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Adding a Sadowsky VTC to a P bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by asands, Jan 17, 2012.


  1. asands

    asands Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Troy Missouri
    Hey all,

    Kind of a noob when it comes to modding... wondering if anyone else out there has experience or know if its possible to replace the passive tone pot in a typical Fender P with a Sadowsky VTC control. If so, is it worth it or just hype? Does it require the stacked bass/treble to work correctly?

    Thanks for any info! I've already searched, but maybe I missed a thread where this may have already been discussed.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The Sadowsky VTC is a "vintage tone control", i.e. exactly the same thing that's already in your P bass.

    Mike
     
  3. asands

    asands Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Troy Missouri
    Thats kinda what I thought, I just wasn't sure if it was sweeping at a different frequency or something. Seems like my current tone control is basically on or off. At 1 or 2 (on the tone control) it goes from being very deep and treble rolled off to all high end and "clanky" from 3 on. Is it possible I just have a crappy pot or is that typical?
     
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Could be you'd want a different capacitor value or different pot taper on the tone control. That doesn't necessarily mean there's anything non-standard about the one you have, but it may or may not work well for you depending on what strings you use and what sort of tone you're looking for.
     
  5. +1. All it is is a basic tone control, same as what's typically on a P bass.

    They charge a ridiculous price for it, too. IIRC, it was $75 for a couple of pots, knobs and capacitors.
     
  6. Mirios

    Mirios

    Dec 29, 2010
    Boise, Idaho
    I'm consider getting a stellartone tonestyler for my Lakland p-bass. Stellartone - HOME. Ed Friedland does a nice review on them. I would post the link but the Jazztimes server isn't showing up for me. I know Best Bass Gear has them for sale.
     
  7. asands

    asands Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Troy Missouri
    Ok, that makes me feel better! I felt like it must do something special for that price which is somewhere near $75.

    Mike, would that be the difference between an audio and linear taper pot? Anyone know how I can tell what I have currently? I pretty much like the two tones I currently get from it, but I just wish it was a smoother transition between the two main tones.

    My P is a MIM Fender with a SD3 Seymour Duncan replacement pickup with the included pots. Strung with D'Addario Chrome flats. Finally converted to flats on this bass and I'm blown away!

    Thanks for all the help so far, Talkbass is awesome!
     
  8. matti777

    matti777

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I had a Sadowsky and have a P-bass and I agree with the above. It has a very similar effect anyway. I'm not sure if the Tonestyler offers anything different in tone over the stock tone control either or just gives you a bunch of click type positions/settings. I'll have to do some research on that one.
     
  9. CapnSev

    CapnSev

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    You want audio pots for tone controls. A linear pot will have a major 'all on, all off' effect. If you aren't getting the smooth roll off on your current tone control, a new pot, new capacitor, or both may help.
     
  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    My understanding is that the Tonestyler is more like "the tone control rolled all the way off with a bunch of different cap values", i.e. different frequency cutoff points. There may be something else going on, as well, but it's definitely not the same as just clicks for different settings on a normal tone pot.
     
  11. matti777

    matti777

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    Good to know. Thanks.
     
  12. asands

    asands Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Troy Missouri
    Thanks again for all the info guys!
     
  13. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    My MIM 50's P has a 0.1uF (100nF or 0.1mfd) which is bigger than the more common 0.047uF (47nF or 0.047mfd). I really like the way this tone control works with the stock pickups, more so than most passive tone controls. If switching out capacitors, film capacitors are far more consistent than many of the ceramic capacitors that come stock on mass produced Fender style instruments.
     
  14. asands

    asands Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Troy Missouri
    Whats the orange drop cap i hear so much about rated? Its more of a vintage flavor right?
     
  15. No, they all sound the same. There is no "vintage flavor."
    Orange drops are film caps, really no different than any other.

    They come in whatever rating you want.
     
  16. asands

    asands Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Troy Missouri
    Im not sure what to do now. I guess I may try a different cap and see what results I get...
     

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