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Old 06-12-2011, 07:02 AM   #1
solderjunkie
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Wiring options and opinions

I'm on the road to making my Mutt bass a total badass. I strayed away from switches and controls for a while, but now I want a really versatile toy. I don't do pedals or preamps, so wacky basses are all I've got.

If you didn't see the thread, the Mutt (Scorched Earth was just the finish) bass is a maple Jazz body getting two dual-Jazz humbuckers. The neck pickup's south coil will be in approximate Jazz position, the north will be closer to the neck. The bridge pickup's north coil will be in Jazz position, with the south closer to the bridge (the 70's Jazz position).

With two dual-Jazz humbuckers and a few wee switches (two on/on/on, and one on/on), it seems I can get a metric shit-tonne of "approximate" tones. With enough diddling on the EQ, I might even fool you in a double-blind. This is my thought:

Both buckers on-full: Thunderbird

Neck bucker in series: Precision

Both buckers split to singles, south coil of neck and north coil of bridge: Jazz

Neck bucker in series, bridge split to single: PJ

Bridge bucker in parallel: Stingray

Both split to singles, north coil of neck and south coil of bridge: Rickenbacker (the maple body won't hurt either)

Opinions?
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #2
allan
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I put a pair of five-way switches on my SR406. More tonal combinations than I can count.

You'd have to tweak it a little bit and add a blend pot with a single volume control but that's pretty easy. I made a no-load tone pot with a drop of clear fingernail polish. With both switches in "series out of phase" the pickups cancel each other out but that's still about 24 tonal combinations.



Mine looks like this - I left the wires long on purpose so I could remove any component without disturbing the others.



And a pic from the front - unless you were pretty hip to an SR406 layout you'd think it was a stock bass. The preamp I ripped out is laying next to the coffee cup at the top of the pic -



It's got KA soapbars and at DR's recommendation a Graphtech nut. The bass works great.
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Last edited by allan; 06-12-2011 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:42 AM   #3
solderjunkie
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Do you find yourself actually using the combinations?

That's my concern, I usually just find one tone I like and run with it. I'm still torn between the switching options or just running two stack-knobs on a '61 'plate.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:04 AM   #4
allan
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solderjunkie said... View Post
Do you find yourself actually using the combinations?

That's my concern, I usually just find one tone I like and run with it. I'm still torn between the switching options or just running two stack-knobs on a '61 'plate.
Not really - there are three or four that I actually use but if you wanted to build something that'd sound like just about anything this might be the way to go

I'm a big fan of passive basses (unlimited headroom) and single-coil tone. I find that using the outside coils generally gives me what I want for jazz or blues but for rock the inside coils seem to work a little better.

It'll also do a pretty fair imitation of a 55-94 but since a real 55-94 uses a humbucker in the neck position I get a little bit of hum but it's not bad as the bass is shielded pretty well. I usually run with the tone control out of the circuit as I think most of the tone is in the wire, the wood and your hands anyway
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:10 AM   #5
solderjunkie
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I think most of the tone is in the wire, the wood and your hands anyway
I get that. Totally.

I've had bassists (good ones) come to me after our set asking what pickup and preamp are in my Vanilla P... it's a Fender pickup, and passive. It blows their mind. It just has the perfect combination of parts for the tone I want.

I'll be buried/cremated/abandoned in a dumpster/whatever with that bass
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:33 PM   #6
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Ive got 3 of those 5 way switches on this thing



Nice to see someone else uses them
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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I did a project on one of my Jazz basses a few years ago.
  • DiMarzio Ultra Jazz PUPS (each PUP is split coil)
  • Two on/on/on toggle switches
  • One DP 6-position rotary switch
  • One Volume knob
  • One Tone knob

I put the volume, tone, and rotary switch in the stock holes already drilled. So I had to drill 2 holes for the toggle switches.

Now let me see if I remember this correctly, because I sold the bass.

The 6-position rotary switch switched between:
  1. Neck PUP
  2. Bridge PUP
  3. Neck + Bridge (parallel in phase)
  4. Neck + Bridge (parallel out of phase)
  5. Neck + Bridge (series in phase)
  6. Neck + Bridge (series out of phase)

Each toggle switch controlled one of the PUPs:
  • Neck PUP switch: Upper Coil/Both Coils/Lower Coil
  • Bridge PUP switch: Upper Coil/Both Coils/Lower Coil

That was a pretty sweet deal. There were some settings I never touched. And the one thing I couldn't do was blend the PUPs. But with the amount of different tones I could pull out of that one passive bass, I never even noticed.
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