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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:15 pm 
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cassius987 wrote:
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...


Cassius, the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.

I removed the "mixer" from my 370/12 (amoung a half-dozen other changes--see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3IlbLRyV5Q), while replacing the 330k vol with a 500k vol pushpull. This lowered the loading on the rhythm from 125k to 200k. The result was that the difference in volume between the bridge and rhythm, which was already large, is yet larger, and the rhythm is unmistakably brighter than stock. If I hadn't changed the rhythm vol pot, it'd have "only" gone from 125k to 165k but I'm still sure that would have been a totally obviously audible change.

Since making the vid, I then strapped a 330k resistor across the 500k vol, so now I'm back to the stock 125k total loading on rhythm and it is DEFINITELY a step back down in vol and treble.

(I don't mind, because I also added no-load switches that remove all pots' deadening entirely, so when I want volume and treble I get it.)


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:44 pm 
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JohnHall wrote:
It allowed you to set up a distinct volume change between lead and rhythm sound, accessible with a flip of the toggle switch. ... It now mainly serves as a tone blender when the switch is in the middle.


To me, both those are accomplished with the rhythm volume... if you do this with the mixer pot, what would one do with the rhythm volume? Not trying to be contentious, I just feel like I'm missing something here. I still don't see how the two knobs don't do the EXACT same thing.

JohnHall wrote:
I'd love to drop it from current production but the purists would howl!


You know best of course, but there's nothing wrong in my mind with making today's guitars exactly the way YOU think best, and offering a replacement pickguard/knob/pot as a set as an "upgrade" for people who want the historical circuit. In fact because this could safely be done as a user mod (unlike say neck width, where we're really stuck with whatever you choose to give us), it seems like no-one could have a reason to howl.

If you were willing to remove an (I think?) unneeded spurious control, but wanted to maintain the widely-loved sound of the current circuit, of course you could change the rhythm vol pot from 330k to 200k or 250k to preserve the lesser treble and output of today's guitar.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:13 am 
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I'm a (fairly) recent buyer of a 330 and I appreciate the little knob. I use it to alter the focal point of the in-between sound from that rounder, "With a little help from my friends" tone with it turned left to more of a Johnny Marr, slightly Fender-y tone with it turned towards the right. If full neck pickup is number 1, I tend to keep it on 7-8.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:02 am 
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SwissFrank wrote:
JohnHall wrote:
It allowed you to set up a distinct volume change between lead and rhythm sound, accessible with a flip of the toggle switch. ... It now mainly serves as a tone blender when the switch is in the middle.


To me, both those are accomplished with the rhythm volume... if you do this with the mixer pot, what would one do with the rhythm volume? Not trying to be contentious, I just feel like I'm missing something here. I still don't see how the two knobs don't do the EXACT same thing.

JohnHall wrote:
I'd love to drop it from current production but the purists would howl!


You know best of course, but there's nothing wrong in my mind with making today's guitars exactly the way YOU think best, and offering a replacement pickguard/knob/pot as a set as an "upgrade" for people who want the historical circuit. In fact because this could safely be done as a user mod (unlike say neck width, where we're really stuck with whatever you choose to give us), it seems like no-one could have a reason to howl.

If you were willing to remove an (I think?) unneeded spurious control, but wanted to maintain the widely-loved sound of the current circuit, of course you could change the rhythm vol pot from 330k to 200k or 250k to preserve the lesser treble and output of today's guitar.

I think it's easier to keep the knob.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:01 pm 
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The fifth knob is in fact just a second volume knob for the neck pickup. I have a couple of three-pickup Rics and on both I've done the common mod of converting the fifth knob into a dedicated volume knob for the middle pickup. By dropping the neck pickup volume knob I get the same tone adjustment that the fifth knob performed, although the sweep is much shorter, so it's harder to fine-tune the adjustment.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:09 pm 
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MarcTrono wrote:
I have a couple of three-pickup Rics and on both I've done the common mod of converting the fifth knob into a dedicated volume knob for the middle pickup.


Interesting, haven't heard of that before. Did you then rewire the Rhythm Vol to be just neck PU (giving all 7 PU combos) or did it continue to affect both neck and mid?

(I did something similar on my Les Paul, but only used the mid vol at 0 or (rarely) 10, so I'm redoing with a swich somehow.)


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:12 pm 
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SwissFrank wrote:
MarcTrono wrote:
I have a couple of three-pickup Rics and on both I've done the common mod of converting the fifth knob into a dedicated volume knob for the middle pickup.


Interesting, haven't heard of that before. Did you then rewire the Rhythm Vol to be just neck PU (giving all 7 PU combos)

Affirmative.

(I did something similar on my Les Paul, but only used the mid vol at 0 or (rarely) 10, so I'm redoing with a swich somehow.)


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:16 pm 
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SwissFrank wrote:
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?

SwissFrank wrote:
I still don't see how the two knobs don't do the EXACT same thing.

Well, if it were just a second volume knob for the neck pickup, then turning it all the way down would make the neck pickup totally silent (just as turning down the primary volume knob for that pickup does). So, no, they don't do the exact same thing, and it's not just a second volume knob.
But I think others have answered this better than I could:
iiipopes wrote:
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.


JohnHall wrote:
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.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Rickissippi wrote:
Well, if it were just a second volume knob for the neck pickup, then turning it all the way down would make the neck pickup totally silent (just as turning down the primary volume knob for that pickup does).


If it doesn't totally silence the neck pickup when turned fully counter-clockwise, it's not wired according to the RIC schematic.


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 Post subject: Re: pros and cons of the 5th "mixer" pot
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:45 am 
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cassius987 wrote:
Rickissippi wrote:
Well, if it were just a second volume knob for the neck pickup, then turning it all the way down would make the neck pickup totally silent (just as turning down the primary volume knob for that pickup does).


If it doesn't totally silence the neck pickup when turned fully counter-clockwise, it's not wired according to the RIC schematic.



OK, Cassius, Rickissippi... this is a big new piece of data for me.

I assume that the far end of the "mixer" is NOT grounded, so the volume only goes about 1/2 or 2/3 down?

(I had a vague memory that it worked the way you describe, but when I saw the official schematic on the official website I assumed my memory was playing tricks.)

I'm still not satisfied that I've learned anything by asking. Sure, you can do lots of things with the mixer. You could do a lot of things with ANY knob that (partially) duplicated an existing knob. I still don't see why you would duplicate it in the first place, or under what conditions a player would decide to use knob A instead of knob B.

In contrast, ask me why a Gretsch has so many vols AND a kill switch and I can at least explain exactly what the advantages can be, and why at least some people would desire it exactly like that. But for the Ric I'm still totally lost.


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