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Pickups out of phase?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ncapone, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010

    I have noticed today that when I turn both of the pickups in my Jazz bass to full, there's a decrease in volume. Also, if they're both on full and I play a note and turn one of them down, I get a sort of a "mwah" sound that I've never noticed before. Is that normal?

    I'm using Super 55 split coil pickups. I did notice today in the original wiring diagram that the tone pot output is wired on the outer lug instead of the middle lug like normal. Why is that? There's something else also wired to it (the big white circle). Is that another capacitor? If so, what value would it most likely be, and why is it there?

  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    This is completely normal for a Jazz, you just never noticed it before.

    Don't know about this but I have never tried it so it may be normal.

    I don't think there is any reason you cannot use a normal tone control with these pickups. The Fender diagram appears to show a Greasebucket tone control. Kinda. They seem to have left off the 4.7k resistor between the small cap and ground. Years from now someone will read this and Fender will have moved or deleted that diagram so the big cap would be 0.1uF, the small cap would be 0.02uF, and the one lead of the small cap should go to ground through a 4.7k resistor instead of directly to ground. Of course Fender uses those exact same values for the Greasebuckets in their regular guitars so one could argue that the values need to be adjusted for a bass. Seems like bass players routinely rip out their Greasebuckets and replace them with regular tone controls which might also argue that the values should be adjusted if one is going to use them on a bass. I'm just guessing but you might want to go 0.22uF and 0.047uF on a bass. You might want to play with the 4.7k value too. Or just use a regular tone control.... ;)

    My guess is that someone at Fender picked up the Greasebucket diagram to use with these pickups and then someone else told him/her to eliminate the resistor, not realizing the rest of the circuit needed to be modified too if it was going to be a normal tone control.
  3. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010
    Khutch, thank you so much for your reply. I never even knew what the grease bucket actually entails. Is it any good?
  4. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    From what I recall from reading through the forums, most people prefer a regular tone control (with one capacitor going to ground) or the Fender TBX over the Greasebucket.
  5. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Based on the comments one reads here it would seem like no bass player likes them. But of course the only people who post about them here are those who have ripped them out or want help with ripping them out. The Highway One basses have Greasebuckets so my recommendation would be to search on Highway One and see if you find any positive comments about them. As I say I would think you would want to double Fender's standard values to use them on a bass but I have never tried one, I am just an engineer commenting on what I see on paper.

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