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New resistor for my SG Bass


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I took my baby doll in to switch her up to a 110 flats set and set-up, and told my repair man that the tone knob doesn't seem to do much of anything anymore. He said it wasn't the knob, but the resistor was probably dead.


He took out the stock resistor (a teeny-tiny powder blue one), and put in a new resistor that was black and cylindrical. I forget what it was called, but he said it was something like a wax paper or oil paper resistor or something. It is what cats back in the '60's used to mod theirs with.


Well, I plugged in, and the tone sweep is awesome now. Problem solved. I'll have to ask him what it is for sure when I see him and I'll post a pic later. I just love my repair guy. He always does great work for nice prices.


Can't wait to get her back this week after the set up.


Here is the "before" resistor:





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You can do some real tone shaping on your instrument just by doing something as simple as changing the cap value.

They are cheap, easily available and can be swapped out fairly easily by someone that's a relative novice with a soldering iron.


Between pot and cap values alone an enormous tonal variety can be had without doing anything drastic (like changing out pickups).


Here's some basic info:





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  • 2 weeks later...

The .05 is in and it has really opened the tone up! The bass can breathe now.


With the stock cap and the newer .76 I had tried, the bass was still sounding muffled and muddy. Much more presence with the .05 now.


I am also happy that it didn't take away from the warm tone at all. Still has the big warm tone with lots of body, but with more clear, bright, and defined attack now.


Its like having your ears plugged for days, and then, "pop", they suddenly cleared again and now you can hear everything bright and clear.

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I really have always loved the looks of SG guitars and basses. That is why I want to keep this bass, and just get it to the tone of my liking. Not to mention the fact that it is effortless to play. I love the shortscale, and will always get shorties from now on.


Tonight I cut the capacitor, and she's playing wide open now. Pups are wide open now.

Next comes newer pots to brighten her up. Maybe 500 or 1M.

That's about all I will be able to do without getting medieval on it. I wouldn't do that.


Playing without a capacitor has her halfway there. I am happy that no bottom end or warmth is lost. Just more edge on the attack now. It is interesting to see the changes at each stage of capacitor replacement/removal.


I really love the look and playability of the SG. Just still need more presence now. Need more growl. Hopefully the pots will help.

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  • 2 weeks later...

250 CTS pots are in, didn't help much.


I guess 1MG is next, and a hipshot bridge after that.


After that, I don't know what I will do. I guess it just isn't the bass for me. Which is a shame, because I love the playability and looks of it. AArrrggghhh.

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I hate to admit it also. The Fender Precision is working the best for me with no hassles. Too many issues with the SG.


True Dat. My precisions have always been great for me. They sound so good, stay in tune like a rock, and are easy to intonate, and they have such great tone.


I love the SG looks and playability, but the sound is not great and it is next to impossible to tune/intonate the low E. I think I may have to do a hipshot bridge as a last ditch effort.


If that doesn't work, I don't know what to do.


I may look for a Guild Starfire bass for shortscale, and hopefully great tone too.

I just really love that 30.5" scale.

If I was rich, I would get a 30.5" Fender Custom Shop '62 Precision Reissue built.



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Guild Starfire is my next shortscale to check out. I know of a guy who has one. Hopefully I will get to check it out soon.


I am really only looking for shorties now. I already have 2 longscales.


I am getting the 1Meg pots put in tomorrow. It isn't costing much as my tech is very inexpensive.

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fwiw, and I mean no disrespect, the SG will never sound like a P bass. I think you can get a decent tone from an SG, but it won't get into Fender P territory, if that's the sound you're hoping for. not even the Ripper, which is considered to be the most Fender-ish Gibson bass, pulls it off. the only Gibson bass that gets close is the LP Triumph, imo. to me, the Gibson sound is it's own thing and works quite well as long as you're not expecting it to sound like a Fender. just my opinion, no offense intended!

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Not at all. Thanks for the info on the other Gibson basses. If I see one of the others, I would like to give them a try too, just out of curiosity.


I am just used to the clarity of a Pbass, having played only P's for years.


So I am hoping to get some more clarity out of the SG. I hope it can be done.


The SG definitely has its own nice sound, I just need more edge on it for my taste.


I do wish Fender would put out a bass that played as easily as the SG bass. I love the short scale!

If Fender put out a set neck, shortscale Pbass, that would be great! I guess I am dreaming now, Ha ha.

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You may want to try out a Les Paul Triumph sometime, it's my main squeeze & I have quite a few EB's. You can get a huge array of tones out of it, it plays like butter, it even has a separate bass & treble control. The main drawback is the weight, some are heavier than others due to the variation of the weight of Honduras Mohogany. I also believe that they are still under valued for the most part. For a short scale bass, it has the best tone.......... [thumbup]



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I agree with the author of this thread. Changing your tone cap is a super cheap and easy way to tweak your sound.


I took the wimpy little blue tic tac out of my sg bass (laying on the right) and replaced it with this much manlier green chicklet:

post-34803-086218200 1320214084_thumb.jpg


Switching it out was real quick and easy, and now my tone knob is a lot nicer to my ears.


I tried to read the writing on the tiny tic tac, but it was very hard to see. I _think_ it's an 0.022uf, which seems a bit small for a bass.


I tried a bunch of different sized green chicklets before I soldered one in, forgot to try the big 0.1uf though. The standard 0.047uf was a big improvement, but I decided the 0.068uf had the smoothest tone for my setup & style. Brought the filter frequency right down to where I wanted it. Not bad for a $0.12 part.


.. herb


*edit* had to delete a photo because the message board would not let me upload another.

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1MEG pots are in... .05 cap...to no avail...pondering selling it. Though I hate to say goodbye to the shortscale... so comfy to play...


I agree, it has the comfiest neck ever, that's why I refuse to give up on mine.


The neck pickup is woofy and goofy, sometimes charming, but the bridge pickup is tinny and quiet. It's almost useless for me. Blending it up past 8 destroys my output, probably because it is mismatched. Alone, it sounds wimpy and dumb, even when jacked up close to the strings.


Here's some data that reflects my opinion of the bridge pickup.


Connecting the ohm meter to a guitar cable and plugging it in, and tweaking the volumes @ max tone, I get:


NV BV 200k ohm

10 10 03.7 -- both * very low compared to 'mostly neck'

10 8 08.0 -- mostly neck

10 0 09.0 -- just neck

0 10 05.9 -- just bridge


You'd figure more output (indicated by resistance) on the bridge than the neck would be a good idea, as the strings are producing less energy there. At least, that's the convention. But not on this bass... I think the bridge PU was just put there because it had a chrome cover and looked cool. I'll either disconnect or replace it in the near future.


The other big tone factor on the thing is the pickup position. We all know they're in silly spots. A decent pickup jammed between them would probably be a huge improvement, ala Mike Watt.


Anyway, good luck!

.. herb

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That is wierd. Both my pickups are just as powerful sounding. The bridge pickup on my SG is not tinny. It is beefy and loud. Bridge pickup will overpower the neck pup if I get it too close to the strings.


Maybe your bridge pup is bad and you need a warranty replacement for it.


My neck pup needed to be replaced under warranty as it was bad and not loud at all when I first got the bass. There was a break in the windings.

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