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Fender Amps and the volume control

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Soul31, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Soul31

    Soul31 Strat-Talker

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    So this is something that has always bothered me. For whatever reason the volume control on Fender Amps requires such a delicate adjustment to get the volume correct if you are looking for a low to mid level output. Like this...

    0–2 = no to barely any volume
    2–3 = low volume
    3–4 = mid volume
    4-5 = high volume
    5-10 = just a little higher volume to no noticeable difference because the place is already shaking and stuff is falling off the shelves.

    So most of the time I'm playing in the 3-4 range and trying to nudge the control 0.01 of a degree to adjust the volume to the correct level. Change guitars and you have to do more nudging, Guitar A might need to be 3.5 and Guitar B needs to be 3.58, when it should really be more like Guitar A on 3.5, Guitar B on 4.5.

    Had an outdoor gig once where I was psyched to be able to open the thing up and I put it on like 5.5 and the sound guy said, "You are so loud I'm not even putting you through the mains, you can either turn your amp down or I can turn the whole band up". I turned down.

    Why the heck can't they just have a volume control that has more of a linear progression to it, or at least opens the ability to shape the volume better. Just watched a promo vid for the George Benson Twin and he specifically talked about this and how he asked the engineers to fix that on his model and they did. He said the engineers knew exactly what he was talking about too. It's not like its a mystery.

    I'm sure there's a reason, no one's ever been able to tell me but I'm sure you guys know.

    Follow up, is there a pot I can have installed that fixes this?

    Thx
     
    circles likes this.
  2. Morf2540

    Morf2540 Strat-O-Master

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    Yes, I have noticed that too, and not just on their bigger amps, the small ones too. I once had a Blues Junior and the volume seemed to max out around 6, after that it just got fuzzier but no louder. Kinda the same with the Princeton Reverb and Pro Jr. The Hot Rod Deluxe guys complain about that all the time. Funny, I once had an old Peavey Classic 50 and it was the opposite. For a 212 amp, you could dial up to around 6 and it was really not loud at all. Then once you go to around 7... whooosh, it was like jets taking off.
     
  3. aiaosu

    aiaosu Strat-Talk Member

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    You're touching on a topic discussed on a regular basis. Some Fender amps use linear pots where you go from quiet to extremely loud when you turn from 0-2. Many people will switch to a log/audio pot to even that out some.

    In other cases, the pots are just extremely touchy and people have changed values or added resistors to change this. The problem is, whenever you change values or types of pots, there are other trade-offs. I don't have much experience with Fender amps other than cheaper ones, so I can't help much.

    Here is a great article on pots that might help understand better:

    http://www.geofex.com/Article_Folders/potsecrets/potscret.htm

    Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
     
    circles likes this.
  4. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Strat-O-Master

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    This is why your guitar has a volume control :)
     
  5. CigBurn

    CigBurn Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That particular problem is whats made a passive volume control in my effects loop a permanent fixture. Gives you a much finer level of control.
     
  6. gaddis

    gaddis Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ve noticed that only on my DRRI, where there is a sensitive spot between 4 and 5. I suspect that it is either an artifact of tubes being non-linear, or possibly the volume pot itself. Logarithmic pots are not truly logarithmic, but an approximation of such. The log taper is approximated by combining two or more linear tapers. The sensitive spot could be the point where it is switching from one taper to the other. These are just educated guesses on my part, and not established fact.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  7. 93-Strat

    93-Strat Strat-O-Master

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    This is very much the nature of the beast in a lot of instances. CTS Amp pots tend to ramp up quicker than Alphas in my experience but I still prefer the CTS. Some amps use 10% Audio taper while some use 30%. Non master volume amps basically have every stage except the one after the volume control at full volume, so bumping the volume control up a little can add up to a lot if there are multiple gain stages afterward. Cathode bypassed gain stages don't help either, it makes them more sensitive. Some amps like the Marshall 2204 have a volume control, a voltage divider after the cold clipper that cuts the volume in half and a master volume to control to control the volume even more. If you are using a tube amp I'd recommend a 5751 in the v1 slot to reduce the gain a little and give you a little more control or get a really inefficient speaker or both.
     
  8. Grux

    Grux Strat-O-Master

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    Buy a smaller amp, till you can find one you can crank! I havent needed a 30w tube amp in a long long time.
     
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  9. rlongnt

    rlongnt Strat-O-Master

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    I bought a GT-40 which absolutely SUCKS loud but from quiet to mildly loud it's perfect. Now I can practice at night without waking everyone up. My ultimate chorus 2x12 would wake up the house with the pop just turning it on.
     
  10. freddairy

    freddairy Strat-Talker

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    Just set it at 10 and use your guitar volume knob.
     
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  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of Dilligaf Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Use your ears, not your eyes.
     
  12. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Can this please be the auto response to any question about volume or tone knob going forward on ST?
     
  13. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    There was an episode of that pedal show where Matt schofield explained how he sets up his amp. He says every dial kind of does nothing and then all of a sudden it does something. Quiet, quiet, quiet, to holy smokes that got loud real fast. He tries to set it right in that point of oh my god it just went from zero to 60. What this has to do with the op, I don’t know, but it seemed interesting.
     
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  14. The-Kid

    The-Kid Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The MIA and MIM RI series have a more even taper but the Blues Junior, HRD and Blues Deluxe have crap volume control.


    They can sound great but the volume on those is really hard to control.
     
  15. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

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    What you hear is a combination of volume pot, the nature of tge tubes in both pre and power sections as well as speakers......not to mention the room and lastly the way your ears and brain perceive volume.
    There is not a single amp in the world that will give even volume change.

    Life is so much easier when you accept the reality of things that the physics of this universe dictate.
     
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