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jamest
New
Username: jamest

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2013
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 1:00 pm:   Edit Post

Hi all,

I joined this forum to find out more about the Aria Pro ii RS-750. I just purchased this guitar from a guy in Portugal and found an interesting post here on the Alembic forum:

DrBob1 wrote:

"So I've done a little more research and both Aria and Alembic apparently agree that Alembic sold Aria the electronics package for the RS850 for a couple of years (1982-84?). Given that you're getting the whole 18v, dummy coil and 2 singles, variable Q circuit for less than Alembic would charge for a single pickup for one of their guitars, it seems worth exploring."

The guitar has hardware with looks to be fairly authentic to an Alembic design and the electronics are really sweet almost too sweet for a Japanese knock-off. They pick-ups are called out on-line:

"5-ply maple/walnut transmit (thru) neck, brass nut, rosewood FB, 24 fret, zebrawood/sycamore contoured body, 2 RSP-II pickups with center slave pickup, 1V, 2T, phase, two coil-cut?, 3 way rotary pickup selector."

If anybody can explain the concept of the slave pick-up, what its doing and so on Id be grateful!

Here is my youtube demo of the guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FolrjwCYbw

The guitar was purchased new in 1981 in Faro, Portugal.

Peace,

James
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1183
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

James,

In these parts the "slave pickup" is called a dummy coil. It has all the components of a regular pickup, minus the magnets. It is wound out of phase and cancels electromagnetic interference. If I understand correctly, each pick up has its own preamp, and so does the dummy coil (to bring it up to the effective level where it can cancel the hum). This is part of the reason that the electronics are pricey. Part of the electronics are dedicated to a coil that doesn't transmit sound.

/Nice Guitar


(Message edited by hydrargyrum on October 10, 2013)
jamest
New
Username: jamest

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2013
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 2:46 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Hydragyrum,

Thanks for that. The RS750 is passive (no battery). It's identical to the RS850 minus the preamp, which I think may be a sort of stratoblaster??? or boost??? What's your take? Alembic or Aria designed electronics.

So from what I understand the dummy coil is always in play and the single coils are sort of like a humbucker in split coli mode?

Do I understand this correct?

If I was to pull out that dummy coil I suppose I would destroy the integrity of the other two pick-ups.

Yes its a great player as well!

Peace,

James
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8030
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 3:42 pm:   Edit Post

We sold Aria pickups and electronics for their Rudy Sarzo model. The pickups on the guitar in the video you posted do not look like ones we have ever made. If you post a picture of what is in the electronics cavity, we can let you know if there are any Alembic electronics in there.

The (Strato)Blaster is an active preamp, so if you're running without a battery, it's not on a Blaster.

Hardware looks nice, but I'm pretty sure we didn't make it.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11197
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 5:08 pm:   Edit Post

Hi James, welcome to the board. Nice playing!
hydrargyrum
Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1185
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 8:00 pm:   Edit Post

Hey James,

It looks like I was completely wrong. :-) It wouldn't be the first time.

But moving on, it's possible that my original description wasn't too far wrong. There are some guitars that have passive dummy coils, but coil splitting is a different affair. A split coil as I know it is equivalent to decreasing the number of wraps on a pickup, thereby changing the resistance (and impedance). Very few "coil splitting" guitars actually result in single coil vs humbucker systems (if my reading is correct). Frankly I'd be curious to test the middle pick up on your guitar and see if some after market wiring wasn't in play that caused a failure. If it's not a hum canceler then it's probably a full fledged pick up.
jamest
New
Username: jamest

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2013
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 9:25 pm:   Edit Post

Hey Hyrdargyrum,

Its definitely a dummy coil, albeit one in a passive system. the pickup selector only goes to one or the other pickup, with an in-between "quack" setting which slides from one side to the other. Its basically a 2 way switch. Its a little wacky and hard to describe but you can't select the middle pick-up on its own and on the Matsumoko website they call it a slave.

Unfortunately the brochures are in Japanese! I found one that's quite detailed with captions on each switch. I'm sure it tells the whole story.

I'm guessing the dummy coil is for the quack sound, and perhaps to get the noiseless thing going?? There are 3 toggles which each lay in a subtle nuance to the tone. I read 2 of them are Q switches which toggle the slave on and off. One of the switches seems to fatten up the tone. One seems to get an out of phase tone happening, and one seems to not do much depending on where the toggle switch sits.

The question is what would happen if I simply pulled it out and put in a usable middle pick-up? In a passive system what is the purpose of the middle "slave" or dummy coil???

Thanks!

James
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2048
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 10:35 pm:   Edit Post

I've always been a fan of the Japanese guitars post-lawsuits and before they farmed so much of their production out of Japan, that mid 70's to mid 80's that saw the unique bloom of Japanese meets Western 80's sensibilities. For every screwball JDM guitar you couldn't give away anywhere else, we saw the SG- and SA- Yamahas, the PE Arias, the many Ibanez Artists and George Bensons, etc. And a bass explosion so very influenced, like the guitars, by Alembic: The BB Yamahas, Ibanez Musicians, SB Arias, Daion Mark 20, and the great missing link from those days, the Tune Bass Maniacs, surely the basis for Ibanez' SoundGears.

Aria was in a very close relationship with the Matsumoku company, and most all of their cool 80's pieces came from there. Here's a link to a fansite for those axes:

www.matsumoku.org

. . . . and from there a catalog reprint with English translations for gaijins about the (RevSound) RS guitars . . . .

http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/rs1.html

J o e y
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2049
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post

Passive or active, the 'dummy', if I've got it straight in my famously non-technical mind, is to give the 'electrical' benefit of a 'humbucking' coil noisewise (nowhere near as sensitive to dimmers, you have to use a radio instead to listen to AM stations, etc.) while retaining the tone of a single coil.

If you've heard 'stack' replacements for single coil pickups (the various stack replacements for Fender single coils, the P100 Gibson, etc.), they're close, but they don't sound exactly the same. The idea with the dummy is that you keep the single coil tone, but gain the quiet of a humbucker by physically separating the quieting part of the pickup assembly.

Depending on what would fit that route size (maybe buy another or similar RS Aria as a donor?), three single coils would be just as a conventional Strat, prone to electric noise in certain situations as always, depending on how well the shielding / installation was performed.

J o e y
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5559
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 - 12:18 am:   Edit Post

I have one of the RS-850 guitars. Very Alembic-like, but easy to tell it's not one, unlike some of the Fernandes instruments. The electronic set up is pure Series 1. But I don't believe the pick-ups and guts are Alembic. It certainly doesn't sound nearly as full as my Alembics, but it is a very cool instrument. Definitely worth considering if you ever run into one.

Bill, tgo

P.S. The Daion Power Mark XX is my all-time favorite production line guitar. They were made at the Yamaki factory, a contemporary of and equal to Matsumoku.

(Message edited by Lbpesq on October 11, 2013)

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