Varitone users, use it a lot?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Surprise Panda!, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. All The Time

    3 vote(s)
  2. Never, just keep it on one setting

    0 vote(s)
  3. sometimes

    1 vote(s)
  1. Hi,

    I'm wondering with people who have varitones if they use the knob a lot. If I got one, I think I would put it so it bypasses for that true uncolored tone.


  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    They'e fantastic to adjust your position in the mix. Some positions will make you stand out, others will help blending with the rest of the band.
    I use it frequently.
  3. One vote and one response? I am positive that Jazz Ad is not the only TB'er with a varitone. Also, thanks jazz, it solidified my idea for getting one.
  4. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    Why would you get a Varitone for the expressed purpose of putting it on bypass? It's like plugging into a distortion pedal because you like how clean it is when it's not on, isn't it?

    I'm getting a Varitone installed in a Wishbass (6-string hollowbody fretless). When it's ready to rock and roll, I'll let you know what I think of it. I hear they're much better these days than they were 50 years ago when Gibson was putting them in 335s and such.
  5. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
    Nobody responds to my post either, anyway, I ordered a Varitone and I'm putting it in a Steinberger XZ 2. I have never tried one but from the sound clips and videos as well as posts in talkbass, it is seems like a good move. I'm making a travel bass and am more than a little tired with the active battery hassle. I also still love a passive tone over a active one when it comes to fretted. I would be glad to post info on this project and the varitone in the near future if it would help you.
  6. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Giedosst! A fellow XZ owner with Varitone! Good to hear from you.

    I have an XZ-25 fretted with the original Select pickups, but with custom electronics from HAS Sound, including a Varitone. It works great with a hifi amp. Some of the Varitone settings are not that distinct through a more vintage amp. However, with a bright amp, you can really tell the difference in the settings.

    I'm thinking about swapping out the EMG Selects with some other passive humbuckers this summer.

    Let's keep in touch about your XZ project- I'd definitely like to hear what you think about it.
  7. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Inactive

    Oct 20, 2004
    Varitones are very cool. I used to build them into my basses. I had one in a Les Paul that at the very last setting got a great bright jangly strat tone.
  8. would you rather have a varitone or active eq?
  9. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Inactive

    Oct 20, 2004
    I like both actually. I enjoy having bass and treble boost/cut controls. But I like passive treble cut tone controls too. They give a nice resonant hump when turned all the way down.

    A Varitone can also be used as part of an active circuit, and that's actually a good idea, because of insertion loss... you loose a little level to the passive circuit. To do what a Varitone does with an active circuit would probably be more involved than the Varitone circuit.

    A lot of active circuits really use passive tone stacks, with a buffer on the front end, and a bit of gain recovery at the back end. Some active EQ's also use inductors. Bartolini often does that, and my old Ibanez SoundGear did too.

    You can have an active mid control, but unless it either has a frequency switch, or is semi parametric, they are fixed at one frequency. The Varitone is a multi frequency midrange notch filter.

    The big difference is that the Varitone only cuts, and does not boost, except for a little peaking around the notch. Boosting can be done with a step-up transformer, kind of like what Villex does, but it's a very subtle boost.

    But it's a very cool way to add some new tones to both passive and active basses.
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I'd take a varitone any day but it's just because I hate to have batteries in my bass.
    I got my Varitone from BigD guitars, he doesn't make them for bass anymore.