Rickenbacker 4003 Help!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassgod0dmw, Dec 10, 2012.


  1. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Does anybody have an easy to read wiring diagram of a Ric 4003 with the vintage/modern switch?

    When I solo the bridge pickup, it sounds very weak and thin. In comparison, the neck pickup is very full sounding. The vintage/modern switch makes no difference to the tone at all, like it's not even functioning.

    I'm wondering if someone modded it back to original specs, or if there is something wrong.

    I found the Ric schematic on their site, but I'm not very good at reading them and all of the diagrams at Joey's have been taken down.
     
  2. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    It sounds like it's wired up without the vintage modern switch. On my '73 4001 basses the bridge pickup was unusable on its own.

    Here's the schematic for the 4003, but it doesn't show the vintage modern switch. The switch just connects a shunt across the cap.

    http://www.rickenbacker.com/pdfs/19507.pdf
     
  3. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    I can't read that, but I did find a picture diagram. It matches my wiring just fine, so I think it's wired correctly. However, there seems to be a few issues going on here.

    -The vintage/modern switch does nothing at all
    -The treble tone knob seems to just turn down the volume, although it's hard to tell since the pickup volume is so low overall

    I tried raising the pickup and it does make it louder, but not nearly what I would expect it to be like. The adjustable poles are raised as well. I don't know if there is a cold solder joint somewhere, or if something else came loose during shipping. All of the solder joints look pretty decent to me. I can break out my iron if need be and make sure they're good, but I don't want to go down the wrong path and waste my time for nothing.

    I've got a meter and kinda know how to use it, but I have no clue where to start.
     
  4. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    So, if I put a meter on the neck pickup...it reads 11.64k
    If I put a meter on the bridge pickup...it reads 301.6k

    On the bridge pickup with the "modern" side of the switch engaged, it reads 302.4k
    On the bridge pickup with the "vintage" side of the switch engaged, it reads OL

    That doesn't sound right at all.
     
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  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    The bridge pickup shouldn't read that high. With the switch in the vintage position, you should not get a reading at all, because the cap blocks DC voltage.

    How are you doing the measurements? Is it with the pickup in the bass? In that case you are reading the 300k volume pot on the treble pickup, and the switch is not switching to the modern setting, which is why it's thin sounding.

    Have you looked inside?
     
  7. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Okay, so that explains why I can't get a reading with the vintage side engaged. It's a Fluke meter, and I'm pretty sure that OL translated to "no reading"

    Yes, the pickup is still in the bass. The pickup is still connected to the pots, but I'm reading it the same exact way that I read the neck pickup.

    From my meter, the red wire is going to the hot side of the pickup...and the black wire is going to the ground.

    It's all sitting apart on my desk right now.
     
  8. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    I think I just "fixed" it. I took the switch and cap right out of the circuit and now it seems to be much better.

    The pickup is still surprisingly thin sounding, but the volume is much better.
     

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