Bass Rolloff Modification

bass rolloff modification

Ever thought about adding a bass rolloff modification? This guide can help you. Ordinarily, when you turn the tone control, you roll off the high-end frequencies, and the tone becomes warmer. With this modification, we can reverse that, so when you turn the tone control, you roll off the low frequencies, and the tone will become brighter.

There’s not a lot of demand for this modification, but it can lead to some interesting effects, and if you don’t use the tone control often, you may find this mod useful — especially if you feel that your guitar tone is too warm.

Skill Level Required

This modification is simple to accomplish and is suitable for beginners. It only requires a few tools, and we are only changing the wires and components on the tone control. Most of your guitar wires will stay intact, and it’s not hard to put everything back if things get out of control.

Tools and Supplies

  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • .0022uf capacitor

 

Acquiring the .0022uf capacitor is arguably the hardest part of this modification because you will most likely need to purchase the capacitor online, and it’s easy to confuse with the much more common .022uf capacitor that is standard in many modern electric guitars. These capacitors do not need to be very expensive, and any value between .0011uf and .0033uf will work. We chose .0022uf as our recommended value because it’s midway between the two, and it’s a good starting point.

Standard Tone Control

In a standard tone control, a .022uf capacitor is between a lug on the tone control and Ground. It works because as you turn your tone control, you expose more of your signal to the capacitor. The capacitor allows high frequencies to flow through it and escape to Ground.

In Example 1, you see a standard tone control that might be found in a Gibson Les Paul or other double humbucker guitar.

Example 1


Bass Rolloff Modification

To create this modification, use Example 2 as a reference for the wiring. Remember to use the smaller .0022 capacitor.

Example 2


This modification works because when the tone is open, the signal can pass directly to Ground, unaffected by the capacitor. As you turn the tone control, more and more signal is forced through the capacitor and fed back to the main signal that leads to the output jack. The capacitor will remove bass frequencies based on its value, and as more signal passes through it, the remaining tone will have less and less bass content present in the signal.

Conclusion

The bass rolloff modification is a fantastic project for beginners to learn how to modify a guitar. It results in a unique tone that beginners and advanced players can use. Over time, I’ve played many guitars that were too muddy and would have significantly benefited from this mod.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading over this quick look at this simple modification. If it’s helped you learn something new or helped improve your sound, please feel free to share this on Facebook and Twitter. For more articles on guitar electronics, visit humbuckersoup.com.

Ed Malaker Our resident electronics wizard came by his skills honestly — first as an apprentice in his father’s repair shop, later as a working musician and (most recently) as a sound designer for film. His passion for guitar led him to Humbucker Soup, where he continues to decode the wonders of wiring and the vicissitudes of voltage. Ed has never taken his guitar to a shop — he already knows how to fix it.