620 questions

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620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:19 am

Hello everyone!

I bought my first Ric, a used 620, and would like to ask a few questions.

I've always been a Fender player, so I know nothing about Rickenbacker pots, wiring and what it should look like under the pickguard.

Here's how it looks:

Image

Image

My questions:

Does it look stock or are there any distinguishable mods?

Another thing that has caught my attention are the pickups.

The pole pieces (the round allen things on each pickup) on the bridge pickup have some sort of letters on them, I could tell an S and theres some 2 or 3 more. The ones on the neck pickup seem to be blank. Is that normal?

The four corner philips screws are very short and each one is attached to a small nut, not reaching the wood (they sit on the black foamy pad that is under each pickup). What are they for?
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (wim) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:35 am

A) fifth knob is out of the circuit
B) don't know, probably
C) they keep the pickup together
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Tommy) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:35 pm

wim wrote:...fifth knob is out of the circuit
...


Wow, that's interesting. I've heard of all manner of wiring mods to Rics (Lennon himself famously did one), but I've never heard of ditching the fifth knob. Is that done frequently and I've just never come across it?
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:28 pm

Also, do those black and white wires indicate that the neck pickup was replaced? I mean do modern High Gains only come with that thicker gray plastic tube around the wires?

Or does it look like it was just rewired?

Here are the pickups. Do they look ok?

Image

Image
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (jps) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:18 pm

The wires for the neck pickup look to me like those from various fake Rick pickups we've seen over the years on ebay and elsewhere. Best if you could pull that pickup off and take pics of the underside of it for us to see.

There's other suspect things going on as well, like all those colored wires going to/coming from the jacks (the ones I have seen were all the same color, albeit that was on older instrumets), and the grey sleeved lead with red and black wires. The routing for the channel to the neck pickup looks odd in that photo, but I don't recall having ever seen photos of a modern 620 with the pickguard removed so that may be normal.

Also, note that the pickup mountings screws are not the same type on the bridge and neck pickups.

Have you posted photos of the whole instrument, yet?
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:39 pm

I guess one of the previous owners did a lousy job in an authentic Ric.

I bought it with all the tags and case, and I’m pretty sure it’s legit. I’ll post pics. I also emailed the company to see what they tell me.
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:42 pm

The guitar has been previously registered here, there are good quality pics:

http://www.rickresource.com/register/vi ... lebrity%3D
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (jps) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:41 pm

The guitar is legit, just mostly wondering about the neck pickup. I also see that the finish on the pole pieces look different (matte on the bridge pickup, glossy on the neck pickup). Can you make photos of the undersides of both pickups?
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:09 pm

Yeah, the guitar itself looks/feels quite all right. Good to hear that you thought so too by the pics.

I’ll try to take pics of under the pups.

Btw how do you spot fake 620s?

I’ve been playing Fenders and some Gibsons all my life, no Ric experience.
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (jps) » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:43 pm

Sérgio wrote:...Btw how do you spot fake 620s?

I’ve been playing Fenders and some Gibsons all my life, no Ric experience.

Since I am about to leave for the evening, the short answer is the same as it is for Gibson, Fender, etc. - experience. :wink:
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:04 am

Here are the backsides of the pickups.

The wood looks ok, solid and clean. You can see MG (Mapleglo) writtten under the neck pickup and a first name handwritten under the bridge one.

But the pickups I can't tell if they're original (maybe modified somehow) or bad.

Image

Image
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:22 am

I had emailed RIC with the pics and asked if the pickups, pots and wires looked ok. Here’s what the company replied:


“Hi Sergio,



The pickups look to be original and as far as the wiring goes there does not appear to be anything strange. I hope this information is helpful.



Take care,



Rickenbacker Customer Service

3895 S. Main St. Santa Ana, CA 92707

714-545-5574

Fax: 714-754-1055

service2@rickenbacker.com

www.rickenbacker.com

cid:image001.png@01CEAE24.424580F0”

My guess is that some other owner rewired it to suit some personal need and therefore it looks a bit odd. But let’s hear more opinions...
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Tommy) » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:56 pm

In all this discussion of wiring and routing and proper screws and pickups....the main question seems to be avoided:
How does it sound?

Are you happy with how the guitar plays and sounds?

You were buying a used guitar, right? It is possible things will not be stock, so what you should be concerned with is how the guitar plays and sounds. Is it to your liking? If so, then enjoy it!
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (Sérgio) » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:14 pm

You see, Tommy, the main issue is exactly how the guitar sounds and what I can do with it. For instance, whoever rewired it left a few possibilities out of the circuit (e.g. the 5th pot).

So, answering your direct question, it sounds quite all right for most of the stuff I want it for, though I do like the bridge sound more than the neck (neck sounds too smooth, too “early years Beatles”), I expected more from a high gain pup), and I intend to have it redone back to factory specs.
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Re: 620 questions

Postby (jdogric12) » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:48 am

The 620 has 21 frets, thus sounds like a vintage 300-series with 21 frets. A modern 300-series would have 24 frets and sound a little punchier in a band mix.

I wouldn't read too much into RIC's reply.. they're busy making guitars, not answering emails. You should definitely get it wired up stock though - that 5th knob can be fun and useful if you take the time to learn it!
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