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Fender's new S-1 switch


Aldena

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Hey everyone! I'm new this forum, been playing about 3 years. From what I've seen so far, I am going to be learning a lot from y'all. Has anybody seen/used the S-1 switch? I've got a J bass, and it would be cool to get that P sound every once in a while. :cool:
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According to Fender "With the new S-1 switching system, you can get great J Bass® and P Bass® tones from one instrument.With the S-1 switch engaged, it switches the pickups from parallel to series giving the bass a fatter, beefier, almost humbucking sound similar to a P Bass guitar".

 

It says that same thing about a P bass, except it will sound like a J. I wonder if it can be retrofit to a Deluxe?

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I just looked up the s-1 switch.

 

It made its debut at the summer NAMM show. The switch when in a Jazz bass switches from parallel to series and when in a Precision bass switches from series to parallel.

 

The idea is that you can get a P sound from a J or a J sound from a P with this switch.

 

This used to be a common modification on Jazz basses.

 

As to whether you will get a P sound from a J or vice versa, Yeah Right.

 

And if you push the talent switch you'll sound just like __________________(insert name here).

 

Since the product was just recently announced, it is unlikely that it has made to stores yet, so the odds of finding one of us who has tried it are low.

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Ever hear of Chuck Rainey's "placebo knob"? He got sick and tired of producers making him run through every sound he could get out of his trusty P-bass a dozen times, so as a joke, he installed a pot that wasn't hooked up to anything. Whenever a producer would start down that road with him, he'd pipe up and say something like, "Wait a minute, let me dial in a little of my active midrange triple notch filter," and twist the knob a little bit. Imagine his amusement when the producer would say, "That's it! Cut the track like that," and Rainey's sitting there thinking, "Dumbass." :thu: He said Bernard Purdie was in on it, and he'd nearly fall off the drum throne when it would happen, and he nearly gave it away a few times.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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Jode, that's a great Rainey story. I'm diggin' it.

 

I know that Bump and I have discussed the switch that Pino Palladino had installed on all his basses so that he could play nothing but all the really cool notes. This is somewhat akin to the "talent" switch that Jeremy mentioned above. I do believe Pino also has an "ultimate tone" switch installed next to the "all the cool notes that no one else is allowed to play" switch. :D

 

Jeremy, are you working on developing this "talent" switch in a simple stompbox format like Connie's level changer? Or do you still practice "long-term talent installation" via weekly 30 minute or 60 minute intervals on a one-on-one consulting basis? ;):D

 

Peace.

 

(Oh, and as far as that S-1 switch goes -- I'll have to hear it before passing judgment...)

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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An engineer friend of mine once said he was working on a patent for a piece of outboard gear called the "De-Suckifier." If your band is having a really bad night, the De-Suckifier attenuates the amount of "suck" in your sound. It just has one big knob on it, marked "Suck Threshold." Kinda like a feedback eliminator.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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I hope that Rainey story is true. It's too good to be false! Hilarious.

 

I've got series/parallel switching on my Jazz bass; this was a mod, using Ultra Jazz pickups through push/pull pots. It's pretty cool. But frankly, I wouldn't describe it as a P/J switch. I think I can do a pretty good job of getting the P sounds I want out of this bass, but I do this mainly by changing where & how I pluck the strings, rolling off the bridge pickup a bit, & some very mild EQ at the amp. However, I tend to use series all the time, both for tight, poppy J sounds AND for big fat P sounds.

 

The parallel is fine; it sounds more "single coil" to me, i.e. a bit thinner. That's fine, but even when I want a jazzy sound, I still like having that slightly thicker sound.

 

I guess the upshot is that, as Jeremy & others have said, the versatility is in the player.

 

Especially if he has an active midrange triple notch knob!

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I've heard a similar story about Lee Sklar...he had a "producer switch" which was a switch that was connected to a small blue LED on the front of his bass and nothing else. He'd flip it on, play a couple notes, and the producer would say "That's it! So much better!"

 

:D

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Originally posted by jeremyc:

I just looked up the s-1 switch.

 

It made its debut at the summer NAMM show. The switch when in a Jazz bass switches from parallel to series and when in a Precision bass switches from series to parallel........

 

As to whether you will get a P sound from a J or vice versa, Yeah Right.

:D:D:D

 

Although I didn't get a chance to play or hear it at Summer Session, a couple of friends heard it during a demonstration. Neither was too impressed with the supposed tonal mimicking, but both said it added a noticeable and useable E.Q. change to both the P and the J. It's second hand info, but from two players I respect and trust.

Later..................
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Originally posted by BenLoy:

I've heard a similar story about Lee Sklar...he had a "producer switch" which was a switch that was connected to a small blue LED on the front of his bass and nothing else. He'd flip it on, play a couple notes, and the producer would say "That's it! So much better!"

 

:D

wasn't that in a recent bass player?

 

robb.

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In the studio where I work, there are a couple of switches that are just there for amusement in times as described. When somebody says the right mix "needs more kazoo" or whatever, just (appear to) dial it in.

This is, I believe, a pretty common studio practice, having part of the board or some outboard stuff that just lights up, or doesn't light up, as necessary.

 

That Funklogic stuff is perfect, much admired around here...

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Bump!

 

I saw the new Fenders with the S-1 switch showed up in some of the mail order / web dealers. They called it the "American Series" so we can easily differentiate from the American Vintage, American Deluxe, and Highway 1 American made series. Nice.

 

Real world reviews, anyone?

- Matt W.
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If the situation lends itself, and I really want a "P" tone, I'll switch to my "P" bass. When I want a bit more of a "P" sound out of my Jazz, I just roll it to the front pickup and play a bit closer to the neck. That's usually good enough for a tune or two in a live set and changing basses is a pain in the butt.
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I have a new jazz with the S-1 switch.

It DOES NOT make it sound like a p bass, like Fender says. That's a load of bull. It does, however, give the bass a different tone...it still sounds like a jazz, but with more bottom and less highs. It's a great bass, but don't buy into that BS that it makes a jazz sound like a precision. No way. It is useful tho'. Think of it as , if you had an active jazz, and you EQ'ed it a bit.

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Thanks, Billhw13.

 

I had forgotten about this because Fender said there was no way to retrofit the S-1 switch to a Deluxe(since it was active).

 

I usually do some EQ'ing, so I guess I really don't need it anyway.

 

Although.....

 

I did see a Jazz Bass upgrade on the Fender website to make the preamp 18 volts. Anybody have any experience with this? Doesn't the Zone Bass have an 18 volt preamp? I know it has different pup's than a Jazz, so you can't really compare, but I played one at GC. Nice sound......

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I've spent a lot of time with the S-1.

 

On the Jazz, it's a waste of time. You can get essentially the same sound by soloing the neck pickup and rolling the tone off a little. No added versatitly here. And it doesn't sound like a P at all.

 

On the P, it's worth a bit more since it actually offers a sound that you otherwise couldn't get. But it doesn't sound at all like a J. It sounds very thin, yes, but without the growl or bottom of the Jazz. It works well for chordal stuff, since it's as far from muddy as you cna be and it can work for some slap stuff.

For sale: 1992 or 1993 Carvin LB20F fretless 4-string with lines. Black with black hardware. Good player, fair amount of wear. $250 shipped.
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