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Bought a new bass last week


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Took it to band practice Tuesday. Everything worked. Doesn't sound like my usual Rics, but why would I expect it to? Humbuckers, a bit darker; lower resonance frequency on the pickups, no doubt. Little difference in sound between the two pickups, which I find interesting.

Next step: wire for series operation, and see how that sounds.

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Progress so far.
 
When I went to pull off the knobs, one of the shafts came out with the first one. Cheap Chinese pots. "That's okay," I said to myself, "I have some cheap plastic pots of my own!" Unfortunately, on mine, the bushing isn't long enough to get through the wood and thread the nut onto it.
 
The bushing on my cheap Chinese pots is too short; won't extend far enough to get the nut threaded onto it.
 
So I dug around and found one that will work. But the bushing diameter was too large, so I had to drill out the mounting hole a bit. Fortunately, I had the right drill bit on hand.
 
Did the wiring and... it doesn't work. Troubleshooting mode now, trying to figure out what, if anything, I did wrong.
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Ha! Success!

Turned out that the bridge volume control was bad. Replaced the cheap Chinese pot with a slightly less cheap Korean pot, and now everything works. Pickups are in series, with independent volume controls. Tone control is common to both. I'll play with it this afternoon, then take it to band practice tomorrow to put it through its paces.

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Worked well. With two buckers in series, the output was pretty high. Instant distortion on my home practice amp. Sounded pretty good at band practice. I was afraid that the low resonance would make it sound muddy, but it was fine. Definitely different. One thing about having the pickups in series is that turning down the volume on either pickup reduces the overall volume a bit. Doesn't completely kill the volume, as happens with Gibson wiring. 

I noticed a couple of things. One is the loss of highs when turning down the volume. I'll probably put in a treble bleed. The other is how quickly the volume went down. I've read that this is a characteristic of using audio taper pots for volume control. Never really made sense to me, as audio taper pots were invented for volume control, but there it is. Probably an impedance thing. So I'll want to try some linear taper pots and see how those work.

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