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Tonestyler in a Gibson SG?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by grisezd, Jul 16, 2016.


  1. grisezd

    grisezd

    Oct 14, 2009
    Ohio
    Hi all. My main basses are a Guild JSII with a pair of Lace Deathbuckers (Alumitones in guitar HB size) and a recent Gibson SG. I love the snarly tones I get from the Guild with both pickups on, with either the bridge or the neck volume pulled back a touch and the tones wide open. The Gibson, same scale and pickup spacing , won't do that sound to save its life. It's just fat tone or "plink plunk".

    I'd just about decided to replace both pickups with Deathbuckers and heard a Tonestyler demo on a 2 pickup bass. Wow, my snarl tone with the turn of a dial!

    Has anyone heard a recent SG with a Tonestyler? Does it bring the snotty, somewhat nasal Ric-ish snarl? My former Ripper would get there with the Varitone, but the Tonestyler seems to have a nicer range.

    Thanks,
    Dennis
     
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    The Ripper achieves its sound through solo/series/parallel/phase pickup switching and a passive LCR midrange control. It doesn't use what most would consider a varitone. But the chickenhead knob makes it easy to confuse with one. A Tonestyler (which is an RC circuit and only a partial varitone since it doesn't have an inductor) does what it does by switching among different capacitor values. So these are two very different approaches to messing with your bass's tone. And IMO they sound very different from each other.

    The only real way to know if a Tonestyler will do what you want it to is to try it.

    If you want to make it more Ripper like, install a series/parallel switch and a phase switch, leave the volume knobs slone, keep one tone pot/capacitor and make it a master tone, add in a Wilde Q-filter module (available from Wilde Pickups) with its own control pot, and you've essentially duplicated the Ripper's wiring scheme and control set.

    Luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
    SirMjac28 and grisezd like this.
  3. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Very true. What you would not have duplicated would be the Ripper's narrow aperture, sidewinding humbucker pickups, which are also important to the sound of the Ripper. So it would be a different take on a similar layout, but still its own new instrument.

    Otto
     
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I was tempted to mention that. Too bad routings won't match one of those SD replacements. I suppose you could back fill any gaps and reroute as needed and then cap it with a new custom cut pickguard.

    hmm…now there's an idea!

    Although a pair of Q-Tuner Q2.0 pickups is another possibility.

    Why just blindly duplicate an already proven design? Let's have some fun! :)
     
  5. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Agreed. I'm slightly curious how a J would sound with humcancelling pickups and a Ripper style electronics layout. Probably an SX J is the proper thing to test that idea on.

    Also, a bass with a MM and P, though it's a bit of a challenge to work out the spacing. Maybe just a J where the bridge pickup is at MM coil 1 location.

    Otto
     
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    @ofajen - Q-Tuner does a blade sidewinder in a Jazz pickup form factor that is voiced for rounds, and which has me intrigued to no end. As soon as I have $260 to spare for a matched set I want to give them a try.
     
  7. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Cool. I'm thinking three of them, one in the Ripper neck position, one in the standard P Bass position, and one in the music man coil one position, with some clever switching scheme, master volume, Q filter and standard tone.

    Sort of a passive take on the Big Al, minus hum.

    Time to end the thread detour, I think.

    Otto
     
  8. grisezd

    grisezd

    Oct 14, 2009
    Ohio
    I didn't know Q Tuner was back. Shame they didn't continue the clear casing, that looked awesome.

    I'd run across the Q filter. That seemed interesting and affordable!

    Now you've all got my mind working. I'm going to have to get sketching! Thanks.
     
    40Hz likes this.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Honestly, you could probably fit a number of different pickups at the neck, and just cover them with that big chrome cover, no problem. It's the bridge route that's more limiting. Maybe something like a Q-Tuner guitar-sized pickup under the stock neck cover, and a TV Jones Thunder'Mag at the bridge, hmmm...
     
    40Hz likes this.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Like! A TV Jones would be awesome on an SG I think.
     
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Don't forget to post on whatever you come up with. The more outside the box the better too!

    There's been far too little real world mad genius stuff happening in the bass world lately. Especially now that the craving for "vintage" has taken hold so much that there's a demand things get made to look old too.

    Sure there's the high tech boutique builders with their gorgeous cosmetics, rare woods, exotic laminates and hifi preamps and electronics. But it took someone like Bill Lawrence and Leo Fender to come up with affordable and useful innovations that almost anybody could get their hands on. That's a different form of artistry. One that's becoming rare these days.
    :cool:
     
    ctmullins and grisezd like this.
  12. grisezd

    grisezd

    Oct 14, 2009
    Ohio
    I replaced the huge humbuckers in my JSII with guitar-sized HB's by making oversized pickup rings from plexi and back sanding them. So that's not a problem!
     

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