Author Topic: Volume impacts distortion???  (Read 419 times)

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Offline skeldol

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Volume impacts distortion???
« on: October 06, 2020, 08:01:20 pm »
So I've thought for a while I am struggling to get much distortion on my Fender 20.  When I try to get distortion I usually choose metal voice, whack gain to 10, volume around 6 and guitar volume low & it's always a major disappointment, it still sounds fairly clean.

Tonight I did an experiment.  Gain 10 , Volume 10 - 3 sounds really clean.  But put volume down to around one or two (no higher else it starts to clean up loads) & use guitar volume to control the volume & it breaks up massively now!  Like wow it's taken me 4 months to get this happening!!  Like it's really hard to control the noise now, like its on a feedback loop!  But whack the volume up and suddenly its clean......

It's like volume is cancelling out the gain.  I thought volume didn't impact gain??  Anyway well happy I've now worked out how to get distortion :)

Offline KasperFauerby

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Re: Volume impacts distortion???
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2020, 08:29:07 pm »
Guitar volume should massively affect distortion, you'll always want that on full when looking for gain tones. Rather think of the guitar volume knob as a way to roll back on gain, if you feel the rest of your gear is giving you too much.

The amp is conceptually split into two sections; preamp, which has the gain knob and tone stack - that really affects distortion - and power section which is mostly about raw volume. In tube amps the power section also affects distortion to a certain extent when run really (really) loud. But I don't think the Fender amp you have is a tube amp? I would think the master volume on your amp wouldn't affect gain too much.

But it sounds like you're seeing pretty much the opposite results, if I'm reading your post correctly. That would make no sense to me, but hey if it's working for you ;)

Offline Majik

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Re: Volume impacts distortion???
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2020, 08:30:36 pm »
The guitar volume definitely impacts distortion.

That controls the signal level output from your guitar into the pre-amp. Overdrive type distortions usually happen because the input signal level exceeds the capabilities of the pre-amp circuit. The gain circuit on the amplifier is designed to boost the input signal from your guitar into the pre-amp so it overdrives.

If you keep the volume control on your guitar low, it's basically counteracting the effect of the gain control. If you are after higher gain sounds you should keep the guitar volume high.

The volume control on the amp, however, is normally designed to set how loud it is. It is possible to get additional overdrive at this stage depending on the guitar circuit, but it's not usual.

Try turning down the amp master volume and keeping the guitar volume and gain high. You should, generally, keep the guitar volume maxed out and set the gain on the amp to the level of overdrive you want.

Cheers,

Keith
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 08:58:03 pm by Majik »

Offline skeldol

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Re: Volume impacts distortion???
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2020, 08:55:04 pm »
OK thanks both. 

The mistake I've been making then is keeping guitar volume low & using amp volume which is why I've seen little impact from the gain.   Not knowing there is a difference between amp volume & guitar volume I used the two interchangeably in my post!!!

It's like I just got a new amp, its awesome!!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 09:40:53 pm by skeldol »

 

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