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Pickup blend knob vs. independent vol controls

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JoshuaTSP, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. JoshuaTSP


    Sep 26, 2008
    Anyone think one sounds better than the other?

    I think I remember changing the master vol. & pickup blend to a Vol & Vol setup. I think I recall it being better?


    Is this something I could do with my 'wick $$ 5?
  2. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Search this, it's a bit of a can of worms.
  3. Vol, Vol, Tone is better in my JB IMO than Vol, Blend, Tone
  4. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    Since I pretty much never explore the "blend zone" - and don't reckon I ever will - the next multi-pickup bass I wire up will use a switch for selecting.

    I really like the 4-way rotary switch on my Dingwall (neck/series/parallel/bridge). Eventually I'd like to try that on my J-bass. (Allparts sells the switch & Line6man has the wiring posted somewhere.)
  5. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    I think that v/v would have a better output the mv/b. Something that I kinda want to try is a tone/tone set up. It'd be kinda interesting if you coul set your pups to diffent tones.
  6. +1.

    There are a million threads about this, and neither is necessarily better or worse than the other, people like each for different reasons.
  7. I've got both. My alembic has a blend knob that I generally leave in the center detent, but sometimes I roll it more to the neck for a bit more bass boost. I've got individual volume pots on my Jaguar and my Kramer Forum III. I haven't plugged the forum in yet, but I use the individual pots on the jaguar to get different tones. I like them both, but what I really like is individual volumes and a 3 way switch...cuz then I can make it a kill switch. However, I'm pretty sure someone wired my Kramer to have a killswitch.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I've converted three F Bass BN5s from VVT to VBT. I don't like having to adjust two knobs to set my volume while trying to maintain the same tone. I like setting the tone, then not worrying about balancing the VVs when I want to turn it up. I really don't see how one would sound better than the other. It's just a matter of diddling the knobs 'til you get what you want.
  9. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I prefer a blend, but I tend to do a lot of volume swells in quiet parts of songs, so it's really a sylistic thing.
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    on a passive pickup jazz bass, i prefer the volume/4-way rotary switch(neck/series/parallel/bridge)/master tone, and on an active one with EMG's, i prefer an MV/blend/T control.
  11. +1 Not really a tone thing, but just a preference on operation. While the circuitry is a bit different (the blend is a touch more complex), one would be hard pressed to really actually hear a difference, and the combination of the master volume and different blend settings can mimic the two volumes at different ratio's and settings for the most part.

    Zero issue there. The BIG difference is if the blend is 'active' or 'passive'. A passive blend control (like 90%+ of the blends out there) acts very similarly to the vol/vol. Both are a bit closer to a 'pickup selector switch' than a true infinite ratio mixing mechanism, and very, very small movements of the vol/vol or passive blend will result in 75% of their impact (or more). An active blend control will actually allow you to infinitely mix the ratio of the two pickups. That is very cool (Celinder, some of the East Pre's, I believe some of the Audere pre's have this active blend circuitry). The downside is that you won't have a passive option, and some of the 'magic' of that differential pickup loading between the two pickups will be lost.

    No free lunch!
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Yeah, it would be very cool if it worked. But in a passive treble-cut tone control, if you have both PUPs on, the tone controls affect both PUPs anyway.

    OP- Go to the Repairs, hardware, setup sub forum, and search there for the semi-monthly thread about blend vs. individual volume controls.

  13. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009

    I've modded all my passive Jazz basses (Fender and SX) to use the 4-way switch thing. I did this basically to avoid the hassle of trying to "dial in" some tone while you are playing and/or trying to adjust volume with two knobs while keeping the tone the same. I found that in a practical playing situation, the selections on the switch (neck/series/parallel/bridge) are plenty fine enough for playing live and you always get the same tone in a given position without having to think about it. The tone knob can give you minor tweaks if you really need them.

    I always rip out the vol/vol thing if I buy a bass that has it. With ONE exception. And that is my passive OLP MM3. In that case because of the unique 'ray setup you really DO need that vol/vol thing to "dial-in" that special sound. But in that case, once I have it I just leave it there and try not to fool with the knobs.

    All my actives have MV/blend/EQ. Works great.
  14. Bevo1995


    Nov 8, 2009
    Heart o' Texas
  15. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    IF you have the switch in there, the tone control for the neck PUP only affects the neck PUP- when the switch is in the neck PUP position. However, if you're using both PUPs at the same time, rolling off the treble on the bridge PUP affects the neck PUP's sound as well. The cap is shunting highs to ground on the whole circuit when both PUPs are engaged.

  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I personally prefer vol/blend myself, as it seems sooo much easier to tweak on the fly for me.
    I have basses that are vol/vol, and I use them.

    I had a 62 Jazz reissue with the vol/tone vol/tone setup...Oi! that was fer-sure the worst thing ever to try to dial a change in on the fly. Yuck!
    Worst. Design. Ever.
  17. Bevo1995


    Nov 8, 2009
    Heart o' Texas
    Fair enough. There would be no point of v/v/t/t without the switch, but both tone controls still affect the sound when both pickups are selected. I guess I just didn't understand what you meant when you said it wouldn't work.
  18. Bevo1995


    Nov 8, 2009
    Heart o' Texas
    Both tone controls work when both pickups are selected. Changing either affects the overall sound. Was that up for debate?
  19. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, lots of people on TB with stack-knob Jazz basses assert that the separate tone controls affect only the PUP they're wired into, and that's not the case.


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