Your Tone Control Preferences

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Angel Switch, Dec 26, 2013.


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What Tonal Controls Do You Prefer?

  1. One volume, One tone (Precision)

    86 vote(s)
    22.6%
  2. Volume per pick-up, Master tone (Jazz)

    76 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Volume, Balance, Three-Band EQ

    116 vote(s)
    30.5%
  4. Volume per pick-up, Three Band EQ

    21 vote(s)
    5.5%
  5. An Insane Number of Controls That Can Only Be Found On Boutique Basses

    26 vote(s)
    6.8%
  6. Something Else (Please, Do Tell!)

    55 vote(s)
    14.5%
  1. Angel Switch

    Angel Switch

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    This is purely because I'm curious and want to know what different people think about different kinds of tone controls and how they limit or enable you when crafting your sound. Reply with more specifics on your background and why you prefer what you prefer.
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Way Out West
    I have Fender J's and P's.
    All have the stock tone controls. I keep them full up most of the time.
    I shape my tone from the amp.
  3. Angel Switch

    Angel Switch

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    I posted it in the "Basses" section hoping that people would know I meant tonal controls on the bass itself...we'll see how this goes, then XD
  4. Osztertag2112

    Osztertag2112

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    I play fender ps and js but i would love master vol and tone knobs and then a pickup switch
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  6. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I like so many different flavors, but here are my favorites...
    On my main bass with a single HB: Volume (push-pull for series/parallel) + tone
    On a J-flavored bass: Volume + 4-way rotary sw.(neck/parallel/series/bridge) + tone
    Active systems: volume + blend + bass + treble
  7. dwm74

    dwm74

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ

    I deleted my post, for I evidently misunderstood the question. My bad.
  8. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Location:
    Arkansas
    The more knobs the better. It looks impressive. And it gives you something to do while holding half notes in a ballad.
  9. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I have 2011 MIA Jazz Deluxe that I removed the active circuit and had Lindy Fralin pickups installed with new pots and capacitors. Each pickup has it's own volume and tone control. It is wired volume, tone, volume tone.
  10. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    I don't get a lot out of my tone control in terms of shaping the sound of my bass. I rely much more on my amp settings.
  11. Radio Face

    Radio Face

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    One volume and one tone for a single pickup bass and, two volumes and one tone for a two pickup bass.
  12. mapleglo

    mapleglo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    I prefer setting tone at the amp, preamp, or pedal. I prefer no tone controls on the bass. Also, I'm a minimalist when it comes to controls.
  13. AaronVonRock

    AaronVonRock

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Less knobs the better. I'd prefer just a volume knob only.
  14. Gaolee

    Gaolee The Fat Violin Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Other, meaning meh, whatever it came with is OK with me.
  15. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    South Texas
    For "something else", Greco made an LP clone bolt-neck wtih 3 chrome Thunderbird pickups that came with ONLY 3 volumes. Using the mix of volumes controls the tone and it works.
  16. dabbler

    dabbler

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Bowie, MD
    ^ This for passive, master volume, blend and 3 band EQ for active.
  17. Angel Switch

    Angel Switch

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    No worries!!! I reread my original and I totally see how that could've been confusing XD
  18. RickBlair

    RickBlair

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Location:
    North Easton, Mass.
    I have several variations of controls.

    Modulus Q5 with Lane Poor pickups and Lane Poor preamp - passive V/T, V/T for each pickup.

    Carvin LB75F - Vol, Blend, Bass, Treble

    SX Jazz with EMG BQC - Vol, Vol, Stacked Mid, Stacked Bass/Treble (a very tight squeeze and required a side jack).

    Mosrite clone with 3 EMG pickups and BQC - Vol, Vol, Vol, Stacked Mid and Stacked Bass/Treble.

    Rick B.
  19. antonspon

    antonspon

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    My preferences have changed over the years - used to like an insane number of controls (coil taps, individual volumes, 3-band EQ etc), but those were my bedroom-bassist days. In practice, all I ever really use live are volume control(s) and pickup selector. I like quite a "piano tone", so tone control is all the way up.

    So my ideal: I prefer 2-pickup basses, and it's good to be able to find the sweet spot by balancing them against each other (a la Jazz), but a master volume (like the Gretsch) comes in very useful so that you can turn down or up without upsetting that balance, and a pickup selector if you need to rapidly jump to a different sound for a solo, say. I'd probably go for 3 volumes and a selector...although sometimes I'd be happy just to have the selector switch and maybe a master volume.
  20. Clouz

    Clouz The Ayatollah of Jack and Cola Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    K eep
    I t
    S imple
    S tupid

    tone is in the hands
  21. LanOsb133

    LanOsb133

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    My American Deluxe P gets quite the array of sounds.

    Volume usually all the way up
    Pickup blend knob/Pan Pot 75% P pickup and 25% J Humbucker pickup.
    Bass boosted either all the way and treble cut all the way, or Mid treble (50%) and about 70% bass.
    Mid usually up 30% at most.

    Pan Pot 50/50
    Bass boosted either all the way and treble cut all the way, or Mid treble (50%) and about 70% bass.
    Mid usually up 30% at most.

    Pan Pot all J
    Treble boosted all the way Bass boosted 50% or cut all the way.
    Mid usually up 30% at most.

    Those are my three "main" sounds that I enjoy. I really like the Humbucker with trebel and 50% bass when I'm playing songs like Duran Duran Rio and other songs like it. I mainly use for original music the 75% P and occasionally the 50/50. But I love the variety I can get from one bass! Especially when you add in the string plucking methods (pick no pick, near bridge, near neck, etc.) Also I run Flats in case anyone was wondering.

    Reason I prefer what I do:
    I use to run a pick as my main plucking method because I was into the heavy post-hardcore music (Mainly The Fall Of Troy was my biggest inspiration) so to balance out the plucking of the pick I use flats, then I personally think that basses should be low and mean and fat sounding. Like an eruption of physical weight, something you can actually feel. So thats why I mainly run the P pickup because it gives that nice low end on the bottom strings and the 25% Bridge really brings out some of the top notes. Lately I have been using my fingers and I am digging the tone so much more! Even fatter sounding than before.

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