How many controls does an amp need?

Barquentine

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Messages
1,994
I've just been looking at the new Boss Nextone Special. Leaving aside the three controls for effects on each channel, the clean channel has seven knobs, the drive channel has eight. Plus a boost control for each channel and an overall master. I'd hate to have to tweak this thing at a gig.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,795
One ... that goes to 11 :aok

image.jpeg

... I once created an excel spreadsheet to document the settings on a digital device. I can tell you that those controls, when made into a list, are seemingly endless.
 
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LaXu

Member
Messages
6,156
It's laid out pretty cleanly so I don't see the issue even if it looks like a whole ton of knobs on first glance.

If I had my way, amps would have more controls. Separate EQ for low and high mids would be useful and being able to adjust the poweramp response in a more significant way would be nice, however that can be achieved. Sometimes you want a looser feel and sometimes tighter. Most amps do one of those.
 

Jabby92

Member
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3,670
I like more knobs.. if possible. Not a fan of 2 or 3 channels amps that share the EQ.. much prefer if they are all separated. For example, on my Mesa Dual Rec it has 18 knobs on the front.. but really its 6 knobs per channel. All you need to do is think of each channel as its own amp and its very easy to dial in once you learn what each knob does. I really like having a presence control for each channel as well to balance out the high end and feel.

On the other hand, I have no problems with good single channel amps like an old Fender or Marshall. Its just when you have 2 or 3 channels is when I actually like having more knobs/control than having less.
 

RG7X

Silver Supporting Member
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387
I'm not sure.... user preference? It depends on the amp for me personally.
 

Henry Terry

Member
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333
I think it is a matter of personal preference, not right or wrong. I prefer few knobs. Currently, my amp is a Vox AC30S1, which has five knobs - Gain, Volume, Bass, Treble and Reverb.
 

De Batz

Member
Messages
2,692
The trouble here is that what the controls are doing - removing something from the sound - means you can't add them without changing how it fundamentally sounds.

For example, if you put a 'gain' control at the front of the chain and a volume control at the end, you probably end up putting more gain in the circuit to compensate for the fact that the 'gain' control (which is probably a volume control between the first and second stages) won't normally be run flat out.

My AC50 has a volume control (only) in that position, between stage 1 and 2. It has just the right amount of gain for a superbly balanced sound, but no MV.

For me, I balk at using an amp that doesn't have a reasonable amount of control over the sound, because what I normally end up doing is EQing to compensate for the guitar. I'm not great at accepting the sound of the guitar and going with it, I tend to 'fix' the guitar to a particular output sound. The AC50 I mentioned preserves the character of the guitar much more, but it's not an amp to take out to a gig because it's such an unruly beast.
 

Garysaki

Member
Messages
62
I've just been looking at the new Boss Nextone Special. Leaving aside the three controls for effects on each channel, the clean channel has seven knobs, the drive channel has eight. Plus a boost control for each channel and an overall master. I'd hate to have to tweak this thing at a gig.
Then you may not want a Mesa. Some of them have 30 knobs, switches, jacks, just on the front.
 

Daytona57

Member
Messages
2,104
My Fender amps are rudimentary EQ. I use a MXR 10 band EQ, on the top of the amp, to get the tone I want, usually mids.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
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12,977
My favorite grab and go head has 20 knobs, 3 way mode switches for each channel, boost knob on the back, etc. Thing is I pretty much set it and forget it anyways.
 

Improbable Joe

Double Platinum Member
Messages
2,350
I've just been looking at the new Boss Nextone Special. Leaving aside the three controls for effects on each channel, the clean channel has seven knobs, the drive channel has eight. Plus a boost control for each channel and an overall master. I'd hate to have to tweak this thing at a gig.
Just 3 more
 

Serious Poo

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6,638
As many as it takes...

...to sound good to me.

Some amps sound fantastic to my ears with little adjustment, others require significant tweaking.
 

jnovac1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,388
I've just been looking at the new Boss Nextone Special. Leaving aside the three controls for effects on each channel, the clean channel has seven knobs, the drive channel has eight. Plus a boost control for each channel and an overall master. I'd hate to have to tweak this thing at a gig.
none. the guitar has controls.
 




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