Bartolini Rickenbacker 4003S Wiring Help Please!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by theevilplankton, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Looking for some wiring inspiration here!

    I recently bought a new Bartolini 6RT for the neck pickup of my Rickenbacker 4003S. It's a 2018 model, so has the vintage tone selector.

    Picked up the bass from the Luthier today. First impressions - loving the Bart. Maybe not to all tastes (on TB!), but as a long-term Ricky player, I love it. It's like it's been turbo-charged - so much so, I'm going to have to order a 6RC for the bridge.

    However, there is a problem. The vintage tone selector is for the bridge pup only, it's not for the neck. So a neck pup replacement shouldn't affect it, right?

    Wrong! When the neck pup is solo'd, it as usual. Vintage tone knob up or down, no change. All good here.

    Solo the bridge pup - vintage tone knob down, it's off - raise it, old-skool cap engaged. Once again, all good.

    Put the toggle switch in the centre - both pups on together - here's where the problem lies. Having the vintage tone selector knob down (so it's off), it's suddenly on! Raise it, and it's off. Exactly the opposite to how it should be, but only with both pups on.

    Can't work out why it works as usual for the bridge pup, but engage both together, and it goes opposite - especially when it was the 'unaffected' neck pup that was replaced.

    Before I get the 6RC fitted, I'd rather go armed with more knowledge of what to tell the Luthier to assist him.

    Any ideas here? I spoke to him on the 'phone, he was fairly foxed - so hence, I thought I'd turn to the TB experts for a solution!
  2. Have emailed Bartolini as well.....hope to hear something from them......
  3. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    The vintage switch is quite basic. In the 'vintage' setting the bridge pickup is connected to its corresponding volume pot through a 4.7 nF cap. The 'modern' setting jumps the cap with two wires.

    Perhaps there is a phase issue with the stock bridge pickup and Bart neck pickup? What you perceive as the 'vintage' setting (when the switch is in the modern setting) is actually a nasty out-of-phase tone (thin, tinny, usually with a weird hollow resonance to it), and the 'modern' setting is actually what you should hear in vintage mode, with the switch actually working correctly.

    I don't know enough about how a 4003S is wired up. Being mono I presume it is simpler than a 4003 wiring scheme; where the bridge and neck pickup circuits only meet at the mono output jack (and only when a cable is plugged in).

    Worst scenario is that the tech who installed the pickup messed up the wiring harness and simply guessed where things should be put back.
  4. Axstar - perfect!

    I think you've solved it. The both pups on produce that weird, hollow tone you detail. Vintage mode, puts it back to normal.....

    Obviously the pups are in some way reaching against each other. Singularly, fine, together, not compatible!

    Best news is, I've found (in the UK not too easy) a bridge Bartolini pup. So I'm hoping, having the two together, should hopefully aliviate the problem.....I think?
    Volker Kirstein and Axstar like this.
  5. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Two pickups from the same manufacturer are more likely to get on nicely!
    Volker Kirstein likes this.