Today, we’re going to talk about the bass rolloff modification, which changes the way a standard tone control operates. Ordinarily, when you turn the tone control, you roll off the high-end frequencies, and the tone becomes warmer. With this modification, we are going to 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 has a tone that’s too warm.
Skill Level for the Bass Rolloff Modification
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
- Soldering iron
- .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 another guitar with two humbuckers.
Bass Rolloff Modification
To perform the bass rolloff modification and change the way your tone control behaves, you will need to modify it so that It looks like it does in Example 2. Remember to use the smaller .0022 capacitor.
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.
The bass rolloff modification is a fantastic project for beginners, to learn how to modify a guitar. It results in a usable and unique tone that beginners and advanced players can use. Over time, I’ve played many guitars that were very 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 has helped you learn something new, or helped you make a muddy guitar sound clearer, please share this bass rolloff modification on Facebook and Twitter.