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250 vs 500k pots on a Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by thelimey, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. thelimey


    Oct 18, 2009
    I have a 92 American 'longhorn' Jazz bass with TBX tone controls and even with Seymour Duncan 1/4 pound pickups it's never seemed very loud/aggresive. It's sound good but you need to have an amp with enough horse power that you can push it up a little.
    I also have Japanese made Jazz Bass Special (~84) and a 51' Reissue, both with 1/4 pounders, which seem to be a lot louder.
    My bass tech suggest that the pots in the 92' Jazz Bass may be 250k which is chocking the output and getting 500k pots installed may fix the issue.
    Any thoughts? Would I gain or lose anything by switching the pots to 500k
  2. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    500k over 250k will open up the top end a bit for those pickups.
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    If you have 1/4 pounders and that bass is not loud & aggressive, something is up.

    How close are the pickups to the strings, and what kind of strings are you using?
  4. thelimey


    Oct 18, 2009
    I'd have to measure the space but they are probably what Duncan recommended/Fender setup. I use half rounds on all my basses and always had the same issue on the Jazz.
    On my Jazz Bass Special the Tech put foam under the pickups to get them closer to strings.
  5. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    OK, half rounds are mellow sounding strings. You aren't going to get an aggressive tone from them. I use them on some of my basses when I want a more vintage tone.

    On the basses where I want a bright aggressive tone I use stainless steel round wounds.
  6. 500k pots will not give you more power or an aggressive tone... It seems that strings have lower output
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The strings have the same output, but they are not as bright sounding. Aggressive usually equates to mids and treble.
  8. pattyløve


    Apr 7, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Engineering, D'addario
    Ive experimented with 250k/500k pots in all combinations in a P bass and J bass (including with quarter pounders). I found with 500k pots they didnt add treble or aggressiveness or clank but rather, just make the tone brittle, painful to the ears and made mids less accentuated.

    With P basses, i actually dont mind one 500k for tone pots in P basses. But with my jazzes, even when i just changed one pot to 500k, i didnt overly like it.

    Edit: I find quarter pounders (more so than other pickups) respond VERY much to the height that they are set at. Moving my SPB3s up a millimetre or two changed my tone drastically (more highs, more aggressive). And i thought they were already pretty high and aggressive before that.
  9. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I always use 500k volume pots and Fender TBX tone controls in my JJ and PJ basses.

    I briefly tried 250k volume pots and standard tone controls, but switched back.

    I have no problem adjusting the tone control to be as mellow or aggressive as I like it, and I find the combination versatile.

    I use D'addario nickle round wounds.

    (I have never used SD QPs)