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markdavid

After brightening up my tone, two volumes no tone or no load tone pot ?

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Hi

As per the title am after brightening up a 2 pickup passive bass, I looked at no load tone pots but it occurred to me that I never turn the tone control down anyway, it is permanently maxed and then a treble boost on the amp, would a 2 volume no tone setup be brighter than a 2 volume no load tone pot setup? Also how much brighter could I expect, bass is a P/J bass with Quarter pounder pickups , thanks

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Posted (edited)

A no-load tone pot when maxed will be exactly the same as a VV setup without a tone pot. Taking the tone pot out of circuit will be noticeably brighter. By how much is a bit hard to quantify. Instead of a VV setup you could have a single vol control and a three way switch (neck/both/bridge). That would be brighter still. Or you could dispense with pots altogether and just have a three-way pickup selector switch and an on/off kill-switch. That would be even brighter. Removing all of the pots might sound a bit brittle though. Depends what sort of sound you're after. Best way to find out is experiment with a few different wiring configs.

The Fender Mark Hoppus model just has a single vol control (no tone) so that might be a useful benchmark for sound.

 

Edited by ikay

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If the tone is always maxed changing the cap won't make any difference.

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Tone controls on passive instruments are a low pass filter, they work by cutting frequencies above a point defined by the tone knob; any passive circuit can only cut frequencies, not boost them. If you want to boost the top end then you’re going to need an external power source to create enough electrical energy to do that , so that’s an active system or outboard preamp.

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45 minutes ago, ikay said:

If the tone is always maxed changing the cap won't make any difference.

Um ... yes it will, a 0.022 cap or lower will give a lot more high end.

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Posted (edited)

Mmm, if that's the case then I stand corrected. My understanding is that the signal effectively bypasses the cap when the tone is maxed (wide open). The cap only really comes into play when you start turning the tone knob down. The cap then progressively bleeds high frequencies to ground. Not so?

Edited by ikay
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3 hours ago, ikay said:

 My understanding is that the signal effectively bypasses the cap when the tone is maxed (wide open). The cap only really comes into play when you start turning the tone knob down. The cap then progressively bleeds high frequencies to ground. Not so?

My understanding as well.

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Switching pots to from 250k assumed fitted to 500k ones makes a good difference. Especially if replacing all of them. The effect can be from very bright to overly brittle, depending on pickup(s). If so just turn the controls down. 

No load pots I've not experienced. However they sound like it would be way too brittle sounding with the bridge pickup. At least fitting one of those though is better than bypassing the tone control as least if ever you do want to alter the tone you can do. 

 

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If you don't use the tone and the treble is up on your amp then, unless you're using an old Hofner with 20 year old flats on it, I suggest you think about investing in a hearing aid rather than upgrading your bass :)

 

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42 minutes ago, gjones said:

If you don't use the tone and the treble is up on your amp then, unless you're using an old Hofner with 20 year old flats on it, I suggest you think about investing in a hearing aid rather than upgrading your bass :)

 

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Lol , its not that I cant hear the treble frequencies its that I like them and want even more of them, call it a stylistic choice

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Another question, if I do decide to remove the tone pot what is involved? is it just a matter of unsoldering the pot or is there more to it? Was going to get a tech to do it but with the Covid situation it may be a better idea as a home project, thanks

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Posted (edited)

It's a simple mod but can you post a pic of your existing wiring?

Edited by ikay

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45 minutes ago, ikay said:

It's a simple mod but can you post a pic of your existing wiring?

Thank you,I will do this when I get home from work tonight

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As mentioned above, apart from one discrepancy, it is my understanding also that when the tone pot is fully open you aren't creating any resistance in the capacitor (or very little), so removing it will have little significance on your tone in this specific case. Obviously changing the cap may effect very slightly what's going on (assuming an open tone pot still is having some effect), but not to any great extent.

I would suggest really either going for a pickup with more of a scooped sound, or more high end in itself, or doing something like dropping an East J Tone into your bass. This leaves your signal pretty much untouched, with a tone pot (plus capacitors you can swap out/match), but with the active circuit giving you bass/treble control. These can be boost only, or boost/cut. But would probably be the best way to guarantee more flexibility where you want it whilst working from what you already have. Changing pickups (similar cost) still leaves you open to the possibility of not actually liking what they sound like in your bass.

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Just had a quick look inside the bass and found something unexpected, tone pot is 500k whilst the volume pots are 250k , would changing the volume pots to 500k give me a brighter tone or is that just with tone pots ?

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Yes 500k vol pots would be brighter than 250k.

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On 19/03/2020 at 09:27, markdavid said:

Lol , its not that I cant hear the treble frequencies its that I like them and want even more of them, call it a stylistic choice

Sounds to me like you just need an active bass.

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Why not simply turn up the upper mids and treble on your amp?

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3 minutes ago, hooky_lowdown said:

The OP already said he does this! 🙈

Where? I've just re-read the thread and apart mentioning treble boost the OP doesn't say that the treble on the amp is maxed out so he could always turn it up some more. Besides he may find that the missing frequencies are actually in the upper mids than in the treble.

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4 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Where? I've just re-read the thread and apart mentioning treble boost the OP doesn't say that the treble on the amp is maxed out so he could always turn it up some more. Besides he may find that the missing frequencies are actually in the upper mids than in the treble.

"then a treble boost on the amp".

"its not that I cant hear the treble frequencies its that I like them and want even more of them"

 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, hooky_lowdown said:

"then a treble boost on the amp".

"its not that I cant hear the treble frequencies its that I like them and want even more of them"

To me that doesn't imply that the treble controls on the amp are actually on maximum. Besides as I said it might actually be upper mids rather than treble that the OP needs to achieve the sound he is after.

Back to the original problem. While removing the tone control completely from you bass guitar's electrics will have an effect, unless there was something wrong with them before, the difference is IME minimal. If you have already maxed out the treble everywhere else in the signal path then I would suggest that your choice of bass and/or amp & speakers is wrong for the sound that you are after.

Edited by BigRedX

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3 hours ago, ikay said:

Yes 500k vol pots would be brighter than 250k.

Awesome, I will get them swapped out to 500k pots

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On 18/03/2020 at 20:00, ikay said:

Mmm, if that's the case then I stand corrected. My understanding is that the signal effectively bypasses the cap when the tone is maxed (wide open). The cap only really comes into play when you start turning the tone knob down. The cap then progressively bleeds high frequencies to ground. Not so?

 

+1

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