Post Number: 262
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 12:52 pm: |
I have seen some comments about the tonal flexibility of dual volume controls vs. a volume/pan setup. There has also been discussion about how the master volume helps to further improve your tonal freedom when you're using the dual volume setup. There's something here that doesn't quite make sense to me in a physics sense, and maybe it's more art than science. In any case, follow my stream of consciousness if you dare...
With Signature electronics, how does the pan control work? Is the center position full power from both pickups, or something less than that? Wouldn't you have just as much tone shaping ability with that set up as you would with separate pickup volumes? Is there a tonal difference between setting individual volumes at 60%neck/30% bridge and setting them at 100% neck/50% bridge, or just a difference in volume that then creates the need for a master volume? Can't you create any ratio you want with the pan pot as easily as with the separate volume controls?
If I am missing something, then can you tell me how the master volume works, or, I suppose, how you use it?
Would you set it around half with both pickup volumes maxed out and work from there? Obviously, if you start with all three volumes maxed, you won't be able to maintain constant volume as you adjust the individual pickups. On a non-Alembic bass, one would normally set the pickup volume to be about maxed for the best signal, right? Is this not important with the Alembic electronics package? Also, is the master volume a cut only, boost only, or cut/boost control? I am wondering if it is really transparent to the tone and noise of the signal.
Post Number: 322
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 1:47 pm: |
Let me start by saying that I'm not an electronics expert. But ...
As far as I understand, unless you're working with line-level source signals, a volume control is always boost-only. (And of course we're not talking passive electronics.)
Also, summing the signals after two volume pots produces a bigger voltage than when the signals are summed on a pan pot and then go through a (master) volume. So the end signal in a circuit with a pan pot would be 'weaker'.
There were even some comments on these boards about dips in volume when the pan pot is moved away from the center postition - not sure if that is more a question of setting the internal level pots correctly.
(Message edited by adriaan on September 15, 2004)
Post Number: 1578
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 2:01 pm: |
I don't know nothing about physics but I KNOW that there is a difference between "adding" (anniversary/Series) and "Dividing" (using a pan). As I said -I guess some 1300 posts ago (jeeeeeez I am running again to a frontier - I am feeling old HA!)- the difference between "AND" and "OR".
I hear it ...that's all.
I believe Les Pauls were "AND". Early Strats were "OR" and before they "ivented" the 5 position switch (so 3 position) I heard a LOT of stories about thos early Start players looking for that "ideal" position that EXACTLY took 2 PU's at the same time ( so "AND" again).
That Master volume thing is indeed something to keep in mind. When I THINK OF IT WHEN SETTING UP ...I indeed open Bonnie's mastervolume 3/4, NOT full.
To put PU's to the max??? Yes ...playing on Broomstick (the Squier Jazzz bass I have) I have to play full. Although ...I prefer than the bridge PU always a little more present.
Why??? I dunno. I love a bridge PU with a neck PU "aestetically added on".
Augh ....I better stop!
Paul the bad one
Post Number: 91
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 2:15 pm: |
Here's my 2 pennys worth:
I had both a MK and a Series II in my possesion for about a week or two. The bass were almost identical (wood selection) except for electronics and scale lenght. (and body style, but that should not matter)
Huge difference in volume. I don't know if the on board preamp settings had something to do with it (possible varible), but the Series II was much louder and had greater presence.
On the Series II, I tend to keep the master volume just below max. I ussually give the neck pick-up more volume then the bridge pick-up. AND THAT'S JUST FOR THE VOLUME.
With the MK, I always had the volume maxed out. I ussually favored the neck pick-up a tad. Volume seemed louder when the pan was set in the middle as I think it should. I never messed with the on board preamp settings so I don't have any comments on that.
Post Number: 266
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 2:16 pm: |
Okay, think about it this way.
Let's take dual volume pots. Let's set them up so that at 1/2 way up, there's a detente at which max volume is reached and nothing at all happens during the second half of the range. Now, let's reverse the direction of one of these pots so that it is at zero when fully clockwise going to 100% at the center and remaining there to full counterclockwise. Now, make these pots concentric and glue the posts together so that they move in unison.
Wouldn't this represent the 'add' scenario in a control that works like a pan pot? Does this exist, or is it impossible to create because of the nature of the pot? Is it too late to grab a patent on this idea?
Post Number: 111
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 8:54 pm: |
I am not sure what you are looking for but I don't see how a pan is anywhere close to separate volume controls. If you want to dial in a certain tone based on different volumes of each pickup you could not do it with a pan/blend. You basically have to settle for what tone you get as you adjust your blend control. The master lets you then control pickup settings without having to re-adjust each control unit and thus losing the tone you worked so hard to find. If you use the number ten as a variable, one of your pickups with the blend will always be at that setting however with separate volumes using the same variable you can set one pickup at eight and the other at five thus creating different tone variations. Or you can use any combination in-between which would not be available using the blend control. I hope I haven't just made a fool of myself trying to explain something technical because I am really not a technical guy! The great thing about an Alembic is that you can go for a very simple setup and still achieve wonderful tones = volume, blend, filter, or you can go crazy with a Series ll and spend days looking for your perfect tone. I hope I made sense to someone besides myself!
Post Number: 270
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 9:01 pm: |
You grasp the heart of the question. I guess I don't understand if there is a difference in tone between one pickup at 8 and the other at 5 versus one pickup at 10 and the other at 6.25. The ratio between the pickups is the same, so logically the only thing that should differ is the signal strength.
Post Number: 112
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 9:28 pm: |
Go away kid, your'e embarrassing me in public! On the real side I am a big tone freak thus my next bass will probably be ready sometime in the next millineum but I am sure I will spend hours of wasted time just to achieve the same tone I can get out of my Essence when it is all done! I do get your points though just don't agree.
Post Number: 271
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 9:54 pm: |
bah, I don't know anything, I am just asking the question based on logic. Logic often splits from reality, and others suggest that there is a difference. If there really is, then I will go for flexibility. If there isn't, then I prefer simpler controls.
Post Number: 314
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 10:31 pm: |
Please continue, this is most interesting.
Without sufficient practical experience to know, my gut says that aside from the flexibility of being able to control the overall (master) volume, a properly implemented pan should not result in noticeably different tone variations, compared to a pair of individual volume controls adjusted in a corresponding way (at least within some reasonable range of overall volume levels, so that we don't have to contend with aural frequency sensitivity curves and other such variables).
But at the same time, I also feel like I might be missing something here, and so far the answers/explanations are not completley satisfying.
Post Number: 315
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 10:44 pm: |
Okay, I guess I really am curious, so let me see if I can come at this from a slightly different angle.
Suppose I had two identical Alembic basses, the only difference being that (A) had a master volume and two individual pickup volumes, but no pan, while (B) had a master volume and a pan.
Further assume that if I had (B), I was willing to walk over to the pre/amp and adjust the overall volume level as desired (instead of just doing it via the master volume on A).
Can I really get a different and more flexible range of tones from A?
At this particular moment in time, I have no reason to believe that would be possible.
Post Number: 316
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 11:15 pm: |
Sorry, I should just go to sleep, but I realize that rather than focusing the question, I managed to obscure things once again...
Forget about walking over to the amp. I have a master volume in both cases, and let's say I start out with it somewhere around the middle, so I have plenty of room to move (an old John Mayall tune, but "that's all way in the past").
If I change the pan setting on B, I don't have to do anything to the volume; if I change a pickup volume setting on A, then I will need to adjust the master volume to maintain the same overall level. Fine.
Having done so, does it sound any different?
Post Number: 1586
|Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 11:16 pm: |
"Brother Bob is at it again".
Paul the bad one
Post Number: 466
|Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 5:23 am: |
Coming from a seriesII perspective(electronically) i'm working w/3 vols,1 master the other pickup vols, i use primarily for "mixing & matching" tones <via>.and CVQ's either deepens the "color" of the tones depending on their settings & and i control the overall output w/the master, so whatever bass your working with,i'd suggest (if your curious) about it's flexability try some ear phones & or a quiet room turn every knob until you know exactly what it does(function),thats how i came to know old #12 & all of it's functions some25 yrs ago.
Post Number: 69
|Posted on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 10:18 am: |
Just my .02,I have two signature electronic packaged Spoilers.Each is wired with a blend control.Since these also have a stereo/mono switch custom(at the time)blend pots had to be made from clairostat for Ron to finish the basses.I also have one of my Orions wired with a signature package with separate volumes and by direct comparison I prefer the separate volumes over the blend.I feel like I have more control over the sound and to my ears it seems a bit more open.I also have a Rogue(Barry's Custom COCO Bolo Bass) with a full blown series II package and although that master volume comes in handy,I don't miss it at all on the other basses.In fact with my other Rogue(Barry's Dark Custom) with series II electronics I did away with the master volume and the pickup selector switch as I realize that I really don't use them all that much.I would suggest (if not going for series electronics)that two separate volumes might be a first choice.As far as the poor man's version of a Master volume,I would use and do use a Morley volume pedal.I actually use two of them when running in stereo with the signatures.
Post Number: 859
|Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 7:54 am: |
Bob; it seems to me that I recall Mica posting on this subject quite some time ago, though I could be mistaken. But it does seem that she, or someone, posted a reasoned explanation of the difference between separate volumes and a pan. But I don't remember the explanation.