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To Remove the Greasebucket. . or not to ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dubstylee, Apr 7, 2009.


  1. dubstylee

    dubstylee

    Feb 9, 2007
    The question has been boggling my mind for weeks now, I've used the search function extensively but would still appreciate additional opinions. I'm thinking about removing the greasebucket tone circuit from my Highway One P and replacing it with standard controls; as well as replacing the cap with a .1uf OD. What's your opinion on the greasebucket? This is a fairly cheap conversion, also, I am handy with wiring. Thanks for your $.02.
     
  2. lavmonga

    lavmonga

    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    I have a HWY 1 P, supposed to have a greasebucket, but all the diagrams I've seen show 2 caps for a GB circuit, mine has one smaller cap. Don't know if the previous owner screwed with it..does anyone here know? Anyway, my bass sounds pretty sweet with whatever circuit it has going on.
     
  3. dubstylee

    dubstylee

    Feb 9, 2007
    Any additional opinions/comments would be appreciated.
     
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I think the greasebucket removes one of the coolest parts about passive tone knobs.. that bass boost you get.

    If you have a GB you will see 2 caps and a resistor. If you only see one cap it's a normal tone control.
     
  5. kyral210

    kyral210

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester
    Could you draw a diagram of the circuit? Really interested in what the 'greesebucket' circuit actually is.

    I would say record what goes where and then wire in a standard cap. It won't cost you much, so go for it! After trying it you can decide on which setups you prefer and stick with it. If you can post what the greasebucket is, I might fit it to my Thunderbird and see which circuit I prefer.
     
  6. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I prefer the .1uf standard rolloff OR a varitone. Either way I can get a great big fat tone. I'm old school though, so take it with a grain of salt.
     
  7. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Not exactly a schematic, but it's not hard to follow. I'm still not exactly sure what they are trying to do here.

    The top is a standard tele and the bottom is the greasebucket.

    C1 (orange) is a .1uf, 50V ceramic disk cap
    C2 (yellow) is a .02uf, 50V ceramic disk cap
    R1 is a metal film, 4.7K, 1/4 watt resistor
     

    Attached Files:

  9. dubstylee

    dubstylee

    Feb 9, 2007
    My precision definately has the greasebucket, and I am definately going to remove it. It sounds like a P, but it doesn't sound like an old school P enough to me, so the standard wiring circuit is going in as soon as I get the parts to do so.
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    i just looked at a new highway 1 jazz bass, which has this circuit, and for the life of me i can't see any point to it!

    actually it has this circuit without the resistor, so the .02 cap goes straight to ground.

    ok, so when the tone pot is maxed, the .1 cap is bypassed, and there's 250k resistance blocking the .02 cap. when the pot is all the way off, it just puts those 2 caps in series, creating a .015 cap, which crosses over higher, leaving more mids in when turned down.

    they could just use one .015uF cap in a normal arrangement and get the same sound!

    do they really think that a .02 cap will sound different than a .015 cap with the tone knob on 10? because that's the only time there would be a difference.

    (edit: now that i think about it, what it's doing is gradually changing from a .02uF tone to a .015uF tone as it's turned down from 10. cute, but likely too slight a difference to have any point.)
     
  11. dubstylee

    dubstylee

    Feb 9, 2007
    I removed the greasebucket tonight and replaced it with a .1 uf OD cap. It sounds fantastic, it really gets bassier, overall it sounds bigger if that makes sense. I'm really enjoying it, the only trouble I had was getting the solder to bond to the back of the new pot, besides that, everything went well. I'm excited to see what it sounds like Thursday night at band practice.
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    i just noticed for the first time on a bass gig over the weekend that when i turned the tone down on my p-bass (fralin pickup, 500k linear volume, 500k audio tone, .047 cap) that when i hit "0" on the tone pot, i actually got a slight volume boost! it was loudest on "10", dropped a little as i turned the tone down, and then got louder again on "0".

    how is that possible? is the circuit somehow redirecting lost treble energy into the bass frequencies? i've never heard of such a thing, but maybe the "greasebucket" mumbo-jumbo is designed to address this phenomenon.
     
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It's changing the resonant frequency of the pickup, so that's the hump you normally have in the upper mids/treble, just shifted down.

    That's my favorite part of passive tone controls. That's why I'd never use a greasebucket.
     
  14. dubstylee

    dubstylee

    Feb 9, 2007
    It's ridiculous how much better it sounds with a the standard wiring with a .1uf cap, absolutely awesome.
     
  15. doktorfeelgood

    doktorfeelgood layin' it down like pavement Supporting Member

    I have a 2006 Highway 1 J bass with the Greasebucket tone circuit and DiMarzio Model J's. I don't mind it too much, but in the interest of sounding better, I've been toying with the idea of taking it out and replaceing it with a 500 audio taper tone pot and a .047 uf OD cap. Reading some of these posts has convinced me it might be the thing to do. )-(
     
  16. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Use a linear taper. Audio taper is good if you are doing swells or fades, which is why faders on mixers are audio taper, but you will find much of the effect crammed at the last 10% of the pot with an audio taper.

    I don't even like audio taper pots for volume controls, especially if you are mixing pickups, as on a Jazz bass.

    Lately I've been using .03 uF caps. Tapes the top end out and leaves the mids.
     
  17. dubstylee

    dubstylee

    Feb 9, 2007
    Do you feel as though the mids are sucked out of the tone when you roll the tone knob all the way off using a .1uf cap? Or is it just the high mids I hear getting taken away? I can definately here lo mids. What do you all think?
     
  18. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    It depends on the pickup, but I never use a .1uF with passive pickups. That leaves just the low stuff. I like either .03 or .047uF.
     
  19. dubstylee

    dubstylee

    Feb 9, 2007
    Yeah, I'm considering trying a .047 OD cap now, the .1uf does sound awesome, yet, I may be better satisfied with a .047uf cap.
     
  20. I have a HW1 jazz and put a push pull pot for standard tone control and greasebucket if needed with a pull cos it does give you a different tone, rounded but defined, keeps the mids but lessens the clack and bite so it's great for bridge pup high up soloing and adding definition without treble... a very useful tool which i use alot to squeeze alittle more tone from a great bass
     

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