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Blend pot on a passive bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Atshen, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. I was wondering if it is possible to have a blend pot on a passive bass, instead of the traditionnal two-volume configuration. Can anyone help? Thanks.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Yes, but the pots are more expensive than vanilla volume and tone pots.

    I've owned Carvin and Peavey basses with passive blend pots that worked just fine.
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You will also get slightly more loading with a separate blend and volume knob as opposed to two volume knobs. The blend knob is basically two stacked volume pots, so you are basically running through three pots with a blend/volume, as opposed to two with a volume/volume. This may cause slight loss of high end on a passive bass. If the woods in your bass are already bright (like a Sadowsky) this should not be a problem, and in fact may be preferable to the vol/vol setup. However, if your bass is high end shy to begin with, you may want to leave it vol/vol.

    I myself prefer the vol/vol setup with a passive tone bleed for a passive setup.

  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I have volume / blend and no tone.

    volume/Blend will cause the same loss on a passive and active bass. Which means noe.
    Or at least, none you can hear.

    On the other hand, a tone pot will eat a lot whatever happens. Even full on it will. Try to add a bypass switch to it and see what happens.

    I have a full/0 tone switch because it's all I use.
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    That's a good point about the full on tone switch. It might be a nice option to add. I do use the tone rolloff on several of my basses, because they have a bit more high end than my main axe (Gibson Thunderbird), so I set up my amp to sound best with the T-Bird, and then just roll off a bit on the brighter basses.

    Passive tone rolloff can also be helpful going for the dub bass tone, if that's your thing.

  6. Thanks a lot guys, but lately i've been thinking about another concept: What about leaving the two-volume/master tone pots alone and simply adding an on/off switch, so I can quickly cut off the signal? Would the added switch steal some power and/or high-end?

    BTW, I don't want to use a volume pedal. :)
  7. Here's a wiring diagram for a blend pot. I did it to my Jazz bass and I think it's a lot easier to use than separate volume knobs.

    Scroll down for "Jazz Bass with Master Volume & Balance Control"

    This page also has interesting information regarding "no-load" volume and tone pots that they also sell... I'm considering putting them in eventually.

  8. Wow, thanks a lot, Lustreking!!! This is just what I was looking for! :cool:
  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001

    Most active basses that have a blend pot, use the pot between the pickups and the preamp. So, in effect it is having the same loading effects as it would in an all-passive situation.

    This goes for Bartolini preamps, and I think most others besides EMG systems with active pickups, and the John East designs (U-Retro and E-Pro).

    Any bass with a blend knob, and an active/passive switch - if the blend knob still works with the switch in "passive" (the East designs being the only ones I've seen where this is not the case), then the blend is a passive blend.
  10. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    You can't have more than one no-load volume pot. Believe me, I tied. Each will act as a master volume. They won't control the pickups individually. I go with two volume pots (one for each J pickup) and an on/on switch. Switch it one way, and you have direct pickup to jack signal (bypassing the vol pots). Switch it the other way and you can use your volume pots (I only used this for setting for setting up the bass. i.e adjusting pickup height). The direct pickup-to-jack sound is pretty darn sweet! And you don't have to worry about bumping knob because they are bypassed. Equal hum-cancelling output from each pickup with no resistance from a pot is the way to play, IMO.

    Who really needs a tone knob when you have a ton of knobs on your amp that control tone.
  11. i have opted for the pan pot
    having tried and retried the 2 vol arrangement as with a jazz bass.
    1 i can set blend and then only need have one vol to adjust and i do need to cut back on quiet songs.
    2 i get full hot signal to tone pot...in the 2 vol arrangement the tone pot acts as a secondary vol and cuts vol as well as tone when you are using less than full vol on the main pots....
    :( not too clear but it is true...
    now i have cut out the passive tone cut completely so the above would not be a problem
    but i still prefer one vol once i have set blend..
    i use a sansamp for any eq and tone adjustments now..:)
  12. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    Use a no-load master pot, blend pot, and no-load tone pot. That's what I have on one of my basses.

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