need suggestions for bass build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by cloren, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. cloren


    Nov 15, 2007
    san francisco
    I'm planning the build of my first bass- one tuned primarily to play as a tenor (or maybe higher - D G C F).

    I've decided I want to use humbuckers w/passive electronics. I can't decide on a tone cap though- It's between .022uf and .047uf. I've only ever had experience with .047 caps before but if I understand correctly a .022 cap rolls off less highs and may be more suitable for a strictly chordal/melodic instrument.

    any insights?
  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna Guest

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Your assumption on the .022 uF cap rolling off less highs is correct.

    However, the higher the value of the potentiometer you use can affect the amount highs present in the overall sound of the bass. For humbuckers, 500K is standard, but 1 Meg pots will give a bit more highs and overall sound, whereas 250K pots will give a bit less highs and are sometimes described as "warmer" sound.

    You might even consider using a tone pot with a push/pull switch on it and wiring two different value of capacitors with it, maybe a .022 and a .100?

    Or once you have the rest of the wiring in, using some small test leads with alligator clips on, try a couple different values of capacitors and see which one you like best.

    Lastly, if you're building the instrument yourself and therefore will be doing the routing for the pickup holes, the distance from the bridge will affect the tone as well. Closer to the bridge will give you more highs and more clarity and cut, closer to the neck gives more lows and depth.