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Clean vs. Distortion volume


(@writeamy)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

When using the clean vs. distortion on my amp, which one should be set at a higher volume? Should the clean channel be set at a higher volume to offset the nature of the distortion? I've been told that the clean channel should always be slightly louder, but I'm not sure if this is right.


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

In my experience, it depends on the amp. But in general, many amps will sound louder on the distorted channel at the same settings.

FWIW, I just set my amps at the loudest level I'll need, and make any adjustments after that with the volume knobs on the guitar.

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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 659
 

Trust your ear, and set the knobs accordingly.

On my amps, they sound louder "dirty" than "clean," so I tend to set the clean settings higher to compensate.

But trust your ear- get both set at the volume you want to play at, and you're good.

Ande


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8308
 

considering i know nothing about your amp, your guitar, any effects you might be using, the style you play, or whether your neighbors will be annoyed, i'd suggest you set them both to 11.


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(@writeamy)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm playing a Les Paul out of a Deville... cranking it up to 5 would probably make the windows shatter.


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(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1283
 

my amp also sounds louder dirty than when clean, and obvioulsy even more so when i have volume louder on the dirty channel which is what i do.

But when i play with the band at practice, even though i know the dirty channel is louder - it can still get lost in the mix really easily and i cant hear it.

I have to keep the dirty channel much much louder than the clean sometimes, so i can hear it when i switch to it mid song.

not sure why though :oops:

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1309
 

my amp also sounds louder dirty than when clean, and obvioulsy even more so when i have volume louder on the dirty channel which is what i do.

But when i play with the band at practice, even though i know the dirty channel is louder - it can still get lost in the mix really easily and i cant hear it.

I have to keep the dirty channel much much louder than the clean sometimes, so i can hear it when i switch to it mid song.

not sure why though :oops:

I'd be willing to bet money you run your mids scooped (lotsa bass, lotsa treble, mids way down low), dontcha?

Turn those mids up. That's where all the "cut" is that lets you be heard.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8308
 

i actually have a louder clean channel on my amp (pv classic30) than dirty channel. it uses an extra tube, and has a certain piercing quality to it, even at lower registers. you really do just have to go by your own ears.


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(@johnnie-black)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 5
 

An overdriven tone will usually sound louder than a clean tone at the same dB volume. This is because the overdriven tone is more compressed. You generally want the clean tone and the dirty tone to be at a similar dB level, so that both are balanced against the other instruments in the band.

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