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Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

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  • #16
    Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

    As a guitar player, I rarely use middle positions on my humbucker equipped guitars. However, when I play bass, I love the blend knob with a center detent. Dialing in a bit of J pickup to add clarity to a P pickup or vice versa to add a little more body is a great for me since the tones are so radically different. The center detent is great, because it gives me an extra reference point when adjusting the knob.

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    • #17
      Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

      A hum cancelling J pickup with the coils placed in parallel is incredibly thin and scooped sounding. It's probably not worth modding the pickup to get that function. I would argue that a simple bass cut ("demud" mod) with an internal trimpot to pre-set the intensity is a better way to thin out a J pickup with a switch.

      If you're doing series/parallel on a J bass, I would say that a master series/parallel switch is the way to go, rather than having each pickup switchable to series or parallel. You can usually get a J thin enough sounding without needing to put a hum cancelling pickup's coils in parallel with each other.

      The real slick J wiring is series pickups with independent volumes. It lets you dial in any series pickup combination that you want, from either one on, to both fully on in series, to any fraction of any pickup, all in series. Much better than stock J wiring (A.K.A. parallel with independent volumes) or a master series/parallel switch (which gives you series pickups, with a single volume control, in the series mode), IMO.
      Last edited by ItsaBass; 03-04-2020, 10:34 PM.
      Originally posted by LesStrat
      Yogi Berra was correct.
      Originally posted by JOLLY
      I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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      • #18
        Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

        It's the "wiring freak" in me that makes me think that way.

        I'll definitely try them out as they are before I "mess" with them. I probably will try the master ser/par switch though.

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        • #19
          Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

          If you find that you don't really like any of the typical parallel blends on a J bass, do consider the wiring that gives you full-time series with independent volumes. It lets you blend the characteristics of the two pickups, without losing output and midrange, as you do on a stock J bass.

          All that being said, I play my Js on the neck pickup alone 95 percent of the time. Wimpiness problem solved, without having to modify a thing.
          Originally posted by LesStrat
          Yogi Berra was correct.
          Originally posted by JOLLY
          I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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          • #20
            Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

            I just realized, we're having almost the same discussion in two different threads. Probably my fault. But anyway, I'm probably not being fair to my J. I simply unplugged the P, with QP's, and plugged in the J. Of course it would be a different volume. But I was plinking on it using the EHX Battalion, and all output and EQ issues are gone. (Duh, of course.) Playing through the Battalion, I may not even change the preamp in this thing after all.

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            • #21
              Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

              Originally posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
              Cool, looking forward to hearing your opinions of those.

              Funny you mention the inside switch. I'm thinking of doing the same with a mini-switch I have around here to put my Warwick's neck pickup in parallel.
              Just got your QP and strings. We forgot to check our mailbox yesterday. They sat there all night. Thanks man. I'll probably plug this QP in this morning.

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              • #22
                Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                Nice. Hope you like the half-rounds more than I did
                "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                • #23
                  Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                  Blend pots are fairly new inventions, but as others have pointed out Jazz basses allow you to mix the two pickups, but thereís no master volume, not that I ever turn the volume down on my bass. Unless Iím muting it.

                  Les Pauls use a different wiring, whereas turning one volume all the way off mutes both pickups. Jazz basses and Ricks have independent volumes.

                  But if you think about the way Gibson set it up, you have a preset rhythm and lead tone at the flick of a switch. And all these instruments were designed like 50 years ago.

                  I put a blend control on one of my two humbucker guitars instead of a switch. It wasnít as useful as on a bass. The blend options between the two pickups was meh, and I ended up putting the switch back in.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  • #24
                    Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                    I'm not sure if it's even correct to call my Toby a "jazz" bass per se. I call it that because it has "jazz" pickups. Other than that, it looks nothing like a Fender Jazz bass. It has passive pickups, that go into an active preamp, that has master vol / blend / treble / bass. The funny thing is, it sounds best with the volume dimed, and the other three all in their center detent. Maybe because I'm such a novice bass player.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                      Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                      I'm not sure if it's even correct to call my Toby a "jazz" bass per se. I call it that because it has "jazz" pickups. Other than that, it looks nothing like a Fender Jazz bass. It has passive pickups, that go into an active preamp, that has master vol / blend / treble / bass. The funny thing is, it sounds best with the volume dimed, and the other three all in their center detent. Maybe because I'm such a novice bass player.
                      Center detent is my base bass tone. That still leaves room in either direction for tonal adjustments to fit the song.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                        Originally posted by chadd View Post
                        . . . base bass tone.
                        Can I steal that?

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                        • #27
                          Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                          Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                          I'm not sure I've ever seen a 2-pup bass with a 3-way. And you don't see a guitar with a blend very often. (If ever.) I wonder why they're done that way. Would it be weird to do a 3-way on a bass?
                          Any kind of resistance as load lowers the amplitude of the resonance peak in passive pickups. For guitars that is very undesirable since they become lifeless very quickly. For bass this is often either acceptable, desired, or an acceptable price to pay for mixing the two pickups to position the bottom of the bass correctly (aka the price for being able to blend).

                          ETA: to clarify, there is some load on the guitar pickups, too, via the vol pot even when full open. But that is only a fraction of the suppression that blend pots would have if you actually use them.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                            Yeah, and to make it worse, my Toby bass uses passive pups that connect to a dual 25k blend pot right on the input. (Green and red dots.) That means they both see 12.5k. That's got to be sucking the life out of those pups. I'm going to swap in a 250k/250k and see what impact it has.

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                            P.S. If a company is going to go to the trouble of putting in an active preamp, why the heck wouldn't you provide an input buffer on both pups. It's literally a small handful of inexpensive components.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                              That is an interesting choice of pot values and positions

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                              • #30
                                Re: Why do you suppose bass's use "blends", while guitars use switches?

                                Originally posted by uOpt View Post
                                That is an interesting choice of pot values and positions
                                Yeah. I'm going to change that "blend pot" value. I'm even thinking of doing the EMG ABC pot. (Active Blend Control.) It looks like a cool product, but kinda expensive for what it is.

                                And . . . we have Apollos in da house.

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