389L Piezo troubleshooting

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Anachronism
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389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by Anachronism »

Hey folks, I recently picked up a 380L with a piezo, after spending the last few years regretting selling my standard 380L. The guitar is beautiful and plays well but I have a couple of questions.
1. The guy I bought it from said it was not a factory 380L PZ, but that the piezo system was added afterwards (I don't have more details than that). However, it looks stock, from the bridge to the route under the bridge to house the preamp board. The control wiring does not seem standard, but I think it is more likely that someone rewired a factory PZ model than that a non-PZ was sent back to RIC for a piezo install, or that some other tech installed one that looks so much like a factory job. Anyway, does anyone know if there is a way to figure this out? I sent a message to RIC customer service, but haven't heard back.
2. The piezo has a noticeably weaker response from the A and G strings. I've tried re-seating the strings and moving the saddles, and it hasn't helped. And suggestions?
Thanks.
4004Ci, 4003, 650S, 380L
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jdogric12
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by jdogric12 »

I've owned several of these. Post some pics and I'll do my best. PM me the serial and that may help too.
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Anachronism
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by Anachronism »

Image
Image
4004Ci, 4003, 650S, 380L
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jdogric12
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by jdogric12 »

Those saddles don't look like the factory PZ's I've had. What year is yours? www.rickenbacker.com has a serial number decoder in the service section if you need it.
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by Anachronism »

It's a 96
4004Ci, 4003, 650S, 380L
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jdogric12
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by jdogric12 »

yeah I'm 99.9% sure that's not factory. Worth emailing RIC to ask though.
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by Anachronism »

Ok, thanks.
4004Ci, 4003, 650S, 380L
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jdogric12
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by jdogric12 »

My only thought was maybe they used whatever they could early in the model's run, but I see a '95 in the RRF register with the saddles I'm used to seeing on PZ's, which I have read RIC had to make themselves basically and was not a desirable step to have to add to the manufacturing process.
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Anachronism
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by Anachronism »

I found a post from John Hall saying they used a couple of different saddle types. Perhaps these are the first kind

viewtopic.php?p=751619#p751619
4004Ci, 4003, 650S, 380L
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doctorwho
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by doctorwho »

I never had my former 380L apart enough to know, or to have pictures of the saddles.

FWIW, it also had a phasing issue, as I could never get a strong output/full sound when I tried to blend the piezo with the other pickups.
It is better, of course, to know useless things than to know nothing. - Seneca
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Re: 389L Piezo troubleshooting

Post by jdogric12 »

Anachronism wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:18 pm I found a post from John Hall saying they used a couple of different saddle types. Perhaps these are the first kind

viewtopic.php?p=751619#p751619
You found it!!!
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