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Blend or Separate Volume

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Donald Cajonn, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Donald Cajonn

    Donald Cajonn

    Mar 2, 2011
    Ordering Mike Pope Flexcore Preamp and Victor Wooten EMG's can't decide whether to get a pickup blend knob or two separate volumes(for jPup and Ppup) being that I'm used to MM style pups. Any advice? thanks!!
  2. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    Volume+blend = volume+volume. Kind of like 3+1 = 2+2. The parts are different but do the same thing. I have basses that are each. The biggest difference is being able to kill your bass with just one knob (v,b) instead of two (v,v). I used to prefer v,v. I just came around within the last couple of months and am partial to v,b now.
  3. Donald Cajonn

    Donald Cajonn

    Mar 2, 2011
    im thinking that V.B. would be easier for dialing in tone quick, and being able to kill it. Yet V.V. just seems like it has more blending options..
  4. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    VVT does not have more blending options. There is nothing a VVT setup can do that a VBT can't.

    I don't care which I use now. It isn't that hard for me to kill the volume by silencing the strings with my right hand. VVT is a little more easy to "fine tune" than VBT is, but frankly there is no reason to fine tune that much. I'd probably be happy with VT and a 5 way selector that was: neck solo'd, neck 100/bridge 50, both full on, neck 50/bridge 100, and bridge solo'd.
  5. I typically do swells with my bass volume control rather than a volume pedal, so I always prefer blend controls on my instruments.
  6. Incorrect. A blend pot always runs at least one coil directly to the output, whereas two volumes allows the possibility of turning both pickups down a bit to change the nature of the impedance of each coil loading against the other, by adding resistance in series with the coils. Whether or not this is of any value to anyone is questionable, however, it's just a technical point.
  7. old-fashioned


    Mar 25, 2005
    I keep away from multiple volume knobs. Controlling my volume must be as easy as possible.
  8. Donald Cajonn

    Donald Cajonn

    Mar 2, 2011
    sounds like im going with the Volume Blend! thanks guys!
  9. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    So turn down the master volume...
  10. Not the same. Volume/ blend is three volume pots instead of two. Plus what line 6 man said. Just not the same thing at all.
    EDIT, and I think line 6 man missed it too- in an active setup it doesn't matter. Passive, it definitely does.
  11. low2groove

    low2groove Tyranis 4 / Lower Groove Guitars

    Jan 21, 2007
    P/J seperate volume, especially for fretless. Anything else is a blend for me.
  12. What does being active have to do with anything? There is still a change of input impedance seen by the coils with two versus three pots.

    The master volume pot will place a resistance in series with the path between the pickups and output, but not change the way the pickups load against each other. A blend pot only allows you to raise the output impedance of one pickup at a time, whereas two volumes allows you to raise the impedance of both pickups at the same time.
  13. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    I like a blend knob because its fast. If its two volumes then i gotta have numbered knobs on them so i can easily reference how far i have turned it and remember good settings.
  14. This isn't an issue with active, buffered blend.
  15. jay loren

    jay loren Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    Exactly. Just converted my RW Jazz to VBT.
    I mounted this set of controls on a separate plate so I can easily revert to the original VVT but I doubt that I'll ever go back.
  16. You'll be back......; )
  17. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    I failed to mention that the bass I have that has the VVT is active with 2 3-way switches, for both the preamp and tone. I can assign the pre to both or either pickup (active passive, active active, or passive active), but I can't go passive passive. I can kill the volume on either/or pickup for different options (active off, passive off, off active, off passive). With the tone 3-way, I can assign the tone to either the neck, neck and bridge, or bridge pickups. TON of tonal possibilities with this bass.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have basses with both, and for all practical purposes it matters not.
  19. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I have both, but like VBT better. Time to rewire that last VVT bass. ;)
  20. thepontif


    Apr 24, 2004
    Designer Fodera Guitars/Michael Pope Design, Inc., Trickfish Amplification
    Electrically, VVT=BT. But, you can't turn both pickups down below full blast. Turning down the master volume doesn't do the same thing, because a (for example) bridge PU vol control is varying the input side of the signal path, and the master is varying the output side. Series impedance changes the same way, but the load increase goes on the pickup in one case, and not in the other, and that affects sound a lot.

    In the case of the fodera preamp, because of the more specific application it's designed for (compared to the FlexCore) I arranged the controls so that the pickups see a balancer and a tone, then the signal heads to the active preamp section, then back to the master volume. So the pickups see the same load as a VVT setup whenever the preamp is in active mode. So there are no "loss" issues as a result of the BTV setup. The only thing you can't do with the Fodera BVT setup is turn both pups down.

    Another upside is that the master volume doesn't have any affect on sound because it, in turn, is buffered by the EQ section, and again before the signal leaves the bass.

    I initially had a VVT FlexCore in my Viceroy, but changed it to BTV for convenience sake. I'm just used to it. There was a little change in the sound, but it by NO means made or broke things sonically for me.

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