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P/J wiring with two pots

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by P-punk, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    Well, it is all personal as usual, there is always somebody who wouldn't like it.

    Back to the original question: there are many configurations possible using concentric pots and/or push-pull pots, pickup switches and blends. My personal preference goes to 3 way pickup selector, its simplicity and lower "degree of freedom" goes well with Precision Bass concept of plug-and-play instrument, IMHO.
    A mini 3-way pickup switch is small and unobtrusive enough and doesn't alter the clean PB look too much.
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    My active J has pickups 3.5 inches apart, sounds great. My active/passive P/J has 2.56 inches from J to treble side of P, sounds great. I get it that you absolutely detest the sound of a P/J and I know that you are not alone but a whole lot of us just don't hear what you hear. We had this discussion a few days ago and I spent half an hour with those two basses trying to hear even a hint of this and I don't hear it.

    Better than the advice you opened with which simply just does not apply to many of us is this: go to a store, try a P/J with the spacing you want to use and spend some quality time with it, listening carefully. If you like what you hear, proceed with confidence.
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Might have something to do with active (buffered) blend versus passive blend. I'm not a blend guy, so I'm no expert, but I'd love to see someone knowledgeable agree with me. :)
  4. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    What is often depicted as the PJ "problem" is the difference in output between P and J pickups in many cases. This makes balancing pickups different from what people are accustomed to with Jazz basses.
  5. I want variety. I love the sound of the DiMarzio P-pup at it is, but sometimes I want something a bit different - like a soloed bridge Jazz pickup.

    If I understand this correctly a three way switch NOT connected to ground, will give me the following options soundwise:

    - pure P-sound. No changes to the sound (at least not audible to most people) and there won't be any problems with loading effect?

    - a mix between P and J-sound. A bit honkier than two J-pups at full because the pups are closer than on a J?

    - pure soloed bridge pup J sound?

    Is this correct? If so, this sounds like a winner. :bassist:
  6. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
  7. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    On one of my PJs I installed the switch between the volume and tone knobs, the lever travels vertically (or horisontally if you're looking at this picture :) ):

  8. Thank you for all the help T-34. If you have the time to draw a diagram I would be very happy. If you don't have the time, that's OK as well. :)
  9. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    you're welcome ;)


    (layout is a little bit messy but the wiring is correct)
    kevinpmajka likes this.
  10. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    (can you see the image? I am not sure this Google Docs publication thing works properly)
  11. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    A lot of people who hate passive P/Js say that active P/Js are ok. My P/J can run active or passive and I hear no difference between the two modes as far as how the pickups blend. Now it is BVT rather than VVT in both modes but I think we are grasping at straws if we try to claim that VVT is nasal honk city and BVT is sonic bliss.
  12. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    Strictly speaking, BVT is equivalent to Volume-Volume-Master Volume-Tone, but the difference shouldn't be noticeable in most conditions.
  13. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I must be missin suttin. I'm not seeing how a P& J pickup compined, can sound "honkier" (im guessing that to mean worse) than a J [bridge] pickup alone?.
    Regardless of spacidistance from the neck pickup.

    In fact, My assumption would be that getting the J further from the Bridge can ONLY help.(this is my opinion as I HATE the sound of a soloed Jazz bridge PU with a fiery burning passion of a thousand suns. Yes, I used Italic and bold.. so you know I mean business.)

    IMO a warwick vette $$ sounds pretty dang nice.. and those pickups are pret-ty dang close together.

    JMO?..YMMV..IME..all that.
  14. I used the words because of this post:

    Like you I also used to hate the sound of a soloed bridge pickup. However I've grown to like it. :)
  15. Thank you so much T-34. :hyper::)
  16. Koeda


    Aug 21, 2007
  17. I did a 2 knob (V-T) P/J with a tele switch as on the Tony Franklin bass only I used a 4-way mod switch for tele, which allows a series configuration in addition to the standard parallel p/up combination. The series setting is where it stays 90% of the time. The P p/up is louder but that's how I like it. I have set the p/up height for the blend that I like. Wiring diagram comes with the switch or can be found on the net. This is my main bass and I have used the setup for about 8 years now. In recording the engineer has said it was one of the best bass signals he had yet recorded. My strings on this bass are LaBella flats.

    Recently I did a 2 knob (V-T split, Blend) using one '62 jazz style pot and a blend pot. This time the p/up's were both P style. The wiring also includes a mini switch to engage a series connection between the two P p/up's. One thing tho, in series both p/up's are full on to the master, so the blend will roll off volume if biased toward the bridge.

    Both setups are effective and trouble free, the tele switch was easier to do because I could not find a diagram for the blend that included a series/parallel switch. I needed to combine 2 diagrams and do a little trial and error to make it work. But it does work well, and with out that mini switch it would be a simple job. I do like the series option tho.::cool:
  18. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    '62 jazz bass style. double v/t stacks. using 500k/250k pots.
  19. RedLeg, do you find that each tone control becomes a "master" in the '62 setup? Because I have tried it and that is what happened. That was prior to my using the 4-way tele switch.

    Since that time, I've read that a 300k resistor was used between the output lug of each tone pot and the jack, in the original '62 but not in the re-issue, to eliminate the "master" effect. I have not actually tried it myself and can't say if this 100% accurate.
  20. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    This is accurate, the originals had 200 or 300K resistors making tone pots independant. In the reissue they aren't.

    The problem with the original wiring is that adding these two resistors makes the output very dependent on the input impedance of the amp it is plugged into. Like for example plugging the original '62 into a mixing board without the DI produces almost NO output at all.

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