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

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
6,849
I've got my amp set where having the tone and volume on my guitar both all the way up is searingly bright.

Not every amp and not every guitar can do this.

So I roll the tone back a little bit - and there's my crunch sound.

Roll the volume back - there's that mellow clean sound

Roll the volume back and push the tone knob up - there's that sparkling clean.

Turn the volume and the tone all the way to zero - there's that part of the song I don't know how to play but want to pretend I do
parallel posting ...
:beer
cheers,
Rhino
 

Kelly

Member
Messages
3,385
Totally amp dependant. The Fryette Deliverance does it better than any amp I've ever used. It doesn't need to be cranked, or a treble bleed used.
 

Wolfboy1

Grandpa but...Not Yet Old!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,996
Really what you need is a Lovepedal. Maybe a 5E3 Deluxe, Purple Plexis or Tchula etc. These pedals in front of your amp are magnificant. (as are others I'm sure) Set your amp as clean as you can then set the pedal for just the right nastiness when your guitar is dimed. Then roll back your volume to clean up. Something I'd never done till I discovered LPs.
 

NatGardner

Member
Messages
339
I've got my amp set where having the tone and volume on my guitar both all the way up is searingly bright.

Not every amp and not every guitar can do this.

So I roll the tone back a little bit - and there's my crunch sound.

Roll the volume back - there's that mellow clean sound

Roll the volume back and push the tone knob up - there's that sparkling clean.

Turn the volume and the tone all the way to zero - there's that part of the song I don't know how to play but want to pretend I do

This is how you do it. Full volume and your tone adjusted for cut needed for your solo. I also keep an EQ in the loop with the volume and the mids up a bit This way I can boost the volume and cut of my cleans without adding gain. I also can boost the volume/cut of my leads without gain too.

Once this technique is understood and mastered you will re think all the amps you bought and sold before and wonder if you should have kept some of them
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,046
.

There are the tricks in these videos.
You may need a treble bleed (don't go 50s style wiring because turning down the tone drops the volume too).
You need to set your amp and pedal breakup points. You may just have your gain set so high that any volume at all out of the guitar is giving you fizz.


.
 

voorhiessa

Member
Messages
6,487
only luck I've had is by:

--amp with good amount of mids (like your Marshall)
--using less gain that you normally would (but still enough for rock grit)
--putting your guitar on 6-7 and setting up your cleans that way
--accept that cleans aren't going to be squeaky clean...but probably good enough for band mix
--accept that when you roll up for 10 for lead stuff, it's going to be harsher/brighter than you're used to........but probably better for band mix
--I have a tele too, without the treble bleed, and this seems to work well.
 

Fusionshred

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,104
I've been playing for 40 years. Once I started getting into gear and soloing, I've used 2 channel amps. I've NEVER experimented on this concept except once after seeing an incredible demonstration of it in Steve Morse's instructional video and then walking into a music store, plugging into a 2203 into a 4x12 and cranking it.

I couldn't really get it to work, but that's because my gain is high gain and my clean is jazz squeaky clean. I can't do it without a volume drop. I think I would have unrealistic expectations if I though a single-channel, non-master volume amp could cover this wide a spectrum. The best I can do is roll off volume at the guitar to go from searing high-gain lead to crunchy rhythm. BUT Morse got pretty close to this distortion-down-to-clean thing in that demonstration, just by using his pickup selector switch, volume knob and pick attack. When I first saw it, I was like "How the f*** is he doing that?!?."

Those of you who can pull this off are like the Jedi Knights of the guitar universe. It seems like it would be so freeing.

I'm often getting this romantic notion of selling everything and going with one single-channel Marshall, a cord, and maybe a delay, and that's it. LOL!
 

C-4

Member
Messages
13,492
Lighten the pick attack, and don’t expect squeaky cleans.

In a band mix, you will hear less of the grit attached to the note of a guitar with a rolled back volume control.
The reason you are experiencing an unsatisfactory volume roll back could be anything from how you have your amp set, and guitar, to the values of the pots and caps in the guitar, regardless of whether or not you are using a specific type of pot, as you stated.

It might also be your picking technique, as stated earlier in this thread. I never expect to hear from a rolled back volume control, the same feeling and exact sound of an amp set clean and my guitar volume wide open.
 

MrKite89

Member
Messages
1,654
regardless of which guitar I use
Same experience here, 'till I bought a used '51 Nocaster NOS: on that guitar I actually love the tone of the bridge pu with the volume at 75% or so, best rhythm RnR tone ever into a cranked Vox AC30 or Fender DR amp, and if you crank the knob you get a slightly brighter tone ideal for leads...

Don't ask me why, probably a combination of the inherent tone of the pickups\guitar and the impedance of the circuit (I have the old\original "Blend" circuit installed)...

All my other guitars are just meh in this application...
 

TopJimmy5150

Member
Messages
1,463
I do this all of the time playing live. I tend to run clean amps with an OD on in front of them all of the time (or a digital emulation of the same thing). My tone isn't wildly distorted...my tone goal tends to be the Van Halen 1984 guitar tone. It's not a pristine clean but good enough. I'm not a big fan of radical departures from my standard sound.
 

rickt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,067
As others have said, a treble-bleed circuit will eliminate the muddiness as you turn down the volume. The other component is the amp. Each amp is different, even among the same make and model. And, yes, some amps will not yield a pristine clean. There are a lot of variables that can be tweaked to get the best tone out of your rig (guitar-->cable-->amp).
 

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,255
Some people like the treble roll off, because it also serves as a cut in presence in a live mix...

One option is to set the amp EQ with the guitar rolled down. Realistically, most of us spend more time on rhythm volume rather leads anyway.

And yes, You’ll still have more treble content on your leads, but they’ll now have lots of cut, and your cleaner sounds will be more to your liking.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,231
There are two approaches to NOT losing treble from the guitar when you turn down the volume (the mud you mentioned, OP, comes from the guitar not the amp). One is the treble bleed circuit, basically a cap in parallel to the volume/tone controls that lets some of the treble leak thru to the output jack no matter what you do with the controls. The other is what's called "vintage wiring" where the tone pot is fed from the wiper of the volume pot (IIRC) so that, as you turn down the volume the effect of the tone circuit on brightness doesn't change. That's the kind of treble conservation that all the old Gibsons and Fenders used to use.

The second issue is the one of compression and the amount of distortion people have talked about. As an experiment see if you can find a Ge Fuzz Face and a Big Muff. Hook em up to a clean amp and turn the gain to 80% and the volume to even with your clean sound. When you're playing thru the FF, turn down the volume on the guitar-notice it cleans up gradually while also thinning and getting a little quieter. Try the same thing with the BMP-no clean up, roars until the volume drops to nothing. That's because the BMP is WAY more compressed than the FF. With your amp, the kind of settings where this would work are with the gain knob at 9-10, then turn up the master volume until the rest of the amp is starting to get you the crunch you need. Now turn down the volume: voila! That level of volume from a JCM800 is usually pretty brutal, though, so the other thing you might want to think about is an attenuator so you can have your crunch and eat it too!!!!
 

eoengineer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,064
IME, it works better with a single channel (or 4 hole) amp breaking up than a dirt channel on a channel switching amp. YMMV.
This is in line with my experience. My Superlead is more responsive to volume rollback than my Mesa Mark III lead channel, the Mesa still does well.
To echo some other posters though, you can’t roll back from master of puppets crunch to a fender clean. You will either need to play with less gain or be ok with dirtier cleans.
 

bluesoul

Member
Messages
4,663
Depends on how much gain (amp overdrive) you start with! Big difference between getting and amp in crunch territory vs overly saturated. Low volume and lots of preamp gain won't clean up well. Cranked amp just breaking up will. Getting an overdriven sound from the cranked power section of an amp works much better for volume rolling...and most folks need some boost for solos. Some amps are much better as to how they clean up.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,357
I've got my amp set where having the tone and volume on my guitar both all the way up is searingly bright.

Not every amp and not every guitar can do this.

So I roll the tone back a little bit - and there's my crunch sound.

Roll the volume back - there's that mellow clean sound

Roll the volume back and push the tone knob up - there's that sparkling clean.

Turn the volume and the tone all the way to zero - there's that part of the song I don't know how to play but want to pretend I do
Right. I usually recommend people dial the amp with the guitar's volume and tone rolled back some. Where exactly depends on the pots, but it doesn't matter a whole lot since they are variable. When the guitar's V and T are both all the way up, it will be bright. And of course, picking position affects tone.

I don't recommend treble bleeds. I've never found one I really liked. 50s wiring works well.
 




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