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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 10
Location: St. Louis
There are some good suggestions here that I will have to try. Fortunately the 330 is a great instrument that is certainly worth the effort to make even better.

It would be nice if the poll pieces were adjustable because I think this would then be an easy fix.



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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Nottingham, UK
Quote:
Keep in mind that the G and B strings are thicker than the E and are going to be louder due to the increased magnetism, all other things being equal. That being said, look into these things:

If it only happens when the string is open, then it could be the nut. Make sure the slot width and its angle are proper. If it also happens when the string is fretted, then it could be the bridge, saddle, string or neck. Try a new string. Try moving the string around on different parts of the saddle. If that helps it could be the groove on the saddle needs to be adjusted. Also try raising the bridge to see if that has an effect. I find the E-string can be muted if the action is too low. Also, try lowering the pickup. If it's too close to the string the magnetic pole pieces can dampen the sustain. Finally, make sure your truss rod isn't too tight. I have to ease up on my truss rods as the summer progresses. I think the humidity makes the neck arch back.

Good luck!


Well, thanks for taking the time to make some suggestions, but unfortunately none of these things will help, since, with my guitar at least, the string balance is absolutely fine when it is played unplugged. Therefore the problem must lie with the electronics and most probably the pickups themselves.

The use of a compressor, or any other pedal, shouldn't be needed to correct this (and isn't needed on any other guitar I've owned) and nor should you need to set your amp up with extreme eq to compensate.

It's a very annoyong problem and more so since we're on the manufacturer's forum here, yet we're getting no input from the people who know most about Rics to help us find a solution.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 10
Location: St. Louis
spaceman,

If you really want an answer from Rickenbacker, give their customer service an e-mail or a phone call.

Personally I'm going to try to move the pickups a bit, since it seems like the likely cause to me. The hi-gain pickups seem very sensitive, so small movements may make a big difference.

Frankly, I don't think it is a defect with the guitar or pickup, since not everyone experiences the problem. I think finding the right setup will be the key.

And if not, I'm not too worried. Maybe I'd give a set of toasters a try.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Townsville, Australia
Thanks from me too for the suggestions, although I'm kinda with Spaceman on this one. The suggestions may go some way to treating the symptoms, but the underlying cause is still there. I don't think my pickup is faulty as such; I just believe it's a built-in design flaw. And even though we are having a moan on the official site's forum about it I'm sure that RIC, which strives to keep a rep for high quality, should be welcoming threads like this and fixing the problem for future customers (which is what I suspect happened with the colour-bleed Midnight Blue issue).

Cormorant25 suggests that the E string might be quieter simply because it is thinner, but the fact remains that it isn't a problem on all my non-Ric guitars.

A compressor may well help to solve the problem, and I admit that I've never tried that out so I can't offer any objective opinion on that one.

There's another strange thing I've noticed. This topic has raised its head in the past two or three times, and on every occasion people are talking about the problem they're having with their 330. To the best of my memory no-one has ever mentioned their 360 or 620. In some bizarre way could it possibly have something to do with the construction/shape of the 330?


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 63
Quote:
Cormorant25 suggests that the E string might be quieter simply because it is thinner, but the fact remains that it isn't a problem on all my non-Ric guitars.


It happens on my Casino, but the P-90's have adjustable pole pieces. Maybe it's a single coil problem. To see if the pickup is defective try flipping your pickup around, or swapping your neck pickup with the bridge. Here's a thought--is the problem with just one pickup or both? Another thing is that the high gains are not as trebly or jangly as the toasters. Without a real trebly amp or a pedal of some kind I don't think you can get that high E to ring out with the high gains. I put toasters in both my Rics. The difference is night and day.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:00 pm
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Location: St. Louis
Well, I spent almost an hour playing my 330 with a screw driver in hand. I adjusted the pick-ups and I was fairly successful in aleviating the balance problem.

I lowered both sides of the neck pickup about one and a half full turns of the adjustment screw. My thought was that perhaps this pickup was too close to the stings and was creating too much pull on the high e. This did actually help a little. I then lowered the bass side and raised the treble side of the bridge pickup. This helped even more. The high e now pops out quite a bit more. There is still some difference in the string volumes, but if it had been like this in the beginning, I'm not sure if I would have noticed it too much.

Another observation I made is that although the strings seem to sound pretty balanced when unplugged, the high e does not sustain as long as the other unwound strings. I don't think it is really a problem with the saddle. Maybe it is due to the fact that this is the shortest string on the guitar. The fact is that there is not a ton of sustain on the guitar as a whole. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think it is part of the whole unique Ric sound.

Sorry about the long post, but I think my conclusion is that the balance problem is not really due to any "defect." I think it can be fixed with a good setup. I'm going to continue to tinker with the setup. I think I will be able to get the setup to a point where I am 100% happy. I'd say I'm at about 95% happy with it now.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Nottingham, UK
Quote:
spaceman,

If you really want an answer from Rickenbacker, give their customer service an e-mail or a phone call.


That seemed reasonable, so that's what I did! And I got very prompt and helpful reply. Basically they suggested turning round the pickups and, if that didn't work, it was definitely a bad pickup which would need replacing. As my guitar was bought second-hand I can't say whether this is a manufacturing problem or not, but if you have a new guitar which has this problem I would suggest that you take it back to where you bought it and ask for it to be fixed under warranty.

Personally, I think I will buy a pair of toaster tops as I prefer the kind of cleaner janglier tone they should produce.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Townsville, Australia
Hi Spaceman,

Keep us updated about the results of turning the pickup around.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Lisbon, Portugal, EUROPE
A taller high E string polepiece should do the trick. No? Many years ago I rebuilt both 6-string high-gain pickups on my '79 4080 and got rid of the problem at issue. I set both the high E and the D string polepieces highest, and both the low E and the G string polepieces lowest. The result couldn't be better - even volume across the strings.


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 Post subject: Re: 330 String Balance Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:00 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Nottingham, UK
Quote:
Hi Spaceman,

Keep us updated about the results of turning the pickup around.

Cheers


No difference I'm afraid, so it's a nice new pair of toaster tops for me.


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