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Switch vs. two volume pots in a bass?

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
Just a basic question. My old G&L SB-2 has a switch, volume and tone. Have most basses today gone in favor of two volumes, for blending? If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (what are they?), I'm tempted to wire it with two volumes and use positions 1 and 3 on the switch to employ a couple capacitors to cut some bass and more bass. Just feeling like soldering here ...
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,589
My old G&L SB-2 has a switch, volume and tone.
most SB-2s i've seen just had two volumes and no switch; is yours stock?

if you did want to re-wire for two volumes, i vote making the switch cut treble (like a regular tone pot), not bass; i have a hard time seeing where you'd ever really want a passive bass cut on a bass guitar.

the trade-off is that two volume blending with no switch means you have to wire it jazz bass style with the pickups on the center lugs of the pots; this results in a worse sweep and more tone loss when you turn down.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,062
IME dual volumes don't really offer much 'blend' capability. Starting from both full-up, as soon as you roll one just off '10', that pickup pretty much disappears. It's hard to tell in most bass setups because there's no way to A/B, but when you have both a switch and individual volumes (Ric basses, for example), you can test it easily.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,589
IME dual volumes don't really offer much 'blend' capability. Starting from both full-up, as soon as you roll one just off '10', that pickup pretty much disappears.
it's better if the volumes are linear taper, but yeah, even so there's little range between "two pickups", "one pickup sort of affected by the other one", and "one pickup".
 

StratoCraig

Member
Messages
3,215
I don't like having two volume knobs on a bass. I've modified my Jazz to have one volume knob and a four-way rotary pickup selector switch, with the four positions being (1) neck only, (2) neck and bridge in series, (3) neck and bridge in parallel, (4) bridge only. It looks like a stock Jazz, but behaves much better; the series option, in particular, is really cool. My Gibson SG bass is still stock, but I'm tempted to replace one of the volume knobs with a Varitone switch.
 

StratoCraig

Member
Messages
3,215
After Googling around a bit, it looks like Gibson changed the neck pickup in 2014, so I assume my 2011 still has a traditional SG Bass neck humbucker. It certainly has the classic SG Bass sound.

I also see that in 2015 Gibson finally switched to a Babicz full-contact bridge, replacing the horrendous old three-point bridge they've used since the late '60s. The one mod I've made to my SG Bass was to replace that awful bridge with a HipShot SuperTone.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,062
The neck pickup in the 'SG' basses is current Thunderbird pickup coils on a new baseplate with an aluminum bar in the center holding the fake pole screws.

I put a '60s original pickup in mine. They sound very different; the new one is no doubt a much more versatile pickup (and unlike the old style, it actually works with the bridge pickup). But I wanted a specific sound.

Mine came (I bought it used) with the Hipshot bridge, but I like the three-point just as well. My T-bird has it and it works fine.
 




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