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Best way to get a volume boost on an already dirty amp?

ferrinbonn

Member
Messages
1,166
Every guitar I've had has gotten louder around 7- 8-9 on the volume into a crunching amp.
Do you have a treble bleed on your guitar? I've found that without a treble bleed, you do lose a lot of perceived volume as soon as you roll off the volume due to a lack of cut when your treble frequencies drop out right away, especially when playing dirty in a band with more than one guitarist.
 

BADHAK

Member
Messages
8,707
Do you have a treble bleed on your guitar? I've found that without a treble bleed, you do lose a lot of perceived volume as soon as you roll off the volume due to a lack of cut when your treble frequencies drop out right away, especially when playing dirty in a band with more than one guitarist.
I don't think so. My 06 Faded LP Special with Pearly Gates has 50's wiring and cleans up great, my '13 SG Standard cleans up decent but definitely darkens abit as you turn down, and my 02 LP Standard is crap for rolled down cleans. But they all have a volume boost around 8 on the guitar vol. Maybe it is only percieved, but I've always assumed that's why so many here say to turn down to 8 for rock rhythm and up to 10 for solos. It does work
 

Shiny_Beast

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,010
In a couple of amps I've built, I've added a fixed foot-switchable volume reduction of about 3dB between the phase inverter and power tubes (a form of fixed PPIMV). This is activated when not soloing and switched out for the solo.
I'm curious, did you end up with the bias out through the foot switch? Or were they cathode bias amps, or some other solution, relays etc?
 

paulscape

Member
Messages
3,525
Best solo boosts I've used are either dual master volume amp or putting a clean boost at end of chain (after preamp distortion) or in loop. Currently I'm using a buffer boost last in chain and it works really well.
 

d95err

Member
Messages
192
I'm curious, did you end up with the bias out through the foot switch? Or were they cathode bias amps, or some other solution, relays etc?
I used relay switching. I’ve used it on both fixed and cathode biased amps.

I’ve also built it in combination with a regular PPIMV. In that case, I have switched in/out a fixed series resistance infront of each side of the PPIMV. (I use dual pot PPIMV. Single pot ”cross-line” PPIMV is useless, IMHO).
 

Borealis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
662
The Tone King Ironman II Mini attenuator will do pretty much what the OP is asking for.

I use it as a MV for my non-MV amps. It has a footswitchable boost can be set for +3 or +6 dB.
 

Shiny_Beast

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,010
I used relay switching. I’ve used it on both fixed and cathode biased amps.

I’ve also built it in combination with a regular PPIMV. In that case, I have switched in/out a fixed series resistance infront of each side of the PPIMV.
kewl, that would be the right way to do it.

(I use dual pot PPIMV. Single pot ”cross-line” PPIMV is useless, IMHO).
After trying various arrangements I'm not a big MV fan, but if the utility is required I like the cross-line lol. Never tried it on a classic Marshall circuit though.
 

ronmail65

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,308
So 5 pages of replies later... We, as guitar players or artists or whatever you want to call us... , can be really 'over the top' creative and detailed to a fault when trying to answer what appears to be a fairly straight-forward question and a 1 sentence answer. I AM DEFINITELY GUILTY of participating in the same kind of dialogue. It's really kind of funny....

Practically speaking, the answer to every single question on sites like this is: 1) pick an amp - Marshall JCM800 or Fender Reverb, and 2) pick a guitar - Tele, Strat, or Les Paul. Now spend the rest of your time and energy learning how to be a good player and make music. If you think you need something else... you really don't.

I'm kind of kidding … but kind of not. Just an observation... if we can't laugh at ourselves, then who?
 

bman5150us

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
611
The OP’s question is a legit question regarding how to boost your volume for a solo. It’s one I had myself many years ago and found a great solution (clean boost at the end of the loop) right heat on TGP. The question has nothing to do with micromanaging your tone or setup. There are other decent solutions to this as well, which is why you have a long post describing the ways others accomplish a volume boost. More than one way to skin a cat.

and the thread started in 2015, lol! Lots of time to have people respond to create 4 pages of responses.
 

pyna

Member
Messages
206
as soon as something in the chain from pickup->speaker runs out of headroom, nothing before that thing will be able to raise the *amplitude* of the waveform. however, because our ears are weird nonlinear things there can still be some room for something to raise the volume, or (perhaps more enlighteningly if perhaps redundant) *perceived volume*

because analog distortion is nonlinear (rounded) and our ears are weird, there’s circumstances where our ears could perceive a wave that is getting “wider” at the same amplitude as becoming louder more than (noticeably) more distorted. perceived volume of waves at the same amplitude is also frequency dependent - so as others have noted, EQ or treble boost could potentially add some perceived volume to a signal that’s out of headroom.

it’s been really enlightening for me at least, to see what these various things do on an oscilloscope
 

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,147
Let me clarify the OP- let's say I'm designing an amp similar to a Pro Junior, and I like to set the volume around 8. I ride my guitar's volume to clean it up, but I also have it wide open for heavier rhythm parts or background singe note lines. What I'd like is that same general sound and level of dirt of the amp on 8, just louder for a solo. Again, this is hypothetical, assuming I can add an FX loop or lift the tone tack (or whatever else would work).
I don’t have a lot of experience with a pro junior but I think you’d need to add another one to get louder after “8”.
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
10,337
Oh hey, I remember this thread! :cool: And I remember realizing the second after I posted it I should have put it in the "tech" section, as I was thinking more about designing an amp than adding a pedal or attenuator. That's why I was asking about things like tone stack lift and stuff related to the effects loop. Anyway, thanks for reminding me why I don't post much anymore, most people don't even bother to read the entire OP or understand it before they respond, and most of the knowledgable people have long since left. I guess things were better before... :p


Put a clean boost pedal after the dirt pedal. This will have no impact on the oD tone, as it will definitely increase the volume of the signal after the distortion.
WHAT DIRT PEDAL!?

In seriousness, I set up my stuff with guitar dialed back a bit so that it's still got dirt on it. Guitar vols at around seven, tones to taste but preferably on the open side, for my ears. I can roll back or pick soft for cleanish sounds, dig in for grit, and then step on the boost for a kick in the ass. Gain really low, output dialed in for a little goose on the volume, tone depends on the pedal itself.

As the clip lays out, once you're dimed, there's nowhere to go. Set up your basic sounds with your guitar's volume a little lower, and you allow yourself that little extra if you need it.
Sure, that's the classic way to do it. Was just thinking, when designing an amp maybe there's a way to get a little extra when you need it? Something in the power section or phase inverter?

Turn the amp up to 9, get your heavier rhythm sound with the guitar volume on 8. For solos, turn your guitar up to 10.
Not enough volume boost!

I don’t have a lot of experience with a pro junior but I think you’d need to add another one to get louder after “8”.
Right....
 

cam0122

Member
Messages
1,620
Oh hey, I remember this thread! :cool: And I remember realizing the second after I posted it I should have put it in the "tech" section, as I was thinking more about designing an amp than adding a pedal or attenuator. That's why I was asking about things like tone stack lift and stuff related to the effects loop. Anyway, thanks for reminding me why I don't post much anymore, most people don't even bother to read the entire OP or understand it before they respond, and most of the knowledgable people have long since left. I guess things were better before... :p




WHAT DIRT PEDAL!?



Sure, that's the classic way to do it. Was just thinking, when designing an amp maybe there's a way to get a little extra when you need it? Something in the power section or phase inverter?



Not enough volume boost!



Right....
Yeah. Just we bone headed morons respond to posts on TGP, while all the geniuses have moved out of the neighborhood since we doof boys moved in next door.
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
10,337
Yeah. Just we bone headed morons respond to posts on TGP, while all the geniuses have moved out of the neighborhood since we doof boys moved in next door.
I do appreciate your (and everyone's) input, I thought I made it clear in my OP that I was going straight into a dirty amp, but reading it now maybe I didn't. Carry on....
 
Messages
9,007
Sure, that's the classic way to do it. Was just thinking, when designing an amp maybe there's a way to get a little extra when you need it? Something in the power section or phase inverter?
Oddly enough, amp makers who offer tube amps with a solid-state boost function (Marshall and Peavey come to mind immediately) get slammed for making the boost SS, too often by pedalheads who think nothing of putting an SS pedal in front of their tubes amps. I don't get it.

The rig I use at home, and will use onstage once I start playing out again, is a Peavey Valveking 50w 1x12 two-channel with onboard boost. I don't use that onboard boost, because it isn't staged very well -- the boost is too loud and and has no controls for it at all -- it's either on or off at the preset level, and can only be engaged on the dirt channel.

I recently picked up a Vox Ice-9 pedal, which has a basic boost and then a "more" switch. I run it into the clean amp. The first channel on the pedal is set to very mild, basically just adds a little hair on the signal. From there I can hit the "more" on the pedal, or the dirty channel on the amp. So I get one very clean channel, one a little hairy, and either one of two that will take it to liquid sustain, depending on how I want that to sound.

I'm only two weeks into this setup but I'm liking it so far. It's very versatile.

The Rivera-era SuperChamps have the dirt channel tube-driven, which sounds glorious, but at the cost of taking up another half of a 12ax7 that normally drives the reverb -- meaning you'll need an outboard reverb if you want to drive the amp with only glass.
 

deepcove17

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
795
This is kind of a hypothetical thread, I'm not talking about any specific circuit. When you put a stomp box in front of an already dirty amp (as in, for a solo) it doesn't get louder, just dirtier. I see a lot of amps that have some kind of tone stack bypass to get a bump in volume. A boost pedal into an effects loop seems to work well for some. Of course there's always the option of an outboard box like the Unleash. Any other options I'm missing?
I used to have similar issue trying to get a solo volume boost out of a dimed 1987 NMV circuit. Rolling back guitar volume was not an option because it cleaned up too much for what I was playing. A boost of any type will not work when an amp is maxed out as there is just no where else to go. I had a discussion with HO and ended up taking my HO attenuator back so he could install a foot switch with a potentiometer to adjust the amount of boost. Essentially my rhythm volume is rolled back some according to the pot on the attenuator and the foot switch enables me to bypasses the pot for full volume. It is a perfect solo boost with no change in the guitar tone and the amount of boost is adjustable.

Side note...this goes way back before Mark Gregg was relabeling Ho's box as the Ultimate attenuator.
 

Doomrider78

Member
Messages
3,454
I used to have similar issue trying to get a solo volume boost out of a dimed 1987 NMV circuit. Rolling back guitar volume was not an option because it cleaned up too much for what I was playing. A boost of any type will not work when an amp is maxed out as there is just no where else to go. I had a discussion with HO and ended up taking my HO attenuator back so he could install a foot switch with a potentiometer to adjust the amount of boost. Essentially my rhythm volume is rolled back some according to the pot on the attenuator and the foot switch enables me to bypasses the pot for full volume. It is a perfect solo boost with no change in the guitar tone and the amount of boost is adjustable.

Side note...this goes way back before Mark Gregg was relabeling Ho's box as the Ultimate attenuator.
:eek::omg:thud:spit
 




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