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G&L control confusion

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by willbassyeah, Jul 22, 2012.


  1. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

    Oct 9, 2011
    Singapore
    Hi, so i went to a local guitar shop that carries the g&l l200, i am seriously confused by the control on the instrument, the salesperson seems to not too know what are the control for too, he told me that the parallel and series switch is to make the instrument humbucking pickup into single coil, but i checked here and this does not seems to be the case here.

    Do anyone have a graphic representation or very good description of the parallel and series to me?

    Another question is the bass active switch, so does the bass only turn active when the active switch engaged or does the bass is active by itself and the active switch will just give the bass an increase in gain?

    i've searched quite a number of threads regarding this, but my confusion just got worst haha
     
  2. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Dec 23, 2006
    SoCal
  3. 3 knobs. volume, passive bass (boost only), passive treble (boost only). 3 switches. passive/active/active-boost, pickup 3 way toggle, series/parallel. there is no coil tap.

    it can be run completely passive. the EQ will still work, but it wont be as hi-fi or have as much gain. if you mod the circuit to have a coil tap, its pretty much the perfect instrument.
     
  4. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    Sonic Assassin has it backwards. The bass and treble controls are passive and CUT only. They only roll off the given frequencies. They do not boost.

    A trick however is to slightly boost the lows and highs on your amp and then slightly cut the highs and lows on the bass. This gives you a bit of boost and cut like an active bass but without nearly the amount of boost/cut an active bass will give.

    The passive-active switch has three positions which are:
    1. passive
    2. active with very slight boost to highs
    3. active with strong boost to highs.

    In passive mode the bass plays without a battery. But with a battery in passive mode the bass still draws current so long as the cord is plugged into it.

    And yes, the "single coil mod" (sometimes called the "K MOD") is a great addition to have. The "single coil" mod adds a center position to the series/parallel switch.
     
  5. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

    Oct 9, 2011
    Singapore

    so in passive mode, the preamp which is the bass and treble cut wont be working? Am i right to say that the active passive switch in g&l is unlike other active passive switch where you can play the bass without a battery when the bass is in passive? so the parallel and series switch only works when the pickup position is in the middle position? since the parallel and series will actually alter the wiring of both pickup ?
     
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    They are passive tone controls so they work in both active and passive modes.

    All basses with a bypass switch for the preamp will work without the battery when the preamp is bypassed.

    It's series/parallel for each pickup. Not both pickups in series.
     
  7. Handyman

    Handyman

    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The treble and bass controls on the G&L L series basses are passive, and work just fine with the preamp either turned on or off. In fact, I've not had a battery in my L2500 for over a year.

    The G&L preamp is a bit unusual. When engaged, its really just acting as a buffer with a bit of volume boost. The "treble boost" preamp switch setting then optionally adds some more treble. I've honestly not found much use for the L series preamp.

    The series/parallel switch works with the pickups selector switch in any position. This switch controls if the two coils of each pickup are in series or parallel, unlike a series/parallel switch you may have seen on a Jazz bass.
     
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Like you really need more treble from those MFD pickups! :eek:

    Leo was hard of hearing at that point. Probably sounded great to him.

    I think the G&Ls are probably some of his finest designs.
     
  9. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Yeah, no need for more treble with the MFDs thats for sure. I never use it...I thought I would use it for slapping but you dont need it. The controls, once you know what each pot/switch does, are not hard at all IMO.
     
  10. Handyman

    Handyman

    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Indeed. I love my G&L, but I never use the thing without rolling off some treble first. Maybe the treble boost was an attempt to scare away dogs, I just don't know. :p
     
  11. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You can see the progression of Leo's pickups getting brighter. First we had the P, then the J, and on the guitar end the Jaguar was pretty strident, and then on to Musicman, and then G&L. The Musicman guitars weren't very popular because they were so bright, and they had bright switches.
     
  12. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    And then to add insult to injury G&L decided to ship the basses with UBER bright SIT strings! YIKES!

    Even slapping I virtually never use the High boost position. Sometimes I do use the center "active" position if I want a bit more brightness out of a long cable.
     
  13. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

    Oct 9, 2011
    Singapore
    okay i get it, so the preamp is deactivated when in passive but the battery will still be drained because the cord is plugged in, that tells me the salesperson at my local guitar shop dont know what is he talking.

    One more thing, parallel and series switch doesnt change the pickup into single and humbucker mode, but it just change the pickup wiring to either parallel or series and the pickups are still humbucker. Am i right?
     
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Unfortunately, not all that surprising.

    Yep, still a humbucker. Just wired as series or parallel.
     
  15. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    For a standard G&L that is correct. However with the "single coil" mod (also called the "K" mod for some reason) A different switch is used that has three positions rather than two. The up and down series and parallel positions stay the same, but there is added a third center position that changes the pickups to "single coil".

    Since you can choose which coil in the humbucker is used for "single coil" you actually have two options: inner coils and outer coils in the two pickups. You can't use other options because then the single coils will hum. And like all single coil pickups they WILL hum if one of them is soloed.

    Mine is now "outer coils" because when I used to have another switch so you could choose inner and outer, I found I was always using outer so I just made that permanent.

    The single coil mode gives a very clear precise tone that most of us with the mod love. It adds one more tone to the great flexibility the bass already has.
     

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