Using The Volume Controls

Discussion in 'Player's Tips' started by andrewsrea, Jan 15, 2020.

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How do you use your guitar's volume controls?

  1. Constant tweaker, using the full range of settings

    12 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. '10' for solos, '7' for rhythm, '0' for when I am not playing

    6 vote(s)
    21.4%
  3. Keeping it really simple: '0' and '10'

    8 vote(s)
    28.6%
  4. There is a volume control on my guitar?

    2 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    We haven't done a poll in a while and I was making some observations of changes in my own volume habits, so let's find out how you are using the 'volume' controls on your electric guitar...
     
  2. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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  3. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    tweaker but mostly around 6-7 rhythm/ 10 soloing if I remember to spin it up.
     
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  4. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    @andrewsrea I´m a 10 volume guy. Mostly because: First, I haven´t learned to use it for those subtle changes, and second, when I lower the volume, a hummin´sound starts to sound, some kind of buzz that I don´t like, so it´s always at 10. It dissapears once I rolled it up to 10.
     
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  5. glasshand

    glasshand Well-Known Member

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    I'm usually a "volume at 10" kind of guy, but occasionally, depending on the particular amp and guitar, I find that I like it better backed off just a little and then turning up the amp to compensate.

    Interestingly enough, that's only with guitar. On bass, I often find myself turning the volume down substantially and using the amp's volume controls.
     
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  6. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    I work the volume and tone controls a lot while performing. I also have a mild dirt pedal on most of the time in front of my amp.

    These are my basic settings:

    Gainy, sustainy lead work: Guitar volume at 10.
    Crunchy rhythm: Guitar volume at 6-7.
    Cleanish rhythm: Guitar volume at 3-4.
    Clean lead: Guitar volume at 6-7 with dirt pedal off.
    Maximum clean: Guitar volume at 3-4 with dirt pedal off.

    Here's a little "secret" . . . really good quality pickups have many of there best tones "hidden" at lower guitar volume knob settings. It is by now means the case that '10' sounds best.
     
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  7. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the guitar. Backing off the volume too far on some guitars I own darkens up the sound too much. It's one reason I was almost thinking of asking Rob to mod my 594 Soapboar's wiring. If that darkening isn't an issue, I tend to use the volume controls more. The same thing is true with tone controls. If the roll-off is too fast or too slow I don't use it.
     
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  8. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    I've always wondered how anyone who has a guitar wired like a Les Paul can use the volume control? Or perhaps it is because I usually have BOTH pickups switched on? The pups interact to such
    an extent that I either leave the volumes on 10 or rewire the guitar like a Gretsch (so the pickups don't interact.)
     
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  9. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    With my Soapbar the interaction in the middle position are key to why I like the guitar so much. But, as I said, if I roll down one too much it can too dark. It's hard to find a happy medium.
     
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  10. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    My Gibson Les Paul 1960 VOS came wired so that the pickup volume knobs don't interact. My Harley Benton L-550 Paradise also came wired like this. Other than that, most all my other LP style guitars came with "modern" wiring.
     
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  11. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    You turn one volume all the way down (with both pickups selected) and it does not kill the output from both?
     
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  12. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Correct. For example, if I'm in the middle position, and I roll the bridge pickup volume knob down to zero, then I hear only the neck pickup. But then I can bleed the bridge in as much as I want. I find it very versatile from a tonal point of view.
     
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  13. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    That's a change! Les Paul type guitars have traditionally been wired so that turning either pickup to zero (with both pups on) kills the output from the guitar.
    The reason being that is how Les wanted it. He was not only the lead performer but also the emcee, so he wanted a quick way of killing his guitar's output.
     
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  14. RiverDog

    RiverDog Well-Known Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, what TMC is describing is referred to as 50s wiring, no?
     
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  15. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    Is this the so famous "50s wiring"?
     
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  16. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    Would you enlighten me on this, Mickey? What´s the emcee (MC I guess, but still, what´s the MC?)

    Thanks!
     
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  17. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    The "Master of Ceremonies" also called the announcer.
    He was the guy introducing the next number.
    So he didn't want his guitar making unexpected noises while doing this.
     
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  18. backinit

    backinit Well-Known Member

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    I actually use the tone control more.
     
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  19. sabasgr68

    sabasgr68 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! :tophat:
     
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  20. tonray

    tonray Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    I am currently amp-less and playing unplugged I find the Volume control is less than effective. I still do hit the Strat pickup selector switch out of instinct/habit...but it allso seems to have little effect on overall tone.
     

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