Mick had been recommended to me by a local Reading bass guitar tutor, and subsequently Mick has adjusted and tuned my basses to perfection these past few years. But recently when setting up my 4003S/5 Rickenbacker Mick noticed that the tail piece wasn’t holding the strings at a good angle from the saddles. A few visits to various web site forums soon uncovered the nasty problem of “tail lift” especially on Rics fitted with the vintage style tailpieces with the five screw mounting. Over time the string tension and especially on the 5 string causes the tailpiece to bend imperceptively bit by bit away from the body.
Miraculously neither the metal nor the power coating (black is worse for this problem due to the baking of the metal to cure the paint) show any signs of fatigue during this stress bending. Mick removed the tailpiece and mounted it on to a routed piece of hard wood, applied some warmth and very gently applied pressure to straighten out the deformation of the rear section.
Over a couple of hours of re-heating and increasing the pressure the tail piece was back to normal and fitted flush to the Ric body. Mick finished the job by expertly drilling the extra two holes and fitting the screws to make the modern Ric seven screw fitting and so totally eliminating any future “tail lift” and ensuring the strings are maintained at the correct angle from the saddles.
Many thanks Mick for the expert care and saving my beloved 5 string Ric.