"Clean up" - amp vs. guitar

BigFoot

Member
Messages
27
I have read many times on this forum and others that this amp or that amp "cleans up" really well with the volume knob of the guitar. My question: is it just a good amp that makes this happen or is it a function of your guitar as well? Are there 'good' volume pots and 'bad' volume pots or are they all built pretty much the same and it truly is a function of the amp alone?

Any knowledge out there that can be shared would be appreciated.
 

John Thigpen

Silver Supporting Member
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3,750
The pickups are a factor, too...much more so than the pots. Or at least lots of the threads on this forum about Wagner pickups talk about how well they clean up by turning down. Ditto with pedals. Ultimately, I think anything in your signal chain that contributes to the gain structure is a factor.

John
 

mattmccloskey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,715
this is a function mostly of the amp...BUT, good pickups and a treble bleed kit on the guitar's volume pot are important as well. Without the treble compensation it is hard to roll off and clean up because you lose highs and clarity as you back off the volume knob. Also, I find single coils tend to work better for cleaning up the signal when cutting volume from the guitar.
High gain pre-amp based overdrive channels on channel switching amps don't seem to clean up as effectively as non-master vintage typ amps that are cranked up. The simpler circuits tend to do it quicker and with more clarity. The aiken invader does it very well, and the aiken tomcat does it even better. cranked vox type amps also seem to respond well to volume knob tweaks from the guitar. The THD flexi does it extremely well.
 

buddastrat

Member
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14,691
No Pots matter a LOT! I hate the treble bleed circuit. Nothing like a thin guitar at low volumes.

But I do agree that high gain preamps ala Soldano are terrible for cleaning up from the guitar.

The linear pots on Gibson historics suck. When you're on "10" it's find and then you try and roll down a little bit to clean up the tone and it's off. There is no good gradual roll down. Audio taper pots are better but you gotta experiment, a lot of those suck these days too.

The amp matters a ton of course. Old Marshalls are awesome for cleaning up.

Hot pickups can be tought to tame as well.
 

Ricker

Member
Messages
1,204
Originally posted by buddastrat
No Pots matter a LOT! I hate the treble bleed circuit. Nothing like a thin guitar at low volumes.

But I do agree that high gain preamps ala Soldano are terrible for cleaning up from the guitar.

The linear pots on Gibson historics suck. When you're on "10" it's find and then you try and roll down a little bit to clean up the tone and it's off. There is no good gradual roll down. Audio taper pots are better but you gotta experiment, a lot of those suck these days too.

The amp matters a ton of course. Old Marshalls are awesome for cleaning up.

Hot pickups can be tought to tame as well.

Yeah I had the treble bleed on my Gibson done and it just leaves you with thin treble when rolling back....so it's back to normal ..........but on the neck pup it turns to mud quite quickly.
It's hard with a LP and humbuckers............

BUT I have an airzone on the bridge and although it's hard to get real clean on a bridge pup the airzone remains clear throughout the vol range........but getting an HB to do that on the neck........I haven't been able to do that without big compromise.


It still sounds better if I was able to roll the the gain knob of the amp bac.......imagine having the gain and vol knobs of your amp connected to you guitar pots..........that would be absolute heaven controlling the two biggest things guitarists want when playing live.......I'd rule the world

Rick
 

mailman

Member
Messages
810
I concur with both Matt & Buddastrat...I replaced the electronics & wiring in my LP with R/S Guitarworks Premium Prod. Elec. Upgrade and the new pots, caps & wiring configuration really heightened/clarified my '57 Classic pups. However, I also now run through a THD Flexi-50, and its sensitivity/flexibility of being able to go from full, blown-out overdrive to clean with just a few notches of the volume knob is just amazing!:D So, yeah, it's both: guit components & amp.
ps. Greetings to "Ricker"...from across the pond!
 

billstets

Member
Messages
892
I put a 500pf cap and 220k resister on my the volume pots on my guitars, and it's not at all thin when I roll off the volume.
 

Sudsysul

Member
Messages
361
Originally posted by mattmccloskey
High gain pre-amp based overdrive channels on channel switching amps don't seem to clean up as effectively as non-master vintage typ amps that are cranked up. The simpler circuits tend to do it quicker and with more clarity.
The thing that bugs me with master volume amps is that the "clean up" is not linear, so that rolling back on your guitar to get to just the right desired "almost clean" is very difficult.
 

BigFoot

Member
Messages
27
Wow, it seems like a mixed bag as far as opinions and experience goes. One thing that is encouraging is that two of you mentioned how great the Flexi 50 is at cleaning up and that is the amp that I am seriously looking at purchasing.
 

Chrissy

Member
Messages
974
I agree that some amps will clean up better than others - it's a big factor in liking an amp or not for me - but I think that the right treble bleed and resistor network in a guitar will make the most of any amp.

I use a 1000pF cap + 150kohm resistor in parallel on all my guitars and NEVER get thin when turning down. To me, this combination avoids a dull or muddy tone whne turning down but doesn't thin out like just a cap will do.

Just a question of what you want to hear when you turn down, I think.

Chris
 

The Whiz

Member
Messages
5,958
I'm considering a volume pedal for clean up on my non master volume amp. Any advantages over just rolling the guitar's volume knob down?

taco
 

mattmccloskey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,715
if your treble bleed kit gets thin when turning down, you have the wrong circuit! they are not all the same. The version Kinman uses is excellent, as is the stock circuit in suhr and anderson guitars. you have to try different values of cap and resistor to get it right.
 

fyler

Member
Messages
1,426
I'm considering a volume pedal for clean up on my non master volume amp. Any advantages over just rolling the guitar's volume knob down?
not to be too obvious, but the main advantage is "hands-free" volume (or clean/dirty) control. the only pedal i use is a goodrich volume pedal, and it's great for fades, swells, and the aforementioned clean up.
 

The Whiz

Member
Messages
5,958
Originally posted by fyler
not to be too obvious, but the main advantage is "hands-free" volume (or clean/dirty) control. the only pedal i use is a goodrich volume pedal, and it's great for fades, swells, and the aforementioned clean up.
Well besides the hand free and swells, is the pot in a Goodrich better designed to clean up than that of a guitar volume pot (assuming I have no mod to retain the treble on a tele for example). I guess another option is using an eq pedal with volume set lower than unity and eq to taste.

taco
 

nateco

Member
Messages
3,556
One of the great things about p90's.....they are great for cleaning up.....most don't need a treble cap thingy....imo
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,326
I have found the more gain you dial in on a non MV amp, or the more gain a non MV amp has, the less it will clean up when rolling down the volume on the guitar. Old Marshalls clean up fairly well, because they just do not have a lot of gain to begin with! I had a 72 50 watter that had TONS of gain, and it would not clean up well at all. Also, NOTHING cleans up better than a blackface Fender when rolling it down! :) Why? because they just do not overdrive very much anyway.

I tested a Dumble ODS in the drive channel, right against a Trainwreck Express, Komet 60, Bogner Shiva Bruno S100, and several TwoRocks just for this. They were all about the same! If you dialed in the same amount of overdrive on the MV amps that the Non MV amps had, and turned up the volume to the same level, they were all the same! I see many guys crank the gain WAY up in a MV amp, turn the volume way down, and then say it does not clean up as well as say a Plexi cranked on 10! LOL!!
Of course it will not. You are setting up the amp so it CANT. :rolleyes:
 




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