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Senior Member
Username: crgaston

Post Number: 523
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 9:43 am:   Edit Post

Hi y'all,

I am wanting to have my DeArmond Starfire with the Dark Star single coils wired in stereo, and I am wondering if it's feasible to do with a passive bass and a selector switch. Right now it's got vol/tone for each pickup and a 3-way pickup selector. I'd like to add a master volume and a mono/stereo switch. My luthier is thinking this may cause grounding issues in some configurations, but has said he'll think about the process. Does anyone have a link to a schematic for this? Any other insight would be appreciated.


Advanced Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 378
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post

I don't think you'll have grounding issues, but what you'll lose is hum cancelling with both pickups on - if the pickups are a reverse-wound/reverse-polarity set like Jazz Bass pickups normally are, then they will only cancel hum when it's set up in mono out.

I can't point you to a schematic, but the philosophy of the wiring is simple. You need a dual ganged (two separate pots on the same shaft) volume pot as the master volume. The output of each pickup goes to each section of the master volume. The output (center wiper) of the master volume goes to two output jacks for stereo operation. Between the master volume and output jacks there's a stereo/mono switch which basically can divert one pickups output into the other jack. When you flip the switch one way, you'll get the two independent signals on each output jack; in the other position, one of the jacks will have the paralleled mono output (the other jack will still be the other pickup). If you want to flip the mono switch and have mono on both output or kill one of the outputs when in mono, you'll need a more complicated setup.

If you're really running independent output to different amps or amp channels, then you'll probably want individual volumes for each pickup. These individual volumes would come between the pickup and master volume pot. If you're using two amps, these indiv volumes would let you control the levels of the two amps from the bass.

This will all work with a passive bass, but you may get odd effects on the tone as you turn levels up and down. Active basses wouldn't have this problem.

David Fung
Intermediate Member
Username: bkbass

Post Number: 197
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 11:21 am:   Edit Post

Dave mentioned two separate output jacks. You can use a stereo 1/4" jack known as a tip/ring/sleeve (TRS). If you do so, you will need to make up a splitter box for stereo 1/4" (TRS)in split into two separate 1/4" mono jacks out.Or you could use a Fishman stereo Y cord. It's Belden cable which is a very decent cable. I think Carvin has a male (TRS)to two female mono 1/4" adapter. It's very possible to split the signal from a two pickup passive bass. I have several done up this way. As mentioned before you could introduce some noise.
Senior Member
Username: crgaston

Post Number: 524
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 11:24 am:   Edit Post

Thanks, David.

This helps a fair amount. I would rather be using a single stereo jack, but the two jack setup would get it done. Basically I'm wanting to run the Starfire the same as my Series using a channel of the F2-B for each pickup.

On the other hand, maybe I just need to get over myself and play ;)

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