BC Rich bass controls - can anyone explain?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smcd, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I picked up a BC Rich Eagle bass the other day. I'm working to familiarize myself with the "premium" (read: complicated) electronics package. There are a couple things I'm unclear on:

    a. There are 2 switches called "Dual Sound" switches that shift the wiring of the individual pickups from series to parallel. What is the concept behind this, technically speaking?

    b. There's a "phase switch", much like that on the Peavey T-40. This switch seems to cut the bottom out of the tone, and sounds, in my opinion, bad. Why is this switch there? Does anyone use it?

    Here's the bass:

  2. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    intonation looks funky but otherwise that's a gorgeous bass! i prefer pickups wired wide open, but the parallel/series and phase switches can be fun and they are options. how does it sound otherwise? is the rotary a varitone?
  3. Heck, that IS teh simplified version! Ever seen a vintage Bich?
  4. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Got to love the "mission control" knob layout (Houston, we have a problem!). I think lot's of knobs are cool, but I always end up finding one position and leaving everything there. I do think the chicken head knob is a varitone. Sweet Bass!!
    Moonshine :bassist:
  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Nice catch on the intonation. The previous owner had it tuned to C#. The bass sounds fantastic. The rotary switch is a varitone.

  6. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Oct 10, 2008
    Canada eh
    CRIPES! and people think G&L's have complicated electronics.

    On a G&L L2000 Series is fuller, deeper, grittier and more vintage sounding. Although there is not a lot of clarity.

    Parallel is cleaner and a bit more "scooped" sounding. It still has pretty much the same growl but less "grit" if you get me. The high end is much cleaner and you get more fret burble.

    I tend to prefer parallel as you can get kind of pseudo Wal sound.

    Not usually a fan of "metal" basses but that is really nice! :bassist:

    Edit: Upon rereading the OP I see you were looking for the technical explanation for series parallel. Woops. I dont have a good enough understanding of what the difference is to give you a reliable explanation.

    Wikipedia maybe?
  7. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Thank you for the link. Yes, I was looking for more of a technical explanation of series/parallel wiring in pickups. I suppose I should just look at the wiring diagram.
  8. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    New England
    Hee hee... so you are the one who got that off of CL? :)

    On my Warlock, I have found that each switch has a definite "sounds good" or "sounds bad" to my ears at least. The Varitone has some pretty usable tones, and the boost is nice as an overdrive. The bass will still work without a battery, too.

    P.S. The Series/Phase switches are just like an S-1 switch on a P-bass.
  9. Right. Looking at one pickup/switch:it changes the wiring so that each half of the split pickup feeds into the other(series), or, in the other position, each half goes directly to the tone/vol pots, as if it were two seperate pickups.
    Series is the conventional way to wire a P bass pickup- louder, darker.
    Parallel is brighter, with slightly deeper bass. 'Scooped,' if you will.
  10. Thunderitter

    Thunderitter Bass - The Final Frontier.. Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    Even in C#, the intonation still doesn't make sense to me - it looks like they set it up to mirror the p-ups.
  11. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Yes. This was a craigslist buy. The price was extremely reasonable.
  12. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Awesome. Thanks!
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I'll make an attempt without getting too technical (because I'm a dummy!).

    You have to have 2 coils to do series/parallel. Wiring in series means they are wired end to end..the signal goes through one coil then through the other. If you have a break somewhere the whole thing stops working.

    Wiring in parallel means both coils are connected to the source. Signal goes through both coils at the same time. If one coil breaks, only that coil stops working.

    Series wiring raises the resistance. Parallel half the resistance. I get this part confused, but I think series has less output and sounds more like a single coil because of more resistance. Parallel is louder and fuller because of less resistance.

    Same concept works for speakers. That why for example you may see an amp stating '100 watts into 8 ohms. 200 watts into 4 ohms, 400 watts into 2 ohms'. Less resistance, more signal can get through.
  14. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    New England
    Yeah, you got a deal on that... I e-mailed him the day he listed it, but he didn't write back until three days later. I love Rich's, and the price you paid for USA is only slightly more than I usually pay for an old NJ. One of these days I will get one, though! :)
  15. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004
    Series: coils are linked in a chain. You get about 6dB more, and it is ballsier sounding, sometimes you lose or seem to lose a bit of top end. A les Paul has a series humbucker.

    Parallel: the coils are connected in parallel to the output and you get a 'cleaner sound' some phase cancellation. A stingray has a parallel wired humbucker.

    Phase Switch: the coils are reversed and you get phase cancellation of the waves in the opposing coils. Depending on position, it will be quite a severe tone change, typcially you lose a chunk of the freq. spectrum and it sounds 'hollow'.

    Varitone: various coils and caps affixed to a switch that allow for all sorts of tonal changes.

    These were largely passive electronics to the BC Rich 80s circuitry.
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