TL;DR: Can I use a blend potentiometer to blend two audio signals?

I have an Ibanez GSR 200 bass guitar. It has a potentiometer to control the volume of the neck pickup and another potentiometer to control the volume of the bridge pickup:

Ibanez GSR 200 wiring schematic

I find this very annoying. I'd like to have a potentiometer that controls the general output and another that works as a "blend" control which instructs how much signal from each pickup goes to the output.

I found this page where it instructs how to use a "blend potentiometer" to archive this, but I'm fairly new to circuits and I'm not sure if this is what I'm looking for. (Also, what would be the resistance of the potentiometer? Same as the current one, 500K Ohms?)

PS: I'd also like to understand, if this is the correct way to do it, what happens when you roll the potentiometer half way? Are both signals added together?


2 Answers 2


looking at this schematic, this is clearly an active system, it seems as if the preamp circuit is on the PHATII pcb. The circuit appears to have a single preamp, the mix is done by connecting each pickup to it via a 500k variable pot (and also the tone circuit). This is indeed, perhaps not the most flexible way of doing things.

The best way to mod this would be to fit a new preamp module, where each pickup goes first into its own preamp, and then feeds a mix stage via its own volume control. While it is certainly possible to design such a thing, it may well be that this already exists as a module.


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

For interest sake, the basics of such a circuit is shown above. A few points:

  1. TL081 probably not a great choice as we will likely be running from a 9V battery. A FET input audio opamp that gets as close as possible to each power rail would be preferable. Also some means of creating a split supply is needed (perhaps a virtual ground IC). The "ground" points shown are actually the mid point of split supplies, of course - "true ground" will actually be the negative terminal of the battery (which the pickup screen connects to).
  2. The input cap with R1 and the pickup impedance itself gives an LF rolloff at about 3Hz. This value (like others) might be tweaked a bit to taste.
  3. R2 is a linear pot (not log law), R6 in combination with R5 gives a quasi-log response (approx 20dB at midpoint). This is preferable as log pots are more susceptible to wear than linear ones.
  4. R7 probably wants a small (say 22pF) bypass cap for stability.
  5. Tone control and master volume control not shown.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know if I wasn't good explaining what I wanted but this isn't what I was asking. I now realize my question was very "noobish" and I have provided the actual answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vraiment
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 7:04

TL;DR Answer: Yes

Long answer: I got these "blend pots" from Amazon and I replaced one of the volume pot with that. While I made my life more complicated than it needed to be by desoldering all the cables from both volume pots and the tone pot I could have just desoldered the rear pickup volume pot and some cables from the front pickup volume pot and the tone pot.

Here is the diagram from the question edited to how things are now, except by the blend pot, I don't remember if the "front pickup" was on the "top" terminal or the bottom.


I'm happy with the result as it is exactly what I wanted except by two minor details: the blend pot is backwards (it removes the rear pickup when it should remove the front and vice versa), and the rear pickup is a little bit more noisy but I don't know if that's because of my poor soldering job or the pickup is just noisy.


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