Onboard OD or Compressor, one for neck PU, one for bridge PU (?)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by TheAskHole, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. TheAskHole


    Sep 26, 2017
    Hi guys, I am thinking about re-doing my bass' electronics. We are familiar with separate volume and tone for each pickups, but has anybody here done separate OD (or compressor) for each pickup? In my head, I imagine that I might be able to mix dirty bridge with clean neck. Well .. for science.

  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!

    Never thought about it. Not even sure if it's practical. But please start a thread here with lot of pics along the way while you try it. It's an interesting idea for sure.

    What bass are we talking about? What sound are you going for?
  3. TheAskHole


    Sep 26, 2017
    I have just decided to switch from guitar to bass, I bought a cheap Yamaha RBX 375 for some experimentation. I currently am painting it all white, mimicking Fieldy's bass - not that I'm a fan, though. I will do a proper NBD thread once it's finished.

    Not quite sure what sound I'm going for, but I always like textures in sound when I was playing guitar. I normally put overdrives in parallel, sounds good to my ear. I'm thinking to tweak my tone straight from the instrument, since it's not an expensive bass, I might have no problem experimenting with it. I'm planning to put separate OD and blend knob on each pickup.
  4. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Have to say I've thought about an onboard OD in case I ever run into a sound*** who insists on a DI direct from the bass :smug:. Is there anyone making onboard fx?
    Torrente Cro likes this.
  5. TheAskHole


    Sep 26, 2017
    I have a friend who studied electronics and happened to build custom pedals, I want to see what he's capable of doing. I'm planning to redo all electronics in my bass, something like this:

    Drive Section (4 knob, 1 switch)

    Neck Drive Knob
    Neck Blend knob
    Bridge Drive Knob
    Bridge Blend Knob

    Drive On/Off Switch

    Pickup Section (4 knob, 3 switch)

    Neck Volume Knob
    Neck Tone Knob
    Bridge Volume Knob
    Bridge Tone Knob

    Series/Parallel Switch
    Neck Coil Tap Switch
    Bridge Coil Tap Switch

    I was about to go nuts by putting parametric EQ onboard, but dual concentric pot is nearly impossible to find around..
  6. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    I have no personal experience with these, but they DO exist. On board OD, compressor, delay, chorus, even a wah/filter...

    GuitarFetish MOD boards
  7. Uche_bass


    Jul 31, 2017
    I remember Vox made something that looks like a violin bass that has a tuner, booster and OD onboard, so you should be able to get something like that
    Wouldn't that be too many knobs? (it's a matter of taste, i like to keep everything tidy but it's your bass, not mine )
    Can't wait to see it finished!
  8. Some things might sound like a good idea on paper, but they don't work out to have any practical value. There is almost no use for having compression on one pickup but not the other. Whatever the compressor squashes down will be reintroduced into the signal path by the other pickup. Likewise, separate compression for each pickup offers little that cannot be achieved with one compressor on both pickups.

    As for overdriving one pickup, it is usually easier to just use a pedal/preamp/whatever with a dry mix in knob.
  9. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Normally I'd agree, but in conjunction with the separate drive circuits it might do....something?

    Of course then OP has to decide if he wants the comps pre or post the drives. Or both.

    There's also multiband compression (outboard) to consider, which might accomplish what he's going for better.
  10. TheAskHole


    Sep 26, 2017
    What about overdriving one pickup and not overdriving another one? Will it sound like a blended signal, or else?

    If it will make no difference, I really don't want to drill another cavity in my bass.
  11. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Respectfully disagree.

    I run separate signal chains per pickup on my pedalboard, by way of Rick-o-sound output. Compression on the neck pickup and high frequency expander on the bridge. Because the bridge pup has a HPF in line, I'm essentially doing multiband compression, keeping the lows big and present even as I move up and down the neck, dig in for more growl, pluck closer to the bridge, etc.

    The result is far more dimensional than the effects simply run in series from the mono output of the bass.

    And this is without getting into the possibilities opened up by using more standout effects such as chorus or synth, rolling off tone or volume on each pickup separately, disengaging the HPF, hard switching between signal chains, etc. etc.
    line6man and TheAskHole like this.
  12. TheAskHole


    Sep 26, 2017
    Tell me, what happened when you overdrive one pickup and not the other.
  13. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Sounds great.
  14. TheAskHole


    Sep 26, 2017
    Does it sound like clean-OD blend?
  15. Flippy


    Jun 9, 2017
    Get yourself one of these
  16. TheAskHole


    Sep 26, 2017
    Well, it suddenly becomes quite a large project. Not sure how long until it finished. After it's done, it should be like this.


    Not sure about its practicality, but when it's done, it should be a massive tonal palette .. hopefully. I will totally do a proper post once it's done.
  17. Flippy


    Jun 9, 2017
    Good luck swapping batteries for this monster :laugh:
    TheAskHole likes this.
  18. Battery life is not a concern unless you choose distortion/compression circuits with high current opamps/transistors. A properly chosen system should not draw significantly more current than a typical onboard preamp.
  19. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Yes, but better.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Are you also running two separate amps on the other side of the Ric-O-Sound?