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How many controls are too many?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zachoff, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Guessing we have the gamut of bassers in here... From the 2 knob set & forget players to the control tweakers. Where do you fall?

    I'm a passive player, but generally like a volume and tone per pickup. Settings are different across basses, but I generally find a tone I like then set & forget regardless of the number of switches and dials.

    My gig bass only has V/V - G&L SB-2. It'd be real nice to have a tone knob on it (my only complaint). I like to roll off the tone to 7ish on my P-basses, but I found my set & forget settings for this bass.

    One of my favorite basses is the G&L L-2000 & even though there's a ton of tweaking you can do to that bass I've found my set and forget settings here too.
  2. DSC00640.

    No problems here.
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Any control you don't understand is one you don't need.

    Why? Because you'll probably futz around with it and create problems for yourself.

    If you understand all the controls and know how to use them, then you don't have too many...regardless of number.
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    4 is about where I like to be (volume, treble, mid, and bass). I could be down for a mid sweep, though. Anything more than that I could handle, but I'd probably spend more time screwing around with the controls than I would be actually playing.
  5. The simpler the better, IMO, just one reason I love my Precision bass. A Jazz bass is about as complicated as I want to get.
  6. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    Its funny because i spent most of my life playing Mexican jazz basses.

    I think the cheap pickups had a certain "mud" factor
    my tone was with every thing turned up.

    I almost wanted a bass with no tone controls or volume controls.

    Then i got a real P and J bass and it was a whole new world
    and spent some time finding most of the basic Jazz bass knob settings.

    most of which are still very basic, just set and go
  7. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    I am in this camp. Give me one volume knob, and one tone control and I am set. I have always run my basses all on 11, and then I use the amp to get the tone
  8. Two, sometimes three. Like Steve Martin as 'The Jerk,' it's all I need.
  9. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    :p Me also. I really wonder if i need any. I keep my P basses wide open and only every once in a while roll one off a little.
  10. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Most multiple control basses confuse me as I am a Fender Jazz and Precision guy from way back.

    My Fodera controls are well laid out though and I use all of them. The Benevente and Modulus I used to own were very confusing for me!

    The Fodera Emperor Standard has 2 switches (coil tap and active/passive) and 6 knobs (4 actually but 2 are stacked). Knobs are volume, PU pan, tone roll off, bass, treble, mids. Simple.

    More than that (4 band EQ as an example) is just overkill for me.
  11. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    I don't care how many you start out with, one more is too many.
  12. nikolozj


    Dec 15, 2011
    “Simplicity is the key to brilliance”
    (C) Bruce Lee

  13. KodyAudette


    Apr 30, 2012
    I guess it just depends. I generally have to have at least a good tone control because one tone is not necessarily the right tone for every song I play. My Dingwall has an Active/Passive switch that I like to flip to passive when I want a clearer, more open tone. I'll generally dial my treble or tone control back to about 6 or 7 and give it just a hint of tube overdrive on the amp to add in some of those upper harmonics. Unless the song is particularly soft or mellow, then I'll roll off more highs, ease up on the strings and raise my master volume on the amp a hair to do without the overdrive. It's all an interconnected system, so it just depends which controls you need at your fingertips and which can wait till between songs to change.
  14. I’m also a passive player - pickup volume(s) and one tone knob is what I like best.

  15. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Controls: Generally I don't need (want) any.:)

    I am however enjoying my newish volume/Tone equipped bass very much and am ok with the two pots.( could do without the volume one but really enjoy the tone pot).
  16. svt1233

    svt1233 Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2012
    Anymore than VVT
  17. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California


    Also perfect:


    Depends on the bass IMO.
  18. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.

    This is not photoshopped.
  19. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    On a one-pickup bass I want one volume. If there are multiple pickups, then one volume connected only to the neck pickup. And I won't even use it as a volume, more as an on-off switch.
  20. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Any more than a volume control and pan pot and I go straight to n00bville.

    I did recently put batts back in my carvins to mess around with the on board preamp, but that's only when dinking around.

    The only thing I'm ever competent to adjust on-line is volume and pan.

    On my L2K, I have the series-parallel switch in addition to the pickup switch and volume. I've learned to -ish whack that one in the middle of playing, tho just about as often I'll n00b right out and accidentally whack the pickup selector instead.

    I'm not opposed to lots of adjustment, don't get me wrong. But at my level of brain damage, the volume and pan pot are about all I can handle while playing.


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