Attenuator or Volume Pedal in the Loop?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Gas Hed, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Gas Hed

    Gas Hed Member

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    I'm seeing here on TGP that these are two options to control volume whilst being able to get the power tubes going. Can anyone elaborate on the pros and cons of each approach?
     
  2. tele_player

    tele_player Member

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    Simple, volume pedal in the loop doesn't 'get the power tubes going'.

    Robert
     
  3. Gas Hed

    Gas Hed Member

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    I'm confused...if you crank the master, and have a vol pedal in the loop, aren't you still pushing the power tubes?
     
  4. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    No, the loop is before the power tubes.
     
  5. Gas Hed

    Gas Hed Member

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    Oh, in that case, I just wasted everybody's time. Thanks for the clarification though!
     
  6. AXEL276

    AXEL276 Member

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    I've had both and prefer a volume pedal in the loop. If your playing "live" there is a LOT of dynamics you can control using a volume pedal in the loop that can not be done with just an attenuator. The attenuator is set once and leave it alone. After that work your guitar's volume control. Turn the guitar down, lose gain. The volume pedal allows me to get full up crunch/distortion at ANY volume on stage. So when I'm backing up the singers I'm not over powering them but still get "my sound". Then for solo's I use the volume pedal to put me on top of the mix. At gig volume I am already pushing the power tubes. Even at home I use the volume pedal/loop. At home I'm just practicing, I don't care much about pushing the power tubes. Again, I get full up gain tone at any volume.
    If your big on power tube distortion, then get an attenuator but it is a one trick pony.
     
  7. Gas Hed

    Gas Hed Member

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    What kind of pedal do you use AXEL?
     
  8. IM4Tone

    IM4Tone Member

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    ^^^This is correct. What it will do is allow preamp distortion at a lower volume. You may like that sound???
     
  9. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    It won't get your power tubes going. But a volume pedal in the loop can be handy. It can be used to make a master volume on your amp less touchy. And you can use it to crank the pre-amp at sensible volumes. But IMHO, this is a pretty lousy and icky sound. The best solution is to get your amp modded with power scaling, but you'll have to take it to a tech to do that. The next best solution is to get an amp that isn't so loud. For bedroom playing 1 watt is plenty loud. The next best solution is an attenuator.
     
  10. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    I'm always concerned that running a volume pedal in the loop will require a lot of extra cable between the amp and front of the stage (30-40 total feet) which could degrade the signal too much.
     
  11. ejblives

    ejblives Member

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    I do a volume knob in the loop of a Splawn Competition 50watter. Works extremely well.
    Weber Attenuator for my 66 vibrolux reverb due to no effects loop. Works pretty good at gig volume but not so much if using a lot of attenuation,ie trying to play at say bedroom volume.
    I think the Two Notes Torpedo products would cover all bases extremely well but they very expensive.
     
  12. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    The loop runs at lower impedance than guitar pickups. The effects of cable length in the loop are minimal. I run a volume pedal in the loop and love the extra control it gives over volume and distortion levels.
     
  13. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    No, not a waste. Don't get too hung up on power tube breakup and saturation. It's not the be-all end-all of great tones. It's a thing to be sure but try that pedal in front or the loop and see what works for you.

    Edit to add, an attenuator and a volume pedal in the loop are different applications.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  14. bgh

    bgh Supporting Member

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    For some manufacturers, such as Mesa, the preamp is one of the largest factors in their tone. Their primary over-driven sound comes from a pushed preamp section. In many instances, they have made it sound quite nice.
     
  15. AXEL276

    AXEL276 Member

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    I don't use a single volume pedal per say. I use a Digitech 2120 rack effects processor run thru the loop with my amps. I prefer chorus and delays in the loop. I have a bunch of presets that I programmed myself and it works out very well. Much better than bending over during a set and changing the knobs on pedals. I do have a couple of O.D pedals on a small pedal board that I hit the front of the amp with. The Digitech comes with a midi floor controller and has a built in expression pedal which I use as a volume pedal. I also have a smaller Boss ME-50 floor effect unit that I use with a much smaller rig that also has a volume pedal. I do own a Boss passive volume pedal that I use with my Fishman Loadbox acoustic. Really any generic volume pedal will do.
    The biggest benefit is like having a second master volume that is completely foot controllable. If your ever up on stage, go for the solo and can't cut in the mix, how cool it is to have the volume pedal with a little extra volume dialed in for just the occasion. If your backing up the band and need that heavy crunch but need to be in the mix, the volume pedal will keep your sound and dial you in with precision. You cannot do this with just and attenuator. And again, if you’re at gig volume your power tubes are already cooking. If you’re at home and it is really that import to play with power tube saturation at bedroom volume, then get an attenuator.
     
  16. aflynt

    aflynt Member

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    I use a volume pedal in the loop and it works great. Kind of like having the mixing board fader at my feet.

    The real key to that is having the volume pedal post-OD, though. So it really depends on your rig and how it's set up. If you're getting all your dirt from pedals, then you can just put the volume pedal after your overdrives and distortions in front of the amp. If you are using amp OD and power section OD isn't a component of your sound, then in the loop is probably a good place to put it. If your amp (and the way you use it) gets a significant portion of it's tone and OD from the power section then a volume pedal in the loop probably isn't going to get you what you want. Also, some loops will work better for this than others. You really need a buffered loop.

    -Aaron
     

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