Control Suggestions for a Passive PJ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wild4oldcars, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    Hey guys,

    I recently bought an active fender PJ, and want to make it passive, while still utilizing the five holes left by the preamp. I plan to incorporate two volumes and a tone regardless, but really have no idea what to use elsewhere. Maybe a LP style toggle, or a killswitch? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    For me it would be a volume tone toggle and two knobs that do nothing.

    You would be surprised how many times this comes up here. My favorite response every time is the "suck knob". Just label a do nothing knob "suck" and always leave it turned all the way down. I can't take credit for the suggestion. It was someone else's in lots of threads.
  3. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I'm in the process of simplifying my passive pj. It was volume/volume/tone and now it's volume/blend/tone but I want it even simpler. I'd like a switch for P/PJ/J where the blend tone is. Simple is good.
  4. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    I like to do various mixes of neck and bridge pickup, depending on song.

    I am usually happy with V-V-T, but adding a 3 way switch adds to this set up adds a "quick change" solution.

    I recently posted in another thread:

    My 1985 Fender Jazz Bass Special (passive) came with V-V-T AND a 3 way switch (neck pickup, both with individual volume control, and bridge only).

    Very versatile set up.
  5. swamp2


    Feb 27, 2008
    I've wired up a couple of mine with Vol/blend/tone and 2 switches - series/parallel & phase.
  6. I had my PJ originally V T 3 way switch. Have since changed it to V V T and am much happier with it, just to be able to make slight adjustments to the pickup blend. However the 3 way switch is great for changes on the fly.

    The next bass in putting together will be VVTT with a three way switch - might be a good option to fill up your 5 holes.
  7. I'm a fan of VVTT as per the original Jazz. The reason for this is I love the tone of the bridge PU with tone rolled off, then blending in some of the neck PU. Not sure why Leo changed this set-up as VVT for me is a compromise. I realise there will be a lot who disagree. Further, 2 volume knobs is a pain when you play worship music and so a master volume could be the way if you are constantly playing then putting your instrument down, then playing again etc.

    You could use a switch for 2 or three different capacitors as well to change the flavour!
  8. reddog


    Mar 5, 2013
    Philly burbs
    In the process myself. First thought Vol - (p-pj-j) - tone. Rock on Tony Franklin!
    Now wondering how to set up a knob or switch to have (p-ppj-pj-pjj-j).

    Wondering if it wouldn't be good to have a tonestyler option. (2-3-4? diff capacitors?)
    Then I'm wondering if i'd still need a tone knob.
    Then wondering why i'd still need a volume knob.

    Your thoughts appreciated!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  9. punchdrunk

    punchdrunk Inactive

    Jun 22, 2013
    I started mucking with my 77 Fender P/J some years back and finally arrived to removing the tone pot altogether, wiring in series straight to the output jack and having just one solitary master volume knob with a pull option to cancel the jazz pickup. Changing the pickups to a well balanced/high fidelity set (passive Delanos) helped yield the most performance, and has lead to this simple one knob layout really opening up the bass tonally.
    But if you wanted to use all 5 holes on your pickguard, I'd go vol, vol, tone, tone, parallel/series switch.
    Or better yet, just get a new pickguard with less holes.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  10. 5 holes?

    3 way pickup selector
    P vol
    J vol
    Master tone
    Then maybe a series/parallel, not sure how that'd sound with a PJ
    wild4oldcars likes this.
  11. This...
  12. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Just buy a new pickgaurd, I don't think brainstorming to find things you don't need is all that constructive. I have two knobs blend and tone, no volume. Blending isn't all that great on a passive PJ if I was to do it over again I'd go with the Tony Franklin setup VT 3 way switch.
  13. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    My bass doesn't have a pickguard....
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I changed my mind. How about volume, tone, and three gumdrops?
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    My main bass is a PJ, after trying a few things I stuck on these controls, been using them with great success for almost 20 years :

    Volume with treble bleed cap, push-pull simulating a tone pot turned to 0
    Pickup blend
    Parallel/series switch

    It's a very convenient setup that allows a great variety of easily accessible tones. Any setting is accessible within a second or so.
  16. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    I think I may do two volumes and a tone, with a selector switch, and a series parallel switch. Now to figure out how to wire it...