Fender Grease Bucket Tone Circuit. Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Corevalay, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hi guys,

    I was curious what you all thought about the Greasebucket Tone Circuit from you experiences. I just purchased an American Performer Precision. It comes stock with the Yosemite Pickups and this Greasebucket circuit. Overall I think the bass is really great, plays and sounds nice. It has a nice growl and grind to it. However, it lacks a bit of umph and "balls" that my American Standard Precision PJ has in it. Basically it's not as thick and deep sounding.

    So, I'm wondering if this is the tone circuit, the pickups, or both. I was considering removing the wiring and using the pots and jack I have from an American Standard. Would that help get closer to the sound?

    Any thoughts are appreciated!
    matthewwithanm and nixdad like this.
  2. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    The Greasebucket Tone Circuit is diffrent alright,I love it on my mustang as it keeps the mud away.
    On a P bass it will make it so you wont get that sound you get with a closed tone knob.
    I dont think the circuit itself makes it less thick when the tone is open.
    murphy, fleabitten and nixdad like this.
  3. I have it on my 60th anniversary American P.
    Generally it sounds good, but I find myself backing off the tone most of the time because it seems bright.
    murphy and nixdad like this.
  4. EmaTheMirror


    Oct 9, 2009
    London, UK
    As mentioned before, if the tone is open, it's not down to the greasbucket. It's not entirely clear whether you are referring to playing the bass with the tone open or not. In that case, it makes a difference.
    nixdad likes this.
  5. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    Measure the distance from the 12th fret to the split coil pickups on both basses. Some PJ basses have the pickup slightly closer to the 12th fret. Not much. About.....10mm-ish. If this is the case on your PJ, then this is having an effect on tone. It would make the split coil pickup on the PJ just a little fatter-sounding.
  6. I once had one of the older model Precision basses with a Greasebucket and I didn't like it at all. I thought it kept me from getting the traditional tone I'm looking for in a P-Bass.
  7. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Well, I am not sure what you are comparing the Performer to since there is no such thing as an American Standard PJ. Also, I am not sure why you would want the Performer to sound so much like the other bass. I have a Performer PJ and I thing the Yosemite pickups sound great, I also like the grease bucket tone control. I hate standard tone circuits that are all mud when the tone is turned down all the way.
    murphy, DTRN and nixdad like this.
  8. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    I have the Magnificent Seven PJ bass, which is an American Standard Precision with a Jazz pickup added.
    FronTowardEnemy and Pet Sounds like this.
  9. Really stupid name.
  10. Assuming it's been set up correctly the strings could cause this too. First thing to check IMO.
    Phalex likes this.
  11. Here's a recording of the Greasebucket. This is pretty much what it sounds like in this instrument.

    SwitchGear, SJan3, SB300 and 4 others like this.
  12. Having played 'Coming Home Baby' on scores of jazz gigs - I've got to say the bass on that rendition sounded very good. A little more airy and open sounding than the stock P bass tone I'm used to, but very good nonetheless
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    SwitchGear and Funk With Me like this.
  13. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Wasn’t a fan of it on my Highway One Precision. I swapped the whole thing with an EMG GZR (comes with its own wiring) pickup and never looked back. However, I wanted a traditional/vintage tone on this bass as I use flats and turn the tone pot down half way, sometimes even all they way down for certain stuff.
    murphy likes this.
  14. Corevalay

    Corevalay Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    New Jersey
    I was actually thinking of going this route as well. DON'T GET ME WRONG, the bass still sounds really good. I think it might be a bit too "modern" sounding for my taste.
    mouthmw likes this.
  15. Alivefor5

    Alivefor5 Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    Not for me. I have a Highway One J and a Highway 1 P. I removed the Grease circuit and went with the standard .05mf cap. I happen to think that the simplicity of the Highway instruments is very reminiscent of Pre CBS instruments. I am just too enamored with the old style tone system to want to use the Grease bucket stuff.
  16. I like your solution. :cool:
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  17. Am I correct? The traditional electronics of the P bass and the J emphase the low-end in an "unnatural" way, if you set the tone pot down and the more you do it.

    Although they are just passive filters and should just substract highs but don't add or emphasize frequencies. But they do emphasize the low end.
    The Greasebucket tries to correct this?

    Please don't! One of the main reasons I love Jazz and Precision basses is this "mistake", for me it is an outstanding feature!
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member


    I didn’t care for it either.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  19. I have a Highway One Precision with the "Greasebucket" circuit. At least, I think I do. I don't know what to look for under the pick-guard. (If anyone could help me with that, I'd appreciate it.)

    Regardless, I really love the tone on the bass. It doesn't sound like other P-Basses and I like the "growl" I get out of it. It is slowing becoming my "number one" or at least sharing the time with my Geddy. It's got it's own personality.
    murphy likes this.
  20. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    I'm thinkin' the issue here could be it's a "intrumental" ...
  21. Primary

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