Tone Pot Modification on a '76 Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Juicyanalog, Oct 11, 2016.


  1. Juicyanalog

    Juicyanalog

    Jan 9, 2010
    Shokan, NY
    I Searched this Topic...and there is alot of fluff i dont have time to sift through...

    so this is my story,..

    recently landed a (mostly all original) 1976 Fender Jazz...
    the tone pot worked for a while,...
    now it is non functioning with crackling...
    before i go apples for apples replacing it,..
    this is a very aggressive bright sounding bass...and i use it as such...
    from the full up Marcus Miller slap thing,
    to the Ross Vallory bridge pickup dont stop bleeding nasal thing,
    to the neck pickup Geddy Lee rock thing...
    ..a very Authentic but Versatile Treble thing going on....
    & so i wont do much 'motown-ish sh!t' on this particular bass,
    & wouldn't mind not being able 'to attenuate the treble aspect' of this bass..

    so i was wondering if anyone swapped out their tone pot on their FJ,
    {not caring about going thump thump..lol}
    and modded it with something like a super tone pot, synth pot,
    or some other hip mod for the tone pot area that i am unaware of...
    ..keeping in mind the restricted allowance of space to fit something down there...

    all suggestions welcome.
    thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    For passive Fender pickups you can basically use the standard 250K pots or go to 500K pots to get a slightly brighter sound. You can also swap out the existing .047 tone cap for one of lower value such as an .033 or .022 - and that's about it really.

    But if you really want to radically alter the sound and give yourself a huge amount of variation in tone a la Marcus Miller, you might want to consider going active like he did. Audere makes a remarkably versatile 4-band preamp that drops into most JBs without requiring any body modifications. It's called the JZ3, and it'll set you back about $160. Which isn't bad for a quality pre. If you drop by their website you can see all the available options.
     
    iiipopes likes this.
  3. Juicyanalog

    Juicyanalog

    Jan 9, 2010
    Shokan, NY
    i appreciate that info...thank you
     
    40Hz likes this.
  4. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    Don't know what you're after, but I have a Jazz with something simple, that I use often. A no-load tone pot, a regular 250k pot, with a .022 cap, but on "10" the trace on wiper is stripped to bare copper, effectively taking the whole pot out of the mix, for a very bright sound, it clicks at the very end of the turn, before that click it works like a regular pot (on the bright side, because of the .022 cap), and I usually play it about an 8th turn from the end, on 10 it's a whole nother level of "cut through the mix". (guitars beware)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  5. Juicyanalog

    Juicyanalog

    Jan 9, 2010
    Shokan, NY
    very interesting...
    so its basically a regular tone pot,..until you totally "dime it"?
    and then there is a 'Detent' that you click passed where it goes into "hyper-treble"?
    never heard of this...so just google "no load tone pot"?
    and forgive me, but there's a term i didn't understand;
    "the trace on 'wiper' is stripped to bare copper," {did you mean 'wire'?}
    thx
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
  6. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    Fender makes them ready to go, so does CTS, what it is ..on a regular tone pot there is a contact ( a "wiper", (it's a copper "arm") that rides on a copper circle (a trace), which has a sloped amount of resistor, as you turn to 10 the resistor material gets thinner, so copper is closer to copper, (less resistance), on a no load pot, the very end of the circle ("the trace") has no coating, so it's copper to copper, what that does is make a connection direct, so the function of the whole pot is gone, as if you didn't have one, but, had only a wire to the jack, that yields a substantial treble boost, and a clearer sound, (it's not really a boost, it's really no resistance, it is perceived as a boost, when compared to having a normal tone pot, it really isn't only treble, it's a more open sound, (not a little, a lot). You can buy a genuine Fender model, it gets soldered in the same as any other pot, and works the same, till you get a slight click at "10", it still gets a capacitor, and functions normally till 10. they cost in the area of $8 US. One can also be made, by taking apart a pot, and scraping off the black material on the treble end of the copper trace (the circle), but for $8 ready to go, making one is a bit of a bother.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016
    Juicyanalog likes this.
  7. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    $_58.jpg
     
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  8. Juicyanalog

    Juicyanalog

    Jan 9, 2010
    Shokan, NY
  9. Juicyanalog

    Juicyanalog

    Jan 9, 2010
    Shokan, NY

    great info thanks
     
  10. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    One last note, these are only used for tone, they aren't good used as a volume control
     
    walterw likes this.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I don't normally go for boutique passive electronic components because the benefits are usually negligible or non-existent AFAIC.

    But I do happen to like the "super pot" sold by RS Guitarworks. It's a little pricey - around $9 last I checked. It's a 300K pot and it's strictly for use as a volume control. But I really like the taper and the feel. I've been slowly replacing the volume controls on all my passive basses (except for the T-40 and the two Rippers) with these, and I've been really happy with them. YMMV.
     

  12. Have you thought about trying to clean the pot first, with tuner cleaner or a Caig fader/pot cleaner/lube? Might be worthwhile before you start replacing parts.
     
    shodan likes this.
  13. Juicyanalog

    Juicyanalog

    Jan 9, 2010
    Shokan, NY
    It's not like it's just scratchy and cutting in and out, it literally does not work at all ... and is crackling all over the place if I try to turn it .. I really think it's gone, but my tech is going to look at it today
     
  14. Juicyanalog

    Juicyanalog

    Jan 9, 2010
    Shokan, NY
    That sounds cool, ..if I was having problems with 'more' than the tone pot down there… but being that it's just the tone pot issue, your suggestion sounds a little extreme for now ... but I will keep that in mind if everything starts to crap out down there...thx
     
    40Hz likes this.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    that one's closer to linear taper, which makes it better for bass volumes especially when blending two. less jump right at the top of the sweep.

    if you don't go with all-out linear taper, the mojotone pots are a very flat 30% taper, kinda the same idea. (actual linear taper is 50%, and my preference for bass.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    40Hz likes this.
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Sounds good! Didn't know about the Mojotones. Gonna have to check those out next mod I do.

    Thx for the heads-up!
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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