325 wiring mods

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325 wiring mods

Postby (brianeharmonjr) » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:04 am

I'm planning on acquiring a 320 or 325 soon, but have some questions for you 325 experts. What are some of the common wiring modifications for these 3 pickup models? I assume that the standard wiring with a 3 way switch would give you only one pickup at a time. Has anyone tried it a different way. I'm thinking more like a strat-style 5 way switching. Since I've sold all of my strats to purchase Rics, I've come to miss that 2 and 4 spot on my strat switch and am wondering if it's possible to get at all near it with a 3 pickup Ric. And as far as the knobs, I've seen mention of 3 volumes and a master tone, but what are some of the other things you folks have tried?
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (tennis_nick) » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:59 pm

brianeharmonjr wrote:I'm planning on acquiring a 320 or 325 soon, but have some questions for you 325 experts. What are some of the common wiring modifications for these 3 pickup models? I assume that the standard wiring with a 3 way switch would give you only one pickup at a time. Has anyone tried it a different way. I'm thinking more like a strat-style 5 way switching. Since I've sold all of my strats to purchase Rics, I've come to miss that 2 and 4 spot on my strat switch and am wondering if it's possible to get at all near it with a 3 pickup Ric. And as far as the knobs, I've seen mention of 3 volumes and a master tone, but what are some of the other things you folks have tried?



The standard 3 position wiring on a 3 pickup guitar is just like a 2 pickup guitar, but the middle and neck pickup are wired together... so

1. bridge
2.bridge,middle,neck
3,middle neck

I believe the most popular (or most useful) modification would be to wire the 3 way selector to leave out the middle pickup, so
1.bridge
2.bridge neck
3.neck

then convert the 5th knob as a volume knob that control the middle pickup, so you can bring it in in any position.
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (brianeharmonjr) » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:31 pm

I really like the sound of turning the blend into a volume for the middle pickup. But about a strat-style, out-of-phase 2 and 4 spot sound? Can that be accomplished with a 320 or 325 with either toasters or high gains, or am I just going to have to get a cheap strat to satisfy my strat-style tone desires?
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:15 am

Here's a diagram...but you'd need to make a new guard to accommodate the Strat super-switch...

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/stastic/index.php
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (beefandbones) » Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:26 pm

I encourage you to get your 320/325 and play with it for a while before you decide on any mods. I've toyed with the idea of turning the fifth knob into a volume control for the middle pickup as well (which is a popular mod) but I've found that I actually use the fifth knob a lot, and for the time being I've decided to let it be the strange, funky little guitar that it is. In fact, to my ears, the 'up' position on my 1996 (middle and neck) sounds an awful lot like the glassy 'fourth' position on a Strat. Not exactly, of course, because a 325 is a totally different guitar than a Strat, but it's a pretty interesting sound. But you might like it.
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (brianeharmonjr) » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:33 pm

Yeah, I will definitely play around with it as/is for a while before even considering any mods, but am just interested to see what others have done. If anybody has a 320 or 325 in any condition that they'd be willing to part with, or maybe trade for a 4003, please let me know.
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (teb) » Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:56 am

When I first added a third pickup to my 360/12 and wired it in using the standard method, I was thoroughly unimpressed. I didn't feel like it was really adding much to the sound or any kind of real tone options, so I started playing with variations to see whether I could actually get it to do more. I drilled a new hole in the pickguard, right in the middle of the four V&T knobs. Then I installed a 3-way mini-toggle switch in the hole that would mix the middle pickup in with either the neck pickup (standard system), the bridge pickup or turn it off. It gave a bit more tone variation, but I still wasn't thrilled, even after mixing a Ric-O-Sound box into the works. I seriously thought about the Fender-style blade switch, but I've been using stereo-wired basses for 35 years and decided to go that route instead and really like it. I later added a mid pickup to my 330/12, so that I could do the same thing and am quite happy with it. On a mono guitar, like the 330, 325. or 350 it works like this. A volume pot is added in the new sixth hole in the pickguard and the mono output jack is replaced with a stereo jack. The neck and bridge pickups are wired just like any two-pickup Rickenbacker with the volume and tone controls and fifth knob. Their output is run to the stereo jack's "tip" position. The middle pickup is wired all by itself to the new volume pot and then to the stereo-sleve portion of the output jack. There is no tone control, but it doesn't need one - it's like having the tone knob all the way up. It's ground is wired to the same loop of ground wiring that the neck and bridge pickups share. Plug in a mono cord and you have standard two-pickup Rickenbacker sound (which from my experience is almost the same thing as standard three-pickup Rickenbacker sound). Plug in a stereo cable, which goes either to a splitter box or which splits into a Y-cable on the amp end and you suddenly have some serious tone options. You can run each cord to a different amp or amp channel and through a completely different set of tone controls or effects. I usually run neck/bridge combo through any effects used and the middle pickup clean and unadulterated and then mix it in with the volume pot as desired. Same for recording - two tracks, one of them unaltered clean sound from the middle pickup. It's not for everyone and no doubt, horrifies the purists, but there is no debate about the wider range of tone possibilities that it offers.
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:02 am

When I redid my '80s 320 into an early-style 325, (and it now does feature toasters instead of the old hi-gains!), I redid the wiring into a two-knob, one-switch configuration. I seldom use the tone (treble rolloff) controls anyway, so both knobs are volume knobs. The selector switch chooses bridge, neck, or both, and sends the signal to one volume control. The second knob adjusts volume for the middle pickup, from zero to max, so it can be added to any other combination. I use the tone controls on the amplifier, and even without that option, the range of tones is amazing and much, much better than stock.

The only thing I can't do is adjust the mix of bridge/neck, which would require a third knob or some fancy switching. Not really missed.

If it was my only short-scale Rick, I probably would've left it alone, but it was too tempting.
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (bassman_al) » Mon May 01, 2017 10:57 am

Hi everyone,
I'm wiring a 325 3 pickup 5 knob guitar (12 string) and I need a wiring diagram. I don't read schematics so I'm looking for a diagram similar to those available on the Seymour Duncan website. Thanks in advance for any help available!
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Re: 325 wiring mods

Postby (iiipopes) » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:25 pm

My 27 page thread on wiring mods on the RIC factory forum:
http://www.rickenbacker.com/forum/viewt ... f=2&t=7928
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