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fender tone knob

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bayou_Brawler, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    my fender tone knob on my jazz bass seems screwy. when i turn the tone knob up the first few centimeters do nothing, then there is a HUGE jump in tone, then it is very sensative in the next centimeter then for the rest of the last half of the turn the tone moves up slowly and nicely.

    to get the tone i want i have like .00000001 centimeters of wiggle room. if i'm off by that much the tone is way off. :scowl:

    my concern is for lives shows i won't be able to make easy adjustments.

    what's up with that?

    also, do most people on here play with their tone knob on their bass all the way up or all the way down and make adjusments on the amp or do you play around with both?
  2. You just have a sensitive pot. Happens to all of us occaisionally.

    The trebel pot on my TBC is either click, or thud. But if you're careful, you can dial in a sweet tone. Just takes a while to get used too.
  3. I think this is because your pot!
    There's two differents kind of pots, can't explain you in English, because I don't have the vocabulary I need, but changing the type of pot could be a solution for you and it's not expensive!! :D
    This is just my humble tought! :)

  4. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    exactly. i can find the sweet spot......but my concern is at a show.....satge noise.....etc, i won't be able to find it.

    how can i change my pot? do i need new hardware?
  5. You will have to buy a new pot (the second type!) to remove the old, place the new one and to put the electric installation on it!
    Then playing!
  6. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    got a link to any info or parts.....this is all new to me.
  7. I think it may have to do with the pot's rating. Usually they're either 250k or 500k. I think yours might be a 250k, try switching it for a 500k and you may have more flexibility. It costs a few bucks and takes a bit of soldering.
  8. http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/


    Control pots and knobs

    Control pots are typically wired to control the volume or tone of your instrument. In some other case they are used to blend to sources or signals together, or can be wired to control onboard effects.

    250K vs. 500K
    Generally, 500K-ohm pots are used with humbuckers and 250Ks are used with single-coil pickups. 25K pots are used for active systems.

    You can use any value you like, but a 250K will give a slightly warmer tone than a 500K pot. The 250K pot bleeds off (attenuates) some of the high frequencies to ground. A 1Meg-ohm pot will attenuate even less than a 500K pot, so if you want to hear your guitar "wide open" you may want to try one.

  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Did this always happen, or just start happening recently?

    If the second, I don't know what's causing it.

    If the first, as someone alluded to it sounds like you've got the wrong pot type in there. Audio taper pots do most of their cut (from full) in the first quarter turn due to the way the ears work. We hear it as being a smooth cut down. When used for tone controls, it sounds exactly like you say.

    Linear taper pots should be used for tone controls, they're easy to get but ease of replacing depends on your soldering skills etc
  10. Are you sure that is true for instruments?

    In normal electronics, you put the signal across the track, and take the attenuated signal from the wiper, and the bottom of the track. In a passive bass you put the signal across the track and wiper, and take the attenuated signal from across the track. This prevents one pick-up volume pot from shorting out the other one.

    Audio taper or log pots are designed for normal electronics. Will the taper still be the right way round if you use them backwards?
  11. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I'm not sure what you mean about using them backwards? I'm just talking about replacing an audio taper pot with a linear taper pot. I've always wired passive basses this way, but of course this might not be the answer to the posters problem.

    Here's some resources I've used in the past.


    From http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/schematics.php

  12. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    it's always happened.

    so i need a linear taper pot? they probably cost around 10 bucks?
  13. I have no use for tone pots! I pull them out and cap the hole or I just disconect them inside. Since I always want the brightest setting, I have no need for them. All I want on my bass is a volume knob and a pickup selector switch. I get my tone and color from my amp and pickups. :hyper:

    Dave Starr: Bassist with CHASTAIN & Vicious Rumors
  14. This is what I mean by using them backwards -
    - it is common when you have two pickups, but I am not sure whether you can still use audio taper pots in this situation. It is also about volume controls, which is not what this thread is about - sorry.

    Re-reading this thread, there is another solution which we have not yet considered. If a tone control is a pot in series with a capacitor, then dirt on the track could prevent the wiper making contact for the first part of the rotation. As you get past the dirty bit, the pot starts to work, and you have control over your tone. On that basis, the cheapest, safest option is to take off whatever gets you to the back of the pots, and squirt switch cleaner into the casing of each, and then move the wiper around, and then squirt it again. It is easier than soldering!
  15. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I just saw this thread and it occurs to me that problem you are describing is a classic case of a reverse-wired pot. Try swapping the hot and ground wires on the pot and see if the problem resolves itself. A reverse-wired pot will be EXTREMELY touchy and may be completely unusable.

    And I would totally disagree that tone pots should be linear taper. That's simply not true. Passive basses have always used the same pots for volume as for tone--logarithmic (a.k.a audio taper) not linear, and most commonly 250k resistance. The only difference is that the volume and tone pots are wired differently and a tone pot has a capacitor wired up to it.

    I wouldn't put it past Fender, since the last bass I bought (a MIA 1975 RI didn't have the bridge ground connected). If you have any further troubles, pm me.
  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    dude, man, pot!!! huh huh huh huh. :p