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Vol-Vol-Tone-Tone wiring

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by CaptainTuna, Aug 24, 2012.


  1. CaptainTuna

    CaptainTuna

    May 13, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I just exchanged my bass for a new one, and this one came with a vol-vol-tone-tone wiring configuration.
    ...It was all wrong.

    As some of you know wiring like that in parallel with no resistors makes a huge mess: if one vol pot is set to zero the other one won't work, and tones don't work separately as the guy who wired them thought they would.

    So, question:
    If I keep the setting written above but add some resistors, will I still be able to use the signal or will it be too low to be any good? Has anyone ever tried it?

    Alternative would be to just forget this kind of wiring and go for a master vol-master tone-PU switch-series/parallel switch. Not sure if switches will fit in pot holes though.

    Forgot to say: in case the signal gets too low, can you suggest a simple DIY preamp I can add to the wiring?
     
  2. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Norway
    No need to add resistors. Just wire it up properly and it should work.

    In your bass the signal is wired to one of the side lugs of the pot and the center lug/wiper is wired to ground.

    This is OK for single volume systems, but when you use two volume pots you short out the output when one volume knob is set to minimum (Essentially connecting the signal wire to ground)


    What you need to do is to connect one of the side lugs of the pots to ground, and the other side lug to the output. Then wire the center lug/wiper to each of the pickups.
     
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yes, just change the two wires on each volume pot. This is the Gibson wiring, and when you turn one volume down it turns off both pickups. This is how a Les Paul works.

    Just wire the volume pots up like a Jazz bass or Rickenbacker.
     
  4. CaptainTuna

    CaptainTuna

    May 13, 2011
    But what do the tone pots do when they're wired like that? I've read they don't work "separately", and I'd like them to! :)

     
  5. They both do the same thing, unless you turn the volumes down enough to place a series resistance between the pickups to allow them to function independently.
     
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    maybe do V/V/T jazz bass style, then use the 4th knob for something else; another master tone with a different value cap for higher or lower rolloff than the other tone? a bass-cut?
     
  7. CaptainTuna

    CaptainTuna

    May 13, 2011
    Could be an interesting option, or maybe even a low-pass filter. Do I wire that in series with the previous master tone?
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    tone knobs are low-pass filters.
     
  9. CaptainTuna

    CaptainTuna

    May 13, 2011
    Sorry I actually meant low-cut!
     
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    they're talking about that very thing over here.
     

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