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vol / tone setting for "pure" tone

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by johnvice, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    For basses with passive pickups and one tone control (as opposed to separate bass and treble) what should the setting be for no tonal attenuation?

    For example, if there was a separate bass and treble control on a passive pick-up instrument, turning the treble to zero would result in the maximum attenuation of the treble frequency (it seems to be around a –10db change at 5khz) and turning it to maximum would result in no attenuation at all.

    Likewise, turning the bass to zero would result in the attenuation of the bass frequency (it seems to be around a –10db change at 50 Hz) and turning it to maximum would result in no attenuation at all.

    With a single tone control, turning it all the way to treble should cut the bass frequencies and leave the treble unaffected. Conversely, turning it all the way to bass should cut the treble frequencies and leave the bass unaffected.

    Therefore if I want the “pure” sound of my pickups, should I leave the tone control on the half way point between 0 and max? (And the volume on max)?
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Is this purely hypothetical or are you describing an actual instrument you own?

    Because it would be very rare for a passive circuit to have separate bass and treble controls. The standard passive tone control just rolls off highs.
  3. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, the true flat tone of your instument is with the tone control on it's most treble-y setting.
  4. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    The passive tone control many basses have is just a treble cut. So turning it to the maximim would be the unattenuated "pure" sound.
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yup, your tone control on 'maximum' is applying minimum roll off of treble frequencies.
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Concur, no such animal I know of that's passive with seperate bass/treble controls. Tone pot on passive system is actually a treble-bleed. Varying capicitor or pot size simply varies the treble mix.
  7. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
  8. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    The rat fink bass is a two-tone knob passive instrument, with lace sensor pickups..although the review I read on it stated that the two tone controls really acted exactly the same.
  9. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    yeah, the classic passive tone is a "treble cut" only - flat is definitly all the way up
    i dunno about the sub or the rat fink........those seem to be odd ducks, however, usually instruments with more than one passive tone control simply have a treble cut for each pickup (like a les paul or a rick 4001)
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    actually you can get seperate passive bass and treble controls through use of a choke (coil) and capacitor or LC network (inductor/capicitor). Never messed with it and it's been a while so I forgot about it. A capacitor allows for treble bleed and a choke allows for bass bleed. To my knowledge, by varying choke/capacitor combination, you can set up as many band widths as you want and create a 3 or 4 band (or whatever) passive bass. The old Gibson Howard Roberts and Bill Lawrence Tone L-filter used these concepts.

    The more things change the more things stay the same
  11. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    also, older tube amps with passive tone controls used this choke/capacitor method. It's just like a crossover network with an attenuator.
  12. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    I had a tone bypass switch put on my passive jazz bass(marcus miller sig., no onboard pre, Jason Lollar single coils,
    fender bridge) and it works great. Warmer sound, a little bit more open, sounds like it "breathes" more...It's a two position switch, one way is normal (vol vol tone), the other way is just vol vol and it takes the tone knob completely out of the circuit... :p
  13. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    G&L also has used passive two band EQ since day one on all L-series basses (except L-5500).