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 Post subject: Help with "Vintage" Rickenbacker 330 wiring
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:06 pm
Posts: 4
Hi All,

New member here. Have done some searching however unable to mate my topic with an existing thread (that I could find).

I have a simple query I'd be grateful if someone could assist with.

I'm looking to convert my 2006 Mapleglow 6 String Rickenbacker 330 to "vintage" spec. I've made some inroads in this respect already (pickups/bridge etc) however, the only remaining piece of the puzzle is the electronics.

The guitar is currently wired 4x330k pots with 1x500k ("fifth knob"). Can someone kindly confirm (or rebunk) what I understand to be "vintage Rick" specs in that the volumes were wired 250k and the tones/5th knob were 500k? There are two .47 caps in there as per current modern 5-control Rickenbacler harnesses available from this site. Does "vintage spec" include an additional cap somewhere? (if so where/what value?)

FYI I am running "toasters".

A couple of further queries, would love to hear your thoughts:
- Has anyone run a full 500k chassis on a 330? Thoughts?
- The main reason behind me exploring this this change is a perceived mid-heaviness and "barky" characteristic to the guitar's current sound (330k pots, toasters, round wounds to brighten it up but have tried flats). I read fleetingly on this very forum that the 250k/500k combo was observed by a member to lend the sound a deeper bass AND more highs (ie, sounds a bit like a "mid scoop" and, to be frank, EXACTLY what I'd like to achieve by making this change). Is anyone able to comment on their experiences in this regard (I understand that sometimes on internet forums these changes are referred to anecdotally by people who may or may not have any direct experience in having observed them).

I really appreciate any assistance you could provide, specifically with respect to what is considered "vintage" spec, and also (as a bonus) any thoughts you might have on the proposed 250k/500k harness or even a full 500k harness.

Regards,

RickenPickin


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 Post subject: Re: Help with "Vintage" Rickenbacker 330 wiring
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 573
Location: Stanstead, QC
In my experience, the iiipopes tone mod is the way to go to get both "current" and "vintage" sounds

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7928&hilit=+iiipopes+tone

If you root arond the StewMac site, you can find a video of how to build a test harness to check tone control taste.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with "Vintage" Rickenbacker 330 wiring
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:06 pm
Posts: 4
Thanks for the tip buchrob, I've taken to that thread for some further info! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Help with "Vintage" Rickenbacker 330 wiring
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:06 pm
Posts: 4
Hi All,

At the risk of having a conversation with myself, I thought I'd provide an update for anyone who may search this topic/do the same mod in the future.

After doing a bit more research I wasn't able to find a conclusive answer re: what a 330 may have been traditionally wired with, however the weight of evidence was pointing towards the 250k volumes/500k tones so I bit the bullet and went with that.

In terms of the mod itself, I just took all the 330k pots out and soldered 250k/500ks in their place. Kept the mixer knob/caps/switch as-per the existing wiring.

Initial impressions are very favourable. My initial take is that the 250k/500k combo does indeed lend the 330 to a flatter, or even "scooped" sort of response as opposed to the more midrange-heavy or at least "strident" sound of the stock all-330k setup. What is precisely responsible for that, I'm not sure - perhaps someone with a more detailed knowledge of physics can chime in (placebo effect?). It's probably worth saying that this change was far more prominent that I thought it might be (ie, it's not subtle - it's very obvious - a good thing as far as I'm concerned).

My (layman's) theory is perhaps the darker 250k volume pots are softening some of that strident and present response that I was hearing before, and combined with the 500k tones livening up the top end of the circuit a bit it's a nice balance between the two. I'm also very familiar with 250k pots having run them in all my guitars so perhaps there's a bit of muscle memory at work and it's a sound I prefer to hear.

Anyway, I've been playing at home for now but am looking forward to bringing the Rick to the band and having a blast to see if it's finally "there". Both the acoustic and "plugged-in" sounds have improved vastly from stock (in particular, acoustically the guitar is now totally rad), so hopefully going back to "vintage" specs is the final piece of the puzzle in getting that Ricky sound in my head!

RickenPickin


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 Post subject: Re: Help with "Vintage" Rickenbacker 330 wiring
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:07 am
Posts: 3837
The 250kohm volume pots may be marginally lowering the resonant peak of the pickup, and the 500kohm tone pot may be retaining the most marginally more top end.


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