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master vol vs per pickup vol controls

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Funkateer, Nov 8, 2003.


  1. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    As long as my playing was confined to my bedroom, the separate volume controls for neck and bridge pickups didn't bother me at all, as I can stop and fiddle with bass or amp controls whenever I feel like it. In a band setting, where I seem to need to tweak my volume up/down more frequently, and in real time, having to adjust two controls to both change volume and maintain consistent tone is a pain.

    Is this just me? My other bass is a Pedulla Rapture (1 PU) and I really like the simplicity of its one volume control. Is there some trick for using separate volume controls? I'd much rather have vol/pan than vol/vol and have sent an email to Mike to find out if this can be easily retrofitted.
     
  2. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I have always felt the Vol/Blend configuration is far superior to the Vol/Vol configuration on two pickup equiped basses.:bassist:

    There is not one adjustment that can't be achieved easier on a Vol/Blend configuration over a Vol/Vol.
     
  3. dmaki

    dmaki

    Apr 29, 2000
    Chattanooga
    I think the Vol-Blend makes a lot more sense, but I've heard it doesn't work well with passive pickups. The only basses I've ever seen it on were active... speaking of which, I should add that to my bass w/ EMGS
     
  4. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    On Jazz type basses, having dual volume controls allows you to back off on the neck pup just a bit to get that classic JBass bite.

    I'm looking into adding an active preamp that uses master volume and blend controls. Will I miss the bite?
     
  5. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Jondog is right on the money. A master vol/blend combo simply doesn't respond like two separete volume controls do. I vote two volumes. ;)
     
  6. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Something that can be achieved just as easily by rolling the blend knob back towards the bridge pickup until satisfied.
     
  7. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Makes no difference. See previous post.
     
  8. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    I use two volume pots and it works perfectly with me. I think it's just the matter, that you're used to a particular setup.

    So I use a v/v/t combination. When I want a little more rumbling/less sharp sound I dial in the neck pickup, and don't have to do anything about the bridge. It's just constantly open. In fact, the variation of the volume for the neck pickup gives me the sound I need. In addition I've got the toggle switch for the series/parallel/single mode of the big MM pickup at the bridge.

    I don't know, according to the previous reactions to this topic, if the two volume pots work differently from the vol/mix pots, so may be I'm thinking that it doesn't matter, but may be it does. I've got this feeling though, that when you mix the neck pickup (in the v/mix situation) with the bridge, that only the sound gets different and not the overall output of the bass. Something I have on my bass myself, is that the output really changes, when I dial in the second volume pot (bridge). Perhaps it gets 'boosted' with the neck in addition to the neck volume, so the overall volume changes. And not the situation that the master, which is only 'coloured' by the mix knob, in the v/mix combi, and doesn't change.

    Isn't it? Perhaps I am wrong.
     
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    You are wrong. There is no difference.
    It's only a matter of taste.
    I prefer Volume/Blend.
     
  10. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I think if you talk to guys who build a lot of basses and work with the two different wiring schemes, they'll tell you that there is a difference. It might not be a HUGE difference, a slight variance in the way the pickups react and perform might make a difference to some players.
     
  11. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I have electronics training. The only thing (that should be) common between the two pickups in either scheme is the ground wire. In either scheme one pickup's volume should have no effect on the other's. The only thing that should effect either pickup's volume is the blend knob or it's respective volume pot.
     
  12. My understanding is that a lot of manufacturers use volume/ volume controls on active basses because the 100k pots crap out a lot and 500k pots are pricey and in poor supply. These companies are trying to maintain a certain cost to quality ratio. I think they are trying to do right by the consumer, but that configuration is kind of a pain to use in performances. I'll just replace a balance pot if that's what I gotta do.

    Oh yeah. If you have a serious difference in output when leaning to one pup or the other, you probably need to adjust pickup height.
     
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Guys n Gals , Have you ever had a Stereo , car radio or TV that had seperate volume controls for each speaker? Think about it for a few seconds !!!

    Balance and Volume are two different functions in my book. Using two seperate Volume controls is a bit of extra work. The Balance control lets you "Balance" the pickup mix and the "Volume" control lets you 'adjust' the 'level'(volume!)...
    As a player , the first thing I did in designing the 2-Pickup Smith Bass was to find a company that could make a pickup balance control with a 'Center Detent". I paid a small fortune in "tooling" charges to one of the top companies to make this component. Now it's an industry standard. Our first 2-Pickup Basses with the detented Balance control were made in 1980 !!

    If the "Balance Control" isn't the way to go , then why does just about every company trying to make a good Bass use it?
    'Cause it's the "stuff" !!

    Oh, and BTW , we have used the Balance Control with Passive and Active Circuits with mainly Passive Pickups on both Circuits.
     
  14. I hate V-V-T. :spit: :mad: :spit: :mad: :spit:

    With a passion, I might add.
     
  15. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    :confused: Really?!? I have owned only two passive basses in the past twenty years and they both (Fenders) had Vol/Vol. Meanwhile all my active basses, except my original Steinberger XL2, had the Vol/Blend setup.

    I believe the stats to be quite reversed from your statement.
     
  16. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    only my personal opinion... and i m no expert, believe me.
    F basses, for instance, come standard as vol, vol setup- I order every Fbass that comes to my shop with master vol option- it is extra, but i myself cannot deal with vol/vol- i much prefer master vol, balance. It is essential because i have developed a habit of reaching for my vol knob betwen tunes to "mute" the bass- any contact with the strings and there would be a huge thump over the pa- so i have just made this automatic- song over, vol: off
    hard to do with 2 volumes and keep the blend you had ( ok, if you want to bring a volume pedal, you get around this, but i dont want another pedal and cable, etc..)
    so , master vol works for me and every F bass sold here has had it much to many a player's delight, because it is a pain in the butt after- mod- my humble .02
     
  17. Aram

    Aram

    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    ditto.
     
  18. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    Master vol w/ blend works just fine, passive or not. I've converted both my Jazz basses. I couldn't imagine having a bass work any other way. Use 500K pots if you're concerned about the slight treble loss, not that I think you could even hear the difference.

    I hate V-V-T too! :spit: :mad: :spit: :mad:
     
  19. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Well, if I ever get an F bass I now know who & where I'm getting it from.......and right here in Vegas no less!!!
    :D :D :D
     
  20. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    yeah, man- hard to believe we havent hooked up! give a call some time- 364 0020
    by the way, i will be playing with a very prestigious group of musicians , Vegas' best , here in a couple of Sundays - a Latin Jazz concert- don't ask how I got the call for the gig! really, i truly am not worthy- every other cat must have been booked! - if you wanna check it out- call me and i will give you details- sorry for the off topic! - back to the discussion!! ;)