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two volumes, or blend/volume?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fenderslaper, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. I'm doing some reworking of my 78 Tele bass. It has the humbucking at the neck, and a SD 51 Tele at the sweet spot. Would you do a blend, or two volumes?
  2. Neither.

    Those don't sound like blendable pickups, so I would do a 3 way switch, personally.
  3. OK, what makes them not blendable? I'm new to this type of work.
  4. I'm not familiar with the "SD 51 Tele," but if it is a single coil Tele bass pickup, there is likely to be a great difference of output impedance, and perhaps volume, as well.
    This might lead to weird behavior as the pickups are mixed, such as the single coil loading down the humbucker when the pickups are in parallel, and the humbucker getting louder as the single coil is attenuated slightly. Or, the humbucker may always be louder than the single coil.

    It's usually easier to just have an all-or-nothing selection of pickups.
  5. I see. Thanks!
  6. OK, after thinking over line6mans explanation, I still have more questions than answers. First, what is "loading" of the humbucker? and also, if the two pickups have different volumes, isn't that why you have a "balance control"? Sorry if I seem a little (or a lot ) confused here, just trying to get my old mind around some new for me concepts.
  7. If you put a low impedance parallel to a pickup, it's going to kill some output and possibly weaken the tone a bit.

    Blend pots are meant to crossfade between pickups. It's irritating if the volume changes throughout the rotation.
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Usually basses with a blend have similar pickups, like two soapbars, two j's, etc. Sometimes you'll see a P/J with a blend, but most of the time the total amount of windings is at least close between the two. I'm a blend guy myself.
  9. Shmandy


    Jul 7, 2011
    Not really knowledgeable on the electronics side of things, but I can speak from the practical side. I have a P/J with two volumes and, while a bit of a hassle, it is nice, because I can roll back one or the other to lean my sound more towards a P or a J, or I can crank them both. And I think it's definitely got more options than a blend pot would.

    It does get tricky with volume swells though...
  10. Thanks everyone. I think I know what I need to do now. You've been a great help!
  11. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Ive had both. You can dial in the sound variation your wanting via pup blending a little easier with seperate volumes. However any volume swell or fade stuff you might want to do is harder with balance and master volume. I seldom do the latter unless I also want to do a fade shifts between the pups as part of it. Which I do like to do. So for me seperate volumes works best. My bass is volume, volume, stacked bass/treble eq preamp.

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