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blend or 2 vols?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by nick_uk, May 5, 2005.


  1. nick_uk

    nick_uk

    May 5, 2005
    i am working on my first project, early 80's j bass. any dis/advantage using a blend pot? (i intend to fully shield the cavities).
     
  2. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    I've alway's been partial to a 2 volume setup. i think when push comes to shove, it 's all opinion rather than any actual differece.

    Upside: blend pots are gonna fit into a tight cavity better, and will clean up the front of the bass because you've got only one knob where you'd normally have 2. gonna look really cool if you've got some sort of sweet grained wood or finish that you'd like to show off.

    downside: way harder to wire IMO. you've baisically stacked two volumes on top of one another that act in opposite directions, so the solder points are really really close together. If you're not planning on being particularly acurate with you're wiring, blend's gonna be hard.
     
  3. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    You might also consider a 4-way switch instead of a blend. You wont loose any volume that way or get cut out in any positions on the blend. Downside to that is that you have basically 3 options, Neck Solo, Bridge Solo, Both Together (Series or Parallel)
     
  4. ArtisFallen

    ArtisFallen

    Jul 21, 2004
    Yeah. not a fan of the switches: switches=evil
     
  5. nick_uk

    nick_uk

    May 5, 2005
    i was kind of going to keep it simple....1 master vol for both pups, blend pot to control the balance between the 2 pups and the usual single tone pot. i read somewhere that this configuration would reduce any noise from the 20 yo pups. i.e vol full on and blend pot doing the mix.

    this is what i had in mind

    http://guitarelectronics.zoovy.com/product/WDUSS2102
     
  6. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I personally like separate volumes over blend. May be a mental thing, but I like to think I have better/easier control. :)
     
  7. nick_uk

    nick_uk

    May 5, 2005
    i have some time on my hands before i need to fit the pups. any other useful (but not too complicated) advice on j bass schematics will be well appreciated. thanks.
     
  8. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    try searching the pickups forum, there's been plenty of different schematics posted over there.

    But, IMO, a blend is better. If you are in situation where you need to change volumes a lot, it's really annoying to have to adjust two knobs while trying to keep the balance the same.
     
  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I "cut my teeth" on an early 80's Jazz bass and if I were doing one as a project I would leave it Volume-Volume. At this point (20 years later) I have come to realize it is all about what makes you feel comfortable, if you are more comfortable with a Volume-Blend arrangement than little will be lost and much will be gained in your situation.
     
  10. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    You can do what I did. I sometimes like to back of the neck pickup for the Jaco thing, and I sometimes like them both full on. I really never want to back off just the bridge pickup. So, I have my basses wired Vol/Vol/Tone, but with a twist. The first knob is vol for the neck pickup. The second is a master volume, then tone. Gives me the option of one knob for volume (like with a blend), but also the fine tuning that I find easier with vol/vol.
     
  11. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I'm used to vol/vol and, for me, it doesn't really make much difference because I leave them both full on all the time anyway. I've lately gotten into the stack knob thing because it gives me the adjustabilty I want as far as tone goes. Leaving both volumes wide open eliminates the 60-cycle hum and I do all the tonal adjusting with pickup height and tone controls.
     
  12. nick_uk

    nick_uk

    May 5, 2005
    how about 2x volume/tone stacks + master volume? the dynamics of my band call for quick adjustment of volume and i like the idea of being able to cut the volume quick without affecting the tone.... or am i over complicating things?
     
  13. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    If you go that route, you may be better off with master vol/blend.
     
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    5{\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0uk]how about 2x volume/tone stacks + master volume? the dynamics of my band call for quick adjustment of volume and i like the idea of being able to cut the volume quick without affecting the tone.... or am i over complicating things?[/QUOTE]
    For me you would be, but alot of basses these days have many more knobs than they do string so it must work for alot of people. When I played a tradition Jazz I had my bridge maxxed-out always and blended in the neck pup depending on the situation so Marcus' idea sounds pretty sweet IMO. The bass I play now has a typical J pup configuration but the neck pup can REALLY crank out a sweet P-bass tone that I am learning to appreciate more and more.
     
  15. DougP

    DougP

    Sep 4, 2001
    this is definitely subject to personal taste. i prefer vol/blend. i almost always leave the blend in the center, that leaves me with just one knob to turn.
     
  16. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I've had 2 different jazz basses that I set up both ways, and Vol-Vol-Tone always sounded better. Not only did the center of the blend pot sound weaker than having both volume pots wide open, but the tone control that you get from adjusting the pickups independently was pretty much lost.

    On an active bass it isn't as much of an issue because the buffer amps keep the pickups isolated, but on a passive bass the interaction of the pockups and the pots is very dynamic.
     
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Depends on the preamp. Most preamps sum the pickups before the preamp, which means they are not buffered from each other, so you get the same loading as in a passive system. There are some onboard pres (like the Demeter) that actually do buffer the pickups from each other, but most don't. Independent systems that use relatively low impedance blending of pickups (i.e. EMG) work farily well in this regard, but I don't care for the EMG sound.
     
  18. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    Marcus, You might be right but it doesn't make sense that an preamp with 2 pickup inputs would use passive blending then amplify the sum, as opposed to independent amplifier stages and a mixer. I know that the John East Retro preamps have buffered inputs, and I *was* sure that the Aguilar ddd the same. Now, using non-adjustable buffer stages and then a master gain preamp is another twist and that also provides a lot of isolation between the pickups. I thought that the Bart pre's did it that way.

    I guess that unless the manufacturer is willing to either tell you, or better yet give you a block diagram, you have to use your ears and guess :meh:

    What I do know for sure is that the blend pot is not equivalent to two volume controls in parallel, neither in sound or in function.

    Good stuff to think about, thanks.
     
  19. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    It doesn't make sense, but if you consider 2 things, it kinda does. One is it's cheaper to make a pre that way. Otherwise, it's essentially a stereo pre, buffering each pickup independently. I hade a Lane Poor pre that was just that; independent buffers with no EQ just to prevent loading, but again, MANY are not that way. Also, I think that the normal passive mixed sound has been with us so long, that it sounds "normal" to most people at this point. That's what players and sound men having been hearing for a long time; it sounds normal, so why not keep it?

    I concur. That is why all my basses lack blend pots, with the exception of my Jazz Plus with the Kubikci pre that I kept just for fun.
     
  20. nick_uk

    nick_uk

    May 5, 2005
    i really want to rely on the best passive setup.