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  • Best Bass Pots?

    Hi, I am taking a Mexi P Bass and replacing the pickups and pots. Does anyone know which pots I should buy? I want pots that have good physical resistance, you know - a nice creamy feel. Should I use 250k pots for the pbass pickups? I am looking for a classic pbasss sound. I just bought semour duncan 3/4 pounders as a replacement pickup. Many thanks in advance!
    www.michaelpearcemusic.com[/URL]

  • #2
    from what i know, you should use 500k pots for a pbass... technically a p pickup is a humbucker.... but CTS pots are pretty damn good.
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    • #3
      1/4 pounder is not a very traditional P sound (much hotter, less mids). I don't think the pots are going to make a huge difference one way or the other.
      The noise was good, but I thought they phoned in a lot of the funk.







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      • #4
        500k CTS pots and a .022 cap is working best in my Ps these days....



        - georgestrings

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        • #5
          I don't anything about pots/electronics really but why does the resistance matter for sound? What does it do?

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          • #6
            I don't anything about pots/electronics really but why does the resistance matter for sound? What does it do?


            Resistance between signal and ground acts as a volume knob - the higher the resistance, the more signal makes it to the target, the lower the resistance, the more signal is drained away to ground (and the lower the resulting volume). When the path to ground involves a filter (like a capacitor or inductor), then it acts as a tone knob - whatever frequencies the filter allows to pass through are cut or not depending on the potentiometer setting. So a pot with a filter cap is like a volume knob for just those frequencies affected by the cap - when pot resistance is set low, frequencies above the cap's "resonant" frequency (not the proper term, just using for this example) are drained away to ground and you get a bassier, "darker" signal; when pot resistance is set high, those frequencies are not drained away to ground and you get a brighter signal.

            In typical wiring, higher pot values retain more of the signal, it's that simple. When used as a typical tone knob, with a capacitor to ground, higher pot values result in more high frequency volume (a "brighter" signal) at the high end of the knob. This is why single coil pickups typically use 250K pots while humbuckers typically use 500k - single coil pickups are inherently brighter to begin with (no phase cancellation of higher frequencies like a humbucker has), and so aren't thought to "need" the extra brightness that the 500K pot offers for humbuckers.

            Personally, I'm inclined to use 500K for both types anyway, I don't see much point in intentional signal loss. I don't really see any downside to higher values. In fact, I'm considering doing mods to convert my pots on some basses to "no load" types, where, at one and of the travel, rather than having the rated resistance value (500K), it's an open circuit, or infinite resistance - that way, the "full open" settings are just like the pickups being wired straight to the jacks, with no path to ground at all.

            (This is all assuming a passive setup - the same principles apply for active setups, but the typical values are completely different.)
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            • #7
              I believe the P Bass, MIA, MIJ or MIM are 250K pots.
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              Actually, it depends on an individual's ability to handle pain and woe. From what I've seen from most of the posts on this forum, the namby-pamby, crybabysissybedwetting, lookatmeI'mspecial, mylifesuckspleasefeelmypain posts, I'd sterilize at least 80% of you people. Lug

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              • #8
                I believe the P Bass, MIA, MIJ or MIM are 250K pots.


                That's the normal setup for P and J pickups, both considered single coils (the P isn't really, it's a humbucker, but it doesn't have the same high frequency phase cancellation issues as other humbuckers because the 2 coils don't sense any of the same strings).

                I know of no downside to using 500K pots for single coil pickups, though.

                Just another matter of preference, nothing wrong with trying both and keeping whichever sounds better.
                ​"The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian Doctrine." Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by President John Adams, June 10, 1797
                "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God." Thomas Jefferson
                "The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma." Abraham Lincoln

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                • #9
                  Resistance between signal and ground acts as a volume knob - the higher the resistance, the more signal makes it to the target, the lower the resistance, the more signal is drained away to ground (and the lower the resulting volume). When the path to ground involves a filter (like a capacitor or inductor), then it acts as a tone knob - whatever frequencies the filter allows to pass through are cut or not depending on the potentiometer setting. So a pot with a filter cap is like a volume knob for just those frequencies affected by the cap - when pot resistance is set low, frequencies above the cap's "resonant" frequency (not the proper term, just using for this example) are drained away to ground and you get a bassier, "darker" signal; when pot resistance is set high, those frequencies are not drained away to ground and you get a brighter signal.

                  In typical wiring, higher pot values retain more of the signal, it's that simple. When used as a typical tone knob, with a capacitor to ground, higher pot values result in more high frequency volume (a "brighter" signal) at the high end of the knob. This is why single coil pickups typically use 250K pots while humbuckers typically use 500k - single coil pickups are inherently brighter to begin with (no phase cancellation of higher frequencies like a humbucker has), and so aren't thought to "need" the extra brightness that the 500K pot offers for humbuckers.

                  Personally, I'm inclined to use 500K for both types anyway, I don't see much point in intentional signal loss. I don't really see any downside to higher values. In fact, I'm considering doing mods to convert my pots on some basses to "no load" types, where, at one and of the travel, rather than having the rated resistance value (500K), it's an open circuit, or infinite resistance - that way, the "full open" settings are just like the pickups being wired straight to the jacks, with no path to ground at all.

                  (This is all assuming a passive setup - the same principles apply for active setups, but the typical values are completely different.)



                  Good post...



                  - georgestrings

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                  • #10
                    That's the normal setup for P and J pickups, both considered single coils (the P isn't really, it's a humbucker, but it doesn't have the same high frequency phase cancellation issues as other humbuckers because the 2 coils don't sense any of the same strings).

                    I know of no downside to using 500K pots for single coil pickups, though.

                    Just another matter of preference, nothing wrong with trying both and keeping whichever sounds better.




                    Agreed on all counts...



                    - georgestrings

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                    • #11
                      What would be appropriate replacement pups for a P bass, then?
                      www.michaelpearcemusic.com[/URL]

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                      • #12
                        Great post.

                        I was asking myself the same questions regarding my project bass.
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                        • #13
                          What would be appropriate replacement pups for a P bass, then?


                          The original values are likely to be 250K, so you could go with 250K or 500K to get a bit more volume and high end when volume and tone are maxed.

                          A good brand of pot is best - CTS is well regarded.
                          ​"The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian Doctrine." Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by President John Adams, June 10, 1797
                          "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God." Thomas Jefferson
                          "The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma." Abraham Lincoln

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                          • #14
                            Good posts bholder. I'd argue semantics with you and call a Pbass pickup a split single coil with reverse wound coils but it would simply be an argument of definitions and not one of substance. (Single coils having one coil per string and humbuckers having two coils sensing the same string. In return, you could easily make the argument that a single coil has a SINGLE COIL and therefore can't be split like a pbass is. Whatever. )

                            I personally like 250k CTS pots in pbasses, but if you have access to Bourne pots, they are my favorites.
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                            • #15
                              Ok, here's a question, is there someplace that specializes in pots and other electronic bits for basses and guitars and if so can we get a link please.

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