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Bright bridge pickup

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by xjazzy, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    I have an 89-90 USA standard strat that came with the TBX control on the bridge pickup.
    I wanted a little more control over it so I loosed the TBX and made the tone control act for all pickups and the third knob is to blend the neck pickup.
    The problem now is that the bridge pickup sounds a lot brighter than it used to and, since the tone is global, I need to be constantly rolling on and off the tone control!
    I want to keep the tone control for all the pickups.
    What was really the TBX doing for the bridge pickup sound?
    How can I mimique that without the actual TBX knob there?
    Should I just ditch the blend and go for a dual tone knob set?
     
  2. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    I've been thinking of ditching the blend and go with this:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The tone shouldn't have really gotten brighter after the changes you made. If anything, it probably would've gotten darker, if the bridge originally had no tone control, and then you added a master tone control, it would subdue highs, even on '10' compared to having no tone control.
    Tone controls are passive and can only remove signal.
     
  4. metale

    metale Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Adding a baseplate to the bridge pickup is my advice.
     
  5. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Bridge pickup had a tone control. Not a regular one but the TBX.
    I believe it was doing something to the tone of that pickup even on the detent mark.
     
  6. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hmmm. That's interesting. On one hand, if you had a traditional Strat setup without a tone control for the bridge pickup, it would of course be bright. Coming from that reference point or place, even the simple ganging of tone control to a bridge pickup should darken it ever so slightly, relative to a Strat bridge pickup without a tone control, IF it was a traditional tone pot, and even if that tone pot was all the way up/open. On the other hand, if there is a no-load tone pot, then theoretically, you should get the "straight through" Strat bridge with the tone pot all the way open/up... and of course that would be a bright Strat bridge pickup.

    I'm not familiar with the TBX tone control, in the sense that I know how it works, but have not recently demoed or A/B-ed a TBX-equipped Strat against a non-TBX-equipped Strat to hear their respective tones. What MAY be happening is that via the relatively complicated or involved TBX circuitry, the tone of the unboosted Strat pickups was dulled, and you may have become used to that as the default Strat tone, or otherwise normally boosted the pickups in a way that by comparison now, the Strat pickups without the warming benefit of low end active boost now sound "too bright"???

    I have a traditional Strat with the mod to assign master tone for all pickups, and a blender mod like you have now. My experience is as I said above, regarding ganging the bridge with a tone control. And getting that neck pickup and bridge pickup combo is very useful for what I do, as well.

    Regarding question 1, see above for my thoughts.

    Question 2? I'm sure you can put resistors or other things in the circuit to darken the signal, but I'd really recommend leaving it alone and using the tone knob for it's intended use and flexibility it offers. But no, if what you're preferring is a direct result of the active boost of a TBX circuit to warm up the pickups, no, you cannot get that without the TBX circuit in place... although you may want to try seeing if you can emulate that sound with significant cutting and boosting of your amp's EQ knobs... but I think that is not going to ultimately be too successful.

    Question 3? No. Don't ditch the setup. I think you have a great, useful setup. I just think it may take some time getting used to, or perhaps think about some darker (or "warmer") pickups... after all, many people like to warm up their Strat. Usually the assigning the tone knob to the bridge pickup is the first step... and sometimes the last!
     
  7. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, I think it's exactly that.
    I'll ditch the blend. i love the in between sound of my tele but I use the strat for complete different thing so, I have no use to the blend and the tone is gonna be really helpfull for the bridge only.
    I'll let you guys know how it went.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  8. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    The way that I see the blend feature is that it adds a tremendous amount of flexibility at almost no sonic or functional detriment and is therefore very much worth keeping. It just seems to make the Strat more sonically flexible than it already is as a very flexible guitar. Just that blend mod being able to blend in a neck pickup to the bridge pickup serves as a bridge pick up warming feature by itself. But whatever works for you.
     
  9. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I tried using the neck pickup to do that but I find I much like what the tone control does to it so, I think I'll go that way.
     
  10. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Well, today I did a quick test run and I think I like how it works.
    I'll have to play it a few more times through the next days to see if it's what I really want for the strat.
    Thanks to all.
     
  11. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Today I played it a bit more.
    The individual tone controls really make this a lot better.
    I'll may add the middle pickup to the neck pickup tone too but for now it's good to go.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I have yours' twin. Well, Irish twin -- it's an '88.
     
  13. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Do you have pics?
    I only saw one and it was from the girl who played with Nicole Atkins.
     
  14. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Holic

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    The TBX basically works like a normal tone control between 0 and 5. Above 5 it starts cutting low frequencies, which can be percieved as a treble boost (it doesn't actually boost anything even if marketed that way, that would take an active circuit).
    At 5 it should sound like a standard tone control at 10.

    If your TBX has a resistor over one of the pots, which it usually has, it might dull the tone a bit. That could explain why it sounds brighter now.
     
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  15. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Actually on '5' the TBX is supposed to be no load, effectively as if there was no control at all. It would be like a standard tone control at '11' or '12' IMO.
    That's why I was surprised when the OP claimed the tone got brighter after removing the TBX control, as adding a standard tone control in place for a pot that is 'no load' should take some highs off. It's possible that the OP's TBX control was wired differently, or malfunctioning.
     
  16. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    For years I used the tone knob all the way up!
    Only a few years ago I noticed there was a different control there and I started cutting it more.
    Lately I've been used the guitar very little but I always felt the bridge pickup was hard to control in terms of brightness.
    After I removed the TBX I had to have the tone control on 3 or 5!
    I don't remember where I had the TBX in the latter years but I don't remember it being so bright.
    Yes, there's a resistor and a cap in the TBX and I think that changed the sound of the pickup.
     
  17. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It shouldn't effect the tone in the 'detent' position though. the TBX should be invisible to the electrical circuit in the detent position. The cap and resistor only affect tone when they are engaged. So it sounds like something was malfunctioning with your TBX control
     
  18. xjazzy

    xjazzy Friend of Leo's

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    Probably. I can't remember exactly but as I said, I don't remember it being so bright.
    Maybe someday I'll try to TBX again.
    For now it's working great like this.
     
  19. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Holic

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    The 82K resistor connects the two pots, and is always in the circuit as far as I understand. It's bound to have some effect on tone.
     
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  20. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Not the best pic. Here is is with original hangtag and receipt.

    Have put a mint green gaurd on since then and it looks great. Guard is the only thing not stock. The original had cracked from me sliding heavy picks under it. :/

    [​IMG]

    2016-09-08 18.40.59.jpg
     
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