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Problem with Villex tone control

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Daniel Elliott, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. I have a Villex pickup with the passive mid and treble control in my bass which sounds great when it works. The mid tone control just randomly stops working. I tried using contact cleaner on the pots. I haven't resoldered it yet, but I'm skeptical that would be the problem. Generally when there is bad soldering the signal cuts in and out, but in this case the signal is not interrupted, the tone control just doesn't have any effect. But after a few days, it'll start working again.

  2. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    The best thing would be to contact Villex. His customer care and post sale support is top notch.
  3. I did contact him. he didn't have any idea what was wrong and I don't live close enough to him to take it in to show him


    Feb 2, 2005
    S. Carolina
    bad solder?
  5. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Does it change if you turn the bass at a certain angle?

    If the mid control stops working (i.e. sounds the same as if it were turned all the way up) and if you've verified that all your solder connections are correct, then it may be a problem with the internal circuit in the pickup, or you may have a bad wire in the cable.

    The former would need to be fixed by William Villex. The latter can be somewhat tested with a multimeter. If necessary you may need to replace the cable, up to the point where it leaves the pickup housing.

    The other thing you can try (temporarily) is using a toggle switch instead of a potentiometer. This will effectively give you two settings: midrange full on, or midrange all the way scooped. If this is still problematic then you've eliminated the potentiometer as the problem.
  6. no the orientation of the bass has no effect. it just acts as if that tone control is bypassed. I'm gonna resolder it tomorrow but I don't think that will solve the problem.
  7. well I resoldered everything and now the mid tone control works again, but that was intermittent to begin with so we'll see if it goes out again.

    There is a new problem or maybe I just didn't notice it before. when the volume knob gets close to full power there is an audible click and then it get's significantly louder rather than a gradual increase. Any ideas would be much appreciated.
  8. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    By any chance, are you using a "no-load" potentiometer for your volume control?
  9. I don't think so. It's just a standard 500k pot.
  10. well I resoldered everything and after a few days the tone pot stopped working again.
  11. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It sounds like you may have over heated your pots when soldering, based on both the volume and tone controls acting up. The volume control sounds like a burned carbon trace.
  12. Adam Sandling

    Adam Sandling

    Dec 5, 2007
    I have two Modulus VJ's with Villex system's and the volume controls on both basses do the same thing as what you have just noticed since your repair. It's nothing to be worried about but if it bothers you that much you may want to, I think it's a difference of the pots being audio taper or linear taper. I'm not sure which ones are being used in this system but it could be worth looking into. I wish I could help you with your tone control issue. Good luck with it.
  13. I gave up on trying to repair it myself and sent it to my friend Joe Zon. It's a custom Sonus bass. I'm anxious to hear what he discovers is the problem.
  14. Joe verified that the pots and wiring are all good. He pulled the pickup and sent it back to Villex. The guy at Villex said he would not replace the pickup even though it was defective. He want's $100 to replace it. I'm not willing to give him more money so consequently I will not be purchasing another Villex product EVER.

    I'm considering putting a Delano pickup in there instead.
  15. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Best of luck in finding a replacement!
  16. nutcracker


    Sep 3, 2003
    Dear Daniel,
    You should mention that pickup you sent me is min 6 years old.
    With the undisputable signs of wear on surface. I was trying to give you good deal
    by building you brand new pickup at more than 30% discount.
    William Villex.
  17. nutcracker


    Sep 3, 2003
    I just finish testing your pickup.
    It's in 100% working condition.
  18. Oh, snap!
    How long should a P/U warranty last? FWIW, the Villex pups and electronics that do duty in two of my axes have done their thing flawlessly for several years now. I'll be watching this thread to see how it all sugars off.
  19. It has had the same problem from the very beginning. It is an intermittant problem and has gradually gotten worse. I don't know what else to say. It's not like it has any moving parts or anything. So the pickup is only guaranteed to work for a couple of years and then you're on your own?

    If the pickup is not the problem, the pot is not the problem and the wiring is not the problem, then there is nothing left to be defective.

    I love the sound of it and I love the passive mid control, but I need it to be reliable.
  20. Has it been 6+ years of that problem? I would still think it sounds like a pot issue, as SGD said.

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