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Tone Switch?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by David2501, Oct 2, 2017.


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  1. David2501

    David2501

    Aug 6, 2017
    I either play with my tone up all the way or off completely, so I figured it'd look cleaner on a PJ with 3 pots (Master, Neck, and Bridge volumes) and a switch.

    Shouldn't be a problem if I use a two way switch for the tone, right?
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah easy enough the switch merely switches a resistor in and out of the circuit, the resistor being the same size the pot was. Ought to work.
     
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    I modded a 1972 Jazz Bass to have two volume controls and a tone selector switch. Works and sounded great, especially after I replaced the neck/mid pickup with a Rickenbacker hi-gain. I, also, replaced the stock bridge for a Schaller 3D one. This was in the early '80s when I did this, along with stripping the 3TSB finish and oiling the body, and swapping the neck out for a 1972 Telecaster Bass neck.
     
    Sartori likes this.
  4. David2501

    David2501

    Aug 6, 2017
    Cool, good to know, thanks guys.
    The idea with it is to swap it between two of the switches, since it'll a P style body, as seen on a jazz passive/active switch (if you can see in the picture)
    0143512300_gtr_cntrbdyright_001_nr.
    Should all work out, thanks
     
  5. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    Actually it's even simpler. The tone cap and switch are in line between hot (at the master vol) and earth. IOW, the tone cap switches to earth.

    Personally I'd use a push-pull for an even cleaner look.
     
  6. David2501

    David2501

    Aug 6, 2017
    While I've thought about using a push pull, I'm still debate in whether I like it more than a mini switch since with only one being used, the push pull might seem slightly out of place. I haven't put much thought into it though, so I might end up doing a push pull. Thanks for the idea and help
     
  7. Uche_bass

    Uche_bass

    Jul 31, 2017
    Argentina
    Should work fine. I put a dual tone with a selector two way switch and works wonders
     
  8. David2501

    David2501

    Aug 6, 2017
    How'd you wire it up? What's the benefit of running dual tone?
     
  9. Uche_bass

    Uche_bass

    Jul 31, 2017
    Argentina
    It goes pup -> volume -> dpdt switch -> tone 1 (in position 1) or tone 2 in position 2.
    I can set both tones for different things and change between them in the middle of songs. I also have a different cap on each one so the sound is different
     
  10. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Just Like the tone switch Gretsch used/uses on there guitars going back to the '50s.
     
  11. Uche_bass

    Uche_bass

    Jul 31, 2017
    Argentina
    Did not know that. I'll search for a schematic of that since I'm kinda having trouble with grounding
     
  12. David2501

    David2501

    Aug 6, 2017
    Definitely an option I'm gonna look into...
    Could the grounding issue just be 60 cycle hum coming from (I'm assuming you have) your PJ set up?
     
  13. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth

    Jan 2, 2015
    heart of darkness
    The upside to having a switch is that you can completely remove the capacitor from the circuit (in one switch position) & your bass will be slightly brighter than with the standard potentiometer/capacitor layout.
     
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  14. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    Yeah, you could use a centre-off switch (on-off-on). Should only cost a couple of bucks. Connect the earth to the centre lug and a different cap to each outer lug.
     
  15. A DPDT On/On/On switch also works for this purpose. They are usually a bit easier to source.
     
  16. Uche_bass

    Uche_bass

    Jul 31, 2017
    Argentina
    Sweet, good to know. Thanks all! No, the grounding is not from the pups (I think) (it's a p copy), this doesn't go away when I touch the strings, it actually gets louder
    I also have a volume loss in one of the positions when the tone is rolled off. It can be solved by rolling the volume to about 80% and crank it up when I use this option (it's a 500k pot with the original cap, I don't know which value) which gives me a super dark tone when closed, but the idea was to change between tones with the flick of a switch, and kind of forget about the knobs in the middle of the song. The other side is also a 500k but with a .47 cap, and gives a fat bassy and full sound, and I would like to have both for different reasons
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  17. David2501

    David2501

    Aug 6, 2017
    Any benefit in going on/off/on vs on/on/on? I'm thinking about doing this just gotta find some contrasting capacitors, and I don't think it really matters but I'm new to custom wiring and don't know a lot. It'll be going in a PJ set up that'll probably be Master vol/p vol/j vol with a three way dpdt probably locate some between two of the knobs. As for the grounding issue, I don't know much else as I've only had grounding issues once before and it was a simple soldering issue.
     
  18. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    You can use either a single pole on-off-on or a double pole on-on-on. Electronically, in this application, there's no difference. But for me it's a no-brainer because I'd have to mail-order the on-on-on, plus it's a more expensive switch. I can get a centre-off switch from a chain electronics store 5 min away for about 3 bucks. If I'm going to wait 2 weeks for a switch, I may as well save a few bucks.

    With the on-on-on you'll need a multimeter to test which lug is which. But you should have a multimeter anyway if you are getting into modding.

    For one cap, I'd just use the same cap as the one you already have, since you like that tone. Then for the other, think about whether you want a darker second option, or an intermediate tone setting. For darker, choose a cap that is double the value of your existing cap. For an intermediate setting, choose one that is half its value.

    If so, then I'd recommend using two (linear taper) push-pulls. (OT: The linear taper is a popular mod when you have two passive volume controls. It gives you a finer control of the blend). Then have a different cap for each switch. This would give you four different tone settings. When both switches are on, the caps will be in parallel and they're values are summed.
     
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Blue and yellow, or green and orange caps would work well for this. :woot:
     
    David2501 likes this.