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what will I need to do this?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Armacielli, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Armacielli


    Oct 16, 2008
    I'll have a Hofner Icon pick-up and a musicman style humbucker. I want to have a toggle switch w/ either

    which do you think?

    I know I'll need a three way switch, a jack and two pots for volume and tone but is there just some kind of all purpose wire I'll need to connect all these components or a specific kind? (I'm an electronics noob) first I need to find out what i need; then when it comes down to it I'll query the forum on how to wire it up to my desired switch configuration
  2. 22AWG stranded copper wire works fine.

    250K/500K pots, I would suggest a linear taper for the volume and an audio taper for the tone.

    Also, a 0.047uF capacitor for the tone control.
  3. Armacielli


    Oct 16, 2008
    thanks, any input on switch configuration?
    and what's the difference b/w a 250K and 500K pot?
  4. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    I'm not a fan of having "kill" switches on a bass, for the simple reason that if you bump it when playing live, you could drop out your signal entirely. It could be a bit embarrassing when the band starts looking at you and wondering where the bass went!

    A good A/B foot pedal (e.g. Morley) can serve as a kill switch, if you absolutely need one. This also makes it easier to change instruments without needing to reach over to the amp. I used one of these when playing live, before I bought an amp with a built-in "mute" switch.

    The first switch configuration also gives you the option of using both pickups in parallel at full volume, which could open up new possibilities than simply having one or the other.

    The difference in the pots is in how much resistance they present between the signal and the ground. Even if you always keep your pot at "full" volume, then a 250K pot is going to have slightly more "bleed" from the signal to ground than a 500K pot, due to the lower resistance. Many guitarists can hear the difference since the lower-resistance pot usually ends up bleeding the high frequencies. These are admittedly more important for a guitar than for a bass, but the principle still applies.

    In most cases, unless you have an active bass OR you have extremely high-output pickups of some sort, a 250K pot will work just fine. If your pickups have a lot of treble detail or if they don't put out a very strong signal, OR if you have individual volume controls for 2 or more pickups, then you may want to use 500K pots instead.

    I have heard of a few cases where some bass pickup manufacturers recommend a 1M pot, or conversely where they recommend a pot of 250K or lower. But this is not common.
  5. I don't know why you would want a killswitch position as opposed to a both pickups parallel position?:confused:

    Though I'm not usually not a fan of the sound of two pickups played together, I think that's a much more usable option than the killswitch position.

    Why not go for a 4 position rotary toggle though? That way you could do all four.

    To expand on what Tubby said, here is a good thread on pot values:
  6. Armacielli


    Oct 16, 2008
    ok, this is prolly gonna get way more technical here than my understaning can handle, but in the both pups on setting are they always both gonna be at the same volume regardless of my volume settings for the individual pickups on their respective switch settings?
  7. The volume controls will still stay functional regardless of whether the pickups are soloed or played together.
  8. Armacielli


    Oct 16, 2008
    I guess to put my question more plainly: in the both on setting are both pups always gonna be the same volume or will adjusting the pickup volume on the individual switch settings possibly make one louder than the other when they're both on?
  9. You can still adjust the volumes for each pickup, so when combined, one pickup will be louder than the other if you have one volume higher than the other.

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