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Modding the "tone" knob

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by AcidFripp, Oct 8, 2010.


  1. AcidFripp

    AcidFripp

    Jul 12, 2010
    Alright, I figured this would be the place to post this. If it isn't, please do direct me to where I could get a good answer.

    OK. I have a Squier Jazz Bass. It has 3 knobs; bridge, neck, and tone. I don't use the tone much as it boosts treble and I can do that from my amp. Anyhow, I just don't use the tone knob much. My question is, would it be possible to make it so that the tone knob affects something else? Maybe make it so that it adds distortion or sustain or something instead of just increasing treble?

    Is this possible at all?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Actually, a tone knob cuts treble, all the way open, it's brighter setting is when you're not using it.


    That said, you could wire your bass so the tone is off all the time like that, with a capacitor, and use the pot for something else.
     
  3. Yes, the tone knob is a passive low-pass filter.
    It does not boost treble, it only cuts it.

    You could replace the pot with a killswitch or something.
     
  4. mech

    mech

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    This would require active circuits and a battery. Not easily done.

    Or have it turned into a Master Volume.

    mech
     
  5. AcidFripp

    AcidFripp

    Jul 12, 2010
    A... killswitch? What do you mean?

    Master volume, you say... can't see much use in it, but it certainly would be cool.
     
  6. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    Flip the switch towards you and no signal goes to the jack. Away and you're good. Sounds like you are using the tone control though. If you have a multi-meter, you could measure the resistance setting you like and hardwire the circuit to stay that way. This would free up a space on the control plate but unless you're up for some major mods there's not much to be done. Also, unless you can do it yourself, the cost of adding a distortion or compression circuit could be close to or more than what you paid for the bass.
     
  7. Meh, I'd say leave it. It's one of those things that "you'll get when you're older." as others have said the knob only cuts treble. However, the Duncan Blackout tone circuits are quite fantastic, and you could install a stacked version in place of the current tone knob. Battery placement is tough if you don't have a router though. Or you could install a car cigarette lighter in place of it and have the coolest thing I've ever seen.
     
  8. ex-tension

    ex-tension

    Jun 11, 2009
    So strange, no one mentioned series/parallel switch. To me it would be the most usefull thing.
     
  9. AcidFripp

    AcidFripp

    Jul 12, 2010
    Maybe I will get it when I'm older. I've only been playing for a half-year and a month, so maybe it'll come to me.
    But having a car cigarette lighter on my bass would certainly be entertaining, useful (well, not THAT useful), and cool! Any ideas on how to do it?

    Aha, I understand. So I'd be better off buying a distortion pedal.

    Dude, I'm a noob, man. I mean, I'm not completely new at playing bass, but I've no clue about electronics!
     
  10. TGLbass

    TGLbass

    Aug 20, 2010
    I think a headlight switch from an old car would be cool.
     
  11. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Sounds like you set it to full treble cut.

    I'd just set it and forget it.

    Distortion and sustain you can get from a stompbox or the amp.
     
  12. Strangest thing I've ever heard.

    Well, it would require a low voltage (usually 13.8V) high current (several amps) power source.

    That means either a huge battery on board, which quite obviously would be out of the question, or, a cord running from a power supply unit, which is equally absurd.
    The cord could not be a phantom powered guitar cable or a balanced guitar cable, because you would be pumping too much current for the wire gauge.
     
  13. MK1

    MK1

    Nov 23, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    It sounds like you are actually using your tone knob. When you turn the tone knob toward the input jack you are engaging the "tone". When you turn it toward the volume knobs it's disengaging the "tone". Like others have said the tone knob doesn't add highs it takes them away. If you were to take the tone knob out it would sound similar to if you turned the knob all the way toward the volume knobs.
     
  14. So what you're saying is it's possible? :hyper:
     
  15. If you want to run a second output jack with a speaker cable connecting to a battery or power supply, yes.

    I don't understand why you would want to do such a ridiculous thing though?:confused:
     
  16. "Q"

    "Q"

    Feb 9, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    As long as we're going crazy just increase the supply voltage and bolt a step down transformer to the outside of the bass. Then you can use a balanced cable. Or better yet, find a lighter made to run on higher voltages as I'm sure there's something used on boats or some other industry that uses that.

    Also, to anyone actually thinking of trying this you might want to put a capacitor in series with the output jack just in case any induced DC tries to destroy your amp and speakers, although that might not be fool proof either.
     
  17. In parallel, the normal mode, each volume controls one pickup. In series, the signal flows through one then the other pickup; one volume controls both, the other volume is taken out of the circuit. Your base should be louder and sound beefier in series mode, so you could use the series/parallel circuit as a slight boost switch for solos or texture.
     
  18. [QUOTE="Q";9825675]As long as we're going crazy just increase the supply voltage and bolt a step down transformer to the outside of the bass. Then you can use a balanced cable. Or better yet, find a lighter made to run on higher voltages as I'm sure there's something used on boats or some other industry that uses that.

    Also, to anyone actually thinking of trying this you might want to put a capacitor in series with the output jack just in case any induced DC tries to destroy your amp and speakers, although that might not be fool proof either.[/QUOTE]

    No, you definitely want to have some AC coupling to remove any DC if you are running the AC and DC together at the same output, it's not optional. (Well, unless you're going the other route with inductive coupling.:hyper:)

    Again, such an absurd idea for a bass...:rolleyes:
     
  19. AcidFripp

    AcidFripp

    Jul 12, 2010
    My tone knob seems to boost treble, though...

    Certainly makes more sense... I can see how it might be useful. Any ideas on how one might do this?

    A man can dream, can't he?
    And besides, this is what TB is for! Sophisticated bass discussion!
    Ridiculous idea or not, though, you must admit that having a lighter (or a series/parallel switch) on your bass would be cool in so many different ways.
    "Hey, AcidFripp! Got a lighter, man?"
    "Oh, sure, Jim. Just use my bass."
    "Sweet, thanks!"

    ... ya know?
     
  20. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    it doesn't boost treble if it's a passive tone control.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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.

     
    Feb 28, 2021

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