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Jaguar Bass alternate setup (Hypothetical)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ZaxZumu, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. ZaxZumu


    Feb 27, 2017
    So I've been thinking of an idea for a project bass I can work on in long term to get essentially a more versatile bass. I'm not sure how much of this is feasible so if anyone has tried this or knows for sure whether or not this would work please let me know. P.S. There won't be any diagrams in my description as I am not super familiar with the whole diagram reading thing (part of why I mentioned "long term", as most of that time would be learning how to do it). This is for the chrome covered active-passive jaguar bass, not the standard mim like what they make now.

    • A reverse-position SD quarter pound p-bass pickup in the middle/neck position, and a custom SD quarter pound version of the old fender blacktop p bass humbuckers with four wires for different options.
    • Instead of the standard master volume and master tone/treble cut passive controls, I plan to install two concentric stacked knobs with a separate volume and tone (treble cut) for each, as this is what I prefer in general.
    • The active treble roller pot control would be a mid control instead.
    • Instead of the pickup selector switches, they would be rewired to function as follows: a three-way replacement for north coil, south coil and series humbucking options; a phase switch (just in case I decide that I want that sound at some point), and a kill switch for both ease in turning off the volume without changing how the pickups are balanced (and also for effect like what you could hear in something meant to sound more digitized and distorted).
    • The active/passive switch would stay the same.
    Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Sounds like a fun project. But despite my preference for passive basses over active basses, I can’t help wondering why bother when just dropping a better preamp into an already active bass would get you better results and a more versatile range of tone options.

    But I’ve gotten lazy in my old age. So what I’d suggest after the many hours and dollars I’ve spent happily modding things over the years is this:

    • Don’t neglect pickup placements. A relatively small change in where the pickup is located relative to to the bridge can yield very different sounds.
    • One of the easiest and least expensive ways to change the fundamental tone of your bass is by changing capacitor values. A simple toggle that lets you pick a darker or brighter cap is always ripe with possibilities.
    • Pickup switching often gets you more variety in tonal textures than mucking with a passive tonestack. So don’t neglect to explore coil splitting, series, and parallel switching schemes. Experiment!
    • A Bill Lawrence designed Q-filter now sold by Wilde ($25) is a really interesting thing to check out. It’s basically a passive midrange LCR circuit similar to what Gibson used in their Ripper. To me it sounds less like a what I think of as a midrange control and more like a texture or a girth knob. You can tighten or loosen up the entire sonic “feel” of your bass using one of these. Highly recommended and dirt simple to install.
    • Lastly, if you’re going to be playing with wiring, grab yourself a download copy of Cadfael’s Small Circuit Collection. That’s a freebie 400+ page book of wiring diagrams for just about any bass you can think of. Use it for inspiration. It’s text is in German, but it’s easy to follow since a diagram is a diagram. Google for a download link since the sites hosting it tend to switch around - it’s a big download! (If you can’t find a link, pm me and I’ll get you one.)
    Happy exploring!
  3. sprag


    Sep 15, 2011
    Melb Australia
    Sounds like a cool bass. Not saying any of these are better ideas just alternanives

    • vvt with a tonestyler type knob to select different tone caps

    • vol bass treb mid

    • series/parallel/single coil switching for the humbucker

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