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Installing a two way switch in a p bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SMILEYSIXX, Sep 18, 2010.



    Dec 29, 2009
    How do I install a two way switch in the tone position of a p bass? It has six points to attach to on the underside. Wiring diagrams? Instructions?
  2. ThrashMaster


    Jul 7, 2010
    Boston, MA
    what do you want the switch to do?


    Dec 29, 2009
    Switch between tone that's resisted, and then a bypassed tone or a near bypassed tone sound. Imagine the two ends of the sound of a 500k pot.
  4. "The two ends of the sound of a 500K pot" would be a killswitch.
    On and off.


    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm not overly familiar with the electronics in an instrument, so I really don't know. :p

    It's an on/off switch though, so how would I wire this?
  6. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    DiMarzio has some good installation diagrams on their website.
  7. What you initially described sounded more like a bypass switch for the pots to give you direct-to-jack wiring.

    Here is the killswitch wiring:


    Dec 29, 2009
  9. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG!

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    I’m still not really sure what you want this switch to do. Is it that you want it to remove the resistance from the tone pot, like a switch that adds / removes the tone pot from the circuit?


    Dec 29, 2009
    I get the feeling I have completely misinterpreted the use of this switch. I've seen someone before with a switch that went from a resisted tone to a bypassed tone sound. Is this in any way possible with the switch I have?
  11. hall1k


    Jun 14, 2009
    To me it sounds like you want to completely replace the tone knob with a 2-way switch. I would suggest against it, as the point of having a knob is that it is essentially an infinite-way switch, giving you much much more flexibility.


    Dec 29, 2009
    I considered against it, but realized the only two positions my tone knob is ever at is either completely resisted, or completely wide open.

    And yes, I want to replace the tone knob with a two way switch... I got the wrong kinda switch didn't I?
  13. That's an On-On-On switch, which has 3 positions.

    I think you are confused at what exactly you are trying to do with the switch.

    You could use it to select two capacitor values and a bypass setting for the tone control, if you'd like.


    Dec 29, 2009
    Like I said, I'm not too enlightened when it comes to electronics. What would it do if I wired it to select to capacitors and a bypass? This would mean I would need to add another capacitor to the system?
  15. You could select two different frequency cut offs for the tone control, plus a bypassed setting that would be a little brighter than with the tone at "10" -or- a third setting instead.

    You can do a lot of things with a DPDT mini toggle switch, but you limit your options with an On-On-On versus an On-On.


    Dec 29, 2009
    Okay, so I have a .047 capacitor in there now... I could remove the tone knob, put in the switch, add another capacitor (let's say .022), and be able to switch between the .022 capacitor, the .047, or bypass both and go fro the wide open sound?
  17. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I don't understand on-on-on switches as well as I wish I did, but I don't think a simple DPDT switch will do that.

    However, you have two different options of what you could do with it:

    1) .047uF, .069uF, .022 uF (no bypass)
    2) .047uF, .047 uF, bypass
    3) .022uF, .022 uF, bypass

    If you want a true bypass and the use of both, I believe you'd have to step it up to a DP3T or a 3P3T.
  18. This diagram was a demonstration of how a 4PDT On-On-On could be used as a DP3T, so ignore one half of the switch:


    If you want a bypass setting, just leave one of the throws open.


    Dec 29, 2009
    Okay, so what is the tonal difference between .047, .022, and .069? Do the numbers represent a level of resistance?
  20. The numbers represent a capacitance, as expressed in microFarads.

    The higher the value, the lower the frequency it will cut. (More treble cut.)
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