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Killswitch on J bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SamPingas, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. SamPingas


    Aug 16, 2012
    Hello, first off I would like to say that I hope this is my first post of many here! I'll hold back on writing a novel since I'm sure there is an introduction subforum somewhere around here!

    I have done some research into killswitches and have ultimately determined that I want to install one on my Squier J bass. During my research I learned that this passive bass has both a neck pickup volume knob and a bridge pickup volume knob, so it would be wired the same way as lets say... A Les Paul, right? I am not an expert when it comes to electronics so I am stumped on the wiring part itself, if somebody could go into Microsoft Paint and modify this diagram to show where a killswitch would be placed, that would be great! (Sorry for another "OMG KILLSITCSH" thread, I hear they are all the rage these days.)


  2. Put a switch across the output jack. Common to one terminal, normally-open to the other.
  3. The two wires that are between the "master tone" and the "output jack", put the killswitch on one of those wires. I'd choose the left one which is the ground.
  4. SamPingas


    Aug 16, 2012
    @line6man: I'm not going to lie, I have no clue what that means! :meh:

    @darius8: On my setup there is only one wire connected to the output jack, so does that mean I should just use one wire with an SPDT switch and connect them to that wire like you said?

    Another issue I ran into was the fact that this doesn't proplerly represent my wiring, I drew a quick diagram of my wiring in MS Paint.


    Where would I wire the killswitch to on this setup? I can attempt to make a more detailed version if you like.
  5. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012

    Point is, wire a normally open switch. One wire to ground, one wire to the hot leaving the bass. Doesn't matter where this is, at the jack or at the tone control GOING to the output jack. The RED wire on the tone control would be a good place. The reason there's only ONE wire going to your output jack is because it's the hot wire. The jack is grounded by shielding, I would suppose.
    line6man gave you the easiest answer. If you can't understand what he said or what I said, take it to someone and have it done. This is as basic as you can get.
  6. Well, going by your drawing you have a choice of putting the killswitch between the 2nd volume and tone pot OR between the tone pot and output jack. But as everyone has suggested the best spot is between the tone and output jack.
  7. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Here you go, OP.

  8. Might want to fix that, other Joe. You've got the switch wired to leave the output with an infinite impedance, which may cause "open guitar cable buzz."
  9. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    HA HA HA! Let's make it as complicated as possible!
  10. SamPingas


    Aug 16, 2012
    Thank you both bumperbass and darius8 for the clarification, more googling and re-reading did the trick for me! Also, thank you line6man for the original contribution!

    FunkMetalBass: Where does that black wire go to? From reading on some forums I think that I'm supposed to solder it to something, but what do I solder it to?
  11. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I'm Joe. You're Other Joe. Don't you remember the rules? :hyper:

    Presuming there's a common ground (a bad presumption, I admit), then this would ultimately direct the signal to cable sleeve, and that would offset the "open guitar cable buzz", no?
  12. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    What he's saying is, with the switch connected from the middle to the left connection, the output of the bass would be zero, as you assume. However, this leaves the jack wide open, as in 'unplugged from the bass and picking up noise".
  13. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Keep it simple - I do this all the time on nearly every bass, so I can put it down without messing with my levels.

    There are 2 terminals on the output jack. Connect the two wires from your switch to those 2 terminals. The output will be shorted (PASSIVE basses ONLY!!) and the sound will be dead quiet.
  14. This.
  15. Simple on off switch connecting + to -/ground will mute the bass.

  16. +1.
  17. SamPingas


    Aug 16, 2012
    So the switch should have 2 prongs instead of 3? (SPST)
  18. It doesn't matter. You're only using one pole and one throw of any switch.
  19. Two prongs if you connect + straight to ground. Three if you use the switch to cut signal from going to the rest of the tone, volume & pickup circuit. The three prong switch version is unnecessary.

    This too, if you use the 3 prong wired as a 2 prong


    This would be if you wanted to bypass the tone,volume & pickup circuits. Again, this would be unnecessary.

  20. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    is this gonna be a "turn the bass off for setbreak" switch (latching) or stuttering-sound effect (momentary)?

    be advised that without a bunch of overdrive the killswitch-as-effect thing won't do much on a bass.

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