"It cleans up when your roll back your volume" Really?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Tonesmiths, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Tonesmiths

    Tonesmiths Member

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    Does it bother anybody else that every time someone is demoing an amp they always say, "and it cleans up really well when you rollback the volume on your guitar"? Well of course it does, but now your tone sucks and nobody can hear you in the mix! I know there're a lot of "knob riders" who would disagree, but it's highly impractical in a band setting. I much prefer using OD pedals set at equal volume as my clean tone for dirt. Then if the song requires volume dynamics, i can achieve them dirty or clean with my guitars volume knob.
     
  2. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    I understand your point, but really, how well this works depends the amp, the guitar and the band. Because it doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it won't work for everyone. I do a lot of knob-riding and altering of pick attack to change the amount of grind in my sound, though I do use pedals too (and enjoy them quite a bit). Different strokes, you know?
     
  3. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I agree with Leon, but I also agree with the OP. It really depends on a few variables. Back when I ran my Soldano HR50+ and just a wah, I rode the volume knob all day long and it was magical on both channels... I never lost any tone or the ability to cut through. But today I am a Fender clean amp guy and three ODs plus a boost. If I touch the volume knob, it's rolling it back a touch for dynamics mostly. I think it clearly depends on the guitar, the amp, the band AND the material you're playing.
     
  4. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    Stop playing crappy amps then
     
  5. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

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    I like getting my clean tone with my strat rolled back, so I do this alot. You can hear it in the mix fine, of course it's not a really loud ringing clean tone. If ya need that then that's the old clean amp + dirt pedals thing.

    Lately I've been playing with an amp on the edge or just into overdrive, then slamming it with a cot or fuzzface. I can appreciate how some of you guys want that clean tone from the amp.
     
  6. tnt365

    tnt365 Supporting Member

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    It's possibel to roll it back just a tad and still get great cleans. Not an amp, but the AM AstroTone does this perfectly. Of course you can't go from high-gain to clean with rolling the volume back, but low-med gain should work great with some fuzz pedals and certain amps. The Lunar Module does it well IMO, the AstroTone nails it, and the last three amps I've owned have done it very well too.
     
  7. Onioner

    Onioner Member

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    This.
     
  8. Gnarlly

    Gnarlly Member

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    +1
    Rolling back for cleans is "highly practical" in a band setting; why always be tied to your pedals? Move around a little. "Work" the guitar instead of being a slave to your pedals. Enjoy the different colors of distortion that the guitar's volume knob can provide versus the "black and white" on/off switch of a pedal.
     
  9. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    if you're playing blues or blues/rock, riding the knobs works fine. If you're playing metal, where you need pristine cleans *and* great gain, it doesn't work at all.

    There's no one-size fits all solution.
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Supporting Member

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    I never understood how people did this either (usable clean tone and dirty tone by sheer volume knob turning).

    I've been playing a long time and have always played Fender amps (or Fender type circuits) with OD pedals. During the down makes the sound dull and lifeless. Or just an OD sound with less volume.
    I recently got a JTM45 clone. Now I get it. I put a '69 in front of it with the fuzz maxxed. Now, I can turn down and get a clean sound that is usable, then crank it to 10 and get a distorted tone. I was amazed. You're not going to get chicken picking Twin Reverb cleans, but it worked just fine for me.

    So it is the gear (to a certain extent). If you have the right amp and pedal in front of it, you can totally do just what you describe in the OP. And its not a matter of having a ****** amp or not- its the type of circuit and the way it takes a OD/fuzz.
     
  11. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    In most band situations, I find that there's always too much going on to really hear any fine nuances obtained by finessing the guitar's volume knob...and then there's the tone suck. I much prefer to set my channels and/or pedals for rhythm volumes and separate, significantly louder lead volumes, with each channel/pedal tweaked specifically for a given tone, distortion level, volume level and guitar pickup.

    I find this frees me up to concentrate more fully on PLAYING instead of twiddling knobs to obtain certain levels, tones and distortion levels.
     
  12. Onioner

    Onioner Member

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    There are amps that can do the super high gain to pristine thing, though granted it's a difficult and rare thing to find. Just heard a demo of such an amp recently, though I'm blanking on the name of it.
     
  13. lpaine

    lpaine Opinions are like... Just don't become one. Gold Supporting Member

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    Depends on the amp. Some do the dirty-to-clean dynamic thing without much of a volume differential much better than others.
    Depends on the guitar (in my experience, single coils do this a little more easily than humbuckers, with less difference in overall volume from more gainey to cleaner).
    Also depends on how distorted a tone one uses or wants for the gain tone, and how clean one wants the clean tone to be.
    Personally, I never use "Fender Twin" squeaky clean, nor do I use a hi-gain sound. I prefer a little hair on my cleans if I dig in, and my gain tones are likely considered low to moderately overdriven.
    If one needs a range of bone crushing hi-gain to Twin-like cleans, without big changes in overall level, that might be a tall order in one channel, without pedals. In my limited experience, there is a practical limit to how far the "dynamic" thing can be taken, at least in a band context, and un-mic'ed, or without an active sound person. But with the right amp, and a narrower range of needed gain and clean tones, no prob. But, it probably isn't for everyone. Kinda like most things.... :)
     
  14. Unadan

    Unadan Member

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    It's just another one of those gear-related cliches that tends to get overused. Like blooming notes. :huh
     
  15. edgewound

    edgewound Gold Supporting Member

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    "Clean" is not the same definition for everyone or all rigs. It depends on what you're playing.

    Playing a crunchy/funky rhythm rolled back on the knob can be considered "cleaned up" before you crank for a burning solo...might crank the guitar and add some boost.

    Truly Fendery type clean would be a different channel setting, different channel or different amp all together.

    Depends on what kind of "gainiac" you are.
     
  16. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Totally Agree! It's really the only way I know how to play rock guitar in a band! Roll back guitar vol for clean, up for a little grind, OD pedal for more saturation. Even with the OD pedal on, I can still get different shades of dirt from the guitar's vol control.

    To the OP: some amps/pedals do this better than others.
     
  17. Tuberoast

    Tuberoast Silver Supporting Member

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    My rollback isn't so much of a totally clean sound as it is a cleaner (with a little grit) sound. I use an OD pedal, so if I want a clean, clean sound off goes the OD.
     
  18. Tonesmiths

    Tonesmiths Member

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    Okay, I'll sell my '64 Deluxe Reverb and Jackson Ampworks Britain 3.0 immediately. What should I buy?
     
  19. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    bender, have you ever played a Trainwreck type amp? Amazing clean to scream response from the guitar's volume control. I had a Two Rock Ruby, and it was quite mind blowing in that regard.
     
  20. chrisrocksusa

    chrisrocksusa Member

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    yeah that trick is only good if you're playing alone.
     

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