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Single P/U & no controls. Would this work?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Slowgypsy, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Probably a crazy idea... but... if I just ran the P/U (passive Precision style) straight to the output jack with no volume or tone controls... would that work?

    If there's a technical reason this won't work... please... teach me.
  2. it would work. they had a guitar like that at the studio where i used to intern.
  3. People do that all the time to get more output/treble, because removing the pots also removes the resistance they provide from the signal to ground.

    If you want to keep the traditional sound of the volume and tone controls on "10", wire it like this:

  4. stoney


    May 18, 2006
    I had my jazz running like that for quit a while. It actually sounded really good I just got to the point where I wanted some tweak-ability. There were some points where I wanted a vol control and tone control so they got wired back in. Tone wise though, I loved it, Very wide open and ballsy. And the best part is what can really ever go wrong with nothing in the signal chain.
  5. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I've been using a bass with a single pickup wired directly to the socket since 16 years.
    Why wouldn't it work?
  6. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
  7. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 7, 2008
    NE United States
    Manager and Partner, Fodera Guitars (as of 10/14/09)
    Anthony Jackson does it and sounds unbelievable...

    Yeah, it works in a big way. It's not for everyone, but it can be really fabulous in the right hands...
  8. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Darn... and I thought this was an original idea.

    Lately I've had the urge to put together an instrument from spec'd parts... USACG sort of thing. Never done that before.

    And I've been aware that I rarely change any of my tone/volume controls. I have my setting for the night, my amp has been adjusted for the venue, and then it's all in my right hand for volume and tone. Somehow, in this digital and complex world I've been wanting to get simpler and simpler. So for me it's a bass guitar with nothing but the strings, pups and wood to hold it all together.

    So... do I really need to wire in caps and such in the circuit or should I just go direct and let it rip? All thoughts welcome...
  9. It depends what tonality you are after.

    Do you want the traditional "P bass with both controls on 10" sound, or do you want something hotter and brighter?
  10. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    On my Precision I just about always have volume on 10 and tone bleeding nothing off. Brighter & hotter, probably not as I'm liking how it is at the moment. Although, it seems like such a simple thing to try it straight and add caps and such as needed. You've got me think'n!
  11. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Or, use DPDT switch on your existing Pso you can put in true by-pass in. One way gives you the regular and one gives you the PUP straight to the jack. If you like the by-passed sound then do that on your new project.

    I've done the switch and the difference generally is subtle but noticable. I've never found a HUGE change.

  12. I think the OP's goal here is simplicity.
    He is trying to do away with all controls and just have a pickup and an output jack.

    Personally, I would consider a killswitch if there is to be no volume, but that's just me.
  13. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I never knew anyone did that. I've always wanted a bass with as little fuss as possible the idea of having something as simple as an acoustic instrument I really like.
  14. Man, I don't know why this is such a new idea to you guys?:confused:

    People do this all the time, and not just with P basses. A lot of guys do their Jazz basses with both pickups in parallel, straight to the jack.
  15. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Easy... Really, this is the whole purpose of these forums... a place to exchange ideas between folks who've "been there done that" and folks who haven't. And, in my humble opinion, a necessary evil in that process is that information is going to get repeated, and rediscovered, and relearned.... hey, it's just like politics :bag:

    Line6man... thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for your schematic. I know it's kindergarden stuff to you but I've just played music for 40+ years on instruments other folks built. So the idea of sort of building my own instrument is, well... I feel like I'm back in kindergarden :hyper:
  16. Always wanted to do that - there are a few really nice basses here on TB like that as well . . .
  17. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Yeah, but he was also asking about whether he should go with the resistor/cap network or a true straight to the jack set up for his project. I suggested he try the DPDT switch on his existing bass to see which one he likes better, then choose that for the project bass.

    I agree that if I had either no-control rig, I'd want a kill switch. I often thought a hidden kill switch would be cool for those inevitable open jam things... kill the bass and hand it off :bag:

  18. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Yes, my intent is having an electric bass guitar that is as minimal as possible. I already have my MIA Fender P & J basses. This question I posted was sort of a probing question to find out if some thoughts I have about this project are feasible. And thanks to all who have replied it seems that this part of my possible project is very feasible indeed!
  19. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    While I have done tht a number of times during a build - I always go back to the controls. Going direct to the jack is hotter* but it is also a lot brighter. To my taste, it wasn't a pleasing briteness. More clank than anything else. If I were after the same thing I would use the circuit posted above as I would then have something that sounds like a P Bass still ...

    This isn't something I would bother with anyway though as for me, two knob's isn't exactly complicated...

    ... kill switch ? really ? How's about a floor tuner with a mute. For me at least, that's a better approach. I help host an open mic every week and not only does that let me mute for a hand off, but I can also hand over the cable and put my bass on a stand and the new guy get's to ensure his tune and there is no thump.