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P bass tone pot or no tone pot what do you prefer

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Micaiahf, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Micaiahf


    Feb 8, 2014
    so i've had my $40 (pawn shop gold) Samick P for a while, got used to it had it set up for free and love it and i find it has the best tone with the tone at zero i don't really like the tone of it full on or even half way think i shoud ditch the tone pot all together and run Vol knob?

    i mean granted i'm a bedroom player for now but plain on gigging for fun with other bands as a bassist from time to time is a tone pot needed to cut through better or what?
  2. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I got rid of it on my bass and I don't miss it at all.
  3. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    I see no reason why, on ANY bass, you would want FEWER options.

    If you like the tone full off, go ahead an run it that way. But why unnecessarily take away tonal options?
  4. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    If you like the tone at zero (meaning the treble is rolled off) then eliminating the tone pot entirely is counterintuitive as it will make your bass run with the tone full on (treble all the way on)

    I'm pretty sure you would have to run a capacitor between the pickup and output jack after eliminating the knob to achieve the desired results.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I use a 2 way tone switch. Full or zero. When full nothing is in the path, when zero I get the creamy lowpass goodness.
  6. southshoreconor


    Oct 30, 2007
    The Road
    Endorsing Artist: Fender Musical Instruments, SIT strings
    Actually eliminating the tone pot would be like having the tone "on 11". I like bright and ballsy overdriven P bass tone so I have one of mine wired this way.

    OP, leave the tone knob in. Someday, in a band setting or with the right strings/set up you may find good use of that pesky knob.
  7. Micaiahf


    Feb 8, 2014
    oh wow lol i see it all makes sense okay keeping my tone pot then lol thanks guys~!
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    That's exactly what he was saying. From what OP wrote, it seems they want to run the tone "on 0" although I'm not convinced that's what they actually meant.
  9. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I change tone a lot, sometimes several times in a tune, and not just on/off. I'd keep the adjustment. I've considered a switched arrangement, but it would need at least 4-6 positions. At that point, it becomes slower to adjust than turning the pot.

    EDIT: It seems simpler and more useful to add a switch to switch the tone control out. Then you have best of both worlds.
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I loved my Mark Hoppus but I had it modified with a stack pot which was dumb because I always kept it wide open.
  11. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Funny, but I just wrote a long tech post about this within the past week...but I can't remember where.

    of misinformation in these responses, but the bottom line is that the tone control is nothing but a crude passive low-pass filter. That means it adds absolutely nothing (except a few strange and unpredictable induction artifacts) and just bleeds off highs.

    On guitars, the mere presence of the passive tone control has a very slight effect on some high frequencies that are above the range of the amp/cab to reproduce anyway even when it's in full-off position, but in direct recording some fairly fanatical persons bypass the tone control.

    You may recall FMIC's "Delta Tone" no-load tone control that bypassed that part of the circuit. So, no, it does not have to be there.

    On bass, I can't imagine anything substantive being gained by removing the tone control, though I make sure it is fully open when recording.
  12. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Yeah, from what the OP wrote is sounds like he wants no tone knob but the bass to sound like the tone is rolled off. Taking out the tone pot would make it sound like the tone is all the way on.

    He could get rid of the tone pot and have his tone sound all the way off if he put a cap between the pickup and the output jack.

    Typically guys want no tone pot in order to get that wide open, tone fully up, tone.

    Its doable, just seems like the opposite want of the typical mod.
  13. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Yes, but on bass it's 100% imaginary in anything but DI recording, even hypothetically.
  14. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    No argument from me there!
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Not my experience. You can hear the difference very clearly in soundclips between a tone turned full up and a bypassed tone.
    The overtones of bass guitar tend to go even higher than those of guitar.
  16. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    I'd like to hear a blind taste test of no tone pot vs tone pot fully on (ie the bright setting). i'd imagine you could hear a difference, as 250,000 ohms is well less than infinite, but it would be interesting to see if there was really an audible difference.
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    On a passive bass?

    I'd love to know the protocols.

    All my recording single-coil guitars have no-load tone pots.

    DI into the front end and monitoring with high-end studio headphones, I can't hear ANY difference rocking them in and out of circuit, and that's with a Stratocaster or Telecaster bridge pickup. If the highs were going to be noticeable to anyone but a dog, those rigs would certainly produce it.

    I can't imagine how any frequencies that high would be usefully applicable to bass as we know it. :confused:

    I haven't checked this out with an oscilloscope, but there are a lot of things you can see on a 'scope that you can't hear.

    They are also unable to be reproduced through a 10" driver or even most bass amps.

    A lot of stuff is also happening beyond the range of most people's hearing loss.

    My recollection (and I may be misremembering) is that the claimed incremental differences are above 10kHz.

    Personally, I can't imagine what that has to do with bass instrumentation even if it were reproducible and people could hear it. Those frequencies would be low-passed out of a bass track in the studio by any competent track engineer. :confused:
  18. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    If you use no-load pots, you won't hear a difference indeed.
    Now, why do you use no-load pots if the tone pot makes no difference ?
    With a run of the mill pot, the difference is clearly hearable. Unless you use age old flats that is.
    Many, many bass cabs use horns that painlessly reproduce these frequencies.
    Not sure about the practical interest but the difference exists and you don't need a frequency analyzer to feel it.
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    How do you do this??

    I always preferred having the tone pot. I like having the option of rolling it all the way forward, which is where it is usually at, or a little ways back. It all depends on what amp and or preamp Im using at the me. The above switch sounds pretty awesome though. Please PM info if and or when you have time, I would greatly appreciate it, thanks.
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I got the idea 20 years ago when I had my first custom made and realized I only used the tone full or zero. So to save a spot I had the switch installed as a push-pull on the volume. I did it on other instruments since then.

    It is super simple. One way nothing is plugged, the other you get a tone cap, typically a .047µF going to the ground from the signal.