G&L PTB Controls

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by fitz, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. fitz

    fitz Member

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    These are real nice tone controls. I've used them on my Legacy since 1995. The circuit is pretty simple with the addition of a couple of caps on the tone pots which are different than standard Strat pots.

    For those who haven't used them, the volume control is a standard control. No difference there. The middle tone control is a pretty standard treble roll off control & the bottom tone control is a bass rolloff. I like using the treble roll off to thin out the middle pickup or the bridge and middle together. The circuit is without a doubt more versatile than the standard Strat wiring. It makes me wonder why no other guitar maker I know of uses this type of circuit.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  2. cbm

    cbm Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree that this is a lovely thing to have in a guitar. I have a pair of G&Ls with this system. You have a typo in your description, though. You call both the tone controls "treble," when you mean to say the the bottom control is a bass rolloff.

    Reverend uses this circuit, or something like it. I'm sure there are others.
     
  3. fitz

    fitz Member

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    Thanks CBM, typo fixed to bass rolloff. Good eye. I wondered about the Reverend Bass Contour circuit myself. I never played a Reverend with the control, but it sounds like the bass rolloff in the PTB.
     
  4. cam.man67

    cam.man67 Member

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    Yup, same design. I've used the bass contour wiring in several guitars I've built...it works wonders in cleaning up muddy pickups.
     
  5. Cal Webway

    Cal Webway Member

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    I don't think you can do fast wah effects with this system tho
     
  6. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

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    I like the system too, early on I read a post where someone recommended starting with both tones on 5 and to go from there..seems to work well for me. I assume this circuit was Leo's idea?
     
  7. mikealpine

    mikealpine Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, Reverend guitars offer the bass roll-off, and to me, it can make humbuckers sound closer to single-coil, but not have that split-coil volume drop. Very nice feature.
     
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  8. SouthpawGuy

    SouthpawGuy Member

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    I find with the PTB system that it isn't really needed on G&Ls with lower output pickups. On a Legacy with alnico V pickups I usually leave everything on 10. On an S500 with MFDs it can help to roll off the bass and volume a bit, although again I usually leave all the controls on 10.

    On an older F100 with MFD humbuckers however I find that using the PTB controls is an absolute must, I roll off volume, treble and bass to about halfway and go from there.

    Gratuitous F100 photo, an '81 model with the same PTB controls as modern G&Ls, but with a split and phase switch.

    [​IMG]
    .
     
  9. fitz

    fitz Member

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    Hi Cal, you can for sure. The middle control (bass rolloff) is essentially a std tone control, so it's easy to grab that for wah effects
     
  10. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    Agreed. Regular single coils don't have enough low end content to benefit from the bass control. Comanche, Legacy Special, and humbucker pickups REALLY benefit from it though.
     
  11. fitz

    fitz Member

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    I see where you guys are coming from, but I don't exactly agree 100%. My Legacy has Duncan SSL-1's in them which are standard vintage single coils (6.5K). I tend to back my bass roll off to about 5 on positions 1/2 & 3/4 together to get rid of the "latex" when the pickups are blended. It makes them a bit brighter without thinning them out that much. I use it as well on the middle position a bit too. But I do see that humbuckers would benefit more with the bass roll off due to the inherent overall darkness due to the design of the HB pickup. Although I never used it with HB's, I could see that you could possibly get close to single coil territory by using the bass roll off.
     
  12. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I haven't found much use for the bass control on my mid-1990s G&L Legacy. The stock G&L pickups in mine seem to have pretty good clarity so rolling off the base doesn't seem that useful.
     
  13. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    LaXu, are your pickups stamped with 'G&L' logo? I have a '96 Legacy with no logo. Whatever they are, I like the sound from them.
     
  14. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    Heresy! The "latex" is the point of those positions!

    With the comb filtering going on in those positions, what actually happens frequency wise when you put a series resistor bypassed by a small cap (what your bass control is) in there is pretty complex.
     
  15. AdmiralB

    AdmiralB Silver Supporting Member

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    I mostly agree with that. All my "Strats" have a VTB setup, mainly because I have no use for individual tone controls and it gives me something to do with the hole in the guard.

    For every hour I play, the tone control is off of '10' for perhaps three minutes. On the guitars with a bass control, it's off of '10' for perhaps three seconds. Mainly set to '0', along with the treble, for the kind of 'wah' tone it gives. IOW, as an effect.
     
  16. fitz

    fitz Member

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    Yes RayBarbeeMusic, "latex" is good. But my Legacy's Duncan's middle pup is fatter than my AVRI middle pickup. Dropping the bass roll off helps me get to the AVRI tone that I prefer a bit more.
     
  17. hanknc

    hanknc Member

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    Fwiw I've been using a USA Legacy for years now. For me the amp is set very bright, on the guitar PTB is set with the treble off or barely on and the bass mid way. This allows me to adjust the treble up as needed although it rarely gets very much above 2 or 3.

    Recently, however, I replaced the pots and rewired it Strat style VTT except with the bridge pu on the second tone control and the middle pu wide open. This gives me more usable 2 and 4 positions on the switch. Remember my amp is set very bright and both the tones are barely on. I never used position 3 anyways.

    I like my Legacy a lot!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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