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Fade Between S/P Pups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SurferJoe46, May 3, 2010.


  1. I like dark bass that has no brass at all.

    The last change was a .1uF cap on the Tone pot and some Roto77s - that's all good now and I'm very happy.

    Is it a do-able thing to fade between the two double pups on this P-type bass?

    I want to be able to cut the D & G a little better and keep them cooler in relation to the E & A strings.

    If this sounds at all interesting or challenging, can someone give me a tip on the value for a new pot in between the VT that are there now?
     
  2. I'm not sure what you mean by "fade"?
    Blend pot?
     
  3. I want to be put a pot between the two pups and be able to cut/add between the two of them as needed.

    "Blend" might be the operative word here.

    I find the treb strings are a little too hot and want to cut their attack a smidge - but be able to adjust back to normal when necessary by centering the pot.

    It would be nice if there was a notch or 'click' in the center position of that pot too. That may be asking for too much though.

    The value of the pot is prolly pretty low since this is a passive system, and I just need a starting place.
     
  4. If you are talking about the EA and DG coils of a P bass, those are not seperate pickups, but rather, two coils in series to make one pickup.

    You would have to resort to using a pot to short across each coil to reduce it's output.

    Walterw and some others have used a method of placing a variable resistance parallel to each pickup while the pickups are in series in order to short out each pickup in varying degrees.

    There are two problems with this setup in your case.

    Number one, with a blend pot, the center position connects both sides directly to the output. You need a blend that would do the opposite and provide the greatest resistance in the center position, while turning to either side would descrease the resistance on one side only while the other side stays at maximum resistance.

    Number two, since P bass coils are essentially half-pickups, your tone may get weak if you start to reduce the output of either coil too much.

    Btw, you've got it backwards.
    Because this is a passive setup, (High impedance output from the pickups.) you want higher value pots.
     
  5. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Wouldn't setting a blend in that manner cause the pickups to be in parallel instead of series? You'd lose the standard P tone.
     
  6. Yep, that's why a standard blend pot will not work.
    You would need a custom blend pot setup, as I described above.
     
  7. Rats.

    Maybe just lowering the pup a little on that set of strings. Unfortunately that takes the ability to adjust it on the fly.
     
  8. What you could do is use a switch to place a resistor across the DG coil.
    With an On/Off/On switch, you could have two settings and the bypass.
     
  9. Any idea where to start for resistor values? I just want to take the edge off the sound, not totally muffle it.

    I know they could be tiny as to Watts, but the Ohms are a little baffling.
     
  10. Personally, what I would do is wire up some 500K linear trimmer pots inside the control cavity. You can tweak them exactly where you like them, and adjust them later on.

    The concern would be trying to find the right setting for all rigs, as it might sound different depending on how the circuit is loaded by whatever you plug it into.
    Having two different settings available, and the ability to tweak the settings slightly should help with this.
     
  11. Hm. Maybe I can reveal some 500K sliders on top of the PG? That would be 'unique' and PGs are cheap to hack up anyway.

    I don't ever play a different setup, amp-wise anyway. I'm a person who uses my own stuff exclusively, so that wouldn't be a problem.

    I even hate to use an older Hartke 115 at the band playroom - so I just in-out my own stuff back and forth.

    This however, has some nice mental images. Thanks.
     
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Lower the G-D half of the pickup.
     
  13. I'm picturing something like the mini faders used on Godin acoustics.
    You could do one for each coil and limit the fader's control to only the usable range of attenuation by choosing a low value fader in series with a resistor.
    That might be an interesting project.

    OTOH, I can't say how well it would actually work in practice. You could get volume jumps, or end up with a weak output.
     
  14. I look at your sig and I really hear you. I know it's not a good thing to mod something that was a package deal.

    However I went that way - even took out the sponge-y stuff under the pup to get it lower and it still rings pretty hard - at least for my ears. Maybe somehow the K-factory put too many windings on the poles or sumpthin' - dunnow. But it's almost so harsh that it is shrill in tone.

    I've tried a lot of big name amps and cabs and they all come back sounding pretty much the same. I don't want brilliance.

    That's why the .1uF cap - it worked very well, but the D/G is still too "there" if you follow me. Even putting my palm on the strings makes a sound when I'm just trying to mute them. Not an electrical 'pop' but a real string sound. Almost a chime.

    I can run the EQ up on my Boss LMB-3 but it makes the sound get hollow and air-y and unreal.

    There won't be any wood cutting, so I thought this might be a good, viable, non-destructive idea. Like I say, PGs are cheap and it's just a Korean anyway.
     
  15. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Oh, I thought you meant those strings were louder. Changing the pickup hight wont change the tone like that.

    Those are very bright flats. Listen to Iron Maiden, he sounds like he's using round wounds.

    How old are the strings? They do mellow out after a while.

    You might want to use something like D'Addario Chromes, or LaBella 0760M flats.

    Also you mention putting in a .1µF tone cap, but do you have the tone rolled off?
     
  16. Rolled off? I have added the cap on top of the existing one on the OE tone pot. I would say it's parallel to the one that was already there as I soldered it to the same lug and grounded it.

    It only seems to work at the extreme end and the last few degrees of the tone control - right where the lowest tone would be normally. That position was never low/dark enough and this accidentally worked out very well.

    The rest of the tone pot is just like normal, although still too bright for my general tastes. It is usable however if I want to fingernail pick a few strings for that crisper effect.

    I can still get what I call: "Euro-pop bass" sounds like Bert Kaempferdt's bass in songs like: "Swinging Safari" and such.
     
  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You picked very bright flat wound strings. You either need to turn the treble down on the amp, wait a few months to a year for those strings to start to sound duller, or switch to different strings.

    But those strings have that tone. Electronics wont do too much to change it.
     
  18. Can do. Thanks for the info.
     

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