Ultimate No-load Ungrounded Blend Pot (Pics!)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by walterw, Aug 13, 2014.


  1. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    I assure you that my bass is 100% passive, but it has five different voices (tone presets), all due to that Turnstyle switch. The switch by itself is nothing more than a six position rotary switch, but what makes it special is the custom circuitry in each position. It's best to think of each position as a blank canvas on which you can put anything you want, and then it's their job to make it happen. Regarding the website, the pictures on the Pro Shop page are the guitars they have worked on. The Turnstyle is a six position rotary switch with circuitry. There's really not much to look at. I'll show you the guts of my bass if you think it will help you discern anything.

    By the way, I get nothing for endorsing Turnstyle except discounts on projects. I just really believe in it, enough to have them do additional projects. There are two more in the works as we speak.

    BrozTone_zps5a35d94c.jpg
    View attachment 3510797
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    rainbow strings!

    totally OT, but a guitar-playing friend recounted how he tried a set and they totally messed him up visually; at the gig, different colored stage lights would make different strings on his guitar randomly appear and disappear :nailbiting:
     
    MattZilla likes this.
  3. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Hahahaha! DR makes a rainbow string package, but that set on mine is a special edition red-white-&-blue set. I've been using DR Neons for a long time -- I use fishing lure stickers as fret markers, otherwise I wouldn't be able to see them. One time I mixed green and blue strings, and for whatever reason, I often couldn't see the blue strings at all. And same with people in the audience -- I had some people wondering how I could play what I played on only two strings.

    Yeah, we're pretty far afield of ungrounded no-load blend pots. I'll shut up now.
     
  4. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    Keep in mind that with three pickups, you have a lot more possible combinations. That "turnstyle" switching system does not really make sense for standard basses with only two (single-coil) pickups. The only switching that can be done with two single-coils is parallel/series and in/out of phase.

    In my opinion, all these varitone/stellartone/tonestyler contraptions are just poor, passive approximations of a parametric EQ that would be far better handled by your preamp/amp or the mixer.
    I would only put such a thing in my bass if I had a hole to fill in my control plate...
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
    MattZilla and Elias86 like this.
  5. bassically_eli

    bassically_eli Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    Mebane, NC
    So I'm still confused about what value pot to use with active pickups. I ordered a 25k blend pot, and I certainly hope it performs better than Walter's did. It should provide much more blending action since it'll be receiving a low impedance signal, right?
     
  6. vin97

    vin97

    Mar 7, 2016
    Germany
    Maybe ask EMG what they recommend but even then you might not get around doing some tests with different pots to find the optimum. That's what we all did.
     
  7. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    You're thinking of the Turnstyle as nothing more than a conventional pickup selector switch. It can be that, but it's capable of a lot more. Starting with two good pickups, it can become a voice selector switch, which is how I use it.

    And Elias actually does have a hole to fill, which is why I brought it up in the first place. ;)

    Still not an ungrounded no-load pot, so I'll shut up again.
     
  8. bassically_eli

    bassically_eli Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    Mebane, NC
    I definitely appreciate the Turnstyle recommendation, and any other recommendations for that matter. I bought this bass--a used Brice V2 fretless 5-string--in part to have something to experiment with. I knew the electronics would likely need work. That said, for now I want to stick with something cheap and diy-able. I feel like I've already learned a lot about bass electronics just doing the research for this bass, and I think I'll learn even more by doing the work myself. So I'm gonna stick with the Tonestyler/"Varitone" idea for now. (I'm using the quotation marks because the thread I linked to earlier isn't a Gibson/Epiphone style Varitone in that it doesn't use an inductor. It just uses different caps, just like the Tonestyler.) I may try the Turnstyle or even an active preamp in the Brice (or other basses) down the road.
     
  9. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I looked at my EMG blend pot and it is indeed a dual ganged 25K.
    Something else to consider with tone caps... Due to the low impedance nature of EMGs, they use totally different values of caps for similar characteristics of higher impedance circuits. Seems most EMGs have a .1uF cap for starters, and you stack them to get deeper characteristics. Where a .1uF cap in a passive bass is super deep and old school, in a EMG setup, it's much like a .022uF or .033uF equivalent. Stacking a .1uF with another (or just installing a .2uF cap) in a low impedance set yields a result much like a .047uF to .068uF equivalent in a passive bass.
    Check and see what your current bass is loaded with and temper your experiment accordingly. It will all depend on the needs of the circuit. Outside of EMG with low value pots and larger cap values, I have some active systems that still use higher value tone pots and smaller caps (the same as high impedance/passive values), and others that use 25K-50K pots and standard high impedance cap values.
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
  11. BrianCIDC

    BrianCIDC

    Jul 10, 2019
    DFW
    A Yamaha BB425X I picked up here. Great bass. Going to rewire with Bournes 250k liner volume, 250k no-load tone pot, and this 100k MN (if I ever get it) using your MN pot mod! Thanks for that WalterW!!
    Brian
     
  12. bigtone23

    bigtone23

    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
  13. BrianCIDC

    BrianCIDC

    Jul 10, 2019
    DFW
    I should know soon. I'll keep y'all posted!
     
  14. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    i should think so yeah (it's been so long since i tried any of this on actual active pickups), but it might not work ungrounded at all; 25k series resistance might not even get noticed by the active pickups, you may have to keep the blend grounded to get any results. there again, the pickups being active should also not get any real tonal loss from the grounding either.

    EMG sells an actual active blend pot, 9V powered with two buffered ins and a mixed output like from a mixing board; that might be the best bet.
     
  15. BrianCIDC

    BrianCIDC

    Jul 10, 2019
    DFW
    WalterW--finally got the pots, but I'm reading around 100 ohms on the opposite posts from the ones you have illustrated.
     
  16. BrianCIDC

    BrianCIDC

    Jul 10, 2019
    DFW
    Pots came in today.. 20190928_155818.jpg 20190928_155841.jpg 20190928_155930.jpg
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    100Ω or 100kΩ?

    the first just means a little residual resistance, shouldn't be a big deal; the second means those pots are "backwards", meaning you'll need to mirror-image the layout to make it work.
     
  18. BrianCIDC

    BrianCIDC

    Jul 10, 2019
    DFW
    100k ohms. The other sides read at 2-4 ohms before I un-ground them. Yes, mirror image is what I'll do. Just checking... Do I wire the top to bottom jumper mirrored too (I assume so).
     
  19. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    pretty sure that's all you do! the pickups should still go to the same places
    so you cut the traces on the opposite mirror image spots too right?
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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