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Blend pot vs. Pickup Selector Switch?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I have a blend pot in my bass right now and find that with either pickup selected I get full tone, but with the pot in the middle (supposedly both pups at 100%) I get less volume and highs. Would a simple three-way switch work better? Would I get more highs with both pickups selected than I do now with the blend pot?
  2. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Check out this link:

    Basically, not all blend pots are created equal.

    That said, a certain amount of phase cancellation is unavoidable when combining pickups.

    When it's a passive blend, loading becomes a factor too.

    But reading that thread will take you a long way towards understanding what's going on, and picking a solution that works best for your bass and your tone goals.
  3. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I like both.

    a little while back I replaced the pickups in one of my guitars and I checked out how easy it would be to change one of my volume controls to a blend pot as the guitar had two different types of pickups and I thought it might be cool to be able to blend them that way.
    In the end I just kept the toggle switch it already had, but in the future I may go for that.

    groovaholic raises some good points to consider.
  4. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I read that thread and realized that I have a 500k M/N blend pot in there now, so a switch would be about the same. I'm not sure it's worth making the change, but I might do it. We'll see.
  5. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Trinity, FL
    I have similar issues even using vol/tone and vol/tone ...

    on both of my basses ... both have matching neck/bridge pickup sets ... all passive ...

    no Blend , no Switch ... mixing to signals into one will always have some kind of issues ... good , bad ... ?? it just is what it is .... use it to your advantage for tone changes ...
  6. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Buffered blends are quite awesome too but won't work in all passive setups.
  7. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    There is another option. A blend switch. I've wired these several times for myself and for customers. A 2 pole, 5 or 6 throw rotary switch is ideal. Typically you'd have it arranged like a blend control with bridge solo, then clockwise through 3 or 4 different blends and then neck solo. It works much like an MN blend with the earth lifted, but of course there's no tweaking, you just switch straight to the blend you want. You can even have trim pots instead of fixed resistors.

    But I've also had a few variations on this. My favourite, in a customer's warwick thumb years ago, was a 3 pole, 4 throw switch that had resistors to set two favourite blends, neck pickup solo, then both on full with no resistors. She could flick straight to four nice usable different sounds that were all the same volume.
  8. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    PM'd!! Very interested in this!