LONG POST! Not of much use to most players probably but for the few minimalists out there, something I've been dinking with lately is a blend and a blend w/phase switch - using them as the only onboard controls that is. For the most part, I haven't found neck pups, blend pots, or phase switches useful - as I've used them in the past anyway, which has been with a full compliment of onboard controls. For a while I have been just running off amp/preamp controls using a single pup bridge position (or close) straight to the jack. But by adding a second pup with a blend I get more versatility in tone out of the bridge pup - and occassionally some use favoring the neck pup. In terms of a single pot, it seems more useful to me than a tone pot with a single pup (but its been a while since Ive done that). I also get more use out of some of these pups that normally lay idle too, mostly the other pup in a set. Adding the blend is worth the effort it's seemed so far. Another interesting thing to do instead of a "coil tap" is to use a blend on a single 4 lead HB so you're blending the coils. Maxed either way you get single coil - pretty much. There is a trace of the other coil but on the plus side that seems to keep it humbucking. I've only done this with a Ray pup so far. At the detent, you get the HB. I ran it HB straight to the jack and couldn't tell the difference in tone from blend detent position. Kind of neat cause you're not only getting HB and singles front and back but singles in humbucking and all the mixes in between. Different but useful too. Even more interesting is adding a phase switch with the blend sort of doubles the versatility of the blend. Throwing pups out of phase with a blend is something guys do unintentionally sometimes in a mod and complain about - and is basically useless at the detent as it sucks all the bass out, drops volume big time, and doesn't much produce a tone of any practical application - let alone for bass. But once you click out of the detent in either direction the loss of bass is noticeable but negligible - so much so that often I have to throw the blend to the detent to know if I'm in or out of phase cause I just adjust to tone that works to the tune. A phase switch in conjunction with a blend makes the out of phase relationship variable, less and less as blend is moved towards pup maxd in either direction. On paper seems the blend maxd in either direction should sound like in phase - I can tell a difference in out of phase maxd but it's splitting hairs and of little consequence. Varies with the tune but what out of phase does IN GENERAL is cut bass some and make tone overall noticeably thinner, brighter, more punchie, with a softer, hollow percussiveness to tone. Often reminiscent of a hollowbody, ie. Beatle bass. More pronounced with a pick and often the best use for it. Tone can vary from upfront to background depending. In and out of phase get their share of use. Sometimes the same tone setting's are applicable in or out of phase and sometimes the same settings won't work at all, which speaks for the similarities yet differences between the tones. Sometimes it's just a matter of preference at the moment as to which I like, sometimes just trying a different tone to the same tune. Sometimes in phase sounds pretty much the same as out of phase but with the blend at a different mix. Modifying the concept, I threw the blend pot/phase switch into an outboard box running the pups straight to respective jacks stereo out. The blend worked without a hitch but when I added the phase switch, I got a ground like noise in phase that was dead quiet with one pup maxed but became progressively noisy as blend was shifted to the other pup. At the detent, too noisy to even be of any use. Never did resolve that issue. Worked fine out of phase. So far Ive done the above using a the Ray, a pair of Epi T-birds, and a Mod LPMM/LP M3.5W combo.