Jump to content
EliasMooseblaster

Valve amps and passive bass volumes

Recommended Posts

There was a guitarist I played with for several years, who always had a lovely tone - one thing I noticed was that he always had the output volume on his Blues Junior fully up, and adjusted the input and guitar volumes to get things sounding right. I was reminded of this while reading WoT's very interesting and highly GAS-inducing Handbox thread (see below) - the chap who built it apparently suggested running the volume fully open for best results.

Now after years of playing with (admittedly never very high-end) SS amps, I always started with the bass volume on '10' and relied on the output volume to set my level. But I recently tried the above with my guitars (into a little hybrid amp) and found the clean tones much more satisfying, even through headphones. Tried the same at the last rehearsal, where I can run the Ashdown at a decent volume, and the tone was certainly good...I didn't have enough time to experiment and decide whether it was "better."

Since I can't really use my bass valve amps in anger at home with a sleeping toddler, anyone care to validate these findings for me? Have you found better results backing off the volume on your passive basses and making the power stage valves do the heavy lifting?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always have my P bass volume up full.

On my CTM100 I set the master volume to full & use the gain control to set my volume level.

This definitely works best for me

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always have the volume and tone full up as I've set my tone around that. If I need to adjust on the fly I just dial back to suit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so with a valve head like say, an Ampeg SVT-CL, would you advise the vol on full and use the gain to adjust volume? I usually have both on half way, does it make a difference to the tone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of this depends upon what tone you are looking for. If you want clean, higher master, lower initial gain gives you cleaner.

If you want dirt, the easy way to do it is input high, master low.

if you really want dirt, open everything up! Drive input AND power stages.

 

paul.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Valve or SS, when you turn down the volume control on a passive bass you change the tone, because the pickups get loaded down by the relatively low impedance of the volume control, which affects the highs more than the lows. That doesn't happen with actives, as the pickups see a constant high impedance load by the on-board pre, while the volume control being placed on the pre output, which is low impedance, doesn't affect the tone. Wanting the ability to use the instrument volume control without affecting tone is why I went active long before you could buy active basses.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...