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Tone control?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Tone control?
After playing the Gretsch DuoJet for a couple weeks, I've realized just how much I actually use my tone controls in my Strat. The DuoJet comes with a tone switch, but it doesn't get all my highs. I have a Dirty Boy Octo'59 which LOVES the dark tone cranked fully off from my strat to give a really great octave sound I like. However, the DuoJet, with it's lack of tone controls, doesn't quite get there w/o a tone control. So I've looked at EQ pedals, compressors, etc. Either they do way more than what I want, or they are more focused on gain and boosting than acting more like a normal tone knob on a guitar. Any suggestions on a good simple tone pedal or device to go between my guitar and any other pedals in the chain?

So far, the Diamond compressor is the closest thing to what I'm looking for. I wish the Keeley had more tone control, but damn the strat sounds good through it.
Pockets McCoy
Depending on how you feel about opening the guitar up and your willingness to DIY, it'd probably take less than an hour to turn the tone switch into a tone knob. If you don't mind drilling a hole, you could keep the switch AND install a pot so you'd have a tone control with a few ranges/flavors.

You could also put together a wicked simple tone-knob-in-a-box with buffers on the input and output if you don't want to tinker with the guitar itself.

Aside from the DIY route, you're probably going to have a tough time finding something that JUST acts as a tone control. The Diamond Compressor looks like a marvelous box for the job, though, if that's what you decide to go with.
It would be a nightmare taking out the tone switch and replacing it or even adding a tone knob. Things would have to get cut and drilled and rewired after figuring out what the tone switch does electrically. Thanks for the suggestion, and if this was the harmony rocket (got it free) I'd be all over adding a tone control. Gretsch is too nice and too new to mess with and nowhere near as easy as taking the face off a strat with all the electrics right there.

I thought about EQ pedals, but it seems like a lot of them are more like preamps with gain than a straight passive tone control. Oh well....maybe now I know why pro session guitarists have so many freaking guitars sometimes. Holding off on the Diamond compressor for now, I'll use my Strat if I want dark guitars...which is weird since it's also a lot brighter than the projet.

Thanks for the suggestion Pockets! I'm thinking about a little tone box in the meantime. Know of any passive (or active if that's the only way) circuit example of tone controls?
Pockets McCoy
Well, thankfully, tone control circuits (the ones found in guitars, at least) are deliciously simple, so all you need is a pot, a capacitor, and two jacks. It doesn't need any active components unless you want them in there, and the only reason you would is if you want to buffer the input, output, or both so there are no signal degradation due to cable length or impedance matching issues.

If you just want a passive box, though, look around for a wiring diagram of pretty much any guitar or bass with a tone control (there's this: and I also believe Seymour Duncan has some gargantuan repository of guitar wiring schematics), mainly just to figure out what value capacitor you want to use, and to get a general idea of what's to be connected to what, although they'll all be (relatively speaking) a lot more complex compared to just the tone control circuit.

Unfortunately, I can't find a schematic worth posting here, because everything is in the context of a whole guitar, so I'm having trouble coming up with a schematic of JUST the tone control. If you really want, I can draw you a picture and scan it tomorrow, but until then, maybe this will be of some help (hopefully):

Wire the two jacks together, signal to signal, ground to ground. Connect one of either jack's signal lug to the right-most lug of the pot, and connect the capacitor to the center lug of the pot and the ground lug of either jack.

Stick a knob on it, plug everything in, and listen to your guitar get all dark and murky-like as you twist into the lower-frequency-oriented night! nanners
I'll give the tone control a shot this weekend. I think I have everything I need too, just not sure if I have 1/4" jacks. I'm surprised how simple so many tone controls are. Hopefully I can make a simple Fender style tone knob, put it in a tiny tweed box...

I want it to sound muffled and pretty bad with low mids too...I found a tone with the dirty boy octo'59 that I can only get with the tone turned all the way down on the strat in the bridge position, sounds really crappy until I switch the pedal on, then it tracks the octaves and gives this nice gutteral octavia kicked in the nuts kinda sound. So, I'm just trying to get a similar sound out of the Gretsch.

I also found a couple pedals that may work, but still don't roll off the highs as much as I want. Catalinbread Varioboost, which is no longer made and I can't find any in the US. And a 2nd runner up, the Diamond EQ Boost EQ pedal. Close, but not quite there...I may go try out the Diamond EQ Boost tonight.
what about a filter pedal...isn't a filter a bunch of fixed eq's or something hmmm.....
loudone wrote:
what about a filter pedal...isn't a filter a bunch of fixed eq's or something hmmm.....

I thought about a filter, but that's a bit more than what I was looking for. If I ever really need to filter out frequencies for something I could always send it through the modular first and out reamp into the rest of my pedal chain, but so much hassle. Anyhow, I found a Varioboost, got me 80% of the way there. I had tried a Empress ParaEQ pedal, I couldn't seem to dial in the dull dark tone I wanted w/o hearing the filter resonance. Which is fine for an autowah or envelope follower, but it was more than I wanted too, cost and features.

Anyhow, the Gretsch gets pretty dark now with the Varioboost, but ultimately the darkest (and brightest) sound that works best with the octave pedal (which is why I was on a search for a dark sound) this was all for (Dirty Boy Octo '59) is just plain ol strat w/ the tone turned down on the neck pickup. But at least now I have tone control over the DuoJet. hmmm.....

Still gotta try to make a little darkerizer pedal box that sucks all the brightness out of a signal whenever I have some freetime and motivation.
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