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 Post subject: 325 C58 electrics causing problems
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2022 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 20
Location: London, UK
Hello everyone.
Some years ago I posted a topic where I mentioned that when I select the middle position on the pickup toggle switch, I get problems with volume going up and down.
After the problem, the top position was the only one with a full sound. The middle position had the lows cut if, but occasionally after a few minutes of playing the sound would get louder, and if any pickups were having trouble,bthey would come back. The bottom position seemed unchanged (low output and as tinny as heck).

Anyway, when I posted this originally, one of the forum members here kindly suggested that I should try and see if the contacts may be dirty, that I should remove the pickguard and try to clean the contacts. I never did that because I am so clumsy with electrics. I had a feeling if I opened it, I might end up damaging it even more.
When I used this guitar I would keep it on the top toggle position and that gave me a decent sound. Punchy and powerful. It’s the way I like it. However, lately I have noticed that even in the top position, I do not always reach the maximum volume, but fiddling around with the toggle switch, the volume gets loud again.

Now, even when this guitar was new I never knew what the pick-up configurations were, so I would just put the tone and volume pots in positions where toggling the switch gave me a pleasant tone on each setting, but what I have is the factory wiring.
I live in London UK. This guitar is very rare and I am reluctant to take it to a tech because even when I have spoken with some of the specialists and well regarded techs, they seem a little clueless about this particular guitar. They start talking about general Rickenbackers and I am sure none of them have seen this model (that is not to say they would not have seen other 325 models). I just don’t want to give it to someone who changes the wiring. I just want it stock, and I want to keep it the way it is. I appreciate that some people might ask me to make changes etc to make the electrics more stable, but I just want it to work the way it used to. Yes the stock wiring is crazy but I was able to work with it as long as it wasn’t faulty. I am worried that the solder joint may have got loose or there may be some other electrical problem that is beyond my skill or comprehension.
This being me to my dilemma, who do I take this to? Many techs body about knowing this guitar but when I have spoken to some, looks like they know diddley squat about this model, and they do not understand that the wiring is like nothing they have ever seen. Can someone give me some advice as to how I should approach this? This guitar is getting rare and to be honest I don’t even want to give it to someone but looks like I would have to because otherwise it might just get worse and worse.

By the way, if John Lennon’s was wired this way, I wouldn’t be surprised that his one also started to lose volume in some of the toggle positions, or some of the pickups stopped working. While people have speculated he disconnected the middle pickup, I think it is likelier he had the sort of problem I have experienced. It seems like one of the pickups wires has become loose or something and sometimes it comes back to life. I used to own a Rickenbacker 320 and I never had a problem with that guitar but the electrics on the 325 C58 feel very delicate. I would imagine most owners here have Lennonized their guitars, but if anyone here has had similar problems with their stock wiring, I would love to hear from them.


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 Post subject: Re: 325 C58 electrics causing problems
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 2:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:14 am
Posts: 20
Location: London, UK
No one has any advice?


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 Post subject: Re: 325 C58 electrics causing problems
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:16 am
Posts: 231
I'm a "stuff happens" sort of guy, and so before you or anyone else actually working on the guitar, I'd take bunches of photos of the wiring harness/underside of the pickguard. Begin with a couple/few shots of the entire harness for overall reference/orientation, then shots of each potentiometer and the switch. You have to take a few photos of each component, as something will get in the way of something else.

It's a simple and safe task to remove the pickguard screws and simply flip the pickguard over. The wires connected to the pickups should be long enough to do this. The pickguard assembly may have to be flipped onto the strings/pickup areas of the guitar. Put a small towel or something down to prevent inadvertent scratches. I would begin by identifying all the potentiometers (pots); be aware that they will be "flipped" over; be sure that a volume pot is a volume pot. A small piece of paper/tape label will help you identify the specific pot in your photos (e.g., volume, neck; tone, bridge; etc.) Try to read any identification printed on the components. Solder connections may obscure the printing on the pots; read whatever you can. Capacitors (small tube-like things connected at one end to the tone pots) have printing on them (e.g., their capacitance value); don't worry if you don't understand anything -- record the data as you see it. A sketch of all this (expanded) can also be helpful; not easy to do without it looking like a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. This is sort of a PITA, but it is good to have the info.

Yeah, there are a lot of techs out there who might say they can help you out, which very well might include changing your wiring without your permission as a well-meaning but erroneous interpretation of what you should have. I would not go to a guitar tech, unless you could find one that has vast experience with Ricks. Rather, I'd find a reputable electronics repair shop (though this may be difficult in age of disposable electronics). The basic components of the wiring harness are basic -- been around for decades, so anyone reasonably competent can look at your wiring and diagnose your problem(s). So, seek someone out, agree that the initial inspection of the wiring is for diagnosis only, and that you will return to talk about the specific repairs required. Proceed only if both of you agree.

Perhaps a part should be replaced. Sometimes a solder joint of two goes "cold" and simply needs to be "re-soldered" to improve the respective connection.

If you are anywhere near this place, it might be your best bet for repair advice, and perhaps the repairs themselves:

https://www.rickysounds.co.uk/

Well, check it out. I would get any required parts from them.

That's all I have. (You can't be too careful.) Good luck.

PS - There's not much action here on this this web site any longer. If you need more help/advice, go here and register:

https://www.rickresource.com/forum/


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 Post subject: Re: 325 C58 electrics causing problems
 Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2022 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:16 am
Posts: 231
Still sitting on the fence? With just a little effort and a decent multimeter you can learn to diagnose problems yourself. Here are a couple of YouTube videos on that. No Ricks in them, but the concepts are the same for all guitars. The first one is very good. The second is good also, and this guy Dylan has a slew of useful videos to learn from (third link, below).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwGPGzr43F4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b23jdQhc_k

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUMBIY ... gJwWrDP5dQ

While you may not feel comfortable replacing parts/soldering, at least you can become knowledgeable about basic guitar electronics and know what repair(s) your guitar needs. Who knows, maybe you'll find a new hobby.


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