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

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by WholeLottaGlove, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. pedalparty

    pedalparty Member

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    Sounds like your missing a treble bleed. Some folks hate them but I have had pretty good success with them.
     
  2. NatGardner

    NatGardner Member

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    Is it against the boards rules to call a polite BS? :) Are you saying you cleaned up that much ( from death metal to pristine clean) at the same volume with just your axe's volume pot? Sounds fishy, but I apologize if I am wrong and have my credit card out to buy that amp if you can make a vid


    Peace --Nat Garder
     
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  3. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    Going from borderline breakup drive tones to clean sounds is not that hard to attain. As this thread shows, there are numerous ways to do this, and I won't repeat them or add to it. I'll simply emphasize that you need to have the right volume pot, the right taper, and the right overall wiring (which to me is treble bleed and modern wiring, but doesn't have to be...) . You also need to know how to adjust your amp (of appropriate power) for what you want (some want power tube saturation; I do not...). Of course, what many people forget is that turning down the volume knob turns down the volume. If you want to go clean while retaining the same volume, don't count on the knob alone. And finally, having seen Roy Buchanan a number of times, I can attest to volume swell for effect, but otherwise he relied on his touch for volume changes. He hit the strings hard for loud notes, and more gently for softer notes.
     
  4. mattthehoople

    mattthehoople Member

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    I could do a complete jazz guitar gig (if I had the chops) with my Metropoulos Metroplex.

    But for absolute clean, even Fenders can be too gainy.
     
  5. Simon

    Simon Supporting Member

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    What this Guy said, I have to have them all my guitars, I hate mush!!! Veri-Treb is the one you want.
     
  6. dmac in SC

    dmac in SC Silver Supporting Member

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    It all depends on how much dirt you're trying to clean up, how exactly you are getting the dirt, how loud you are playing, and what else is going on around you...

    If you're playing a pedal with gain cranked into a crystal clean amp (tube or sold state), turning down the guitar volume knob is going to produce muddy fart sounds...the lower the volume, the worse this gets...this is really the worst way to do it unless you're happy with one extreme or the other

    If you are playing into an overdriven, or almost overdriven (best option), tube amp and you are pushing the front end with an OD or clean boost, letting the amp do its job, the volume knob cleans it up pretty well...but you will lose the sparkle of the wide open guitar volume...no exceptions..and single coils respond better with this

    If you are playing in a group where the mid frequencies are saturated, nobody's really gonna notice the treble loss

    And the OD into the compressor suggestion above will help, but then you have the hiss factor

    I've also tried volume pedals strategically placed in the train, but I'm not coordinated enough to do it this way on the fly
     
  7. sah5150

    sah5150 Gold Supporting Member

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    Nat - the only difference between the heavy tone and the clean tone in that clip is the roll-off of the volume on my guitar. I would never make that claim if it weren't true. Not one setting on the amp was changed. I did add some stereo micropitchshift from the Eventide H-3000 plugin to the clean sound in my DAW, but nothing changed between my guitar and the DAW except the volume roll-off on the guitar.

    EDIT - There was actually one change. The clip was made with a guitar that has low output OX4 PAF clones in it - 8.3K bridge, 7.5K neck. Heavy was the bridge pickup, Clean was the neck pickup. So I did switch from the bridge to the neck pickup. I should also mention that the heavy part was doubled, while the clean was not.

    Here are the exact amp settings (You can see there is a ton more gain on tap):

    [​IMG]

    Here was the mic position:

    [​IMG]

    I could easily re-create this...

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  8. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

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    Well, you need a couple of things to do this right.

    1. A guitar with a good treble bleed circuit.
    2. An amp that cleans up enough, or a slightly overdriven amp that cleans up good with some sort of boost thrown in front for solos.
    3. An “always on” compressor pedal, either in the front or in the loop (try both); in case your cleans sound weak and thin in comparison.
     
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  9. Wee Jock

    Wee Jock Member

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    If you were going to achieve your overdrive sound by using a pedal, I can see using the guitar vol to back off to a crunch but wouldn’t you just switch the pedal off to get a clean sound?
     
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  10. tinkercity

    tinkercity Supporting Member

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    Treble Bleed is incredibly important especially with humbuckers from what I've found to do this. I do it with amps and pedals. It works and sounds great :)
     
  11. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    For me, the trick is to dial in your amp with the guitar volume and tone less than full open. Some guitars have pots that don't work well with this. I've had to fiddle with several Fender style guitars to adjust that--none of the Gibsons I've owned have had the problem, be they from the 80's, 90's or more recent models. On a Gibson style guitar, I'd set the guitar volume pot to 5 or so, and the tone to around 7, then set the amp volume pretty hot--7+, and then tweak the amp tone controls and guitar controls to where I have a good clean sound. Then when you turn the guitar volume up, it gets louder, brighter and more distorted.

    It's a technique from the non-master volume days, so if you're hoping to go from squeaky clean to endless sustain, it's probably not going to work. If you want a distorted sound that's the same volume as your clean sound, it's not going to work. If you have a channel switching amp that's designed around pre-amp distortion, it may not work, or more likely it'll work on one channel and not the other, again depending on the circuit and the range of clean to overdrive you're looking to get. You may also find your s/n ratio in the "clean" range isn't what you can achieve with a discrete channel switching amp. If you're also trying to use a variety of dirt pedals, it probably won't work--the amp is really hot in this setup, and most dirt pedals are designed around a robust input level, so if your guitar volume is lower than normal and your turn on your dirt box, you're probably going to get a volume and hiss boost without the accompanying clipping sustain.
     
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  12. Highway Man

    Highway Man Member

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    Plexi plus fuzz face will go extremely clean with the volume knob.
     
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  13. NatGardner

    NatGardner Member

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    I am a 2 small club gig a month guy. Thats a $2300 50 w head. I was hoping you had a small 18w weekend guy amp. Thanks
     
  14. sah5150

    sah5150 Gold Supporting Member

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    All good, man! When I was playing the LA clubs in the '80s I got all my cleans from the volume knob on my guitars so I wanted the same thing out of my amps. I just found the results of this little clip test interesting...

    Steve
     
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  15. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    There’s a lot of good info in here. I’ll add that, counterintuitively, I’ve found a good compressor to work well to balance the levels and pump the clean up a bit.

    I'll also add that you're better off with the guitar's volume a little higher and picking lightly, than you are lowering it down so it's squeaky clean when you're heavy handed. That's how you enter the mud zone. Clean it up, and don't forget about picking dynamics, as you would with any clean sound.
     
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  16. ebenezer

    ebenezer Silver Supporting Member

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    Putting a treble bleed on your guitar's volume pot is a definite must on humbucker guitars.
     
  17. aynirar27

    aynirar27 All You Need Is Rock and Roll Gold Supporting Member

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    Bridge on 10
    Neck on 6

    T-tops and tubes
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  18. SlightReturn

    SlightReturn Member

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    The Kinman treble bleed mod does it for me. I don't like the other mods.

    .0012mF cap and 130k resistor wired in series. The bare leg of the cap goes to the center lug of the vol. pot, the leg with the resistor on it goes to the outside lug.

    https://kinman.com/perfect-guitar.php#volumePots



    That makes a huge difference for me. All the difference in the world. Really breathes life back into the guitar and is super natural sounding.
     
  19. Page of Cups

    Page of Cups Member

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    treble bleed for humbuckers for sure, can be nice for single coils too, half of my pedals do the job just the same
    (making my guitar volume useful): dumbloid, half my lovepedals, all my fuzzfaces...
    Jeff Beck and the Magic Volume Knob
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  20. woof*

    woof* Member

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    If you can’t do it with your amp, you are using the wrong amp. High gain amps don’t this this very well usually.
    Being able to go from clean to scream with your volume knob is the great joy and expressive thing in guitar playing.
    I do this every day on either my Super Reverb or Superbass.
     

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