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1 meg pot, 250k pot and Fender P/J output

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassman_al, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. bassman_al

    bassman_al Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Fairfax, VA USA
    Hi all,
    I searched and found nothing that specifically addressed my question. I have a passive '99 P-bass special that has stock eletronics that I just love. I bought the body of a more recent version of the same model, which of course featured active circuitry. This bass was converted to passive, using the original pickups. I re-wired the harness and to the best of my ability have determined that I did it correctly. It has output and everything sounds as it should, but the overall output level is nothing compared to my '99.

    My question to the panel here has to do with the cause. I believe the P pickups on the newer model are the same as the ones used in other vintage style basses by Fender, like the "50's" model. Alnico V magnets, etc. Visually, that pickup is the same as the "50's" pickup. I looked at them both side by side.

    The J pickup is the "noiseless" model found in other models as well, and seems to be used in passive basses by Fender as well.

    So it doesn't seem that either pickup should need the pre-amp in order to sound good or to operate at comparable volume to passive Fenders.

    I took a closer look today at the harness I made and realized that I have a 250k pot in the P position and in the tone position, but the J pot is a 1 meg, left over from the original circuitry that I neglected to replace in my re-wiring.

    Please contribute any theories as to why the output on this bass is less. Could the 1 meg pot be the problem? I am going to switch it out for a 250k pot no matter what.

    Could the pickups themselves be the problem? Is it possible that Fender uses different gauge wire for the P-Bass Special model with active circuitry, and by mixing wiring I may have created my own problem. In other words, should I start from scratch and make a harness with matching wiring and with matching pots?

    Other than output, the bass sounds as it should.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. A 1M pot would actually increase the output a little bit, because there is less of a load on the circuit. However, as soon as you roll it down from full volume, there will be a very large resistance in series with the signal, so you will lose a lot of output very quickly.
  3. bassman_al

    bassman_al Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Fairfax, VA USA

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