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Happy accident? Or supposed to be? (RIC content) Digital & Stage Pianos
Old 12th February 2018
  #1
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Happy accident? Or supposed to be? (RIC content)


I recently made a deal on a Rickenbacker 650. It was on consignment with a really odd (horrible) bridge pickup. It was minihumbucker sized, but it was single-coil with magnets for pole pieces....

Anyway, I got a spare HB-1 and the seller agreed to drop the price by the $100 it cost me. I had the shop put it in as my bench has a Gretsch Baritone on it currently.

It sounds awesome and plays well. But, the pickups are out-of-phase. I suspect that's where the RIC sound comes from. It's just weird having hyper-critical volume balance to get the tone you want for a song or passage.

Is this normal for for Ric 6xx models?

I may put a pull-pot in for switching the wires on the bridge pickup anyway....



-tINY

Old 12th February 2018
  #2
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Look for the original schematics. Many Rics (Like mine) had a treble pass capacitor in series with the bridge pickup which made the pickup sound like it was thin as all get out, plus it was low in volume. All you needed to do was bypass that cap and the bridge winds up being a loud and powerful as the neck.

The single coils actually sound killer in Ric's, dam near as good as a mini humbucker. That treble pass cap was an awful idea but I suppose if you have an amp that lacked treble it could act like a treble booster.
Old 12th February 2018
  #3
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Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
Look for the original schematics. ...
http://www.rickenbacker.com/pdfs/19501.pdf

Tried that... If you can tell the polarity of the pickups on this schematic, please enlighten me.



-tINY

Old 13th February 2018
  #4
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650s are great guitars.

It would not have the .0047µF cap in line with the bridge pickup. HB-1s should all have the same polarity, perhaps one got switched around/re-wired.

This bridge pickup you switched out for the HB-1, it wasn't a Rick toaster pickup, was it? There are cheap Chinese knockoff, too. Since the 650 comes standard with HB-1s, obviously the bridge pickup was swapped out some point.
Old 13th February 2018
  #5
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It was definitely a non-RIC pickup in there - like this odd-duck from Mojotone...



-tINY

Old 13th February 2018
  #6
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If you're sure its reversed, and not just an impedance mis match, then the only option you have is to swap the solder connections on the pickup coil itself.
If you don't have the skill as an electronic tech I don't suggest you try it. The wires are as thin as hair and if the coil is wrapped with tape it can be dam near impossible to swap the polarities of the coil.

you have to do it at the coil because the shielded wire needs to remain grounded to block hum. Even if you do succeed you will have an increase in hum because you'll have the hot wires on the outer wraps of the coil instead of the ground.

What you may be having is a magnetic reversal. I've combined many humbuckers with single coils. Occasionally I'll get a single out of phase with one of the coils in a Humbucker and swapping the wire polarity doesn't help. You have to flip the magnet instead.

In other cases its simply a matter of the two pickups impedance being too far off. It creates an issue with the pots working funky which seems like a phase problem but its simply an impedance mismatch.

I had this issue on my Gretsch bass. I had a mini humbucker in there then added a Jazz Bass bridge pickup. I tried just about everything trying to get those two pickups to combine and it wasn't an impedance issues either. The closest I could was using a 1M pot with a treble bleed cap on the single to make it louder and a 500K on the humbucker. Still sucked badly though. I could only get one setting out of the pair. Turn either pot a tine but and it sounded awful.

I believe both pickups have shielded grounds. I think your only solution is to use a matched pair of pickups. Some HB's match with singles and some don't. I learned that by adding HB's to starts long ago. Like I said you can try different pots to try and even their output but its not going to fix it properly nor sound good.

Check your pickup coils with an ohm meter. You'll likely see what I'm talking about. you can use a compass on the magnets too, see what's going on with the magnetic polarities.
Old 13th February 2018
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If I remember correctly the HB-1 pickups come from the factory as RW/RP pairs. You had a 50/50 shot and got the wrong one when you bought the single but you can just switch the red and blue leads to correct it.
Old 13th February 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
If I remember correctly the HB-1 pickups come from the factory as RW/RP pairs. You had a 50/50 shot and got the wrong one when you bought the single but you can just switch the red and blue leads to correct it.
Was that the ONLY difference?

...Or were there also differences between the bridge and neck position versions when it comes to magnets, windings, etc.?
.
Old 13th February 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Was that the ONLY difference?

...Or were there also differences between the bridge and neck position versions when it comes to magnets, windings, etc.?
.
It's the only diff I know of - and remember this is Rickenbacker we're talking about - they can't even be bothered to make different pickups for guitars and basses, other than the 4003 bridge pickup which is bass only.

Last edited by teleharmonium; 13th February 2018 at 10:22 PM.. Reason: edit: well, ok, and the high gain.
Old 13th February 2018
  #10
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Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
It's the only diff I know of - and remember this is Rickenbacker we're talking about - they can't even be bothered to make different pickups for guitars and basses, other than the 4003 bridge pickup which is bass only.

Funny, from the literature available from RickenBacker, there is only one designation: "HB-1". The literature (what little there is) suggests that the same unit is used in both positions in both 600 series guitars and 4003 basses....



-tINY

Old 13th February 2018
  #11
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Just looked at a couple of links... it is confusing but note the last post on this discussion
Rickresource Rickenbacker Forum • View topic - Series-single and parallel-single switching with DPDT?

saying the humbucker is internally rw/rp. So maybe that is irrelevant and what you have is simply a switched wire on one of them. That could put one of the pickups (they're probably not both wrong) in either single coil or humbucker mode with out of phase output relative to the other. What color wires are currently connected on each ?
Old 13th February 2018
  #12
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Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
If you're sure its reversed, and not just an impedance mis match, then the only option you have is to swap the solder connections on the pickup coil itself.
If you don't have the skill as an electronic tech I don't suggest you try it. The wires are as thin as hair and if the coil is wrapped with tape it can be dam near impossible to swap the polarities of the coil.

I didn't look close (as I had the shop where I bought it put the unit in), but I imagine that the shield is soldered to the the ring/cover if it's connected on that end at all. I did see that there were 4 lugs where wires were soldered. I can handle that.....

I do like the out-of-phase sound where the fundamental completely disappears when you find the right balance between the volume pots... it's like having a bass control, but the high frequency is less coherent. But, I'm not sure I want it that way all the time.



-tINY

Old 13th February 2018
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Not sure if this can be done in quite this way... but it would be cool to add a pull switch on the volume pot for one of the pickups to put it out of phase, without making an obvious mod to the guitar.
Old 13th February 2018
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
It's the only diff I know of - and remember this is Rickenbacker we're talking about - they can't even be bothered to make different pickups for guitars and basses, other than the 4003 bridge pickup which is bass only.
Really?
Old 13th February 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
Not sure if this can be done in quite this way... but it would be cool to add a pull switch on the volume pot for one of the pickups to put it out of phase, without making an obvious mod to the guitar.


I'm thinking the same thoughts... But, I might get a "freeway" switch and set-up the phase reverse as well as alternate tone circuits on 4-6th gear.

http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/i-00...radiagrams.pdf




-tINY

Old 13th February 2018
  #16
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Originally Posted by Jeff Scott View Post
Really?

Yeah....

I get the impression that there isn't really any technical expertise left in the RIC corporation... They're just making them the way they did long ago.

Where else can I get a neck-through 24-fret with mini-humbuckers? The workmanship is top notch, anyway.



-tINY

Old 13th February 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Scott View Post
Really?
You didn't quote my edit that mentioned the high gains... thus concluding the list of Ric pickups that are not interchangeable in their line between bass and guitar.

I'm talking about the actual pickup itself... not the way they are mounted which is why you can order "bass" and "guitar" toasters.
Old 13th February 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

Where else can I get a neck-through 24-fret with mini-humbuckers? The workmanship is top notch, anyway.



-tINY
or a neck that is 1 3/4" at the nut and 2 1/8" at the 12th fret.
Old 14th February 2018
  #19
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Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
or a neck that is 1 3/4" at the nut and 2 1/8" at the 12th fret.

I noticed the front-to back thickness (nice contour on the 650). I didn't notice that the nut was and extra 1/16 wider. Works for my hands (big paws, shortish fingers).

Feels a lot different than my 50's nitro reissue Tele....



-tINY

Old 14th February 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

Yeah....

I get the impression that there isn't really any technical expertise left in the RIC corporation... They're just making them the way they did long ago.

Where else can I get a neck-through 24-fret with mini-humbuckers? The workmanship is top notch, anyway.



-tINY


Quote:
Originally Posted by teleharmonium View Post
You didn't quote my edit that mentioned the high gains... thus concluding the list of Ric pickups that are not interchangeable in their line between bass and guitar.

I'm talking about the actual pickup itself... not the way they are mounted which is why you can order "bass" and "guitar" toasters.
You guys missed my point by 180º.
Old 14th February 2018
  #21
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Originally Posted by Jeff Scott View Post
You guys missed my point by 180º.

Funny....

I replaced it with a genuine HB-1... The PO may have switched the polarity on the bridge pickup at some point. I guess I will have to get inside and see what's up.... But now I want the O-O-P as an option (damn it).



-tINY

Old 16th February 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
If you're sure its reversed, and not just an impedance mis match, then the only option you have is to swap the solder connections on the pickup coil itself.
If you don't have the skill as an electronic tech I don't suggest you try it. The wires are as thin as hair and if the coil is wrapped with tape it can be dam near impossible to swap the polarities of the coil.
Er, no, not necessarily. If the construction is similar to most P-90 types you can unscrew the bottom plate and reverse the magnet(s), which will reverse the polarity of the pickup.

Reversing the wires as you suggest will also reverse which windings are inside and which are outside the coil, which can make a significant difference in noise level.

Outer windings should connect to ground to provide a measure of shielding for the coil..
Old 16th February 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Reversing the wires as you suggest will also reverse which windings are inside and which are outside the coil, which can make a significant difference in noise level.
That's good to know. I always wondered why Peter Greene reversed some of the magnets in one of his pickups instead of just reversing the wiring of the coils to get his out of phase sound. He did this to humbuckers in a LP I believe. Must work similarly.
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