Passive bass repair question aka "Am I an idiot?"

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Philbiker, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    So you're working at a guitar repair shop. Some clown brings in a bass wired like this: PASSIVE, VOL/BLEND/TONE. The Blend control is busted. The customer asks that you replace the BLEND with a volume control. How do you wire the bass?
  2. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Vol for neck -> Vol for bridge -> Tone -> jack. IMO, anyway.

  3. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Looking for more suggestions. Don't be afraid to post the same answer someone else has given.
  6. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Well, you wouldn't run two volume controls in series, so you would put each pickup on a volume control, and keep the tone pot. It is commonly called V-V-T or Vol-Vol-Tone is is the way that most passive Fender Jazz Basses were originally wired (the other was VT-VT, aka "stackpot"). I do a fair amount of wiring and repair and I got the request for that job I would describe the conventional VVT setup and if it was OK I would proceed. If the owner wanted series volume controls I would hand the bass back :bassist:

    BTW, that V-B-T setup is actually, Blend-Volume-Tone, because you run the blend before the master volume. Their order on the control plate doesn't matter. On the odd chance that you had a stacked volume control before the blend... well, I've never seen it but i guess it could happen. All I can say is "ICK!!!!!!!"
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Right, obviously.

    My Brice V2 (not the bass in question) is the most bizarre passive wiring ever. Blend-Vol-Vol-Tone. What's the point of two volumes and a blend? I'd like to set it up VVTT but I'm far too lazy. I just never touch the blend and use it as a VVT bass, which is the configuration I prefer.

    Back to the subject.

    Would there be any reason at all to put series volume controls in a two pickup bass with a VVT?
  8. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    no. it's like having two wall switches for a lamp.
  9. Dr. PhunkyPants

    Dr. PhunkyPants Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Well, there are two situations where it COULD be useful.

    First, yeah passive single coil pickups sound different at different volumes. That's why people like VVT--because you get that magic 100/80 mix that sounds so darn good. But the problem is you can't execute a clean volume fade with one hand (unless you can master a rather tricky motion). So, many people go with VBT because its easier to control volume. Hence, VVT gives more sonic options while VBT is more practical to use.

    I guess one thing you could do would be to wire the two volumes to one side of the blend and use it as a master volume control. You'd want to run it at 100% all the time, except as a fade to keep from losing your tone. But kept wide open, it would be like having a passive volume pedal on the floor.

    Alternatively, you could make use of the blend if you had a third pick-up, like a piezo.