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Why would Fender switch from the stack knobs to V/V/T?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy_colassal, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Andy_colassal


    Nov 21, 2006
    Regina, SK
    Why would Fender switch from the stack knobs to V/V/T? I really have no clue. :help:
  2. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    Cheaper to build i the only reason I can come up with. That and maybe it was in response to player feedback.
  3. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I'd bet that at least part of it would be the cost of parts. 3 regular pots and knobs was bound to be cheaper than 2 concentric pots and 2 sets of stacked knobs.
    Whatever the reasons, it seems to have worked out o.k. for them ;)
  4. alexit


    Feb 21, 2006
    I can't really imagine why I'd need a passive high cut on each pickup. Then again, I've never played a stack knob. Too hard to manipulate it in a live situation? With a single tone knob you can kill it mid-song between quarter notes.

    I still think volume/blend/tone is far better than either, especially when most VVT pots die below 80% (non-linear taper), it's hard as hell to "fine-tune" it. when you're in a hurry.
  5. I have a refinned '61 stacknob and a modified MIM jazz "stacknob". From what I understand the change was actually result of player input. Many felt it was too difficult to dial in their tone on stage with two tone controls, and requested a single tone control. I do agree that it is harder to adjust during a performance, but I enjoy being able to dial in the tone of each pickup. I try to take more time getting my tone at soundcheck and then adjust tone at the amp during the gig if needed.

    PS. I still ocasionally take out the '61, but it is becomming increasingly hard to justify, which is why I modified a MIM. It is a fairly easy change to make and the parts are easy to get over evilbay.
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    AFAIK, this was an economic decision by Leo. Period. There weren't a lot of "endorsements" and gear hounds in those days. I think Leo just looked at the cheaper 3 knob configuration, and said "good enough." Blasquiz's book doesn't have much more information, but that was generally his conclusion as well.

    On the topic of difficulty of adjustment on stage for the stackers, I have never felt the least troubled with it. I actually SLIGHTLY prefer it to the 3 knobber, purely because it gives a little more control. No big deal, but they are nice. My 3c experience.
  7. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    I have a stack knob reissue. I actually prefer VVT because it is easier to roll the volume back on the neck pickup with my palm in the middle of a song. I find a single passive tone control perfectly fine for tone adjustments.
  8. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the stack knob setup is a bit darker sounding than your straight VVT. Anybody confirm that?
  9. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    That sounds familiar. I beleive Jaco switched out his control plate for the 3 knob version because he prefered the tone over the stacked knob. Now, I guess we can feel a little less silly about some of the crazy ideas we come up with in regards to minute changes in tone.
  10. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Yes, Jaco, prefered the three knobs.
    Also, I've heard, the three knob is slightly louder than stack-knob.
  11. the 1959 jazz bass prototype had the three knob configuration with 5 pole pickups similar in shape to the Jazzmaster.
    Look at "Fender: the sound heard round the world" and the Fender Bass by Klaus Blasquiz
    My guess is the stack knob with the 'tone presets' was done as the Jazz Bass was a companion to the jazzmaster which was the first Fender guitar with separate volume and tone for both pickups. So probably the stack knobs were to emulate this feature on a bass guitar. Leo was a tweaker and maybe decided the first 3 knob version was better or simpler or cheaper or easier as others have suggested.

    bassmanrocke I also have a 61 Jazz. does yours still have the month on the neck? Anyway, the stacked knobs on my 61 are slightly different and don't have the 'holes' under the tone knob for the preset feature like a 60. I will add a picture later today.

    BTW part ll
    the one thing you can do with the stack knob
    that you can't on the V/V/T is have full tone on one
    and rolled all the way off on the another.
    This mimics a wide open split p pickup very well.
  12. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I used to own a 09/60 Stack knob Jazz and I much preferred it to the 3 knob basses. It just plain sounded better to me.

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