Riding the volume (help needed)

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by jamie.storm, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. jamie.storm

    jamie.storm Member

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    Hey guys, I've been curious about this for a while...

    I'm a Strat player and I use the volume pot a lot while I play. Recently I've been looking into guitars with humbuckers. Several of the guitars that I like in this vien have a separate volume for each pickup as opposed to one master akin to the Strat.

    I have a couple of friends that just leave them both dimed out, but this has never worked for me. (Some of my favorite sounds from an amp come from rolling the volume back.)

    For those of you that use a guitar with more than one volume pot on your guitar, do you find it hard to incorperate these dynamics in your playing?

    Does it confuse things? Any techniques?

    Also, I switch pick-ups a lot, sometimes even mid-solo. I'm afraid that I'll go to switch pick-ups and have some huge volume swell from where I left the volume at the wrong place. I've been reluctant to play anything else but a Strat for these reasons, but I'd like to explore the sustain and sonic possibilities of a Les Paul-style guitar.

    Any advice? Aside from playing technique, has anyone just wired their two-volume pot guitar to have one master?

    Thanks ya'll...
     
  2. Jon

    Jon Member

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    Any decent guitar tech would be able to re-wire so that one volume and one tone control act as the masters for both pickups.

    Having said that, a lot of Les Paul players get great tones with both pickups on and differing levels on the volumes and ones of each so you might want to explore this before re-wiring. The other alternative is use a volume pedal after the guitar.
     
  3. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    You could always investigate a volume pedal before re-wiring your guitars.

    The separate volume control on Les Paul type guitars is nice for setting up 'pre-set' volume levels, and using the pickup selector switch to toggle between them. The position, of the controls sucks for volume swells though (and the pointers can be brutal on your fingers in the heat of battle).

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  4. Swain

    Swain Member

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    2 Volumes can be very versatile.
    I also play mostly Strats. And I ride the Vol. and Tone knobs all the time. So, I understand what you're asking. There are a couple of ways I use the 2 Vol., 2 Tone, setup.

    Try thinking of each PU/VOL/TONE as a "channel". And you can switch between them.

    Also, you can get the real "magic" happening, when using both PUs together. Some of those "blended" tones are really something to search for! The Neck PU can yield a thickness, and depth. The Bridge PU can yield a nice "cut", and some extra clarity.

    You will need to get accustomed to the layout. Nothing beats just playing the new guitar. A LOT! (LOL). After a few weeks, you will be able to just shoot your hand right to the needed control, and find the sweet spots. It's more familiarity than anything else.

    Happy hunting!
     
  5. jamie.storm

    jamie.storm Member

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    Thanks guys, some great advice so far. If you wouldn't mind posting what kind of two-volume guitar you play in your post, (Les-paul, PRS, ect) it would be very helpful.

    Also, How many of you use a volume pedal for a solution? I've always avoided those for fear they would be too awkward, lol. If that is a common solution, it would be great to get some feed back on that.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. s2khawk

    s2khawk Member

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    i ride my strats vol. constantly, but my other mainstays are some old V's with 'buckers and two volumes and I find them just as ez to use as the one vol. strat (although I wish the V's had the knobs closer to my hand). im thinking of getting RS pots tho as they seem specifically designed for constant vol. rollers like us :)
     
  7. jamie.storm

    jamie.storm Member

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  8. jamie.storm

    jamie.storm Member

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    ^ lol, they should!

    I don't know if it is as popular in the "high-gain" realm.
     
  9. Jon

    Jon Member

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    Using a volume pedal works well apart from the fact that it's more difficult to gauge how much you've backed off the volume, as you don't have as much of a visual cue as you do with the guitar's volume pot e.g. going from a full volume solo straight into a backed-off volume rhythm part - until you start playing the rhythm part you're sometimes not sure how loud you'll be. The solution would be a volume pedal with a minimum volume control (I think Roland do these) or the Visual Sound volume pedal which has a row of level LEDs. An alternative would be some kind of EQ pedal which can cut volume (e.g. Boss GE7) or a dedicated rhythm/solo level pedal such as the Burford which looks as though it's a boost but is actually a cut (i.e. the LED comes on for your solo setting but the pedal is actually bypassed for this)

    http://www.projectguitarparts.co.uk/Pages/reviews.html#solomaster

    or the Session Solobooster which does the same sort of thing but works in the amp's serial fx loop, which would presuambly work better in amps where less of the overdrive comes from the preamp, since it sits between preamp and poweramp section:

    http://www.award-session.com/solobooster.html
     
  10. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Alternatively, there are plenty of dual humbucker guitars with a single volume control, situated a bit closer for what you want.

    I did see a youtube of Joe Bonamasssa doing his violin, volume swell on every note thing (Song is Blues Deluxe) on an LP as he has totally dissed strats, and he does it OK. Probably takes a bit of practice, I suspect.
     
  11. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    Volume pedals are okay, if you do a lot of volume swells and such, but I find I prefer playing a strat with the volume knob by the bridge, if you looking for humbuckers I have a fat strat and really love it. all the features of a strat and a humbucker,

    there are humbucker guitars that have master volume and tone, PRS are one, that have a volume knob by the bridge, you might look at those, really prefer the volume knob over the volume pedal, its more controllable.
     
  12. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    I had that problem when I started playing my Heritage Prospect. I had the tech I use put in a master volume. I used to have a Guild Starfire VI and liked where the master was so I had it put in the same place. Some think it's weird but it works for me.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    WOW .. Brillant set up Brian...
    Luv all the coil tap, etc. options too ...
    ..Excellent ...!!
     

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