NHGPD! Wherein the 350 gets its teeth & I get a bit annoyed w/ RIC...

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Sid Nitzerglobin, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    So been I've been feeling the hi-gains would be a good bit more my style in my beloved 350v63 almost immediately since I bought it & finally ordered up a set to test my hypothesis. They arrived today & I wasted no time dropping them in:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Everything went well w/ install & wiring & I'm thinking they're likely the right ones to live on this guitar for me sonically. They seem a good bit more interesting to me when going for edge of breakup through any dirt short of heavy fuzz to me, similar to my reaction to them when comparing my 330 to the stock toasters amplified. I liked the toasters for the pristine, sparkly cleans & they're certainly a novel sound through the crazy fuzz but I spend comparatively very little of my time looking for those sounds. If I have any complaint right off the bat, it would be that I think the neck might be a bit woofy for me in my efforts so far to dial in the height & overly complex blending controls I wound up w/ when I rewired this one a few months after I got it so I could in theory have the pure neck pickup only sound available. At the very least I'm convinced the bridge hi-gain is pure win for me in there & checking it out in combo w/ the toaster at the neck & middle was producing some very cool sounds for me :)

    Wound up w/ them at almost the same heights as the toasters when I called it a night:
    [​IMG]

    The thing making me kind of salty at Rickenbacker is I discovered both this set I ordered new & the set that came in my 330 apparently had King Kong working on the pole piece installation station of the assembly line the day they were put together. Neither set has given me the slightest hope of getting them broken free so they can be adjusted for balance/tone or to be removed so I can proceed w/ my plan to toasterize the set w/ the covers off of the stock pickups. They also neglected to drill the holes through the magnet of the neck pickup which would kind of nix the rear adjustability approach I was planning to use w/ the replacement 1/2" 8/32 pitch SS panhead replacement screws I ordered for the purpose if I can ever manage to get the stock pole screws to start turning. I'll likely give it one more try tomorrow w/ another judicious application of DeOxIt as best as I can manage & a different shorter armed 3/32" allen key before I give up, as I think the aesthetics of the mixed hi-gains & toaster set are going to bug me fairly substantially.

    Anywho, I think if I can't tighten up the lows of the neck pickup through some combo of further height tweakage & refamiliarizing myself w/ how the current blend pot is setup I'll likely try dropping in a 500K or 1M volume pot for it & swapping out the current push/pull blend pot for a straight up dedicated middle volume pot w/ push/pull to bypass the pickup & pot altogether. I'm tempted to try to come up w/ a solution that would make it aesthetically acceptable for me to just take the middle pickup out all together, but in my twiddling this evening I was actually liking some of the sounds combining it w/ the hi-gains even w/ it cranked down as low as possible to minimize its intrusion into my prime picking real estate.

    Also on the horizon for this one is an Accent vibrato tailpiece w/ adapter plate from Winfield Vintage like I put on the 330, although I'm not too sure how long to expect that one to take to ship.

    Thanks for taking a look!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
    Merc, JC higgy, thunder58 and 5 others like this.
  2. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    Nice! I love rics.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  3. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    SoCal
    Good job on the RIK!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Great job Sid
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  5. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Age:
    50
    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Nice!

    Sid ,would Ric humbuckers take Toaster covers,as they don't have pole screws on top?I know it's not the sound you're going for ,it's more for me.:)
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  6. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Thanks guys! I managed to get a grand total of 1 pole piece moving in my efforts today unfortunately.

    You know that's a good question.... They're all the same footprint & I'm lead to believe the HBs will drop right onto a Ric that started life w/ the toasters or hi-gains. I'll take a closer look at the housing assembly of the HBs on my 650 & let you know what I think, FWIW. I've liked those HBs a good deal as well...
     
    JC higgy likes this.
  7. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    65
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Interesting thread Sid. I have a 360 with Hi-Gains and a 350 with Toasters. The neck pickup on the 360 is very powerful and the bridge on the 350 is fairly weak. I was thinking about swapping the two around so the 360 would have a Hi-Gain bridge and a Toaster neck, while the 350 would have a Hi-Gain bridge and the two-in-parallel Toasters in the neck.

    Would that balance out sonically? Thoughts?
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  8. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Don't complain on a Ric forum as John Hall will respond personally and emphatically, maybe even sue you! o_O

    Looks like a fun project to tweak. Never-ending quest for good tone!
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  9. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Hmmm, I think I'd have to try it, but I think it would stand a good chance of working well.

    I don't think the relative output spread is usually too awfully huge between the hi-gains or toasters bridge to neck & the bridge hi-gain seemed to work out well paired up w/ the toasters at the neck & middle on the 350 for the half hour or so I was playing around w/ that config before swapping the neck toaster. I saw a few other 350 owners who were running a bridge hi-gain w/ the stock toasters as their optimal setup on it when I was searching for info as well. Lots of people seem to be all about the toasters in 360s & 330s too & I'd imagine the bridge toaster would wind up closer in output at the neck to the bridge hi-gain there.

    Since you've got all the pickups you need to try it on hand I think it'd at least be a worthwhile experiment some time when you've got a couple/few hours to mess w/ it.


    Yeah, they seem to be awfully defensive about any suggestions or (to me) valid complaints about QA for a somewhat premium priced product.

    Don't get me wrong, I really love my Rics (even the ones w/ things I take some issue w/) but they've certainly got their idiosyncracies & in some cases outright shortcomings in design &/or execution for the fairly substantial price they carry IMO. In most cases I can agree w/ the position that the idiosyncratic design holdovers play a large part in making them what they have been & are & shouldn't be monkeyed w/ but for a fairly low volume & high priced brand there seems to be a decent number of genuine issues that make their way into customer's hands & they don't seem to be the easiest to work w/ on them.


    After a bit of a look see, I'm thinking it ought to work. I couldn't get the full HB assembly out of either the bridge or neck routs of the 650 to validate fully, but all the measurements seemed right & it appears the covers are bolted to the mounting plate in the same manner as the toasters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
    JC higgy and drmilktruck like this.
  10. Andy Fortune

    Andy Fortune Gretschie

    381
    May 24, 2016
    Corning, NY
    When I had Rics, I turned the 5th (blend) knob into a bass contour and it worked brilliantly for de-woofing the neck. It worked with Ric humbuckers, and High gains. Since that blend knob is just a second volume control for the neck, you can bridge the outer lugs with a low value cap and it becomes a bass rolloff just for the neck. Give it a try.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  11. capnhiho

    capnhiho Country Gent

    Feb 16, 2013
    California
    Dang, Sid! Your workspace is more cluttered than mine……


    But yours is more interesting……. ;)
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  12. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Sid,

    The pole pieces on the Rickenbacker Hi-Gain PU's are not height adjustable.

    The six pole pieces on each PU are actually malleable steel rivets. If you are able to loosen them, you will break firm contact with the magnets and your new PU's will be ruined.

    Vintage/Vintage re-issue Rics are best played through ''British'' Tube amps...forget the Hi-Gain PU's.

    All you've done here is to ruin the aesthetics, of a vintage reissue Rickenbacker.

    Just me...

    BIB.

    IMG_0225.JPG IMG_0226.JPG
     
  13. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Actually since around at late the late '00s they are supposed to be adjustable. The push in pole pieces would actually make it easier to do what I need to do assuming they were of the vintage where they started using keepers w/ them & didn't have the windings resting against the pole pieces.

    I've got quite a few "British" tube amps & the hi-gains do a lot more for me through them than the toasters on average.

    All I've done so far is make my favorite Ric so far sound more like I want it to w/ a plan already in place to preserve the same aesthetics that would have already been implemented had Ric not used a clutchless power driver to install the threaded adjustable pole pieces.
     
  14. Back in Black

    Back in Black Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada

    I have over 50 years experience with Rickenbackers. I've owned more Rickenbackers than any other makes.

    And...the Hi Gain pole pieces although having minimum twist insert threads...are not intended to be height adjustable. The later models with the socket insert are intended to allow factory twist insertion, as opposed to ''pressed in''. this was done to avoid damage caused by the press, which resulted in the pole pieces not seating properly and remaining loose.

    You will break full contact with the magnets...resulting in damage, and conductivity loss.

    Please, by all means...proceed as you see fit.

    Best,

    BIB.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  15. GretschPraise

    GretschPraise Gretschie

    239
    Jun 26, 2017
    Tampa Bay
    So this thread isn't about 60's car engines???

    That's a beautiful Ric Sid! Glad you got it rockin' the way you like it. Crank that baby.
     
    Merc and Sid Nitzerglobin like this.
  16. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    One thread of a whole lot of them that cover toasterizing both adjustable pole piece & press fit hi-gains FWIW in case anyone's interested:
    http://www.rickresource.com/forum/v...e+pieces&sid=cb8ae86011b2b70360e8ce7b3f296bde

    Seems like there's a fairly large contingent out there who have already done the exact process I was planning for & the pole screws were fully threaded & intended to be adjustable. I can't recall reading of anyone who had done so not having fully threaded pole screws on hi-gains made past ~2009. Many reported zero contact w/ the magnet in stock form & if you really needed it Ric likely wouldn't more often than not be drilling out the areas where the end of the screws would protrude into the magnets at a size that is larger than the 8/32 pitch screws they are using like on the new bridge pickup I put in on Saturday. I would hope this would be the case anyway otherwise they are shipping them "damaged" from the factory a whole lot ;).

    It sure looks like the stock pole pieces of my bridge hi-gain have no contact w/ the magnet from what I can tell looking through the aforementioned holes in its bar magnet which is what I would expect based other pickup designs using steel poles & bar magnets I've monkeyed w/ generally not threading them into the magnets as well as my luthier friend's input who's done a few hi-gain full rewinds/rebuilds.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
    JC higgy likes this.
  17. Teledriver

    Teledriver Synchromatic

    Age:
    53
    803
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    Man, and I thought my 50s wiring Les Paul was alot of guitar!!
    Rics scare me.
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  18. Teledriver

    Teledriver Synchromatic

    Age:
    53
    803
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    Oh the simplicity of a Telecaster...
     
    Sid Nitzerglobin likes this.
  19. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    Yeah it's a bit convoluted in practice for my tastes, the swap of the stock blend pot for the 4003 push/pull blend pot shortly after I got it was primarily intended to make it more straightforward to operate, but at best it seems about equal in the amount of confusion it creates for me.

    I think a more straightforward 2V, 2T w/ 3 way toggle & dedicated middle pickup pot w/ a bypass push/pull is likely the way to go for me on this one if I'm going to keep the middle pickup.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.