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Single vs multiple volumes

skolacki

Inspired
How many of you guys prefer individual volumes for each pickup on a 2 pup guitar? Seems that the majority of new guitars are single volume. I have both and like the tones you can get from balancing the pickups in the mid position. Single volume guitars just can’t get those tones. My best guitar is a US PRS with 2 knobs. So I wired it for 2 volumes and have a pull tone set to where I’d normally be if I wanted to roll it off a bit. And then there’s my Strat. 3 pickups so the single volume is easier to deal with. With the bright pickups in it I find myself using the tone controls often. So now I’m thinking about putting my PRS back to stock. Just got off work so rambling a bit before I crash. Thought I’d get some opinions from the Fractal crowd.
 

Roland

Experienced
Nope. I understand why two volumes can be useful. Live I’m constantly riding the guitar volume, and getting two knobs balanced Is too much trouble.
 

jefferski

Fractal Fanatic
My first electric had 2 knobs, but all the rest are singles. Along with being able to fine-tune the middle position, what I like is that I can be playing one on 6-8 and have the other at 10 to use as a boost when I switch.

But overall, I've been using single knob guitars for decades.
 

skolacki

Inspired
Appreciate the feedback. Maybe I should have started the thread as ‘Do you use the tone control on your humbucker guitar’. Because when it was a humbucker guitar I just left the tone all the way up 90% of the time. I put Duncan P-rails in it and now it has P-90s and singles along with the buckers. So I’m wanting a tone control and don’t want to give up the extra volume. I’m actually considering putting a Les Paul style switch in it since it’s a single cut. Then I have a hole for the tone.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
I don't need separate volume or tone controls for each pickup. Now having two volume controls on the other hand seems useful. I'm not that keen on rolling down the volume to clean up my guitar, it's not a precise science. I'd rather have a switch that could select between max volume and low clean volume.
 

Budda

Fractal Fanatic
I don't need separate volume or tone controls for each pickup. Now having two volume controls on the other hand seems useful. I'm not that keen on rolling down the volume to clean up my guitar, it's not a precise science. I'd rather have a switch that could select between max volume and low clean volume.

On a previous PRS, i managed to consistently clean up without too much hassle. Obv this isnt for everyone, but I didnt expect the success I had with it.
 

Andy Eagle

Power User
In Les Paul wiring (the most common) the volumes don't really work independently when both pickups are on, you just get the one that is turned the most overriding the other.
 

skolacki

Inspired
In Les Paul wiring (the most common) the volumes don't really work independently when both pickups are on, you just get the one that is turned the most overriding the other.
That overide as you put it is where the magic is. It’s not like a switch. I usually drop the neck volume a bit in the middle position to kill the flub. With 1 volume I would be stuck with equal volumes on both pickups. In my experience the necks are usually too strong to make a good mix unless I’m playing cleanish.

So now I’m looking at a concentric pot for my guitar. Hate the look though. Then I have independent volumes with a master tone.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
I prefer having two volumes, having started on Gibsons that had them. Getting that Duane Allman sound almost requires being able to adjust the mix of the two pickups in various ways.

Plus, it's nice to set one of the pickups a lot hotter, so that a quick flick of the selector switch hits the input of a single-channel amp harder for leads.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
I grew up mostly on 2 pu 2 tone 2 volume. For 2 pickups, it's the way to go IMO.

With both pickups on, you can balance their volumes against each other, which I really like. You can also use them as presets for neck and bridge by themselves.

These days I'm mostly playing a strat though, which has a whole other set of control choice tradeoffs.

Short version, ^^^ what he said.
 

mr_fender

Axe-Master
Worked pretty well for EVH on Hot for Teacher. The clean parts are the neck pickup of his '58 Flying V rolled off and he switches to the bridge full up for the heavy parts.

I've never had much use for dual tone knobs, but dual volumes come in quite handy for quick dirty/clean switches like this. There's also the trick of rolling one of them all the way down and then your toggle switch becomes a kill switch for stutter effects.
 
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State of Epicicity

Experienced
I like two dual concentric knobs wired as if they were a Les Paul: one knob is volume (lower pot) / tone (upper pot) for the neck, and the other for the bridge. This also, for me, is nice because it allows me a different cap value for each tone pot. I did this with my Washburn Trevor Rabin when I installed Duncan Saturday Night Specials to it; it was a tone machine!
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
I like the Gretsch 3-volume setup, as far as stock wiring goes. One volume each per pickup to blend them, then a master volume and tone to round out the set.

I eventually swapped that out for a master volume, master tone, master bass cut, and an M/N blender pot, though. Being able to control the bottom is useful....
 

skolacki

Inspired
I like the Gretsch 3-volume setup, as far as stock wiring goes. One volume each per pickup to blend them, then a master volume and tone to round out the set.

I eventually swapped that out for a master volume, master tone, master bass cut, and an M/N blender pot, though. Being able to control the bottom is useful....
Bass cut like the one used in the Reverend guitars?
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
Bass cut like the one used in the Reverend guitars?
Dunno. Haven't looked at one of their schematics. I basically took the old Fender Jaguar bass cut switch circuit and replaced the switch with a pot. Recently got some lefty pots to make the taper smoother, which I need to roll through the guitars that I added bass cut controls to....
 

skolacki

Inspired
I have a PRS SE245 with P90’s. Just bought it. Pretty sweet guitar but not liking the neck pickup, too bassy and have to dial the volume down on it. Since it has 2 volumes and 2 tones I’ll probably make one a bass cut. Can always change it back. Since I’ve never tried it not sure if I should put the bass cut on the neck only or just have a master bass cut. I can’t see where I’d ever cut the bass on the bridge.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
I have a PRS SE245 with P90’s. Just bought it. Pretty sweet guitar but not liking the neck pickup, too bassy and have to dial the volume down on it. Since it has 2 volumes and 2 tones I’ll probably make one a bass cut. Can always change it back. Since I’ve never tried it not sure if I should put the bass cut on the neck only or just have a master bass cut. I can’t see where I’d ever cut the bass on the bridge.
Could put a pull pot for the neck tone to trim teh lowz. 3nF is the value used in the Jaguar circuit. You can parallel it with a 1M or so resistor to limit the cut and prevent pops....

You could also get a low-turns P90 to trim the bottom and add some sparkle....
 
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