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Make a PCB for your bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FunkMetalBass, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    In looking at the insanity that is my control cavity (so many wires!), I got to thinking about ways to tidy it up, so that leads me to this question:

    Has anybody ever made a custom PCB for their control cavity?
  2. What the hell for?:confused:

    All you have are pots and a capacitor in the control cavity, unless your bass is active, in which case, the preamp has it's own module.

    The only reason for a PCB board would be if you were building your own preamps.
  3. I never made a PC board for a bass but I have made them for other
    electronic projects. ExpressPCB gives you all the software you need
    to lay out your board and will make three double-layer boards for $51.
    You can't beat it. If your circuits are small, you can even get more than
    one on a board and cut them up into smaller PCBs.
  4. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    My control cavity currently contains:

    Aguilar OBP-3 module
    Stacked Vol/Vol
    Stacked Bass/Treble
    Mid push/pull
    Kill switch
    Coil tap switch
    Modboard Tremolo Module
    Concentric trem rate/trem depth
    Trem on/off switch.

    I believe I counted 32 wires last time I counted, so that's roughly 50 connections, and there's no room for all of these wires. I thought maybe making a PCB would help clear the clutter and keep it nice and tidy. In essence, yes, I'm "making my own preamp" for my active bass.
  5. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    Making a PCB would SURELY clean things upf for you. However:

    1) You better have some PCB layout training and experience to get all the grounding, etc. done right.

    2. All the components have to have their pins at the same level to fit the PCB.

    It may be better that you just go through and clean up all the wiring, making each wire as short as possible for good routing, and tie-wrap them for neatness and strength.
  6. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I figured there would still be wiring, but that it could be extremely short. There's no way I could get all the pots to sit at the same level for a direct solder, maybe one or two at most.
  7. I still don't see how any PCB options are going to help?
    Unless you opt for PCB mount pots and switches, you still have to wire up everything the same way. You are just needlessly overcomplicating things and making it even more difficult to ever rewire anything down the road.
    All the extra solder joints will just be another potential weak point to fail, btw.

    Your goal should be to simplify, not overcomplicate...
  8. Have to agree with L6M, what's the point? Unless you are using board mount pots, you are going to end up with the same amount of wires plus a board.
  9. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    In my case, it's not going to help - you're right. But in other cases, it would make things super tidy. I was really more interested in whether or not others had done it, because it seems like an interesting idea.

    Although now I'm curious about some board-mount pots for shiggles...
  10. Rockman


    Mar 2, 2006
    Any pot can be board mounted, I mean thats what the prong are there for(one of the reasons I guess). The only difference is that it would be attached to a board and not a bunch of wires... take a look at Audures jazz plate replacement.
  11. Actually likely twice as many wires - but much shorter and neater. If well done, could be significantly more reliable. Could provide easier modularity/disassembly.
  12. Id much rather have loose wires, never had a reliability issue from one's Ive done, and if I did, would be easier to fix than if something went wrong with a board.

    I have only used PCBs when I've stuck a preamp together.
  13. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    for the basses with a lot of wires I use cheap terminal strips to keep wires organized. they are great for stompboxes too

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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