pros and cons of stacked jazz knobs?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kkaarrll, May 7, 2017.

  1. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    what are the pros and cons of doing this to your jazz bass? 200140908117-3.jpg
    7dollarbologna likes this.
  2. avri62


    Jan 28, 2012
    I like the look of the concentric panel but found that I had more tone by switching my AVRI 62 Jazz to a VVT control panel.
    Jinobass1 and E S Anderson like this.
  3. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    and how?
    7dollarbologna and Herrick like this.
  4. avri62


    Jan 28, 2012
    I replaced my concentric knob panel with the VVT panel because I found myself constantly adjusting both tone controls and I never really seemed happy with what I had. When I went to the master tone knob on the VVT panel, it seemed that I had a wider range of tone than with the concentric knob panel and was well satisfied with what I dialed in. If this makes any sense?
  5. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    @avri62 yes, it does make sense

    it seems like a more "versatile" but somewhat like my l2500

    also a more "pain in the ass " system to get tone

    any other thoughts out there?
    nuage420b and avri62 like this.
  6. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    PRO: The "coolness" factor cannot be denied.

    CON: Unlike the later plastic VVT knobs, the original stack knobs have no reference marks. This might not bother some players, especially the "set it and forget it" crowd. But personally, I don't want to have to start twisting knobs in order to figure out how open each pot is. I don't need individual numbers (à la Fender Strat knobs and Gibson speed knobs), but a simple reference mark is most helpful to me.
    FRoss6788, Jinobass1, dabbler and 6 others like this.
  7. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014


    I make it a point to set my knobs to where I can tell where they are
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    disadvantage = knobs sticking out farther than normal, more danger of bumping something

    advantage = frees up a control knob hole
    Jinobass1, Iristone and Aqualung60 like this.
  9. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I put a stacked knob kit on my parts SX J. I find the advantage the save as having a guitar with dusk volume and tone controls... more control! Plus the kit I used uses different valued caps for each tone control, which I appreciate and feel is the right way to go.

    I am pretty much a set and forget kind of player, but I still appreciate the control I have with those dual controls.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  10. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Bobby Vega swears that the stacked pot Jazz is the holy tone grail. Can't say I have any experience with it.
    During music store demos, I've never gotten the hang of VVT. It just seemed like there were some "magic" positions and then everything else was a bit indistinct. Obviously, if I spent time to suss it out, I would probably get more comfortable with it.
    7dollarbologna likes this.
  11. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    Considering how good Bobby always sounds, his remarks can't be denied, but Jaco said the opposite. I read somewhere that he preferred the more open sound of V-V-T and that he thought it allowed for quicker and more precise on-the-fly adjustment.

    I've only done a few gigs with a concentric knob Jazz as I always changed to V-V-T. The tone difference didn't seem to be substantial, but it was more user friendly and easier to deal with live than concentric was so I stuck with it. I went onto Sadowsky later and mine are still set up volume-volume, no blend.
    Jinobass1, Dioscuri and jnewmark like this.
  12. I like the idea of two tone knobs.
    I hate that they want to interact.
    Jinobass1, Inara, nomeX and 1 other person like this.
  13. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    I LOVE the stack knobs, so much so that I had it put on my custom jazz bass - I adjust them pretty liberally during a set depending on what is needed... I just forced myself to learn the sweep of both tone and volume pots when I got it so that I could reliably adjust on the fly, but also set it quickly and forget it if I want. I typically run my bridge volume at 90%, tone 100%, neck volume at 100%, tone at 70%. I really love how much tone shaping it affords me on a passive bass, and miss it when I play my VVT jazz bass. Also, I rarely play my VVT jazz, and been putting some heavy miles on this beauty :D

    Only con that I've experienced is the knobs will loosen up, and the top knob will grip the bottom, so that both can spin when you just want to adjust one. But this is a simple fix, and I really only have to do that every year or so. Jazz Bass.jpg
  14. George Himmel

    George Himmel

    May 16, 2009
    Boston, kid!
    Former Manager, Bass San Diego
    • Looks cool--just does
    • Theoretically more tonally diverse
    • Convenient if you just solo one pickup or the other

    • It's fiddly, and that little bit of extra effort compounds a ton when you have to do it constantly
    • Not a great visual reference to where your knobs are set

    While it still is very cool, every single time I've modded someone's J to be VT/VT, they end up changing it back. Every single time. I have, however, only just started considering this as a viable option for a P/J bass, as people are more likely to solo each pickup, or be able to think of each with its own tonal parameter. I've only seen it once though, so I'll wait for a while to see if that guy decides it's cool and practical for everyday use and reports back to me.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Yes, they do. I pretty much have made peace with it, but it can provide a surprise. VVT is easier, but I like the challenge of the V/T V/T because it made me take a fresh look at how I do things. :cool:
    Jinobass1 likes this.
  16. My 2011 Squier VM Jaguar came with these stock. It's one of the reasons I bought it, along with the block inlays and matching headstock.

    One thing I've thought about doing to that bass was to wire it in stereo like a Rickenbacker (which it serves as a backup for), in which case V/T/V/T makes perfect sense.

    Maybe someday.


    mikewalker, nomeX, GregC and 2 others like this.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    For the longest time I was intrigued by the idea of dual V/T controls on a JB. But when I finally did the mod on one of my own I was fairly disappointed with the results. It didn't sound bad. But it made far less a difference than I had hoped it would. So I switched it all back to the standard VVT configuration a few months later.

    Not to say you'll never see me playing a JB with stacked knobs again. But you can be fairly sure it's packing a preamp if you do. ;)
    antfarm likes this.
  18. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    I like the idea of how clean this would be, but having no reference of what anything is set too would be annoying for me. My PJ with a blend pot has a similar problem, but having a marked knob for the blend pot solved that.
  19. pbassjbass


    Jun 21, 2013
    On my pj, after 25 years, they've gotten sticky, if I move one in the stack the other moves. Plus it just seems more complicated than my old jazz, keep it simple, please.
  20. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    If I understand correctly, in VT/VT setups both tone knobs affect the entire signal coming is hard to isolate them, so you end up still having one tone "control" despite two tone knobs.
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