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 Post subject: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:55 pm 
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To quote a site stalwart from a thread on a different topic:

iiipopes wrote:
the 5-knob arrangement ... is such a step up in versatility that I'll never go back.


Has it had different purposes on different Rics? As far as I can see on the schematics for the current 330, 370/12, etc (http://www.rickenbacker.com/pdfs/19511.pdf) it seems to act as nothing more or less than a second volume pot for the rhythm (neck or neck+bridge) pickups.

So what do you guys use it for? Has it proved to be useful enough that any of you have added a similar control on a non-Ric?


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Well, you're not the first who's characterized it that way, but I think that's a bit of an oversimplification. It works a bit differently using ROS, and the manual provides about 3 other uses for it, as well.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:31 pm 
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Respectfully, it is not an oversimplification. It is a 2nd volume knob for the neck (330, 360) or neck + mid (320/5, 340 370) setting of the selector switch. It is the versatility that this arrangement provides that allows the guitar and guitar/amp system setup to be as versatile as set forth in the suggested uses in the owner's manual, and other uses.

R-O-S uses? Let's see:
1) balance the full-on volume of each pickup, either with or without the .0047 in line jangle cap;
2) Ric-O-Sound: running two amps, whether bass/treble, wet fx/dry, eq variations: as versatile as it gets with the complete independence of the controls;
3) contrast: for something like a Fender blackface or silverface amp: run the neck pickup through one channel and the bridge pickup through the other channel of the same amp for either contrast or tone expansion, with or without fx, etc.

And a whole bunch of other applications: separate inputs to things like emulators, midi or digital conversion, DI vs amping, etc.

But all of this has its origins in, and are possible because of, the 5th knob being an auxilliary volume control to the neck or neck&mid pickups.

I have not added a 5th knob to any of the other guitars that I own, but because I have added a push-pull or other switch for an inline cap to the bridge pickups in a couple of other guitars, I have added in-line resistors of a low value to balance the output of the neck pickup to the bridge pickup to those guitars.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:24 pm 
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SwissFrank wrote:
To quote a site stalwart from a thread on a different topic:

iiipopes wrote:
the 5-knob arrangement ... is such a step up in versatility that I'll never go back.


Has it had different purposes on different Rics? As far as I can see on the schematics for the current 330, 370/12, etc (http://www.rickenbacker.com/pdfs/19511.pdf) it seems to act as nothing more or less than a second volume pot for the rhythm (neck or neck+bridge) pickups.

So what do you guys use it for? Has it proved to be useful enough that any of you have added a similar control on a non-Ric?

While I won't comment on the quote, I will say that I love the fifth knob configuration. It helps place an emphasis on the Ric jangle-tone of the bridge pickup, but also makes blending both pickups much easier.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:03 pm 
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Rickissippi wrote:
... I think that's a bit of an oversimplification. It works a bit differently using ROS...


How am I oversimplifying? And how does it work differently with ROS?


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:03 pm 
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Different subject: I'd love to poll Ric players to see how many leave it on 10, and how many leave it somewhere else.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:11 pm 
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iiipopes wrote:
But all of this has its origins in, and are possible because of, the 5th knob being an auxilliary volume control to the neck or neck&mid pickups.


I follow everything you say until this point where you completely lose me :lol:

Sorry if I'm being dense, but can't everything you outline be done equally well with the main rhyhm volume as the "mixer" volume?

Yes, I know you want to adjust the relative output levels. I just haven't caught on to why having two knobs doing precisely the same thing (*) makes that easier.

(*) and if they don't do precisely the same thing, then what is the difference?


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:29 am 
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It's an anachronism back to the days before channel switching amps. It allowed you to set up a distinct volume change between lead and rhythm sound, accessible with a flip of the toggle switch. To use it that way, you put the switch down to treble, set up the amp to the loudest level you'd like to play lead at. When you flip the switch up to bass pickup, it's now far too loud for chording so you use the fifth control to back that down to the correct level. But nobody plays that way anymore.

It now mainly serves as a tone blender when the switch is in the middle, although it really was never designed for that purpose.

I'd love to drop it from current production but the purists would howl! Note, however, that new models, like the 650 and 4004 series do not have this knob.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:48 am 
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I have wondered if the 300 series guitars would sound brighter (more jangly even?) without this pot in the circuit to load the volume impedance controls down even further... especially in mono. I do think that most people, if they learned to change their behavior, could live without it the way I understand it. But I'm in no position to comment really, as a bassist. I defer to my good friend iiipopes on this issue.

Maybe the 5th knob could be kept as some sort of switch, but no potentiometer below deck, for aesthetic purposes and a new function.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:58 pm 
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SwissFrank wrote:
Different subject: I'd love to poll Ric players to see how many leave it on 10, and how many leave it somewhere else.

I leave it at 9'clock (From the player's perspective, looking down), and often turn it up all the way for the neck position for jazz or Frippian runs.

There was talk of Peter Buck possibly having it pretty close to all the way up all the time, but I've yet to see real evidence of this.


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