Passive PJ - alternatives to VVT?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Flippy, Jun 21, 2017.


  1. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    Time has come to upgrade the electronics on my PJ. It seems that unless both volume pots are on the exact same level, one pickup gets much more volume over the other. Perhaps the pots are mismatched, or it's an expected behavior on passive basses.
    Either way, I just don't want to deal with two volume knobs. Please note that I don't want to have master volume + tone + a dummy pot :)

    I considered replacing the second volume pot with blend knob, though it's difficult to get such pot. Also I'm worried it wouldn't work well on a passive bass.
    Then I found out about Dingwall Super PJ, and I think that's what I'm gonna get. The Super PJ has a four-way rotary switch, toggling P/PJ-series/PJ-parallel/J modes. (I would be thankful for a wiring diagram for that :thumbsup:)

    Both pickups are SD quarterpounders, so I expect them to play nice together in any setting. What other options would you recommend?
     
  2. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    With a blend knob you often have even less control of mixing pups... one thing I'd consider are two linear taper pots (assuming you have the more common audio taper), should allow finer mixing... but I think your idea is best, a pickup switch.

    I'm not sure how series PJ will sound, but some people like a series/parallel option for just the P, as it's more balanced with the J... though I'm not sure if one can wire it all to a single rotary switch, but I suppose a toggle switch does not take up much room...
     
  3. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
  4. Julia H

    Julia H

    Feb 5, 2016
    Cincinnati
    I'm in the middle of building a pj, and I've got the same question!
     
  5. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    @Julia H currently I'm considering master volume, bridge volume, master tone setup. It features a series/parallel switch :D I can put up a diagram if you want to try that.
     
  6. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    Oh whatever, here it is
    sch.png

    Please correct me if something is wrong there :thumbsup:
     
    Julia H likes this.
  7. Jonathan C

    Jonathan C Supporting Member

    May 31, 2016
    Holbrook, NY
    Just food for thought, I had my MIM P Bass special (was originally PJ active) modified to passive only with Aguilar PJ pickups, push pull volume for series/parallel, blend, and separate tone for each pickup. I'm sorry I can't share how it's wired I didn't do the work however. But it gives you an idea of one of many options.
     
  8. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    @Jonathan C did you find having dedicated tone knobs useful?
     
  9. The master volume is wired backwards. The wiper terminal should be the output, going to the jack. NOT the input from the pickups.
     
  10. JJR58

    JJR58 Dirty Bird

    Dec 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY.
  11. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    DOH! I haven't tinkered with electronics for way too long. Thanks! :) Here's an updated version
    Przechwytywanie.PNG
     
  12. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    VBT is good, but so is the Tony franklin setup with a 3-way switch/V/T -- it's basically a telecaster (guitar) wiring scheme. If you don't fancy routing for the switch, you can put a Gibson style toggle in there instead.
    Nov13_PG_CLM_ModGarage_image2_WEB.jpg
     
  13. Jonathan C

    Jonathan C Supporting Member

    May 31, 2016
    Holbrook, NY
    Absolutely! I was pleasantly surprised how useful to be able to blend in the jazz pickup with it's tone rolled back while the p pickup is wide open, and vise versa. Since my bass had four knobs to begin with and I like the stock gold pick guard I figured it was worth trying out. The series switch only works when the blend is anything less than full toward the jazz pickup. My luthier explained that when he wired it up. It's not an issue for me. I will send him an email to see if I can get the schematic if you wish? I'm also very happy with the Aguilar pickups (the jazz is split coil) by the way, highly recommended.
     
  14. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    Sure, if you think I should really try it out :) In any case, it may be useful for anyone stumbling upon this thread .
     
  15. Jonathan C

    Jonathan C Supporting Member

    May 31, 2016
    Holbrook, NY
    I requested the schematic I'll post it as soon as I get it. IMO there is little downside to having two tone controls, it just adds more colors to you pallet.
     
  16. No, it's the pickups. This is very common for PJs, even with a set from the same maker. I play a PJ, and I have a hot, mid-rangey Dimarzio model J and an underwound P (about 2/3 the windings of a typical P). My blend pot is an unearthed 200K A/C pot. It works very well. Every bit as smooth as an active blend control. You also have to make sure the pickup heights are adjusted so you have an equal output from each pickup.

    It's not uncommon for guys like Seymour Duncan to offer a strat pickup set where the bridge pickup has twice the windings than the other two. But I've never seen any main stream pickup maker take this approach to a PJ set.

    Yeah I've made many custom pots over the years by disassembling and swapping in other wafers etc. But I think with some searching around you'd be able to find one.
     
  17. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    Thanks for insightful information! Do you think adding a resistor would be enough to balance the pickup blend? Otherwise I guess a blend pot wolusnt work well otherwise right?
     
  18. Looks good. Another thing I should have pointed out is that the tone control will work a lot better if you move it before the volume pot. In any wiring scheme, if you have the ability to do it (it's not always possible), it is best to have the tone control wired to the outer terminal of a volume pot, rather than the wiper terminal. The reason being that the impedance changes less drastically at the outer terminal than at the wiper terminal, and since the effect of a tone control is dependent upon impedance, that helps to minimize the effect, so that the tone control wont sound too different as you adjust volume.
     
    Flippy likes this.
  19. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    Man, electric guitars suck :D
     
  20. Mechayoshi

    Mechayoshi

    Dec 7, 2015
    Tennessee

    Yes, i was facing this when trying to think of a PJ config. I ended up with the Dimarzio model p and an Ultra Jazz (which from my research was hotter than the model j) They aren't equal volume, but it's much closer than you typically get.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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