Opinions on the xBlend II (or how to build one?)

I just read an interesting German review about the xBlend II on Bonedo (BQ Music Xblend I und II – sensationelle Upgrade-Elektroniken für Jazz Bass - Bonedo).

Unfortunately, model II is out of stock. But hey, it’s just electronics - should be possible to built myself? But how?


This is THE new wiring for Jazzbass with passive pickups.

This wiring offers a superior way to smoothly mix the neck and bridge pickups.

Sound differences are evenly spread out over the entire turn of the mix pot.

The whole sound of the bass opens up and the tonal diversity of your Jazzbass becomes much, much bigger than with any other loom.

Apart from the normal mixing (parallel mixing) this wiring also offers a unique stepless humbucker mixing (series mixing).
Smooth and stepless mixing from single coil to fat and loud humbucker and everthing in between!
A totally new feature that adds a fantastic new tonal range to the Jazzbass.

Most balance/blend potentiometers underperform badly for passive basses and guitars. Blend pots dull the sound of the bass, making it sound less defined and muddy. Also often all the tone differences are bunched up around the center notch making it only a slightly better tool than a pickup toggle switch.
But that’s over now! Blending pickups has never been this smooth and the Jazzbass sound stays focused and defined and even.

How does it work?
One of the pickups is selected as master pickup. The other pickup is automatically connected to the mix control and can be blended into the mix. The tonal differences are evenly divided over the total turn of the mix pot allowing for very subtle blending.
By switching on the series mode the pickups are mixed in series. Turning the mix control results in the sound gradually going from single coil to humbucker.

There are two versions. A simple version, Xblend I and extensive version Xblend II

The Xblend II has a switch for choosing which pickup is master and which can be blended in plus a switch for mixing in parallel or mixing in humbucker mode.
Extremely versatile and an enormous range of sounds, more than half of which weren’t possible with a Jazzbass before.

The Xblend I has a fixed master pickup. When installing you decide if the bridge or neck pickup is master. The other pickup can be dialed into the mix in parallel or in series.
This setup is enough for players who, for instance, always play with the bridge pickup on and want to add a bit of buttom end by mixing in the neck pickup.

Master volume (controls the total volume of the bass)
Mix control (dials in the desired amount of the non-master pickup)
Tone control (standard tone control .047 tone cap)
Mix switch (choose between standard or humbucker mixing)
Pickup switch (choose which pickup is master and which can be blended in)

This wiring has a more defined sound, opener and brighter than the traditional Jazzbass wiring.
Personally I like this modern sound better but….that is just my personal taste.
A small jumper switch is added to the volume pot which, when engaged, gives you the traditional, slightly darker, Jazzbass sound.

This loom was specially designed for Xander Vrienten, one of the best bass players of The Netherlands. Xander uses the simple version (Xblend I) in his 1968 Fender Jazzbass. He plays from with the bridge pickup full on for maximum Jazzbass growl and adds a tiny bit of humbucker to support the bridge sound.

Also for left-handed basses with reverse turning controls!!!

Also available as a loom only and for Precision basses with a JB pickup in the bridge position.

@Wombat-metal - I read that you are desperately looking for new projects?

This is a way to make “the original single coils sound like a loud and fat humbucker sound”, according to zzee zzzermann Bonedo review.
Only interesting if you have a JJ bass and want to have it sound properly :slight_smile:

Maybe google translate the review (link above) and get some GAS???!

Video for Model 1:

you can see the wiring of the XBlend on this picture :

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If you want humbuckers it will be much less work, cost and frustration to just cancel the HB J-bass and buy a bass with humbuckers, and almost guaranteed to have better results :slight_smile:


Do you think a serial mode fo JJ makes sense to “simulate” Humbuckers. Even for the DP123?

The xBlend guy is Dutch too - so I am forced to buy it :slight_smile:

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Not at all, because this will simulate a single humbucker, not two

Two single coils in series properly phased = ONE humbucker, not two :slight_smile:

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Not at all = it makes no sense? I like the sound in the video above!


You will be making a single humbucker out of the two J’s, not “humbuckers” - thats what I meant


@howard is right. Also it won’t sound like a normal humbucker because the two coils (of each of the J pickups) are far from each other. The normal humbucker sound needs the coils to be juxtaposed.


Ah, of course. I meant one humbuckers in general, not two humbuckers specifically…

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It will likely sound like a weirdly scooped MM pickup.


You had me with “weirdly” :slight_smile:

If you like the sound, that’s all that matters.

My overall comment is that for any instrument, for best results it’s usually smartest to lean in to what makes the instrument good, and play to its strengths, rather than try to compensate for weak points by forcing it in to being something it isn’t. So in this case, you have a J-bass on the way, and J-basses have strengths around tonal clarity, a nice gluggy scooped sound, and in general accentuating the growly sharpness of the tone.

With this product in series mode you are throwing most of that away to get basically something imitating a stingray, but not especially close to it. It’s not playing to the strengths of the instrument, it’s just frankenshifting in to something that is sort of good at what it is doing, without it being especially strong at it. The biggest positive I could say is it will give the J some additional tonal versatility and sound rather unique, but not necessarily competitive in tone with actual humbuckers.

Is it a cool product? Yeah! I think it brings some new options to the J. But if what you really are after is a humbucker tone, you should just get real humbuckers as the results will be way better.


Exactly. Until very recently I thought that a Stingray is the fish that killed Steve Irwin and would have laughed at somebody mentioning “Fender”, thinking he does not know how the robot in Futurama is actually called…

So I don’t care if it does not sound like anything specific. I care that is sounds specifically good to me. Like my old humbucker ESP. Like a P bass. Like my soon to be modded Jazz Frankenbass that will sound like P.

Hopefully :wink:

That bass does not sound at all like a P-bass. P-basses and humbuckers do not sound especially similar.


I know - but they do not sound so thin , analytical and sharpish as Jazz, right?

No. All three pickup configurations sound different. P pickups have a lot more punch and clarity than humbuckers. Humbuckers are richer and thicker in tone but with less attack and clarity. J pickups sound more clear and growly but thinner than either of the other two.

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I want my bass to sound like me: fat :slight_smile:

then the J is probably a bad plan :slight_smile:

This all comes back to, if you want a big fat humbucker tone, buy humbuckers. You can buy and install actual humbuckers in a J pickup housing, and that would be a far better option if humbuckers is what you are looking for. These are often marketed as “stacked”.

There’s also P-like pickups in Jazz housings; many “humbucking” J pickups are like this (e.g. the DiMarzio DP147).

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Let me think about that while playing Ukulele! ^^


The DiMarzio DP147 is part of the Ultra Jazz Set (DP149). I heared that the DP123 is closer to P.
So that is my plan. And maybe the xBlend cause of this funny serial tone. I already contacted the very nice Dutch guy that makes them…