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Need to brighten, without clank

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by betardfoosier, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    I put model J's and 500k pots in my mim jazz, with a 223 ceramic cap. I already plan to change the cap to a Mylar or PIO, but I want to know what else I can do to brighten the bass up a bit. It's very dark, almost muddy. The tone pot, also a 500, is basically an off/on switch from bright to mud, all in the last 2 degrees of turn. I AM playing a lefty, someone said something about having righty pots wired backwards? I didn't realize that would make a difference.

    I have it wired the same as it came from the factory, but maybe those were lefty pots and I put rightys in? The tone and volume sweep the same way as before, just not linear. The original pots are not marked as lefty, are they usually?

    One thing I want to avoid is making the bass clanky and fret noisy. I always have the Presence on 0 on my GK for that very reason, I hate fret noise. Is there a way to brighten the tone up without bringing out the clank?
  2. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    There's no need to change to a Mylar or PIO cap, because they wont change the tone. All caps of the same value sound the same. The cap in the tone control also doesn't matter when it's on 10.

    Yes, you need a reverse audio pot for the tone. Thats why it's working that way.

    Have you tried the Model Js in parallel? When I had them in a bass I had series/parallel switches. Parallel was brighter and had less mids.

    Clank is actually up mids, so that might work fine. If you don't want more fret noise and clank, try reducing the low mids or low end.

    Other than that you might need different pickups.
  3. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    Can i wire the regular taper tone pot backwards and correct it? Put the cap to ground on the opposite lug?
  4. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    And I believe they are in parallel, however the bass was originally wired, I duplicated.
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Before you started ripping out the guts, did you try different strings? What are you using now? How about your amp and cabinets?
  6. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    I have rotosounds on it now, they were on sale. Maybe 2 months old now, I'm running a gk 700rbii into 2 410tx's, which I know are boomy cabs. However, I know the on-off function of my tone pot isn't right.
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yes, or use a linear taper pot.

    You can tell if the pickups are in parallel, because they will have the red and white wire to hot, and the green and black to ground. If the black and white wires are taped together they are in series. Series is the standard way to wire them.

    It might also be a dark sounding bass. I used to use those pickups and they weren't very dark at all.

    On one of my darkish basses, I changed the bridge for an aluminum Hipshot bridge. The light weight aluminum bright brightened up the tone a lot.
  8. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    I just grounded the cap on the other side, it seemed to make a difference, now most of the variation is in about 90 degrees, rather than 2. Does using linear taper pots help with evening out the transition? Also, do most people use all 500k pots with buckers, or just in the volume?
  9. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Not electronics related but have you considered trying a different type of strings. The right set can do what you are talking about.
  10. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Yes, and yes. There's debate about whether or not linear pots are preferable for use with passive bass electronics; the split is about 50-50. 500k is a typical pot value for humbuckers.
  11. betardfoosier


    Feb 13, 2011
    Kael, what do you recommend for strings? I play 45-105, and play mostly ambient rock, any ideas? Strings are something I know very little about.
  12. Use a low capacitance cable.

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