#1
Hello all,
I haven't posted here in a while, but last time I did you guys were very helpful. For this reason, I come to you with an issue I have been pondering.

My first instrument was an old agathis-bodied squier p-bass, and since I have acquired it, it has steadily been modified. I have stripped the finish and added a telecaster control plate to house a (currently defunct) three way switch. It is this switch which prompts my questions.

1: I definitely want the first position to be the pickup outputting unmodified, but the third setting I want some over-the-top distortion or fuzz setting. The volume and tone pots function normally, a circuit would just be added (with maybe a trim pot under the pickguard to adjust levels). I understand how the general layout would be wired, but I need some kind of circuit to do the grunt-work for the distortion and I do not know where to acquire such a contraption. Guitar Fetish's "Mod Boards" seem too large to fit in the crevice (although room could be made), and they do not have any bass-specific models. This leaves me worried that the bass's pickup output would not play well with the circuit. The EMG afterburner (the PA2 switch version) would be better sized, but I do not know if I could wire it in the way I initially wanted. Furthermore, the afterburner faces an issue similar to the mod-boards in that I do not know if it would play well with bass pickups.

2: Not as pressing issue as the first, but what should the second position on the three way switch do? I would like it to give a moderate EQ adjustment to provide the p-bass some sonic variety, but I am unsure how to do this, and I am open to other suggestions.

I apologize for the post length, I understand I am nearing the "tl;dr" threshhold. Many thanks in advance.
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
Last edited by kranoscorp at Mar 18, 2012,
#2
For the distortion, you could keep it really simple and have a clipping diode (or two or three) bleed to ground. It's 100% passive and your pickup has to be of reasonnable output and apparently you lost a little bit of volume. I havn't done this mod, but I'm considering do it to my (possibly agathis) pbass copy. It's the easiest, smallest, and cheapest way to get onboard overdrive/distortion.

Stewmac has the black ice, which is essentially a few diodes in an overpriced box.
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Components:_Black_Ice_overdrive.html
They say to put it on a volume pot, but theres no reason to not put it on a switch instead.
#3
I am trying to find information on diode clipping, but I am finding that information is hard to find. These are the two best sources I found.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Add-Diode-Clipping-Distortion-to-your-Guitar-Amp/step3/The-design/

http://www.muzique.com/news/diode-clipping-switch/

The first one is for an amplifier, and from what I can ascertain the second one is for guitar pedals. I am not too sure either work for bass guitar, and I am worried that my quarter-pounder pbass pickup may not have the output for diode clipping. I can change the pickup into something else if needed, but I am not too sure.

Can either of these wiring diagrams translate to my bass?

If not, can you show my a diagram or recommend me some diodes that would work with my bass?

Will I need to swap pickups?
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
#4
Your pickup puts out roughly 12k, which should be plenty to drive a passive diode clipping circuit. Also, I've seen people use the black ice overdrive on bass with pretty good results for a really dirty tone.

This talks a bit about how diode clipping works. Maybe read the 2nd paragraph and the part about diode configurations. http://diy-fever.com/misc/flexi-clip/

They recommend using either SI 1N914 (same as 1N418), GE 1N34A (or 1N60) or combination of those two types of diodes since theyre used in a most pedal applications, but you can use any type of diode and experiment really, even an LED.

This is an instructable about making your own black ice overdrive thing. http://www.instructables.com/id/Passive-Guitar-Overdrive-Black-Ice/

What type of switch is the 3 way? a normal tele one? I could draw you a schematic
#5
I can tell you that the ONLY thing an EMG Afterburner does it make it louder. It doesn't add distortion unless you're already pushing your amp. It can stay clean on an amp with a lot of headroom easily. But it could be wired how you want it.
#6
Quote by &baconstrips
What type of switch is the 3 way? a normal tele one? I could draw you a schematic

That would be incredibly helpful! It is a normal 3-way, it even has the tele style plate on it (I am halfway through routing out the cavity for it). Control setup is typical volume-tone. What I am thinking now is that the instructable gave the good idea of switch position one being clean, but 2 having 2 diodes, and 3 having 4 diodes. I would really appreciate the diagram if you could make it.
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
Last edited by kranoscorp at Apr 10, 2012,
#7
Quote by Wisthekiller
I can tell you that the ONLY thing an EMG Afterburner does it make it louder. It doesn't add distortion unless you're already pushing your amp. It can stay clean on an amp with a lot of headroom easily. But it could be wired how you want it.

Thank you, that definitely means that I won't go in that direction. All I use are solid state amps at the moment for bass, I cannot afford a quality tube amp.
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
#8
I got some SI 1N914's!
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
#9
I am definitely going to need a diagram to help me wire this switch, nothing on seymour-duncan seems to help. I know how to wire the tone, volume, and diodes, but the switch is really confusing me.
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke