useful uses for a mini-switch

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Dags, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Dags


    Jan 19, 2004
    I'm going from passive to active, probably with a Bartolini NTBT since I'm fairly sure 2-band EQ is fine for me. My bass already has a mini-switch that does outer coil/humbucker/inner coil. Honestly I don't use it much so I'm wondering what you guys find the most useful in a switch. The preamp will be Vol/Blen rather than Vol/Vol if it matters. My pickups are Bartolini M34C soapbars.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    well, active/passive if you don't have it that function on push/pull vol pot.

    Otherwise, series/parallel and / or mid frequency select
  3. Dags


    Jan 19, 2004
    I forgot to mention that the volume pot is push-pull for active/passive and if I decide to go with a NTMB it will have the mid frequency selector switch but I'm probably going with the NTBT which doesn't do mids.

    Would series/parallel work fine with a blend pot?
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I was speaking in general terms, you didn't say anything about your pickup config in original post.

    Anyway, depending on the pickups (I don't know what you're using), you can wire each pickup individually in series / parallel mode. Pickups such as Dimarzio Model J and UltraJazz J pickups can be wired this way. You can then wire the whole shebang in series/parallel. This should work with a blend pot, I've never done it with a blend pot, but with a caveat:

    With two separate vol pots, running in series will disable one vol pot, usually the bridge one and then the neck becomes your master vol. When using a master series / parallel switch and a blend pot you'll have to put your blend 100% at one extreme (probably favoring the neck pickup if wired as per the diagrams here).
  5. Another cool thing I have done with on/on/on mini switches is to use them as a 3-way pickup selector switch. I have a nice old Fernandes bass that I gutted all the lousy stock pickups and electronics, put in EMG P-J's and went with a single master volume and 3-way mini switch. Makes the bass very clean and simple when playing LIVE. I get tired of all those stupid balance, boost, cut, pots, etc. :hyper:

    Dave Starr: Bassist with CHASTAIN & Vicious Rumors
  6. Dags


    Jan 19, 2004
    I've been reading around and I guess people are mostly doing series/parallel mods on jazz basses. My bass has 2 humbuckers so does this make any difference? Also on Bartolini's site they only have diagrams for doing series/parallel on an individual pickup but I want to do it as whole between the 2 separate humbuckers (Bartolini M34C).
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Jazz pickups can be humbuckers, so it makes no difference to the feasibility.
    There's no reason you can't do both. With the Dimarzio J and UJ pickups, each pickup can be wired series/parallel itself and you can then have a master switch to put the whole thing in series. Or you can hardwire each pickup in series, and only have a master series/parallel switch. If you look at the pickups faq thread stickied at the top of the forum you'll see links to series/parallel diagrams.
  8. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Now an onboard mute switch would be very cool, especially if it turned off the preamp at the same time. Saves your amp from those times you forget to mute it and you get the huge thump, especially when it has a preamp and you get huge transients when turning those things on.
  9. Shooter McGavin

    Shooter McGavin Dam you people. This is golf. Not a rock concert.. Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    For what it's worth, I have also used mini switches as a pickup phase inverter and as a 9-volt/18-volt preamp power selector!
  10. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Don't forget one of my favorite mods, for which a mini-toggle works well: "all-pots bypass".

    Take the volume and tone (if you have one) out of the signal chain, and send the signal from the pickup(s) directly to the output jack, passing through the preamp on the way (if you have one, and which can also have its own in.out switch).

    You end up with more highs, a little more lows, and a clearer/more 'organic' sound. I find that with series (on my jazz bass) in particular this works well.