Opinions please: 2vols/1tone or 2tones/1vol?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by George Jetson, Jul 24, 2006.


  1. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Hi,

    I am replacing the shoddy electronics in my Dillion Touring V. The pickups sound pretty good, so I'm not replacing them. It is set up now for 2 volume pots and a 1 master tone. I've noticed considerable bleeding: when one volume pot is completely off, I am still picking up signal from the other voulme pot. The volume is pretty erratic too, just one or two notches off "0" and it jumps like crazy.

    Anyway, what are the tonal advantages, if any, to keeping the 2vol/1tone set up versus a master volume set up? I understand the practical aspect of turing down the volume on the neck pickup to really cook the lead on the bridge, but what are your opinions about what you like best?

    Thanks.:D
     
  2. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    I really like having 2 volumes and a master tone. Once the tone control is set to be not too shrill, I like being able to tweak the sound by adding or subtracting one of the pickups. It just seems to work better for me than to be using tone controls.

    You must have bad pots and wiring. If one pickup is turned off, the whole setup turns off (in the middle position of a 3 way switch).
     
  3. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Yeah, the pots are definitely el-cheapo and I suspect the 3-way isn't so great either. I've got some additional parts coming in, I decided to replace the speed knobs with black/gold top hats and put an amber tip on the 3-way, just like the Gibby.

    Since I was rewiring anyway, I thought I'd entertain other ways to hook 'em up. I like the individual volume controls too, although I haven't experimented much with the mix in the middle position yet. I like the way it makes it very easy during gigs to switch from rhythm to lead gains when going into a decent OD pedal.

    I did read this article: http://www.ultimateguitargear.com/ken_fischer_chapter2_1.htm which indcates that there are two ways to wire the volume control, one way that cuts off the signal like you mentioned, the other way (like on a Jazz Bass) doesn't. :YinYang
     
  4. ES350

    ES350 Member

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    Yes, you can reverse the leads so that the signal in the mix position isn't shunted to ground. It is useful, but if you are used to the standard Gibson controls, it takes some getting used to.
     
  5. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    Here's an idea: Two volums and two tones. You can get concentric pots from StewMac.

    Another possibility is one vol, one tone, and use the third hole for a 5-way rotary pickup selector. You can then split coils, put in a piezo, etc, do all kinds of funky stuff.
     
  6. DiazDude

    DiazDude Member

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    Way more useful with 2 volumes. I constantly switch PU's for rhythm & leads. With 2 volumes you can "preset" the levels.:dude
     
  7. WahmBoomAh

    WahmBoomAh World Crass Guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    More on this topic please.... I requested this setup from Saul Koll ///2 vol , 1 master tone .

    I didn`t hear the colors I wanted .In fact , there was more of an ON/OFF quality to the various degrees of pup vol .
    On a Gibson ..I `d always use the shades of vol. on the 2 pups .. So , I though this would be cool for Koll.

    But ..2 possibilities

    1 . the lower output TV Jones filtertrons don`t balance out the same way

    2. Saul wired the pups to the switch first ( I think)) and then hit the pots ...
    Could this cause a variation ?.

    So ..I even posted this a while back ..what to do with the 3rd hole ?

    I `d go back to the 2 vol ,1 tone idea if these evidence that a new angle will make it work .
     
  8. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    The problem with the Jazz Bass type wiring is that the treble loss as you turn the volume down is much more dramatic and impossible to compensate fully with the bleed cap thing.

    I've tried a few of the many possible 2-vol. combinations and my favourite is what I currently have in my Warmoth LPcloner: one master volume and one separate volume for the neck pu, normal (non-Jazz Bass) wiring on both. I can pre-set the neck pu volume lower for neck rythm / bridge lead switching (as DiazDude mentioned), I can mix in some neck pu into the bridge pu which I like for a wider range of lead tones and I can play with the overall volume of any neck / bridge mix without having to tweak two knobs at the same time. The only thing I can't do is full neck pu plus some bridge pu, but I've never used that combination when it was available anyway.
     
  9. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Hey RJ,

    Great suggestions. I guess I should have also mentioned that I've got a couple of HH guitars that I did the monster switching thing with. On this particular axe, I'm just looking for more of a straight ahead old school controls thing. :cool:
     
  10. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Hey Carlos,

    So in this configuration, the bridge is always full tilt (relative to the mix) and your pup selection is: 1) 100% bridge (attenuated by master vol); 2) 100% bridge + "x"% mix from neck (both attenuated by master vol); and, 3) "x" % neck (further attenuated by master vol)? What does that do to the clarity of the neck pup? Now it has to go through two control pots instead of just one. Does the 100% / 100% setting sound the same as just an individual pot at 100%?

    So the advantage over 2 master vol/1 tone, is the ability to turn down the relative mix in the middle position and also to use the middle position for hybrid lead tones. That sounds pretty cool. Can you point me to a wiring diagram by any chance?

    Thanks.:drool
     
  11. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Bingo! :)

    No. All the pots are 500k, so the load is equivalent to a 250k volume pot and a 500k tone pot. It's a bit darker than the usual 500k/500k combo but it suits my neck pu just fine, it's a PRS Dragon I Bass which has plenty of treble (think SD Jazz territory). I don't know how bright is your neck pu but give it a try, the difference is subtle.

    I also have treble bleed caps in both pots so I don't lose any treble when I turn either volume down.

    I haven't seen any diagrams of this config, but it's very simple:

    - Leave the neck volume pot and the tone pot wired as they are now.

    - Remove the bridge pu hot wire from its vol pot, remove the wire from the pot to the switch and connect directly the pu hot wire to the switch.

    - The switch output wire should go currently to the tone pot and the output jack. Keep it connected to the tone pot but remove the connection to the output jack. Instead, connect it to the left lug (with the shaft pointing down and the lugs pointing at you) of what was the bridge vol pot and will become the master vol and connect the output jack to the middle lug of this pot.

    If you don't have treble bleed caps and want to add them, 150-180 pF caps work fine with humbuckers and 500k pots, just connect them between the left and middle lugs of each vol pot.

    If this isn't clear let me know and I'll draft a diagram for you.
     
  12. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Hey Carlos,

    Thanks, yes I think I can wing it from there, can I PM you if I run into trouble? :crazy

    I will be completely rewiring the rig, so I will transfer the unchanged connections just like they were and then make the mods you sugggested. I'll also order some treble bleed caps just in case.

    Now I'm starting to get that itch to swap out the pups at the same time too, since the V will be gutted. The OEMs in there are pretty tasty, don't know which Korean maker they came from. I have an extra Gibby '57 Classic laying around from my SG swap out and a Pearly Gates bridge that's not doing anything, mmmm....:angel^ :nono ^:Devil
     
  13. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Of course, and if you don't and it all goes smoothly, let us know how you like the mod. Good luck!
     
  14. George Jetson

    George Jetson Member

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    Hey Carlos,

    I just this weekend finished up the wiring mod. Over the course of the last few months I had the usual grounding gremlins and then tossed the entire harness that utilized good quality mini-pots (the kind for mounting on a pickguard) and the original plastic wiring in favor of an entire upgrade to full-size USA CTS pots. Unfortunately that did require a little control cavity routing, but I am okay with that and reasonably adept with a Dremel tool. It is a completely invisible mod until you remove the pickguard (no easy feat on my Flying V, which entails removing one of the bridge posts).

    What an improvement those USA CTS pots were, definitely worth the hassle of routing. I purged the grounding gremlins I had with the mini-pots and they can definitely take the heat needed to solder the braided shield from the pups. A USA Switchcraft toggle and jack and vintage-style cloth wiring round out the lineup.

    Bottom line, it sounds fan-freaking-tastic. As I mentioned, I was worried about the potential darkening of the pups because of that circuit. I did wind up replacing the pups too, even though the no-name Korean ones in Dillions sound pretty decent. I dropped in some High Orders in a 7.8k/8.2k combo that I picked up used from a fellow TGP'er and I put .001uF orange drops on for a treble bleed and no worries. Before I completed it, I talked to a buddy and he had tried this but had problems with one pickup shunting the other, but I had no such problems. I think the resistance difference in his pups must have been greater than my combo.

    Changing out the no-name Korean pups for the HO's was a big step, but like I said the original ones were not that bad to begin with. However, the new wiring scheme I think made an even bigger incremental improvement in the tone. The middle toggle position is now my home position and the bridge pup is where I "go to 11" for a nice searing lead tone. All positions are not dark at all, in fact I found myself dialing down the treble a bit with some of my mixes and also on the neck position. It really livened up the sound of the pups and I am even more pleased with the sound of those HOs in this axe.:AOK

    Thanks so much for your suggestion on the neck mix configuration scheme. It is much more useful than merely restoring the same master volume neck/master volume bridge/master tone setup. Once I got all of the right pieces into place, it was pretty easy and gave new sonic capabilities to one of my favorite gigging axes. If anyone else is interested in this, PM me and I can email you a pdf of the schematic. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues, I can't post it here.
    Carlos, thanks for your help by PM too, cheers :BEER
     

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