Rickenbacker® Model 380L "Laguna" pz option
Model 380L "Laguna" pz option Photo: Eric Geskus
Maybe interesting to know for other (potential) owners:
I have modified the electronics of the guitar a little in order to overcome a small shortcoming of the 380L-PZ. I asked Ric why they did not implement it that way from the start and they let me know that it had been considered but they have chosen for the way they did it. Here the story:
The 5th know on the 380L-PZ s used to make a choice from HumBucker to Acoustic, with every mix of them in between. this works fine, except when you have you HB pickups wired to a high gain stage and the Ac pickups to a separate amp or pre-amp. The problem is that when you turn the 5th knob to say Ac, the HB is still a little bit on. this is enough to drive a high gain input on an amp loud enough to get full power sound output. My preamp (Baques GPA4, look at http://www.baques.wolweb.nl features separate inputs for Piezo and Magnetic pickups and I wanted to use those inputs. If you open the back of the 380L-PZ, you will discover that the 5th know is a dual POT. One is working as a variable series resistor with the HB pickups and the other one does the same for the Piezo's. They are conmected counterwise to eachother. In order to be able to cut one signal completely with the POT turned fully to 'the other side', you will have to connect the 2 open lugs (one on each part of the dual POT) simply to the ground. You can use the metal casing of the POT's for that. To my opinion it increases the usability of the instrument substantially.
Dave Wiggins with his 380L pz:
"In the 380 Laguna with the piezo under the
bridge option for 'rich acoustic timbre' as the brochure claims, there is a
routing on the back of the guitar for access to the pots and wires and 9 volt
battery. Since there is no pick guard assembly on this guitar, the
pots,etc. are accessed from the back.
The 380 has two HB1 humbucking pickups in bridge and neck positions and these two magnetic pickups are controlled by a 3-way toggle switch selector and both pickups share one volume and one tone control. The pickups came from the factory with the bridge p/u set closer to the strings than the neck which will bias the bridge somewhat, but the owner can set the height to his personal taste. I left mine alone.
The piezo pickups are mounted in each individual saddle on the bridge. The saddle appears from a distance like a roller saddle on a 650 series but instead of the roller, there is a small dome of some kind of alloy that is grooved down the middle and the string sits in the groove of this dome. The piezo transducer is located under the string inside this saddle. It is wired from the saddle to a circuit board hidden under the bridge. I am not adventurous enough to look there, as the guitar is still under warranty. I am assured it is there.
The acoustic part of the guitar needs the 9 volt battery. The acoustic tone is very convincing and I use it alot in a variety of songs, and you are able to blend the acoustic and magnetic pickups with the 5th knob like you are able to blend the neck and bridge p/u's on a 360. The HB1's are dark sounding ( read : not extremely bright, they are humbuckers after all) and
it is nice to blend in a small amount of the pz circuit to brighten the tone.
What happens when you take out the battery, Dave? The humbuckers act normal, when you have the blend knob biased to the HB side, but the acoustic (pz) circuit goes off. If you bias the 5th knob to the pz side you can barely hear it. So for all intent- without a battery you have a straight humbucker equipped guitar with a single volume and treble cut knob
with a 3-way selector.
What are the two mono jacks for?
The jack nearest the strap pin is for a blend of the two pick up systems, controlled by the 5th knob, but only when you use this jack. When you plug two mono cords into each jack and run them to separate amps, one cord carries the HB's controlled by one set of pots, the other cord carries the pz circuit controlled by the other set of pots.
If you plug a single jack into the pz input, and then roll (bias) the 5th knob to the HB side, the pz is rolled off. If you roll the 5th knob to the pz side the pz circuit comes back on to full when you bias all the way to the pz side.
I am still discovering (after two years of use) some new and good tones from this piece. The 380 and I are on Bjorn Eriksson's site if you want a look and a listen to the acoustic part of the 380. I will add some sounds from the HB's soon, now that I have some time to do so."
Courtesy of Dave Wiggins and Eric Geskus
© 2000, 2001 Björn Eriksson
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