then raise the bridge up a bit to return it to where it was (or even a bit higher, which might help).

I use 11s with a wound third on my 360 - it suits the sound better IMO, and the tighter tension will both give you a little more relief if you don't adjust the truss-rods (no, that is not a typo, there are two :eek: ), which is probably best avoided if you can, and keep the strings straighter on the fingerboard while fretting.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Ricks too BTW - my 360 is one of the best-sounding guitars I know of, but it is always a struggle to play... and I've got very small hands and fingers. I don't know how anyone with larger ones plays them at all.


Thanks guys, you're right, it is the string spacing that's killing me. I'll probably take it into the shop to get a new nut cut for it and do the saddles, that's definitely not my strongpoint. :)

The more often I play it, the easier it does get, but it's never effortless like my SG. But with my hayseed and ac15, it just sounds so amazing, it'll be totally worth it if i can make it more playable.

Funky Chicken

Silver Supporting Member
The 660 has a wider neck profile (both 6 and 12 string). I have owned both a 360 6 string and 330 12 string and didn't get on with either-the 660 is the shizzle for me, and my hands aren't particularly big.

I'm looking for a 660-12 in the elusive Desert Gold custom color.


i've got a 330 6-string, its a bit odd feeling but the sound makes it worth it.

but, i might have to try getting the saddles regrooved.


Platinum Supporting Member
I have small hands, but the 620/12 I used to own was just WAY too narrow. I really had to wrestle with that guitar, so I ended up selling it.


Making UPS, FEDEX and USPS richer every day!
Gold Supporting Member

I got my first Ric in 1966 and I loved it followed by more and more until I discovered Fender and Gibson. Love the looks of a Ric but absolutly cannot play them anymore. Those frets are only .030 high which prevents string bends. Great for strumming but that is just about it if you have adult sized hands. What to do? I built a Tele/Les Paul that looks like a Ric 325. Fender style bolt on neck with a Les Paul fingerboard. Fender style string thru hardtail bridge. Oh yes, the frets are JUMBO of course. My next one will be a neck-thru version and a pair of Gretsch Filtertrons. Yummy


As far as I'm concerned, *the* guy for Ric set-ups is Mark Arnquist in Seattle. He does magic with Ric set-ups/repair/refinishing, etc. and is a former Ric employee. In fact, he's the guy that supervised McCartney's bass overhaul when it went back to the factory. Do a google for him to see more of his resume.

I sent him my 360-12 last year as it was virtually unplayable for first position chords without muting adjacent strings. He cut a new nut and re did the bridge saddles as well as some other work to make the guitar what it should have been when it left the factory. The change was dramatic.

He hangs out at BeatGearCavern.com under the handle Dr. Quist and seems always eager to help.


Gold Supporting Member
No question - - Mark Arnquist IS a magician. I'm holding the 36012v64 that he just worked on and which was just delivered to my doorstep courtesy of FedEx, and it is astonishing. I had almost given up on ever being able to play the thing... but it now plays as easily as any six-string I own. And that's just part of what he did....



Another solution may be to just get another nut from Rickenbacker....the one for a 330-6 string. The string spacing is wider on this nut.

Why you may ask?:confused:

It seems that if the Ric has neck binding like your 360 does. then the string spacing is just a bit closer. They adjust the spacing so that you don't fret the string over the neck binding.

The 330 doesn't have neck binding so the spacing for the strings is place out a little further.

In the last several months, because of concerns similiar to yours, Ric has reportedly changed the string spacing on all of the 6 strings and is using the wider spacing regardless if the guitar has neck binding or not. I guess that your guitar was made before this change went into effect.

This info doesn't apply to the 660 series as they are different animals all together.

As always, I hope that any or all of this info helps!


I just found this place ... need any info ..glad to be of service .

If you private email me ..I have lots of before and after photos I can send concerning 12 strings , and have several documents about procedures concerning them .


Top Bottom