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Pickup selection configuration how-to issue

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bongostealth, May 9, 2015.

  1. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Hello fellow TBers! I would like to know how to do something.

    I recently decided not to keep a Warwick Thumb bass because it had a truss rod issue. I then bought an Ibanez SR4006e. It's a beautiful bass and it's very good. However, I miss the sound of the Thumb but can't afford to get one right now.

    I love tinkering, so then I got the bright idea to install two pickups close to the bridge in order to simulate the Thumb sound.

    Here's what resulted:

    What I did was that I replaced the stock Bartolinis for Classic Bass Bartolinis. I had to reroute each cavity and make one big cavity next to the bridge to accommodate two pickups side by side. The routing job was rough, as I only used a Dremel tool. But it worked and doesn't look too bad.

    The pickups are labeled as such: Neck=1; center=2; bridge=3

    I wired it in the following: one side of the blend pot is neck pickup only; the other side is center and bridge together; and center of the blend pot is all three pickups together.

    Resulting sound: neck pickup is typcal 'P-bass' sound; pickups 2 and 3 together nail that Thumb tone -- very snarly, midsy, and growly.... maybe TOO snarly because the 2 and 3 are so close to the bridge; but I don't mind as I really like it. HOWEVER, I am not too fond of all three pickups together. The sound leans more towards a beefed-up P-bass tone because of the placement of pickup 2. (I've never really got into the P-bass sound; sorry folks -- please don't lynch me!). I much prefer the sound of 1 and 3 together rather than all three.

    Anyway, what I want to do is be able choose between 1+3 and then 2+3. Therefore, I thought that if I ran a separate wire from pickup 3's hot wire to the blend side of pickup 1, that I would be able to pan between 1+3 and then 2+3. However, because this places pickup 3 on both sides of the blend pot, it cancels out the signal on either side and thus the blend will only work in the middle, which happens to be all three pickups together, and I don't really care for the sound of all three.

    Therefore, how can I wire this???? The only thing I can think of is to remove the blend pot and install a separate on/off switch for each pickup. Or would three volume pots work better??? (but I don't like separate volume pots for each because then the mix can get tricky as the only way to know for sure each pickup has the same level of matched output would be to crank each volume pot all the way up.)

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. All you have to do is put in a pickup selector switch.

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