- Installation instructions (please read first)
- JJ: Two single coils
- JP: One single coil and one split humbucker
- M: One humbucker
- MJ: One humbucker and one single coil
- MM: Two humbucker
- MP: One humbucker and one split humbucker
- PP: Two split humbucker
Mega switches for electric basses
So far, switches for the pickup selection have been built into electric basses relatively rarely. Many bass builders are not yet aware of the wide range of options offered by the various Megaswitch switches. This collection of circuits therefore offers a wide-ranging introduction. The tonal variety of the instruments is thus expanded, and the operation becomes clearer, which is particularly important in real stage operations.
There are two basic types to choose from: flat toggle switches and rotary switches. Which one to use in a specific case depends on the design of the respective instrument and is also a matter of personal taste. The electrical functions of both are identical.
Many basses with two pickups have two volume controls. This often turns out to be not very smart on stage: If you want to adjust the volume, you have to turn two buttons. The mixing ratio can change. It is much more practical to use only a single volume control and to combine several pickups with switches. The Megaswitches are predestined for this.
For the tone (treble) there is usually only one controller installed, rarely two. In this collection some circuits are shown with two. In cases where there is no space for it, the relevant circuit can easily be modified: The tone control is then simply connected in parallel to the volume control.
The values of potentiometers and tone capacitors are largely a matter of taste. 250 or 500 kOhm are common. With 500 kOhm you get an idea more heights than with 250 kOhm, but the difference is not gigantic. Usually 0.022 or 0.047 µF are common for tone capacitors, but others can also be used. Ultimately, the hearing test decides here.
The wire colors are different for each pickup manufacturer. Here “hot” wires are drawn in white and “cold” wires in black. The manufacturer's installation instructions must be observed, the wire colors must then be "translated" appropriately. The definition of the electrical polarity ("plus" and "minus") is explained in the guitar circuits.
The drawings here show all four-string basses for the sake of simplicity. Of course, they can also be used for five, six or more string basses.
Once you have understood the principle, you can use this as a basis to invent your own additional circuits. The imagination knows no limits.
This collection shows circuits for the seven most common pickups:
Installation instructions (please read first)
1) JJ: Two single coils
2) JP: One single coil and one split humbucker
3) M: One humbucker
4) MJ: One humbucker and one single coil
5) MM: Two humbucker
6) MP: One humbucker and one split humbucker
7) PP: Two split humbucker