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Stack knob or Vol-Vol, Tone

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PJRL, May 9, 2010.

  1. PJRL


    Mar 27, 2010
    greenfield center NY
    Is there a major difference is tone / sound between the two ?
    Any preference for one over the other and why ?
  2. A stacked knob is simply two pots stacked together on a concentric shaft.

    There is no electrical or tonal difference in the wiring of two separate pots versus one stacked pot.
  3. PJRL


    Mar 27, 2010
    greenfield center NY
    Is one more preferred over the other? Tonal differences ?
  4. As I just said, there is no tonal difference between two separate pots and one concentric pot.

    Stacked pots are usually used when there is not enough room for all the pots needed.
    For example, if you need five or more controls on a Jazz bass control plate, stacking some of the pots is necessary.

    Sometimes stacked pots are used to avoid crowding the top of the bass with knobs.

    Some people just think stacked pots "look cool" as well.

    Personally, I find them inconvenient, so I try to avoid them if possible.
  5. Tony Gray

    Tony Gray

    Mar 6, 2006
    I have a 62 RI jazz that came with stack knobs and I changed them to V-V-T, and I swear I can't tell one bit of difference in the sound.
  6. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    If you are talking about a jazz, you may prefer the stack knobs, because then you will obviously have more tonal options, since you will have 2 tone knobs, one for each pick up, and not one single tone for the whole thing like in the vol-vol-tone configuration.
  7. PJRL


    Mar 27, 2010
    greenfield center NY
    Thanks everyone, I think I have a bit of dirt in my eyes. ( above) :bag:

    I have the V V T and I like it, will stay with it.
  8. Oh, if we're talking about VVT versus VVTT, that's a completely different story than the difference between the pots themselves.

    Having two tones darkens the tone a bit. To what degree is debatable. If you are using resistors to isolate the tones, that will definitely reduce the output.

    IMHO, it's pretty much useless to have two tone controls, as they interact with each other any time the pickups are at the same volume.
    The only way to prevent the interaction (aside from active buffering) is to isolate the controls with resistors, and that reduces the output.

    IMO, definitely stick to just one tone control.
  9. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    I heartily dislike stacked knobs--too easy to screw'em up when trying to turn one or the other. Yes, inconvenient big time to me. Bleh on stacked.
  10. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    I didn't know that...I thought that they were just a more "detailed" way to shape the tone...I would never imagine that they interact with each other.
  11. When you turn both volumes up, the tone controls are directly parallel to each other.
    If you turn one down, it affects both pickups.
  12. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    Really lame:p
    They are not as useful as I had imagined.
  13. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    It takes a while to get used to what you can do with stack knobs. I played vvt for years on three different JB's. I built a Jazz from parts about 10 years ago & went w/stack.
    If you have both pups wide open either tone control affects the tone, but as on the original J's I have two different value caps which give a mild difference in their affect on tone, especially when fully "closed". (max bass setting). How I use the tone controls most often is to roll the bridge pup tone control about 1/2 to bass, but I also roll the bridge volume back about 1/4 away from max. Now I have the neck pu wide open with its tone control wide open. With the bridge pu vol rolled off a little, its tone control has almost no effect on the neck pu. I can turn up the bridge pu vol and it also brings in the reduced tone setting of the bridge pu tone control. I can do the exact opposite with the neck pu vol/tone control. I rarely roll both tone controls back at the same time, but it is an option. Just a few weeks ago I added a series / parallel switch & that opens a whole new group of options with volume and tone settings. I do not have resistors between my pots and the output jack as some diagrams show (and neither do the original stack knob jazz basses).
  14. Captain Bob

    Captain Bob Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    Interesting Tim, I do precisely the same thing with my Lakland JO!
  15. krovx

    krovx Thump or Bust Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    Michigan, USA
    I really like the V-B-T, with the middle being a blend. I prefer that operation to using two volume pots. I know others blend the pickup outputs but when I play a J I play full wide open on both pickups 95% of the time.
  16. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    I am think of using a stacked on a Fender PJ. I was thinking (option 1) I could use the stacked pot for vol,vol and a tone knob.
    The other way I was thinking (option 2) is have a vol,vol,tone and move the input jack to the side of the bass.

    I think option one is better because I don't have to cut a hole in the side of the bass.

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