Tone questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by dovedescending, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. dovedescending

    dovedescending Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    I understand that caps on tone controls bleed treble frequencies. What would I use to bleed off mids and/or bass frequencies? I found this , and I'd like a little more explanation.
  2. Hugo Da Rosa

    Hugo Da Rosa Silver Supporting Member

    May 13, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Never heard of this. But another way you can take off some of the bass and mids is to do the treble bleed mod to your volume pot. The way I did it (which is actually and ironically wrong) was that I only added the .001uF ceramic cap and didn't wire it with the resistor. If you do that, you retain all your treble but it's not balanced with the rest of the actually sounds more tin-can-esque. It sounds terrible when you roll down to about 5 or so on a strat...but if you were to roll down to a 7 or 8, you get significantly less bass so if that's what you are looking for, you can give this a shot. Sure looks a lot less complicated than this mod you have up here.
  3. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Middle Massachusetts
    That's not exactly true, caps block bass frequencies. A guitar's tone control works by bypassing the load for the treble frequencies so the pickup generates less to no output. In truth, there's nothing in the signal to be "bled".

    Now, some will say this is merely quibbling about semantics, but those people can't explain why, with a .022 cap, going from 2 on your tone control to 0 makes it louder. If the signal was really being "bled to ground", this wouldn't happen.

    A capacitor inline, that is, going to the output rather than ground, will roll off the bass. Check the diagrams for the bass control on a G&L S-500.

    As he says in the FAQ, an inductor is the opposite of a capacitor. If you use both on a tone control, then both the bass and treble will be blocked, and only the mids will be affected as you adjust the resistance. Does that help?

    It's amusing to see him state, "To boost mids you need active electronics", as he's selling a passive circuit, that using the proper values, will do exactly that. Guitars are active devices. They contain generators, and it don't get more active than that. ;)

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