3 pickups and 2 3-band EQ's - wiring help needed

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dido__15, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. dido__15

    dido__15 Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    Corsham, nr Bath, UK
    Hello All,

    I apologise in advance for the following essay.

    I am currently undergoing a rather audacious attempt at a bass build. The starting point is an old no-name (Jim Haxley) P-Bass I've had since I was very young and have only kept hold of for sentimental reasons - it was my first bass. It's not been looked after well and has definitely seen better days, the hardware and electrics are completely haggard, almost to the point of it being unplayable. However the body and neck are in my opinion absolutely perfect and a credit to the luthier, so I have kept these, and have restored and refinished them. Replacing the hardware is no problem but when it comes to the electronics I am punching way above my head as you shall soon see. Far from the standard P-Bass wiring I am hoping to install the following:

    J + P + J pickup configuration with a 5-way switch wired for the same selections as a strat - N, N+M, M, M+B, B

    Also 2 separate 3-band EQ's either these: (http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/3_Band_Active_Tone_Circuit_MM3#) or similar attached to 3 concentric pots (http://www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/CONCENTRIC_POT_500K_WITH_BLACK_KNOBS_CP500BK#). This will work (I hope) so that when say Neck and Middle are selected on the switch, the bottom pots will control the 3 bands for the Neck pickup and then the top pots will control the Middle pickup. I want these to be wired so they control whichever 2 pickups are selected, rather than being particular to certain pickups.

    There will only be one master volume control.

    Another request I have, although not as important, is whether it would be possible to have a further 2 way switch, to select between using the 5-way switch above, or just having all 3 pickups blaring away together. I'm not sure if this is possible as I've never seen it done.

    The pickups I will be going for are Dimarzio DP127's (http://www.thomann.de/gb/dimarzio_dp127_wh.htm) in the middle and a set of DiMarzio DP149s (http://www.thomann.de/gb/dimarzio_dp149bk.htm) in the Neck and Bridge Positions.

    As you can probably tell I know what I want the bass to do but have no idea how I would wire it this way. If anyone could give me any help, or even sketch me a quick wiring diagram so I have a starting point it would be very much appreciated. The idea behind it is I want as much control as possible at my fingertips without having to go back to the amp, as I play wirelessly at gigs and can be often found dancing around like a lunatic in the crowd.

    Any help at all, or any other ideas for things that would make this beast totally controllable would be very much appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance,

  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Just a thought- if I was dancing around like a lunatic in the crowd, I would want zero knobs and switches, to avoid the inevitable bumping they'd get.

    I wonder if you might be happier with a set of pedal-type tone shaping preamps which you could stomp on at the front of the stage, which would mean no going back and fiddling with the amp, and no fiddling around with a 747 control panel on your bass while crowd surfing.

    That said, I totally understand the urge to do something silly with electronics, and I would never discourage you if that's all you want is a fun project. :)

    What I would do is break it down into modular sections, and make sure each section is working properly. Then once the modules are confirmed working right, go ahead and start experimenting with combining the modules. That way your only problem is a single switch or stacked pot giving you trouble, rather than a whole tangle of innards.
  3. dido__15

    dido__15 Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    Corsham, nr Bath, UK
    Thanks for the swift reply.

    You would be right in thinking it is also a fun project, The most wiring I've done is replacing a pair of pickups and I want to see how far I can take it. Its unlikely to be gigged as I'm using mainly budget parts, but should it work well I may very well make a top-notch bass using the same ideas.

    I'm thinking of it as 3 separate modules, the pickups, then the switch, and then the EQ's, or do you think that may be starting out too generally?

    The EQ's should be fairly easy to wire, its just one in and one out the rest of the connections are in the box. Its just a case of removing the 6 pots and combining onto the 3 concentric ones. I should be able to manage that fairly easily.

    Its the switch that I would definately confuse me, i would like the EQ's to be connected after the switch, but that would mean 3 inputs and two outputs from the switch. I have no idea if thats even possible. And the same with combining two EQ's into the one volume pot. Would i need a second volume pot? I really am a novice lol