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Maude

Some help with pickup and pot wiring please.

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I haven't looked into the wiring yet but was hoping someone had a diagram or explanation I could follow. Happy doing soldering, just need to follow instructions. 

 

I've recently bought a Rick 4005 copy with two pickups, two tone pots, two volume pots, three way selector and the Rick fifth knob which is a kind of blend. 

It's a long story but I eventually want to wire in a series switch, but haven't got the switch yet so was just going to wire the pickups in series through one tone pot and one volume pot to try at rehearsal this week. Would anyone be able to explain which wires go to which tabs on the pots and stuff please. An actual diagram would be amazing if anyone had one. 

Thanks, Allan. 

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Right, finally got around to rebuilding this bass and it's wiring time. 

This is a diagram, crudely drawn I'll grant you but hopefully adequate, of how the bass is wired at the moment, two volumes, two tones, a three way selector and a blend. 

20190210_174501.thumb.jpg.ca027c4152f919e20149d60a9db23f9c.jpg

I would like to just add a series switch if its possible, if not then just wiring the two pickups in series through one tone and one volume would have to do. 

Are there any electrical geniuses out there that could guide me through this please? 

I added a series switch to my Jazz with no trouble but they are simpler and the diagrams are online, I can't find anything for adding one to a Rickenbacker. 

If someone could help I'd be extremely grateful 😊

 

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The Ric wiring diagram for 2 pickups with 5 knob and mono output is here - http://www.rickenbacker.com/pdfs/19511.pdf

This is the equivalent wiring for your 4005 copy.

And here's a modified diagram with an added series/parallel switch (modified wiring marked in red). When switched to 'parallel' the bass will function as it does now. When switched to 'series', the two pickups will be in series and only the bass (neck) volume and tone control will work. The existing 3-way switch will need to be set to the bass (neck) pickup for series mode to function.

1734212668_Ric5knobmonowiring-seriesmod.thumb.jpg.b7b7a98e1e3ddbc9900cb81438e42a6f.jpg

Edited by ikay
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Thanks @ikay, I had a Google but couldn't find anything.

I assume the switch I need is a DPDT on/on jobby? 

Thanks again 😊

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12 hours ago, Maude said:

Looks cool but a bit over the top for what I need 🙂

I'm putting a pair of humbuckers on a 4003; with that switch I'll have 3 positions for humbucking and 3 for single-coil.

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9 hours ago, prowla said:

I'm putting a pair of humbuckers on a 4003; with that switch I'll have 3 positions for humbucking and 3 for single-coil.

That sounds like it'll be a tone monster 😎

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11 hours ago, Maude said:

That sounds like it'll be a tone monster 😎

A pair of Seymour Duncans. It'll also have a Kahler trem bridge (needs a bit more work to get it fitted properly) and a Hipshot eXtender.

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Right, I've had enough of this now! 

Last night I wired in the series switch, one silly mistake aside it works, and the pickups in series sound great, getting that mid push I was after. 

The problem is I have a massive earthing issue, huge noise when touching anything and an actual 'crack' sound when I touch the neck pickup. I spent hours checking, double checking, desoldering, resoldering, adding extra earth's between everything in desperation,  even took the bass apart again and soldered the earth to the bridge instead of it just being trapped underneath. Nothing would sort it. 

Had another look this morning with a fresh brain, tried some different things but nothing will fix it. 

In the end I have clamped a wire on the outside of the pickup housings linking them together (metal toaster style) and the noise vanished, but so has the series switching. When put in series mode I get the added mids, but with noise if I touch the bass pickup, until I link the two pickup housings when the noise goes but it goes back to parallel sound. 

What's going on? 

I really like the series sound, it's exactly what I was after so don't want to give up but I'm at a loss as to what to do. 

Help! 😟

 

Edit. I'm also guessing that if I did away with all the wiring needed for switching between parallel and series and just wiring it in series I'd still get the same problem if it's something inherent in the design of the pickups? 

Edited by Maude

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For series wiring, you have one pickup that's permanently to ground as normal (treble pickup in the diagram above) and one that only gets grounded by the switch in parallel mode, and in series mode it's ground wire goes to the other pickup (bass pickup in the diagram above). As well as adding the switch you have to make sure that the bass pickup isn't still permanently grounded somewhere. Also, make sure any shielding (like metal pickup covers) goes to ground separately from the signal circuit - a common problem with guitars is metal pickup covers, if you do the series thing and leave them connected to the earth wire from the pickup, they send the hum you want them to shield to your second pickup instead of to ground (I think - in any case, they need a second separate ground or you get problems).

Edited by adamg67

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Thanks @adamg67and sorry for the late reply, I couldn't be arsed to look at this until now as, one I've been busy, and two it's peeing me off. 🙂

The wiring is as the diagram above and is functioning correctly, I've tried all sorts of different ways in case something was wrong out of desperation but as per the diagram gives me the correct series/parallel circuit and everything works as it should, apart from the horrific noise. 

I am testing earthing the pickup housings by using an old string on the casings (I haven't got a proper earth connection on them yet), earthing them to the bridge. The pickups in a 4005 are guitar toaster style with metal casings. 

With no casings earthed the guitar makes a lot of noise when nothing is touched, is quiet when the strings are touched but deafeningly loud when the bass pickup is touched. 

If I earth both pickups to the bridge the bass is noise free, but the series switch is bypassed, it goes back to the parallel sound. 

If I just earth just the treble pickup then the background noise goes away but it's still horrific when I touch the bass pickup. 

If I earth just the bass pickup then it goes back to parallel. 

If the pickups had an internal connection from the casing to the earth wire would that cause this problem when trying to earth the casing? 

Also, I may be over thinking this but if the casings need to be earthed seperate from the signal circuit, where would I earth them? Wouldn't all the earths be ultimately linked to the jack socket? 

It has to be something really simple but I'm losing the will to live. 

Sorry for all the questions 🙂

Edited by Maude

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Just to add, if I wire the pickups in reverse then the really loud noise occurs when I touch the treble pickup so it's not a pickup fault. 

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24 minutes ago, Maude said:

 

If the pickups had an internal connection from the casing to the earth wire would that cause this problem when trying to earth the casing? 

Also, I may be over thinking this but if the casings need to be earthed seperate from the signal circuit, where would I earth them? Wouldn't all the earths be ultimately linked to the jack socket?

Yeah, it's the fact that the casing is earthed through one of the wires from the pickup. For series wiring of pickups with metal casings, for one of the pickups (the bass in your case) you have to break that connection, because that wire isn't going straight to earth any more, it's going through the other pickup first, if that makes sense.

I can't guarantee that's what your problem is, but that is what you need to do, I've done this just recently on a Telecaster and all the info I read, including from pickup manufacturers, said the same thing about having to modify the pickup if it didn't already have a separate earth from the casing - I wouldn't have thought of it, but once I'd read about it, it made sense. Lots of aftermarket guitar pickups come like that with 3 wires.

Hope you manage to get it sorted, I know how frustrating it can be. 

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Thanks @adamg67, I'm no electrician but that makes sense to me, it's sort of the conclusion I came to because of the casing effectively switching my series circuit on and off when earthed to the bridge or the other pickup casing.

I've sent an email to House of Tone who wound the pickups to see what they say/confirm our thoughts. 

I'll take the casing off the pickup tomorrow and see if there's an obvious link between the casing and the earth wire. 

Thanks again 👍

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Just as an aside, I emailed House Of Tone just saying I was having issues but did say that I bought the bass second hand with the pickups in and sort of didn't expect to hear back as obviously I've bought nothing from them. I got a reply at twenty past midnight explaining a little bit about the pickups and asking what the problem was. How great is that!? 

I've just emailed back explaining the problem. While writing my explanation it made even more sense that there must be an internal ground connection in the pickups. If the grounding the bridge pickup doesn't put it back in parallel but the neck pickup does then it must be putting the ground lead direct to earth as in parallel wiring, indicating the casing must be connected to the ground lead inside the pickup. 

Fingers crossed 🙂

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