Epiphone Rivoli problem

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Le Basseur, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Hi all,
    I just got on repair this mint Epiphone Rivoli CH oldtimer.
    The bass is in mint condition except that someone (the owner before the actual one) went "his own way" and re-wired the PU and pots in a weird way.Now,the PU gives a very strong output but extremely boomy with no definition.
    Does anyone have a wiring schematic or a link to a schematic for revive this instrument?
    Le Basseur
    PS The button near the bridge serves as a PU phase switcher,as I could identify by now.
    Ooops...I might be posting in the wrong section...
    If true,please mod,move this thread where do you consider it belongs!

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Isint that the kind of tone and sound they have like the EB basses?.
  3. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    I'm not sure I get your point... :meh:

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Isint that thick boomy tone their sound ?.
  5. Yeah, that's kind of their sound. I had a '68 EB-2 for several years, it left because I couldn't find a good use for it's sound. It does what it does. I believe the baritone switch is actually a coil splitter.

    With an EB-2/Rivoli you can expect to get the well defined and precise sounds of Chas Chandler of the Animals and Paul Samwell-Smith of the Yardbirds.


    It does what it does well, it just doesn't color outside it's lines well.

    BTW- that's a really pretty looking bass, nice score.
  6. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Thanks guys,I got it now.
    Still,I didn't get out the circuit (pots,PU and wires) because I have to be sure about the original specs/details and I don't have time for various testings.The owner doesn't like at all the sound but wants to keep the bass,so there are three possibilities:
    1.Convince him to get rid of the bass as is
    2.Convince him that this is the sound of this instrument and nothing more,and
    3.Eventually go for a PU replacement (FWIU,the specific sound is mainly a PU issue...am I wrong?!?).Do you have any suggestions?
  7. Here's my take on this. The EB-2/Rivoli is designed to sound like it does. From the size and placement of the pickup to the construction of the body (semi-hollow/mahogany) it's meant to be a mellow, boomy type thing. Even though there was a 2 pickup model (EB-2D)- akin to the EB-3, they still sound like that. Heck, the EB-3 is solid and it still pretty well sounds like that. I've never known any of those basses to sound significantly different barring some sort of complete overhaul (involving routing...)- which I wouldn't recommend on a vintage instrument.

    There are plenty of basses that you can tweak and EQ to make them sound like you want them to, the EB series of Gibson basses will totally fight you to retain their unique character. If it doesn't fit the user's idea of a good bass sound, they're really not much of a match- regardless of how incredibly nice feeling and cool they look.
  8. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Thanks for reply,Golden Boy!
    In the meantime,I got out all the wiring/pots/stuff just to make sure that everything looks OK...and I put everything back.The only adjustment I made was the truss rod/bridge/action thing because the rivoli needed it badly! :D
    No,I didn't intend to modify this bass because this should be against my beliefs :) and one cannot transform a semi-hollow into a full-bodied sound.At least,not at this level... ;)
    I'll return the Epiphone tomorrow in the best (unmodded) state that's possible.For further modifications,the owner must find a butcher or alike...but not me! :eyebrow:
  9. Man, that's a nice bass alright.

    I have a late 90's Epi Rivoli II that has the bridge pickup and it still gets that tubby tone, but with a little bite. It's my "wanna be like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club" bass.

    I actually just love semi-hollow EB style basses, and had to own one. I've yet to track with it, but have no delusions about how it will track.
  10. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I just nabbed a 1966 Gibson EB2 and it is definitly a bottom feeder for sure.. BIG Boomy tone in a hollow body pkg..
    I like the bass for sure but I could never use it for my rock cover band.. My original band sure I can see myself plucking the EB on a few tunes. If I was in a CCR cover band I would have the perfect tone...lol

    Nice Epi BTW, looks like a keeper...
  11. What I really loved about my EB-2 is that it played so well. It felt so good, the neck was perfect. I fought with it for 6 or 7 years, but for as sweet as it felt and as pretty as it was to look at- I honestly don't miss that bass. It's sound and the sound I wanted it to have didn't match.

    Le Basseur- That's a good thing you don't want to tear into a perfectly good bass. If you're in repair, I'm sure you've seen bunches of 60's Strats routed out for Floyd Rose and humbuckers- I don't mind wear, just ignorant mods.
  12. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Please don't remind me... :eyebrow: :rollno: :scowl: :mad:
  13. In the mid 90's one of my friends owned a repair place and all these early to mid 60's strats would come in and the owner would want to block up the Kahler rout or the Floyd Rose rout and make them look good.

    Another friend owned a store and wouldn't sell me a Telecaster with a blocked Kahler rout and string tree holes above the nut... He was embarrased by it and didn't want it staying in town! That was in 93 at the latest. Imagine a slab board Tele going for around $400... Those were the days... :)
  14. t-ray

    t-ray Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Alabama USA
    I have a reissue Rivoli. Recently had pickup/pots replaced with DiMarzio
    Model One and replaced that big "bass boost" button (didnt do anything
    as far as I could tell) with a mini toggle for series/parallel switching. The
    new pup sounds great and much more quiet. Switching option just so-so
    as series sounds best for most everything. Overall big improvement. I
    still have the stock pickup and rest of wiring in tact. Would this help?
  15. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Hi t-ray,
    Thanks for stopping by!
    Two days ago I returned the RIvoli to the owner in the original wiring state and with a much lower neck action :D .
    I must confess that when I tested the bass on my amp setted in linear mode (no corrections whatsoever),I managed to get a great "acoustic" tone,similar with a double-bass...but that was about it.Unfortunately,the customer sets his Marshall's graphic EQ in that crappy V-shape (boosted lows and highs,scooped mids,just like a DJ...PUAH! :rollno: ) so the Epiphone further sounds like hell.
    I told him exactly what you did on your Rivoli (a DiMarzio Number One replacement) and he agreed.BTW,thank you for your offer! :) Now,I have to wait 'till he gets that DiMarzio PU
    (I don't really have the time to chase it) and,eventually,the bass will come again for the mod.
    One question,though:maybe I'm missing something,but on DiMarzio's website I didn't see any physical specs of the PU.
    When you made the replacement,did you encountered some fitting problems (different dimensions,different holes),or the Number One is a direct replacement?
    Thank you,
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