Is it possible to have just ONE active tone control?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hopper, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Hopper


    Sep 24, 2008
    I'm assuming the answer's yes... but can you buy a single active treble circuit/knob for instance?

    The reason I'm asking is I hardly use bass and mid controls and only have use for a treble control occasionally when I'm playing through a muddy speaker or a dull PA and I can't see the point in having loads of annoying knobs on the bass.
  2. Just use fixed resistors in place of pots for the controls you don't want.
  3. Hopper


    Sep 24, 2008
    I'm after an active treble control - you know, something you can buy and install.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered Panther Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    Buy a normal two-band preamp. Set the bass control where you like it, stuff it into the cavity, and forget about it.
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  6. Hopper


    Sep 24, 2008
    Well that's one solution! lol
  7. Here's your options for a "one knob" tone control.
    1) What ctmullins suggested.
    2) EMG's "EXB" preamp. Not a treble control, but a single knob "slap contour" control - it boosts both bass and treble as it's turned up.
    3) EMG's "SPC" preamp, it's intended for guitar, it's a treble booster
    4) Some other on-board treble/mid booster preamp, like the Guitarfetish MODBOARDS.

    I still think #1 is your best choice. Another alternative is an outboard EQ pedal.
  8. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    For the sake of clarity, I think line6man and ctmullins are making the same suggestion..

    You could also : get a 2band and set it up pushpull treble/bass

    Or use a stompbox style one-knob-tone (but dont do this)
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered Panther Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    Absolutely. L6M is right about everything, so I always like to parrot what he says. Makes me appear smart. ;)

    Would that work? When you pushed or pulled the knob, wouldn't that disengage the pot from the other circuit?

    I never used one, but I read about the old Raven Labs P-Bass preamp that used one and only one knob. Twist it clockwise and it boosted treble while slightly reducing bass. Twist it counter-clockwise and it boosted bass while slightly reducing treble. I loved the idea of this, and was going to try and implement it using a regular two-band and a double-gang pot, but I could never convince myself that concentric knobs weren't a better idea...
  10. No, a push-pull pot won't work.... A push-pull pot combines a pot with a switch; it doesn't replace two pots.

    The EMG "BTC" preamp has both the treble and bass controls on a STACKED pot. This way you can control bass and treble independently, and not have to drill an extra hole in your bass.

    [​IMG] (image borrowed from Best Bass Gear dot com)
  11. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I should've been more specific but I was doing this from work..

    the reason I suggested the push pull was so that if he buys a twoband, he could at least have the OPTION of utilizing the other band- leaves the interface tidy and simple, and gives you the trouble control you wanted in the bass control you might find useful

    although at the same time having a push pull for 2 active circuits may just be asking for a lot of 'popping'
  12. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I was also going to suggest a stacked setup, as mentioned just above me.. I figured if the goal was less knobs I wouldn't put it out there; I had forgotten about those BTC .. Really convenient to have the circuit attached to the pot

    aside from all of that, I might breadboard a couple of dedicated treble boost circuits when I get home, either as a real solution for you or just to amuse myself..

    keep you posted
  13. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL

    I don't see the need to remuddle a bass just cause I don't use a knob or two! It could seriously effect the resale value as well. Just cause they are there doesn't mean you have to use them! Or are you building a new bass from scratch??

    I wish the stuff in my life that really annoys me was as trivial as a knob I don't use!!!!!!! I envy you!
  14. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I've built quite a few preamps over the years. I've done a single knob tone, using a baxandall circuit and a dual pot with the bass and treble wired opposite of each other. The Ovation solid body Deacon guitar had this type of tone. I've seen schemes where a Fender tone stack was used, with the bass and midrange being preset with resistors, and the treble being the tone pot.

    I would simply buy a two band, remove the bass control, and wire it to a trimpot and tuck it inside.

  15. +1 nice idea, this way you could tweak the bass control if needed by opening the cavity, and it keeps the overall package very small...
  16. Hopper


    Sep 24, 2008

    Yep, I think that's the best solution!
  17. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
  18. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
  19. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    With a BTC, if you put just a regular knob on the top you hide the bass control.