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Adding potentiometer between coil wiring?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by isher1992, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. I was wiring a switch for series/paralell on another bass, and I had an idea hit me.

    Could you wire a potentiometer with a treble bleed between one set of coils, and accomplish the same thing? It wouldn't be exactly the same, but could possibly make an interesting sound...
  2. I'm not sure what you're asking.
  3. I'm not really sure how to explain it differently. I'll draw a crude diagram in a moment.
  4. I suppose a better way to explain it would be instead of adding a switch that moves between series and paralell, a potentiometer would be added as a sort of volume knob across one coil, so it could be dialed back to 0 volume. Not quite sure what that would do tonally, but I would think it be similar to the switch. I know Parallel already kind of reduces output, but if you had a really hotly wound pickup, it might work.
  5. That's common on guitars. People add "humbucker/single coil" pots rather than switches, so that the impedance can be varied across one coil to blend between single coil and humbucker.

    Seems pointless to me, as it would not offer much functionality over a switch, but then again, I've never tried it. Things might get interesting if you throw in a capacitor to vary the highs or lows from one coil.
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    There was a guitar, I think a Washburn, that had a blend control to go from series to parallel.

    Personally I think anywhere between each extreme and there's going to be an issue, just because of the way series and parallel wiring works.
  7. That's what I meant by a treble bleed.


    I could see a problem if it were a set of active pickups or an active preamp. Not sure about passive though. Just occured to me when I was thinking about replacing a P pickup with a MM.

    EDIT: misunderstood what you meant. Now I see what you're saying. It would essentially be a volume for each coil, kind of like a separate pickup having a different volume.
  8. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    This is what I found too. I tried to come up with a circuit that would have both series and parallel (on a push-pull volume) that would work with a blend control between the neck and bridge pups.

    What I found was that because of the differences in the way they were wired, if you got the blend working well in parallel (which is the standard bass circuit) in series it only more or less acted as a "switch" with most of the rotation doing nothing and then suddenly soloing the given pickup.

    There just doesn't seem to be an easy way to get a circuit that works equally well with both series and parallel connections.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    The Washburn Idol WI64. They called it the Variable Voice Contour. I have one. It works fine, but it's masked by the wretched stock pickups. I yanked mine and did a pair of DiMarzio humbuckers wired using Duncan's "spin-a-split" wiring. It works fine too, but the pot is overkill for coil tap purposes. I'll probably yank it again and wire up some P-Rails...

    Otherwise a nice inexpensive guitar!
  10. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
  11. Did you use a linear taper pot, or logarithmic?

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