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Adding a tone knob?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nicktheninja222, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    Ok, please forgive me, I'm about to ask some stupid questions...
    I would like to add a tone knob to a guitar.
    It's most likely something that I can't do, as I have no experience.
    Assuming I want the tone knob to affect both pickups:
    How much would it cost to have done?
    Would it be take a lot of time?
    Is it stupid and should I shut up and go away?
    Thanks for any help.

    Also, the only reason that I'm posting this on a bass website is because I can't find an online community of guitarists like that can help me out. I guess guitarists don't stick together like bassists! :smug:
    I'm also assuming that the wiring won't be too much different. Then again, I don't know much about this type of stuff.
  2. Adding a tone control is extremely simple and straight forward...

    Can you solder?
    I would recommend that you do this yourself, if you are capable of soldering.
  3. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    I can solder and weld pretty well. (Not that I intend to take a welding torch to any poor instrument, even if it is a guitar.)
    It would be easy then?
  4. robert43


    Jun 5, 2007
    Hi its easy to do . Cost about $10 for a pot , knob & a cap.
    Thats if you have a soildering iron soilder wire etc.
    I recommend go to semore duncan web site has tons of wiring diagrames etc
    Time about 1/2 hour to a hour
  5. This should take about 5 or 10 minutes, not 30.

    Here is the schematic.
    Take the wire that goes to the output jack as your input, and feed the output back to the jack.
    The ground goes with all the other grounds.

    *Personally, i would use a push/pull switch to bypass the tone control, so that you have the option to retain the tone of the guitar the way it was before adding a tone control. A push pull is only a few dollars more than a regular pot.

  6. robert43


    Jun 5, 2007
    I was including getting the bass plug in iron etc also for 1st time to do it etc
  7. I guess so, if you factor in heating the iron and such.
    FWIW, you have to wait until the iron is good and hot before you start soldering, because if you spend too much time trying to heat the part, the plastic parts in the pot could melt.
    Once the iron is hot, it will take 5 or 10 minutes to do the job.
    Remember to melt the solder on the joint, not over the tip of the iron.
  8. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    I'm a bit confused by your diagram. Wouldn't the input and output short and just bypass the control altogether?
  9. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    No--a short happens between hot (in this case, input) and ground, not input and output. This circuit allows you to selectively send certain frequencies to ground.

  10. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    Oh, I get it. I think. Well thanks then!
  11. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    Okay, I'm confused again. Bear with me, but what are the other solder points for? The ones at the back.

    Attached Files:

    • Pot.
      File size:
      11.2 KB
  12. Those other 6 points are the switch contacts. The middle pair is connected to the far pair until you pull. Then, the middle pair connects to the close pair.
  13. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    Still slightly confused... :(
    But do you have a diagram possibly? What do switch contacts connect to? What would the normal ones do then?
  14. A push/pull works like this...

  15. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    I get that much, but what is the back part for? What do they connect to? Can I leave them unconnected and just have it, pull for on and push for off?
  16. Sorry, I probably should have put the push/pull bypass wiring diagram up before.
    If you want the bypass switch, where the tone control is bypassed from the circuit when the knob is pulled up, wire it like this...

  17. nicktheninja222


    May 29, 2008
    Thanks guys, I really think I get it this time! :)
    Sorry if I seemed like an idiot at any time, that happens with me sometimes. :bag:
  18. Here's my Thunderbird- sort of the same concept- no switch, 2 separate volumes for the pickups and a master tone (controlling both pickups)

    Tone pot is on the far left.

  19. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    no, you're not confused. there shouldn't be an "in" and "out". you just need the "in", which will just branch off of the volume pot's input lug (for 1-volume guitars) or off the switch's output for multiple-volume guitars. the "out" is the cap, which lets the highs bleed off to ground, killing them.

    (ok, for jazz basses, the signal does indeed go to the lug and then straight on to the jack, so the diagram would be right in that case. all that matters is that the cap is brought into the circuit somewhere, with a pot that will block it when turned up.)

    the push-pull might be unnecessarily complicating things. just use a high enough resistance pot, and "10" will have no effect at all on the sound. 250k pots will darken things slightly even when all the way up, 500ks less so, and 1Meg pots not at all.
  20. kettch


    Jan 19, 2009
    Try thegearpage.net for a good community of guitarists :smug:

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