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 Post subject: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 5
Hi,

I recently picked up a Montezuma Brown 330 with High Gain pickups and for the most part I couldn't be happier with it. It is a beautiful guitar which playes like a dream. Just one things bugs me - the top E is noticeably quieter compared to the output from the rest of the strings, most noticeably with the bridge pickup. I have strung it with both 10's and 11's and it doesn't change things. I also raised the treble side of the bridge pickup a bit which helped but it is still not enough.

Is ordering a replacement bridge high gain pickup my best option? I think it will cost me £80 here in the UK. Or would I be wasting my time because it tends to be this way with all 330 bridge pickups?

Cheers,

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 40
Location: New Jersey
My Rics with Hi-gain pickups are pretty well balanced with similar string heights above each polepiece, so I'll suggest the following:

Is there any evidence the E polepiece may have been damaged? They are not adjustable and can easily be damaged.

Although you tried 2 different string gauges, have you tried different string brands just to be absolutely sure the strings at not at fault?

Have you tried lowering the bass side of the pickups to compensate?

Could it be an electrical problem? Is the E bright sounding or dull, as if the tone control was rolled off? Do the tone and volume controls work normally? Does it matter which position the pickup selector switch is in? Have you verified the guitar cable and amp are OK by plugging in a known good guitar? Any evidence the guitar was tampered with or modified at any time?

It seems unlikely to me that both pickups would fail at the same time. These are just some guesses off the top of my head and I hope they help you find the problem. Let us know how you make out.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 40
Location: New Jersey
If my brain was working properly, I would have remembered to suggest the pickup resistance check as well. See this topic:

http://www.rickenbacker.com/forum_view_ ... %20failure


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the suggestions FastFret. In answer to your questions:

- No evidence of the polepiece being damaged. The guitar was bought brand new.
- Not tried different string brands. I will give that a go next time but I think it is unlikely to be the cause.
- I have lowered the bass side but the other high strings still exceed the top E in terms of output.
- The E doesn't sound bright or dull, just quiet.
- The volume and tone controls seem to work fine.
- The problem only seems to affect the bridge pickup. On the neck alone the strings are balanced fine. My original post was perhaps a bit misleading there as I am tending to use the middle position mainly.
- Cable and amp are fine, have checked them with a different guitar.
- No evidence the guitar has been messd with.

I don't have a multimeter and even if I did I wouldn't know how to use one so no luck there! I am still leaning towards thinking the bridge pup has a dodgy polepiece to be honest.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 5
Anyone else have any thoughts on this problem?

Cheers,

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 592
Location: Aloha, OR
Ian, have your checked with the RIC customer service? I'll try to give some input if I may. Are you referring to the 1st or 6th string, high or low E? Have you tried adjusting the pick up heigth? Raise or lower the treble/bass side, this sometimes helps the balance. You can also unscrew the pick up and turn it end for end, this will make a noticable difference and maybe solve some of your problem. Also make sure the string rides directly over the middle of the pole piece, with it unscrewed try moving it sideways to see if this will help, if so make adjustments by screwing it in place where the best balance of volume can be found.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 42
Location: New Jersey
Before you try anything else try changing the strings. That usually cures the problem 9 outta 10 times. You could have a clinker!


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 592
Location: Aloha, OR
If I read correctly, he said he has changed the strings, even tried different guages. Ian, sometimes a saddle that has a bad notch in it can cause this problem or even a saddle that has come loose from it's adjustment srcew with the spring tighener will cause a dampening of the vibration. Worst case: replace the pick up if it's bad. Borrow an OHM meter, set in on 20K, use your output cord with the controls at full, set the toggle for either pick up and you should get minimum 10K reading for each pick up and a 5K reading when both are on in parallel.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 5
Hey Dale,

I haven't tried Ric customer services to be honest - I'll drop them a mail in a minute.

The string in question is the top high pitched E. I have tried adjusting the pickup height - no dice. The string goes directly over the polepiece so no problem there. The string rings nice and clear acoustically but when amplified it is not balanced with the other strings so I can't see it being an issue with the bridge damping the string. As previously mentioned I am on my third set of (different brand and gauge) strings so no problem there either.

I'll give the OHM meter a go and if that doesn't show up a problem I guess I will try swapping the pickup around.

Cheers for your help. :)

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 577
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
What does it sound like unplugged? If you have the same low volume unplugged the problem is with nut/saddle/string etc. and not the pickup.


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