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Sadowsky Passive Tone Control option

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rvl, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Rvl


    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    My Sadowsky JT is at the shop checking the humbucking pickups and the pots because of noise.
    Just got a phonecall that the cause of the noisy pickups is the Elixir (a coated string) strings are causing a grounding problem. And the volume pot needs replacing.

    The question:
    Do you feel the passive tone control is a worthwhile upgrade?
    I told them to replace the pots but am wondering if I should go a little bit further and get the passive tone control installed at the same time.

    A special thanks to Roger Sadowsky for making his basses available in Japan. I like the NY ones but my wife always threatened castration if I paid $7000(in Japan) for a NY one. So my wife bought me a Tokyo 5 years ago for a combined birthday and xmas present.


    Robert VanLane
  2. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    I've got the passive tone control on one of my basses, and the basic preamp on the other. It's a good feature to have, but I'm not sure it's quite as necessary as I originally thought.

    The best way to answer this yourself is like this. If you've ever owned a Fender Jazz, did you ever find yourself using the tone control to wind off a bit of treble? If you answer "yes", then the tone control would be good for you, otherwise you probably don't need it.
  3. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    I have the passive tone control on my p/j and I love it :D I'd have that option on all my basses if I could :D
  4. Jeff Rader

    Jeff Rader Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I have it on 2 of my Sadowskys (24F Fretted and Fretless) and not on the Jazz (single coil). Funny, I use on the 24F but have never missed it on the Jazz.

  5. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    I think it's a great option worthwile to consider. It adds versatility to the instrument, you'll be able to roll off some treble when you want a less agressive fingerstyle sound, without having to reach for the amp.

    I have always missed it on my Jazz 5, so I ordered recently the passive tone kit separately for the upgrade, but it isn't installed on the bass yet.
  6. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    It's very cool when used in conjunction with the active as well. My rig is naturally bright as hell so sometimes when I use the active on the bass the top end can get kind of harsh.

    You can use the passive knob to knock a little of that off while still keeping the rest of what the active gives you.
  7. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    I use it more on my Sadowsky PJ than my jazz but I am glad I have it on both basses.
  8. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I love it so much that I would never buy a Sadowsky without that control - it's just too dang useful!
  9. I haven't played one with the PTC option, but I played one without it and found that I was defintley looking for some way to roll off he treble a bit without having to over-boost the bass, so I think that the PTC would have taken care of that issue for me. If I ever decide to get a Sadowsky to replace my Lulls, I'll defintley go with the PTC.
  10. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    Actually, I've got a question about this that maybe someone a bit more electrically minded can answer.

    I've been looking at the schematics on the Sadowsky site, along with the wiring in one of my basses and also a preamp I have sitting around. Unless I'm mistaken, the "passive tone control" is actually just a matter of rewiring the pots to the circuit border in a different order, and swapping a couple of the pots over. There's no additional circuit board or anything like that, so, in actual fact, all basses, past and present, have this option available to them already, it's just a matter of rewiring it correctly.

    For the pots, from what I can, the 25K treble boost is replaced by a 250k treble bleed that has the push/pull switch, and the 25k bass boost is replaced by a 25k stacked pot.

    Is that correct, or not?
  11. To my knowledge, that is correct as long as the pickups are passive. It may be a different deal if the pickups are active, but then again, maybe not. At any rate, passive tone is the way to go IMO.
  12. I agree with most here...I use my Saddy (#4045) predominantly in active mode with the PTC engaged to some degree or another most of the time depending on pickup selection and right hand position...I find that by using a combination of these techniques I can get a lot more tones out of my Sadowsky than I could without the PTC...as a result I hardly EVER use any of my other basses in the studio anymore (I am a professional engineer and studio bassist of nearly 25 years) I can't recommend it enough...I intend to order either a Metro or Quilted Maple/Swamp 4 string and a PJ 5 to round out my Sadowsky stable and I probably will sell everything else except my Vintage stuff...but no matter what I get I will definitely insist on the PTC!!


  13. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings
    Hi there,
    here it's the same... incredibly useful, but expensive! I think $150 is too much, tho! the parts are around $30/35 and the handwork takes around 30 min. 70/80 bucks it would be more fair... Sorry Roger, but it`s the only complain. For me Sadowsky rules :bassist: :hyper:


  14. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    How much are they going to charge you for the passive tone control?
    The pot costs $1
    The capacitor costs .10
    Do they have to add a hole to your bass?
  15. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings
    Hi there,
    no, they don`t have to make a new hole. They use a stacked pot for bass and treble and in the hole of the treble control they install the passive tone that it's also a push/pull switch for active/passive. (see my preview post).

  16. Rvl


    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    Phoned and am getting them to install one.

    Thanks everybody for your help.

    Robert VanLane
  17. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

  18. I still don't get it. I have a new RV 4 without the passive tone control---doesn't it just allow you to play in the passive mode if you care to or if the battery fails? If not, EXACTLY what will it do for my bass?
  19. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    Passive tone control has nothing to do with bypassing your preamp and playing in passive mode.

    It passively rolls off treble.
    The Sadowsky preamp treble only augments treble; it cannot cut or attenuate it.
    It works in both active (preamp on) and passive (preamp bypassed) modes.

    I hope this post helps.
  20. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    the passive tone control is called "passive" because it's a tone knob like on regular passive jazz bass. You cannot boost any frequency with it, it is not a preamp, just a knob which allows you to remove some treble in your sound.

    Even if your Sadowsky is not equipped with the "passive tone control" you always have the option to play in passive mode, it's a different thing.