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Sweet Spot vs Cranking To 10?

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rparker
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I see some people grab a guitar and crank the volume and tone knobs all the way up. My one time and brief instructor did that and made me do the same when I came it. I never did like that sound. I see it at guitar stores all the time too.

One thing I have noticed is that I have spots on my guitars' volume that do certain things. For instance, on my MIM Strat with GFS pickups, if the volume is 6 or below it is almost muffled. If it is about an 8, it sounds pretty bright. If it's cranked up to 10, it almost breaks up a bit. With my Epi LP, a very low volume is almost melodic, but the slightest bump above about a 3 or so really brightens it up. It stays that way until the about a 9 when it starts to break up a bit (in a nice way too, really mean sounding).

It doesn't matter on the amp if it's set to a 2 or 4. I get the same result from the guitar. Due to the ear thing, I'll crank up the vol on the guitar sometimes and turn down the amp to get the desired effect. It's as if each selector position comes with it's own set of sweet spots or something.

It leaves me with the impression that those who crank to 10 lose out on tonal flexibility. Why do some folks do that? A preference thing, or is it just because that's what they've always done and been taught?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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Dan T.
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I do adjust the tone knobs on my guitars, but once I find a sound I like, that's where they usually stay. I will confess that all of my guitars have their volume knobs cranked all the way to 10. :oops:

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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dogbite
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with my strat plus I find that if I ease of ther treble tone knob I have a sweeter sound. less harsh, but still bright.
I have the volume knob a hair off of full on too. I'd say that is this the strat's sweetest place.
also, where the 28th fret would be....if I pick there I get all sorts of beautiful squealies and overtones.

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mmoncur
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It seems to depend on the guitar - on my MIM strat (fender noiseless pickups neck & mid, SD Pearly Gates Plus bridge) it doesn't seem to matter much at all so I keep it at 10. The tone control doesn't do much either. On my PRS Mira, the volume sounds best around 6 and the tone control actually does something - ranging from kind of a cool muffled sound at 0 to way too bright at 10. So I usually keep that around 6.

I haven't had any other guitars long enough to notice their sweet spots, but I'm sure they have them.


   
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Ricochet
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Cranking everything to "Patent Pending" is something that's fun now and then, but I very rarely do it. I learned the old trick of setting the amp up as loud as or a bit louder than I'd ever possibly want it in a given situation (or wide open), turning the treble up as bright as I'd possibly want it (or all the way), then using the guitar controls to turn it down to where I really want it. It's a little more complicated with a master volume amp, where your guitar volume becomes the gain control rather than volume. I can usually find a setting where the guitar volume lets me turn down to play cleanly, a little quieter and mellower sounding, turn up a little and get more volume with breakup coming in on the louder parts, or turn it all the way up and get crunch.

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rparker
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I'm with most of you guys on the tone knobs. Too much=too tinny for me. Not enough=too muffled. I'm pretty much at 6 on most everything.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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Moonrider
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It leaves me with the impression that those who crank to 10 lose out on tonal flexibility. Why do some folks do that? A preference thing, or is it just because that's what they've always done and been taught?

Bingo! Just like your guitars, amps have a 'sweet spot' too! In my opinion, if you're playing electric guitar, it's just as important to learn how to "play" the amp too. It's half your instrument.

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Ande
 Ande
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I think which guitar and which amp are what makes the difference.

My main guitar seems to have a lot of range in both volume and tone knobs, and I like to leave the amp pretty wide open. (Pre-amp at 3/4, master volume dimed, amp tone control at about 3/4) Then I seem to get the flexibility to take the guitar volume down for sweet and clean, up for mild overdrive, or dimed for metal distortion. Between guitar volume, tone, and pickup switching, it'll pretty give me all the sounds I need without having to touch the amp.

Best,
Ande


   
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gnease
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it also depends on the pup and the volume/tone wiring.

pups characteristics are highly dependent upon electrical loading. that loading is determined by the pot values, contours (taper type), wiring (to volume pot "end" or "center" wiper, see next paragraph).

Gibby and Epiphone have used different circuit configurations in allegedly "similar" LP models. in the classic Gibby version, each pup is connected to the "hot end" of its volume pot, and rolling either volume control to zero kills the output if the pup selector is in center (both pups) position. in a version found on some Epis, this interaction effect does not occur due, as the pups are connected to the pot wipers. but the trade-offs include a lot of tonal change as the the volume rolls down, plus a different volume versus volume setting characteristic (YMMV).

"modern" passive volume circuits in guitars include a treble bleed cap that mitigates the treble dullness as volume is reduced. having this allows the tone (really a simple passive treble roll-off) to do its job a bit more independently from the volume level. unfortunately, not so many "modern" guitars include this 2 cent enhancement -- probably not "vintage" enough.

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rparker
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ingo! Just like your guitars, amps have a 'sweet spot' too! In my opinion, if you're playing electric guitar, it's just as important to learn how to "play" the amp too. It's half your instrument.

Yes. I agree that it is important to learn the amp. I wish that I did more of tht and should do some still on the ones I have. :oops:
also, where the 28th fret would be....if I pick there I get all sorts of beautiful squealies and overtones.

This made me stop and think. I'm checking that each time On my guitar yesterday and today. So far, I'm good with 3 of them. The Tele wasn't so lucky though. I ended up moving it probably and inch and a half down the body to about right below the neck pick-up. I was starting at about the neck and ending on the neck fret. Somewhat crisper since the move.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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Jammin'John
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I play tweed amps & Tele's.
I set the amp louder and with more treble than I will use.
I then adjust everything at the guitar.
I play & sing all night.
I have a great time & go home. 8)

JJ


   
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Sin City Sid
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To me it depends on what gear I'm playing. If I'm playing on the Blackheart amps then the gain gets cranked way up and I control most of it with the volume and tone knob on the guitar. If I'm playing the peavey amp then I will just crank the guitar to 10 and use the channel switch pedal and fine adjust on the guitar.

As far as the treble goes, I like a lot of it as the guitar is a treble instrument and I want to be able to cut through the other players or backing track.


   
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cnev
 cnev
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I like to set my volume/tone controls the same way I like my women....all 10's...but on a serious note I find the tone controls on my Strat pretty useless and the change in tone is so slight it's almost imperceptable. But I also find the Strat>Fender Deluxe a bit bright for my liking even with pedals. I need a bit more low end.

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TRGuitar
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But these go to eleven ...... :? I tend to use the wide open setting on my guitar as the tone controlls being passive are a subtraction. When using both pickups of my LP's and LP pickup configued guitars I will adjust the bridge and neck pickup volumes to adjust my tone. Louder neck, more bass, louder bridge, more treble, usually with the cleaner tones as well. For my distorted or dirty sound, I like lots of gain and lots of brightness from the guitar so 10 is my sweet spot.

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grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
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rparker
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Under the category of interesting, but not suprising: Known hard rockers who responded crank it up. TR, cnev, sid, etc.

So, Moonrider and dogbite both struck chords with me with their responses. I think I mentioned already that I moved my string attack position a couple inches on the Tele. Well, I also paid more attention to the Super Champ XD while making a red sauce one evening and found a good set-up that agrees with the Tele. Sounding really good now.

I also adjusted my office rig a little bit. (Boss GT-10 to old Fender Solid State 30W amp) I created some patches that gave me that hard rocking sound, but without the loud volume that my ears still cannot handle. Came up with a really good Neil Young dirty lead sound and a decent knopfler lead tone that can also work on some Gilmour stuff. It's a touch too dirty, but not out of range or anything.

Added compressor effect to my clean sound too, which really brings out the notes for the non-cowboy strumming I'm getting into these days.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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