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Clean Distortion


(@anonymous)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Topic starter  

So I got home after my lesson today and plugged into my Randall to practice what was taught while it was still fresh. When I did, my clean channel had distortion. It didn't have much but it was there. I would've just figured Randall designs amps with overdrive more than anything so that's why but realized it was never like this before. Then looked at my guitar and the volume knob was at 10. I turned the volume down on my guitar and it cleaned right up. Why is that? I didn't have the amp very loud, it is 10pm here so I had it just loud enough so I could hear.


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

You normally play with the volume set to somewhere around 3, I suspect. Like the gain on your amp, adding amplitude can cause the signal to clip - by setting your guitar volume low and the amp near to clipping, additional signal "volume" from the guitar will also create distortion. This is a widely used technique - rhythm is played with the volume down low, but riffs, etc. are played with distortion. Because you are clipping the signal, you are not adding to the overall volume.

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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

yup. in a sense your amp is like a distortion pedal.
if you have the gain high but volume low you control the output or volume heard.
with that setting your guitar can play heavy metal and sound all distortedly cool, yet the overall voume is low (bedroom levels).
ny adjusting both of those controls you can get the amount of distortion and output matched to where you want it.

my amp doesnt have a gain. I need to crank it way up before it clips.that's why I have an overdrive pedal; I can add dirt to my playing but stay at exreme low outoputs and save the neighbors ears.

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(@prndl)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
 

So I got home after my lesson today and plugged into my Randall to practice what was taught while it was still fresh. When I did, my clean channel had distortion. It didn't have much but it was there. I would've just figured Randall designs amps with overdrive more than anything so that's why but realized it was never like this before. Then looked at my guitar and the volume knob was at 10. I turned the volume down on my guitar and it cleaned right up. Why is that? I didn't have the amp very loud, it is 10pm here so I had it just loud enough so I could hear.

Something's a bit off with your amp, in my opinion.
If it's a solid state amp, most likely one of the transistors in the clean channel has drifted and is now clipping.
It's not serious and there's no real need to get it repaired, unless you want that total clean sound back.

What do I mean by drifting?
Transistors (and tubes) have set operating voltages they work with.
They usually put small variable resistors on the circuit board to set them.
Drifting means that the operating voltage has changed, which can happen when the transistors age.
When the operating voltage gets too high, it can clip when it reaches the upper voltage (usually 9 volts).

I'd recommend sending an email to Randall's tech support describing the problem and see what they say.
It could be as simple as readjusting that variable resistor, and changing a transistor or two.

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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 8308
Topic starter  

You lost me, partly because I don't know much about electronics.

I'm not sure why I'd have to get technical support to fix it. I turned down the volume on my guitar and it cleaned up. Is it bad to do that? I'm confused......


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(@prndl)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 199
 

You lost me, partly because I don't know much about electronics.
I'm not sure why I'd have to get technical support to fix it. I turned down the volume on my guitar and it cleaned up. Is it bad to do that? I'm confused......

This is an example of a grey area.
Your amp isn't really broken, just slightly out of adjustment.

There's nothing wrong with turning your guitar volume down to clean it up.
Some people want that squeaky clean sound, and don't want to fiddle with the guitar's knobs.

Actually, some people prefer that edge where you turn your guitar up and get mild distortion, and turn it down for cleans.
It's a characteristic of expensive tube amps played at just the right volume.

1 watt of pure tube tone - the Living Room Amp!
http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Amps/LivingRoomAmp.html
Paper-in-oil caps rule!


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(@forrok_star)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2340
 

Sounds like your guitar was overdriving the amps pre-amp alittle. By turning down your guitar lessoned it. Giving you a clean signal again. I have a guitar with a builtin pre-amp which is designed just for overdiving the input of an amp. I don't use it much cause it just dosen't sound good to me.

Joe


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

I fixed it. My amp has two inputs, once says high and once says low. With my guitar in the high input it clips with the volume around 4 or so. In the low input, it doesn't clip till around 7.


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(@timezone)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 209
 

Yeah, my amp also has hi / lo inputs, and I get pretty harsh distortion (not the good kind, IMO) on the hi input. Much prefer the lo input. Thought it was just me.... BTW, forrok_star is essentially right. If your amp is like mine, the only difference between the hi / lo inputs is the lo input cuts the signal in half before sending it to the pre-amp. Which is the same as turning the volume way down on your guitar.
TZ


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