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Electronics System

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Hey guys,

I'm working on the electronics for a new bass and it's turning out to be kinda complex. Was wondering if I could get some help coming up with a diagram.

I have a layout of the knobs and features I want to implement at:


First off, I want to have a master volume, cause I hate having to adjust two volume knobs for each pickup. The thing is, I would also like to be able to adjust to volume between the two pickups, so was wondering if I could have a varible knob that would contol that. I'd rather have a knob than a switch.

Also, I wanna do something a little different with my tone and eq. I'm going to have passive pickups, so keep that in mind. I'd like to be able to use a simple tone knob sometimes, a 3 band eq, and also be able to use the tone knob as a master tone for the three eq knobs. I'd like to put that on a 3 way switch as shown on the pic.

The other switch I have on the pic is for the battery. I want to have leds on the neck and also a built in tuner that uses leds on the top of the body. Never seen it before, but I thought it would be cool. On the diagram, I would need a line for audio and power going to the tuner. Also would like the power to the battery to turn off when I take out the 1\4 in out.

The last thing for the electronics would be a small amp for headphones(practicing and such). It would need an audio feed to it also. I was wanting to put that on a switch knob(not sure what it's called, but one of those knobs that click at the first to send power to it.)

I know it's alot of electronics, but thought each feature would be cool. If you guys think it's too much, or if you don't think something will work, just let me know.

I would really appreciate someone helping me out.

Thanks so much!


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It's a lot but it could be done by someone that cared enough. Seems like a lot of trouble to me personally :D. You'd probably just need to just buy an LED tuner and take it apart and mount it. For a real 3-band eq, you'd need an active preamp (which you can use with passive pickups). I think the "adjust volume knob between two pickups" thing you'd want would be a blend pot. This is a special kind of dual pot. It has a center detent at which both pickups are at 100% volume. To the left of the detent, one pickup fades to zero (over the whole sweep) while the other stays at 100%. To the right of the detent, it works the opposite way - the first pickup stays at 100% while the second fades to 0 (over the whole sweep). You can find schematics for headphone guitar amps around that are based on FETs or opamps. The Ruby amplifier is one.

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I kinda thought I'd get that response. Still deciding if I want to put all that in it.

The thing is that the way I'm setting it up, I could go to a strait volume and tone pot system.

Just thought it would be cool to have the extra features available:

I always lose my tuners and there are times an internal amp would be nice.

For regular playing, I could disable all of the rest so it wouldn't leave any electrical interferance.

Just kinda the lines I was thinking on...

Thanks jnewman,

helps alot. Wasn't sure if you could use an active preamp with passive pickups. Do you get any interference from it?


Edited by photoshopdesigngeek
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No, you don't get any interference... you wouldn't want to use an EMG preamp designed for active pickups, but you can use preamps with passive pickups. A volume pedal / eq pedal / clean boost pedal is usually pretty similar to what you might stick in a guitar.

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Yeah, I really tripped out when I saw that organ guitar thing. I've seen a whole lot of different ideas and concepts with guitars, but that was something new to me and it definately goes to you show you that your idea is something that you can do, if you really want to. I think it's all about what you want to do. Best of luck to you on your build.

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