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  #1  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:22 AM
music321 music321 is offline
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high input vs low input on a guitar amp

i've always assumed that low input jacks referred to single coils, while high input meant humbuckers. now i'm thinking that low input is a dry signal, while high is through a boost? is this wrong?

if i have an amp w/ only one input, can it be optimized for high or low input?

it seems that the best way is to start with one configuration, then use a pedal to bring it up to spec of the other. any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2012, 09:58 AM
Walkerjerry Walkerjerry is offline
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The opposite, actually. A "low input" usually is a padded input, while the "high input" is actually the stock circuitry. As for their use, it depends what you want from your amp; more gain, use the high side, more headroom, the low side. A more technical explanation available upon demand.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:59 AM
bgood bgood is offline
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How does the pad typically work? Does some of the guitar signal connect to ground at the jack to pad it down?
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:07 AM
sleewell sleewell is online now
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i dont think either of the OP's theories are correct. i think i just depends on the sound you are looking for. my fender has 2 inputs and #1 is much brighter than #2. both have their places and work with any pickups or pedals.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:13 AM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
How does the pad typically work? Does some of the guitar signal connect to ground at the jack to pad it down?
Yup.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:18 AM
Sirloin Sirloin is offline
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Some input jacks are just wired with a single resistor for the low input jack and two resistors in parallel for the high input jack. Single resistor=Higher resistance=lower signal hitting the front end of the amp. Two resistors in parallel=lower resistance=hotter signal hitting the fron of the amp. I think this is the way 4 hole Marshalls were wired.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:19 AM
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big mike big mike is offline
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Depends on the amp.

At least one I've had, the '2' input was a differnt voicing.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:24 AM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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Fwiw, regardless of inputs available, I've learned that using a volume pedal (like the Barber Launch Pad) to find the ideal input strength leads to huge rewards. Only pedal i use regularly, and at this point i wouldn't want to do without it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:31 AM
jazjamr jazjamr is offline
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I have been using the low inputs on my vintage Fenders with single coils. These amps sound much better with the power tubes turned to the 6 to 8 range. I can drive the power tubes this way at a lower volume. If I need more headroom I plug into the #1 jack.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:48 PM
music321 music321 is offline
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jaz,

you get breakup earlier with the low input?

The volume pedal idea sounds interesting. If I understand all this correctly, then am I right to assume that using a volume pedal with a single input will essentially yield the same result, just with more options, than having a "low" jack in addition to the "normal" (high) jack?
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:21 PM
Onioner Onioner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by music321 View Post
jaz,

you get breakup earlier with the low input?

The volume pedal idea sounds interesting. If I understand all this correctly, then am I right to assume that using a volume pedal with a single input will essentially yield the same result, just with more options, than having a "low" jack in addition to the "normal" (high) jack?
Yup. You can tailor the input strength to the guitar, amp, and intended use.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:34 PM
aflynt aflynt is offline
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For a sound somewhere between the two on Fenders you can plug into input 2 and put a dummy plug into input 1.

**caveat** - the plug needs to NOT be shorted. IE: no connection between tip and sleeve.

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:34 PM
GuitarNorton GuitarNorton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onioner View Post
Fwiw, regardless of inputs available, I've learned that using a volume pedal (like the Barber Launch Pad) to find the ideal input strength leads to huge rewards. Only pedal i use regularly, and at this point i wouldn't want to do without it.
Yes I use a Launch Pad the same way, always on, gain staging is how Dave Barber puts it. Really makes a difference
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:45 PM
EADGBE EADGBE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by music321 View Post
I've always assumed that low input jacks referred to single coils, while high input meant humbuckers. now I'm thinking that low input is a dry signal, while high is through a boost? is this wrong?
My Marshall's 2203X 100 watt master volume owner's manual says that originally the high input was designed for single coils while the low input was designed for humbuckers. But in no time flat everybody was playing their humbucker guitars through the high input.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:11 AM
Cirrus Cirrus is offline
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When there's a bright cap across the preamp volume knob, having a high and low input can be really useful - for example, on my amp having the bright cap switched in makes it too bright, having it switched out makes it too dark. But by using the low input I can turn the preamp volume higher to get the same amount of breakup, and have a less trebly tone with the bright cap switched in (the effect of the cap reduces as the knob is turned up)
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