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vol, blend, passive tone w/only 2 knobs on marcus miller bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by telekaster, Nov 8, 2005.


  1. telekaster

    telekaster

    Feb 14, 2005
    San Diego
    I have a Marcus Miller Jazz that I picked up a couple weeks ago and have come to the conclusion that I don't need to upgrade the preamp. I actually use it in passive mode 95% of the time. If I do need a bit of bass ot treble boost, then I flip the switch and I've got all I need.

    So this leaves a bit to be desire in the control I have while in passive mode. When in passive, all I have are volume-volume controls.

    With 2 holes, can I wire up a volume/passive tone control and a blend pot? I assume that all I'd need is a 250K stacked pot for the vol/tone, and a blend pot. Is this right? How do i integrate this with the preamp? I'm thinking this is fairly simple, but I'm a little lost when it comes to making it all work with my preamp.

    Thanks in advance for any tips.
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    You can use a stacked volume and just wire a cap to one half to get a tone pot. Actually, you have more tone control with two volumes than a volume and a blend. I would run a stacked volume and a seperate tone pot myself but some guys like blends.

    Beyond that, not sure how to wire it into the premap but I had a Pedullae MVP with a Bart 3 band/Bart PJ's and passive volume/ tone control in by-pass mode. Seems it either had two volumes and one volume was cutout in active mode along with the tone or just the tone was cut out in active mode. At any rate, either one or two of the pots did nothing when it was in active mode, and only the volume(s)/tone pot worked in passive mode. Volumes must have worked in both modes cuase I don't remember an issue with only have one pup in either mode.

    Been a long time so don't remember and I've never wired something like that up myself but it can be done.
     
  3. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    How so?
     
  4. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    You could first blend the 2 pups, send that single signal to the volume/tone, and from there into the preamp.
     
  5. telekaster

    telekaster

    Feb 14, 2005
    San Diego
    All good suggestions guys. I never thought of using a stacked pot for vol/vol. I can feed than into a tone circuit and into my preamp. Sounds like a solution! If I can find a stacked 250K/250K pot then I might go for the (volume/tone)--(blend) route.
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Set your blend for the neck pup off and the bridge 3/4 volume - you can't, becuase with a blend you're decreasing one as you increase the other. Nor can you any other combination at all except the fixed mix that's preset into a blend (90/10, 75/25, 60/40, etc.). That's why it's called a blend/balance. How many lead guitars players you see using a volume and blend as opposed to two volumes?

    The only advantage to a blend is it's quicker to get the range of preset mixes. Most players with two volume controls will often leave one volume set and mix in the other to alter tone. Two volumes used that way takes no more time for adjustment than a blend - you're still turning just one knob. Obviously the tone variation will be much more subtle that way than if you were taking from one while giving to another. You need two pots either way so why not two volumes instead of a volume and blend - and you get more control in the mix when you want it or if you need it.

    Plus in wiring a blend it's a pain to wire the cross overs, it's more complicated and cluttered wiring in general, most of the blend backs are open back so soldering grounds presents more of a challenge, as is intallation repair is more complicated, and stacked pots tend to present space depth issues in a control bay single pots don't.

    That doesn't mean blends suck. Typically they're quite adequate and all most players probably need. I've had both and for some basses it really doesn't matter cuase there's not much versatility in tone anyway. But for a bass with two pups that is responsive to controls in the hands of the player who will make use of them, two volumes are better than one.
     
  7. telekaster

    telekaster

    Feb 14, 2005
    San Diego
    hmm... I've been posting in another thread and I might want to upgrade my preamp afterall. It might make my active tone more useable to me.
     
  8. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Set the blend all the way to the bridge and the volume to 3/4 and you have no neck and 3/4 bridge. In a blend pot, a real blend pot and not some stacked pot installed by a noob. Only one pickup is attenuated at any time by the blend pot. One is always on full. Sometimes both. Even in your own incorrect example this would work as you describe it if you set the blend all the way to the bridge and the volume to 3/4.

    In a blend pot in the middle you have 100/100, turn it and one and only one number will go down. Buy a simple multimeter and try it. This myth must die. Here's a link that sells audio taper blend pots which would be impossible to get your specs with, also note how they say both pickups are full on in the center.

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electro...meters_and_push-pull_pots/4/Control_Pots.html

    Another way to test this is disconnect one pickup and notice half the sweep of the blend it's on full and the other half it rolls to off. Unless of course you just bought a stacked pot and not a blend.

    And the best pbass tone does not come from a jbass bridge pickup ;)
     
  9. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE

    FWIW:

    Hmmm?

    Yep, I'd heard mid was a 100% of both but it never sunk in with me - obviously. And I never really followed up. I just had basses with both and drew my conclusions from my experience.


    Okay, so what would it take to get 3/4 neck and 3/4 bridge with volume/blend controls? Or 1/2 of each?
     
  10. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    Luknfur:

    Blend at center, volume at 3/4
    Blend at half, volume at 1/2

    There is NO combination you can get that a blend pot cant.
     
  11. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    I actually was in the same boat as you, and I opted to remove the preamp completely. I installed Aero pickups, and wired it Vol/Blend/tone and it totally smokes now. I made a thread on it a few weeks ago, if ya want to take a look at it.
     
  12. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Sorry to milk this thread some. I don't mind displaying my ignorance but I choose not to remain that way. I don't have onboard controls anymore but I'd liked to clear this misunderstanding up.

    Obviously (at least to me), a blend/volume is not as intuitive as a two volumes - to get 3/4 bridge you just set the bridge to 3/4 and turn the neck off as opposed to thinking backwards that you essentially max the bridge and set volume to 3/4. I don't have to think to adjust two volumes to any setting.

    My previous erroneous assumption was that a blend was at least quicker cuase you only needed to move one control to mix both pups. But you still have to adjust both controls to get the same thing so nothing quicker about that?

    So what is the advantage to a volume/blend over two volumes?
     
  13. telekaster

    telekaster

    Feb 14, 2005
    San Diego
    I think the main advantage is that you get a master volume control. This is handy for people who use different volume settings when they play. I tend to just leave it on full. But if you're in the middle of a song and need to lower your volume, then you can just turn 1 knob and retain your neck:bridge ratio.
     
  14. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Yep, that occurred to me afterthefact - that it would be quicker under some (and perhaps even most) circumstances.

    Okay, well that's done.

    Thanks
     
  15. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    That's fine, what bothers me is how often I see you post as if you're some kind of authority or expert when in reality you're pretty much clueless. Then other people start repeating what you say about how the best p bass tone comes from a jazz bass bridge or some other stuff.

    Instead of arguing how you're right try saying this is what you believe or in your experience because you say some very reckless things and other people believe you because they don't know either. When you are only basing your thoughts on I heard something once and never checked it out maybe you should not be stating that as gospel. Your misinformation about blends not only shows a lack of understanding about how a blend works but also the simple difference between an analog or linear taper pot.
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE

    FWIW: (FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH (I am no authority; I am no expert; This is my experience only; Take what you want and leave the rest

    Cool thread, it would be nice to see us start using the same terms. I only recently figured out what punch means (Moo 04-15-2005, 05:29 AM Bass Tone Glossary).

    Guess we've both learned something since April. That's what TB's all about A? Not bashing, humiliation, mud slinging, and hopefully not twisting what someone has said. But respect for fellow TB'rs knowing everyone, no matter how new to TB, knows something we don't and has something valuable to contribute.

    A learning curve is not linear. In fact not even really a curve but more like a common speaker frequency response - a curve with peaks and troughs. In as much, no different from hard science, sometimes we think we know things only to find out later we didn't know at all.

    My excerpt from a previous post in this thread:

    I don't mind displaying my ignorance but I choose not to remain that way.

    That is so, I welcome correction for technical/factual information that's in error. Technical apsects are not my thing and not something I care about except as required. If I had been called on it earlier, that aspect would have changed earlier. Regardless, those technical facts don't change my experience or the core content of my post/input. I did and still prefer two volumes to a volume and blend becuase I found it easier to get the tone I wanted.

    The reason apparently was becuase it's just a more intuitive control system and not becuase it permits a setting a blend doesn't. The ear will tell you what is desireable, it won't often tell you why.

    As for the J bridge P tone thing. That's my experience. I have a '65 Fender P bass track I play to as part of every review. There is NO discounting ANYONE'S personal experience. It's their experience NOT YOURS and that's non-negotiable non-debateable. That is a fundamental given and if it's not comprehended - well then you might see posts like this one.

    A debate is one thing, an argument something different. Only fools argue.

    Right and Wrong are two words I personally don't like, avoid using, and ideally I don't think that way.

    ---------------------

    Giants stand on the shoulders of pigmies and shout about how far they can see.
     
  17. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Interesting that you don't want to argue but you searched my posts for the year to, well argue ;)

    If technical aspects are not your thing please stop presenting your opinion as fact coming from an authority.

    I'd be interested to hear your 65 p bass track, if you think the closest thing to it is a j bass bridge pickup and your ears are not broken in some way I'd guess it's not really a p bass. Can you post it or at least a snippet?
     
  18. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    1) I didn't search your post for the year, may have been the first one that came up but at any rate was the first page and since I did the glossary, a logical choice. When someone seems to have a problem with me (rarely occurs but interestingly it's come up twice the past couple days) if I'm not familiar with them, I do a search to see if they have a problem with people in general - or pehaps if I've offended them unintentionally, which also happens sometimes.

    2) To argue is pointless

    3) Authority thing - reread previous post until it soaks in. Anybody can post what they want less moderator discretion. Become a moderator or get your own web site if you want to edit what people post. For anyone to limit posts to your desires is crazy and not possible at any rate. If you don't like what I post, don't read my posts. Won't post to any of yours if you don't want. Doesn't matter to me. Probably wouldn't now anyway.

    4) The P track is from the first bass book I bought - Play Bass Guitar Step One by Peter Pickow. I don't record (read the lasts post in the glossary) but you can buy the book. Read the P pickup def. in the glossary, perhaps you have issue with that definition and can contribute a useful addition. Better yet - why don't you contribute a P bass soundclip to the glossary If fact, contribute clips to all the definitions you want. Do something useful. We could use them. At any rate, I have at least 5 P pups currently and have had 15 or 20 I guess. Like any other pup, different P pups sound different & with different variables, la di dah. CDs/radio. I knew what a P pup sounded like before you were born probably.

    5) In the technical aspect (how something actually works) of the function of a blend, you were "RIGHT" and I was "WRONG." Now we agree. For my personal experience, you were "Wrong", I was "Right." End of debate!

    6) Nobody is more "bothered" by the error than I. Nobody's happier it's corrected.

    7) Please feel free to address other technical errors I've made that you can find in other threads as that's a useful contribution to me and TB. Regarding personal experience - re-read previous post until it soaks in.

    On your own now bud cuase that's all the time I'm spending on this. If you don't get the picture by now, it ain't happening.

    THE END : -)
    -------------------------

    You teach best what you most need to learn. (Richard Bach)
     
  19. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    You're convincing me of this point.
     
  20. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    What I don't understand is why you'd ever change the pickup balance to 75% bridge. It is identical in tone to 100% bridge, just quieter. With a volume/blend setup, you just Lower the Volume.