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Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars
http://www.rickenbacker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16192
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Author:  Joris_Karl [ Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum; I live in France and I am the happy owner of a 330 in Jetglo.
For my first post, I wanted to share with you the alternate wiring that I did yesterday on my Rick.

First please note that I have toaster pickups on my 330, and that I use Thomastik flatwound strings.

Here are the problems I was experiencing with the stock one:
- Too much of treble loss when rolling down the volume on the guitar. This became a real problem when I switched from my Fender Princeton 65 RI to an Orange OR15, and I started to control the amp gain with my guitar volume.
- Although I used to use the 5th knob to dose the amount of neck pickup in the middle position, for me it was quite redundant with the other volume knobs.

Here is what I did then:
- 1 volume for each pickup, but with 500k pots and a "treble bleed" on each: now I have plenty of gain control with no treble loss at all, and no change on the pickup sound.
- I kept 1 traditional tone control ("high cut"), but shared between the 2 pickups (for my use, if I need to roll off high frequencies a little, I usually need to do so on both pickups).
- I modified the other tone pot to make it a low cut for both pickups, by wiring a 0,001 capacitor in series. It works well to tighten up the bass frequencies when needed (especially when using distortion or fuzz). It also acts like a kind of gain control, since cutting some bass lowers down the gain level a little.
- I first thought of replacing the 5th knob by a master volume, but I soon realized that I had not really any use for it. Thus I put a mini "ON-ON" toggle switch that gives me 2 options for the bridge pickup only: "normal" or with a 0,005 capacitor in series.
This way, I can cut the bass off the bridge pickup and easily switch to the neck pickup without any bass roll off.
But, more interesting, when I am in the middle position (both pickups), I can use this switch as a blend, because when I engage the capacitor, it tames the bridge pickup a little and thus gives me more of the neck pickup sound.

Sorry for this quite long post, but I attached a simple diagram of this wiring.
Hope this could be of some interest.
Feel free to ask any question if you have one!
Cheers

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Author:  iiipopes [ Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

If you feel more adventurous:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7928

Author:  Joris_Karl [ Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

iiipopes wrote:
If you feel more adventurous:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7928

Thanks! I saw this topic and your posts when I was considering changing the wiring on my 330. I took the idea of the switchable cap there, but I decided that I wanted a more simple wiring. And I really have much use of the bass roll-off pot, since the Orange OR15 can be quite a bassy amp, and because the flatwounds can get muddy when distorted.
For many years I had never considered modding the electronics on any guitar, except for the pickups of course; but now I realize how big a difference it can make, and how much fun it can be doing it!

Author:  Joris_Karl [ Fri May 06, 2016 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

Hi everyone!
I decided to experiment a little bit more, and converted the mini switch into a phase inverter, in order to get an out-of-phase sound when in middle position.
To do so, I wired the bridge pickup to the switch so that I could reverse the hot and the ground wires. I followed this diagram:
http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21006-mod-garage-adding-an-out-of-phase-switch-to-a-telecaster

Here is my problem: although the sound is really interesting and usable, I get a lot of noise when I reverse the bridge PU phase, and it makes an even louder noise when I touch the bridge pickup with my hand.
I guess it has something to do with the toaster pickup construction itself, am I right?
Is there any solution?

Thanks!

Author:  Joris_Karl [ Tue May 10, 2016 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

I guess it is not possible to reverse the hot and ground leads on a toaster pickup, so I decided to get back to the 0,005 cap on the mini toggle, except this time I wired it to the neck PU instead.
I think I found the best compromise for my use, although I am quite disappointed since I really liked the out-of-phase sound!

Author:  Ric5150 [ Tue May 10, 2016 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

A pickup has two ends of the coil wire which don't inherently mean anything - there's no clear "hot", and "phase" is just relative to any other pickup(s) installed.

For toasters and hi-gains, one of those ends is also connected to the pickup cover and then used as a ground. That effectively makes the other end "hot".

By swapping the two, you made the cover "hot" and basically turned the cover into an antenna. You'd need to swap the coil ends at the pickup to 'ground' the opposite end. That's fairly straightforward for a toaster as you have access to those at the 2 pins on the back of the pickup - but messing around with a soldering iron on the coil ends of any pickup alway carries risk of damaging the coil.

If you really want to do it, i think your best bet would be replacing the 2-conductor pickup lead with a 3-conductor cable, running the two coil ends to your switch, and using the third conductor/shield to ground the cover. Like I said, though, there's risk of damaging the pickup if you put too much heat into those pins - either by using too big of a soldering iron or heating the pin for too long. You can break the connection on the other side of the pin or possibly even cause a short within the coil.

Author:  Joris_Karl [ Wed May 11, 2016 11:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

Quote:
By swapping the two, you made the cover "hot" and basically turned the cover into an antenna.

Thanks for your kind answer! I thought it was something like that. Same kind of problem with tele bridge PU, except it is soldered to the baseplate.

Quote:
If you really want to do it, i think your best bet would be replacing the 2-conductor pickup lead with a 3-conductor cable, running the two coil ends to your switch, and using the third conductor/shield to ground the cover. Like I said, though, there's risk of damaging the pickup if you put too much heat into those pins - either by using too big of a soldering iron or heating the pin for too long. You can break the connection on the other side of the pin or possibly even cause a short within the coil.

I am not too bad with a soldering iron in hand, but I will not take the risk. Moreover, for now, my wiring fills my needs, so I'm good with it!
Thanks again!

Author:  Joris_Karl [ Thu May 12, 2016 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Alternate wiring for 330/360 guitars

Hi!
Today I managed to take some time to play: I really like the latest version of my new wiring, but now I also have a question! Here it is:

As I said previously, I ended up wiring the 0,005 cap to the neck PU (with a toggle switch, just after the neck volume pot, and before the PU selector switch).
Whenever the cap is on or off, when I turn down the volume of the neck PU, it shuts off the pickup: everything normal.

But that comes weird:
I wired the volume pots the "normal" way, so that the PU volumes are coupled (Les Paul style): when in the middle position, turning off one pickup shuts down the other too.
But, when the cap is activated (and only in this case), turning off the neck PU does not completely kill the sound. Whereas turning off the bridge PU kills the sound, even if the cap is on.

I guess it has something to do with the cap preventing the other PU to go all the way to ground, but I really don't understand why.
That is absolutely not a problem for me; it even gives me one more different type of sound, because when I roll off the neck PU volume, the remaining sound is quite different than the bridge PU on its own: a kind of nasal sound, with no low-end nor high-end.

But I am really curious and would like to understand the reason ;)
Thanks!

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