Turning down guitar volume pot for cleans... what am I missing??

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6,586
Not gonna read through the whole thread but here are a couple of thoughts that probably have been pointed out alredy.

First, if you're playing with a lot of gain it won't clean up as much and probably wouldn't ever get to dead clean.

Second, if you're getting all your drive from the preamp it won't clean up as sweetly. But if you're playing at decent (ie: band level) volume and have a decent balance between preamp breakup and power amp breakup, the cleanup is not just more natural but less harsh.

Third, like anything tone-related, context matters. In a band mix, you don't need to get superclean to sound clean - in fact, a little edge helps. Listen to Hendrix - his cleans aren't ever truly clean, but they sound clean. Perfect in context. So many guitar parts that sound clean in the recording really wouldn't be if you hear them isolated...

Fourth, YEAH, fuzz. A good Fuzzface or Tonebender is a joy to roll back and even when set for mad fuzz when the guitar's floored, it'll generally give you some great well-defined clean tones if you work your guitar's controls. Many other fuzz pedals will do this; I only name the Face & Bender because they're widely known classics and available in dozens of versions. Of course that other classic, the Muff, doesn't behave like this. It doesn't like to clean up at all.

I'm totally smitten with the Lovepedal Fuzz 50. Only one control on it: volume. Yet it goes from wild psychedelic lead to instant Jimi semicleans with just a twist of the guitar's knob. Instant 1960s.
 

classicplayer

Member
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599
Many amps clean up well with guitar volume. Any overdriven non master volume Marshall or Fender are great at this. Plenty of master volume amps, too.
Here is something I recorded this morning, comparing a Naylor to a Wizard. I stay on the dirty channel, just flicking the pickup switch on my LP with the neck pup turned down.


Well done! A very good example and BTW, the Naylor is brighter to me than the Wizard. For that reason, it wins...here. How far back down on the neck volume were you? Was that a Les Paul? No pedals involved, I assume?


classicplayer
 

LPMojoGL

Music Room Superstar
Supporting Member
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8,885
Well done! A very good example and BTW, the Naylor is brighter to me than the Wizard. For that reason, it wins...here. How far back down on the neck volume were you? Was that a Les Paul? No pedals involved, I assume?


classicplayer
No pedals, 4 on the neck volume, Seymour Duncan Antiquity, 500k CTS pot, small cap for treble bleed to retain highs.
 

NatGardner

Member
Messages
287
In the early 70s I had a 50 watt Marshall head. No master volume.
With my Les Paul Custom the amp sounded amazing with the volume on 3-4.
What I did was use the neck pickup on full volume for solos, and the bridge pickup on 6 for clean tones. The treble and prescence knobs were up high on the Marshall to make up up for the lost treble on the guitar. And the full blast neck pickup benefitted from it too.
Kind of like primitive channel switching.
Only time I ever did something like that. But it worked well IMO
Thanks Dude! :beer

I have a 339 epi pro that I love to play Jazz and BB king like blues on. It rips! It's woody, feels nice, set up perfectly and doesn't feedback unless I face into the amp Hendrix wise on purpose. My only issue is that it does not have a treble bleed or 50's wiring. It's a pain in the ass with these semi hollowbody guitars to get to the wiring myself and I refuse to pay over $100 to have a treble bleed cap or 2 put in this $450 guitar. I tried your method and I now don't need a treble bleed. I put the vol and tone on full on the Rhythm p/u and dialed in my amp for a nice Duane Allman solo tone. When I switched to the treble p/u set at 5 / tone on 10 it was clean and cutting The pickup and bright amp setting actually compensated for the volume, tone and gain drop. If I raised the Treble p/u volume a little it has an edge of breakup grind. When both pick ups were on on the tone was a cleanish solo.
 
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