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What is "tone" in electronic terms??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mann, Aug 28, 2005.


  1. mann

    mann

    Jul 2, 2005
    Denmark
    Hey.. I'm about to bypass the volume and (possibly) the tone knots on my passive bass. Seen the birds nest of wires in the electronics cavity, and watched several wiring diagrams of basses and guitars. But since I'm not an expert in electronics, what exactly does the potentiometer responsible for "tone" do??..

    :meh:
     
  2. Aerolithe

    Aerolithe

    Jan 23, 2005
    Columbia, MO
    First of all, I just want to say not all electronics are a horrible mess, I was pleasently surprised last night to see that Valenti's instruments have very clean wiring in the commercial sales forum for his Vintage P Bass.

    However, that doesn't mean you need tone controls. I personally don't like any of the passive tone controls I have used, and never really used it on my Ibanez P Bass because it sounded like crap. The way the tone control works is it sends some of your upper range to ground, which is how you throw away a signal in electronics. The knob controls how much gets thrown away.
     
  3. mann

    mann

    Jul 2, 2005
    Denmark
    Ah.. this makes sense i guess.. Thanks! :hyper:

    So what is done by crappy components on my cheap bass could just as well (or much better) be done on the EQ of some 1000$ amplifier...?

    I'm getting more and more tempted to just bypass all 3 knots (2 volume, 1 tone), leaving the pickups connected directly to the jack-socket..
    Now if i do this, should the 2 pickups be connected in parallel or series??
     
  4. Aerolithe

    Aerolithe

    Jan 23, 2005
    Columbia, MO
    Can't suggest parallel/series, but I think you'd regret it if you don't allow yourself to at least blend the two pickups.

    And yes, an amp would do a much better job of EQing your tone than the passive tone control. However, a 2 or 3 band EQ on your bass can be very convenient and allow for quick tone controls, and while its not as precise as a 31 band graphic it can still sound very good (I love my 2 band active EQ on my Schecter).
     
  5. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass

    Mar 31, 2004
    CO
    A passive treble roll off commonly referred to as tone will load you pickups to some extent even then it is full out. This means a few highes will be taken. Dimarzio suggest using a 1Meg value to limit this effect, and Aero suggest using a smaller capacitor value (0.022uF) for the same reason.

    As someone else said, it shunts the highes to ground.

    Dave