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Limiting volume of a tube amp; does this do the trick?

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E.Sherman
(@e-sherman)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I've got a Gibson Goldtone amp. I've mentioned it before on here, its a stereo 30 watt class a tube amp. In order to attenuate the signal, I'd need too, which I don't have the cash for.

But I tried something today. I put my volume pedal in it's effects loop. I then cranked my amp and my guitar...I got the cranked tube tone at a lower volume.

I was just wondering if someone could explain the process of this to me. Are the power tubes still being saturated? Is this a viable option? If so, why isn't it used more often?

The king of rock, some say lives
the lizard king, is surely dead
the king of France, lost his head
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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If the power tubes are "saturated," either it's LOUD, or the output's being attenuated. If you're getting a distorted sound at moderate volume without attenuation, it's from "saturation" (I hate that inaccurate term) of an earlier stage. If it sounds good to you, why does it matter? I'm cranky about people insisting that "power tube distortion" is the only good thing tube amps can do. Sorry 'bout that.

As I've mentioned before, distortion from the output stage of a single ended Class A amp is the same sort of distortion you get from "preamp" stages, which are also single ended Class A amps.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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forrok_star
(@forrok_star)
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What your doing by placing the volume pedal in the effects loop is like having a master volume. A master volume does not reduce power output after the power-amplification stage. The master volume controls found on most amps cuts the power between the final preamp stage and the power amp. When you turn down the master volume or in your case the volume pedal, and then turning up the gain controls to achieve overdrive, you are overdriving the preamp stages, not the power stage. If it sounds good to you use it.

The master volume control permits running the preamp at full saturation or beyond at reasonable volume levels which allows you to balance preamp and power amp saturation for a wide variety of sounds. Running the output stage into saturation at lower sound levels cab be achieved in different ways. Dummyloads, Attenuators, or an isolation box are the ways I prefer to use.

What I have worked on in my quest for tone is finding the right balance of preamp distortion and output saturation. Then by combining effective placement of equalizers between different stages of the signal chain then applying dummyloads and attenuators into the equation allows me control of the different stages and the final out come. All at low volume.

Joe


   
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Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
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What the above two said:

preamp->volume pedal->poweramp, this will have the volume pedal lower the signal going into the poweramp, whereas an attenuator would lower the signal coming from the poweramp into the speakers. So are you hearing the 'cranked tube sound'? No. Does it matter? No. Is it a viable option? Sure it is, if you like how it sounds.


   
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E.Sherman
(@e-sherman)
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Sure. That's what I thought was happening. Of course, it's hard to compare signals to an extent, becuase using the volume pedal makes it much quieter, and we all know louder sounds better to our ears.

It's still a reasonable comprimise I've found. It's a single channel amp, with a gain boost, so in a sense I'm using that gain boost channel as a glorified stompbox. I've got a show this saturday so I'll see what sorta comprimise I can achive.

The king of rock, some say lives
the lizard king, is surely dead
the king of France, lost his head
the King of Kings... bled
( email me at [email protected](com). I almost never check my hotmailaccount.


   
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