ACTIVE TONE CIRCUITS
I have developed a system of "cartoon" schematics that illustrate how each system is wired. . . so that a working musician on the road can easily repair a loose wire or defective component. They need not understand dc electronics or how to interpret a traditional schematic. Each device is pictured in cartoon form and each wire in the circuit is very easy to locate and trace. Roadies love this!
Bartolini Pickups and Electronics
2133 Research Drive, # 16
Livermore, California 94550
A properly designed active system will enhance the sound developed by any guitar allowing the player micro control over tonality and the ability to boost the gain of the circuit from a knob on the guitar. Basically this means you can create whatever sound you want. Bass players especially love active systems. Bartolini manufactures several different preamps. Some allow boost/cut control over treble and bass independently, some allow independent control over treble, midrange and bass frequencies and all allow the builder to insert special filters to enhance or retard selected frequencies. The player can have "just the sound" they've been looking for.
Pictured above is the "cartoon" schematic of an active tone circuit found on a hot rod Telecaster® style hybrid I built in 1990. Look closely and you will see a selectable dual coil pickup in the neck position allowing you to choose parallel wired hum-cancelling mode, a single bass coil, or a series wired hum-canceler. A shielded, stacked, hum-cancelling single coil in the middle position, and in the bridge position, custom switching allows parallel wired hum-canceler, a single treble coil, or series wired humbucking mode. The pickup bank is funneled through a standard Strat® style 5 position switch selecting neck only, neck and middle, middle only, middle and bridge, and bridge only combinations. In positions two and four, a separate phase switch allows the middle pickup, when being played in combination with either of the other two pickups, to be either "in" or "out" of phase. The signal is then vectored through a preamp and master volume and tone controls. In this instance, the tone control acts as a standard control in zero through nine positions, and then when cranked full open to ten, the preamp boost mode is engaged. A single 9 VDC battery powers the circuit. The battery is switched via a stereo output jack.
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