How you run your Fender Tube Amps

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by liam_66, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. liam_66

    liam_66 Strat-Talker

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    Just curious how everyone runs their amps when playing at home. I used to just dial up needed volume on my vibro champ and Princeton as needed, but I have found with my guitars with better volume pots it’s best to dime them and use guitar volume to adjust. Even when playing quietly. Depends on guitar wiring maybe? Seems more full and better sustain. But with my Mexican strat I seem to lose tone quality doing this. Thoughts? This is probably obvious and I’m late to the party but just curious on how y’all dial in at home. I do the same on my SV20 which is loud AF but dimed and guitar volume rolled back I get great low volume cleans.
     
  2. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    With tube amps, more often than not you'll get the 'best' tone by diming the amp and riding the guitar's volume control to set the volume you want. You then adjust the amp's TMB pots for tone.

    My goal is to set guitar and amp volume right at the edge between clean and breakup. Pick lighter and the tone is cleaner. Pick harder and the tone is fatter. This also gives me "old school channel switching." Roll guitar volume down for clean, roll it up for fatter. Add picking dynamics and I have a lot of control.

    If luck smiles on you, you can find the optimal combination of settings. If you can't find the optimum settings at a tolerable volume, you may need to try an attenuator and tweak your settings again.

    BTW I get maximum versatility playing a Telecaster. Neck, middle, and bridge pickup tones are distinctly different.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  3. GhostJam47

    GhostJam47 Strat-Talker

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    My Tweed Blues Jr.:

    Volume about a 3. Master at about 2.

    I'm limited on how loud I can go, so this is really just a clean pedal platform.
     
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  4. soulman969

    soulman969 Most Honored Senior Member

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    I couldn't get all of how you were adjusting and/or compensating for volume so I'll simply throw a couple of things out there.

    Unless you've installed a treble bleed mod on your volume pot your Strat will lose high end as you roll back on the volume. Much like the tone pot it's dumping some of the highs to ground. Some prefer it this way. If you don't consider installing a treble bleed on the volume pot to retain the high end.

    Most tube amps have a "sweet spot" at which the amp tends to "come alive" tonally and sound much bigger and fatter. The problem with any amp without a master volume pot and separate gain pot is that "sweet spot" is often at a level above where you feel comfortable playing at home. It's the nature of the beast.

    My tube amp does have separate volume and gain controls so when I want to set the amp volume so it's in it's "sweet spot" I can cut gain to reduce overall volume and most of my guitars do have treble bleeds installed so I also have that option of cutting the guitar volume as well without losing tonality.

    Where I live playing at higher volumes is seldom an option unless I want a half dozen or more irate neighbors so having both options is best for me. For you not having separate volume and gain controls leaves only the treble bleed and reduced guitar volume as an option. Then you can push the amps into their sweet spots.

    JMHO
     
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  5. Cyberi4n

    Cyberi4n Strat-O-Master

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    37EE3868-B8EE-4829-BC7B-CC0B9F15A12D.jpeg

    On my Epiphone LP this is just into breakup where light picking is clean-ish and heavy picking is breaking up. As far as my strats/teles go though, this setting is clean.

    perfect pedal platform from here
     
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  6. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I don't play through my amps at home. :)
     
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  7. gaddis

    gaddis Senior Stratmaster

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    I keep the guitar volume on full usually, and control volume with the amp. With the Princeton, that’s about 3 or just slightly lower. I don’t use amp distortion, so I’m not trying to overdrive the amp. I rely on a pedal for distortion.
     
  8. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    I don't use my Bassman at home, but I set it at the volume I want, and use an overdrive pedal, and my guitar's volume knob.
     
  9. elduderinoTF

    elduderinoTF Sweatin' Bullets

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    I know that you don't, but it seems that the OP does. I always appreciate your advice.
     
  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Most Honored Senior Member

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    And I tend to run somewhat the opposite.

    I run the Master at around 2 o'clock right in it's "sweet spot" and the Gain at 9 o'clock or a bit below. Loud and clean. But then I'm also running a clean boost 99% of the time so my signal even from my single coils is fairly hot.

    As a result I don't need the Gain that high to get break up and I'm also running quieter that way. EQ is always guitar and voicing dependent. I use different EQ settings for US than for AC or Brit voicing and sometimes toggles as well.

    These amps are real chamleons so there's a ton of options to run some of which work far better for me than others but then that's pretty much how it is with any amp/guitar/guitarist combination. We're all different in what we like to hear.
     
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  11. bam-boozle

    bam-boozle Strat-Talk Member

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    How loud is a Princeton compared to a blues jr?
     
  12. wjsb316

    wjsb316 Strat-Talker

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    Fender twin and or Allasandro super reverb



    H 10
    M 0-3
    L10
    R 4-6

    Mids are the devil.

    Twin- V 3
    Super V 5.5
     
  13. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Not Of This Earth

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    I don’t have any special setting for the CS 64 Deluxe Reverb. It’s just a fun amp to play.
     
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  14. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    He asked. I answered. ;)
     
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  15. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Stratmaster

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    Too loud, but not oppressively loud. Mine are Deluxes, a Brown and a Blackface DR. The Brownface has a master volume so I can take it. The Blackface usually isn’t above 4 in the house.
     
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  16. RPKennedy

    RPKennedy Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member

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    I play my Victoria Ivy League at half volume, but I play it through one of these:

    2EBBA0F4-689A-4FA0-9B3D-C4F9B0374D9C.jpeg
     
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  17. mutato

    mutato Senior Stratmaster

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    I can’t see running my 1977 Princeton Reverb dimed and have my guitar’s volume lowered. Seems I’ll have tons of inherent amp noise. And the guitar’s tone control will be making my Strat’s already low output signal even lower. It’s like opposite of optimum signal handling.

    I DO always play at gigs with just a little wiggle room on my guitar’s volume. Maybe on 8ish? To play rhythm and full up for a lead.
     
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  18. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Another option is "50's wiring' to preserve tone as you turn the volume down.
     
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  19. Agtronic

    Agtronic Senior Stratmaster

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    Quick answer: Set amp loud, and play with guitar volume/tone knobs.

    Long answer: Depends on the amp of course. The Super Reverb I always played louder than was comfortable but would get used to it after 30 minutes or so, but that's a terrible idea for so many reasons, one important one being your hearing. Wifey always commented that it is not normal how loud I play. But she never complains. :D

    I find myself playing my Super Champ XD more than anything. I set it pretty clean and crank it up to like 7 and play softly. When I feel the need to snap a note, it screams. Playing at low volume does not inspire me and I end up bored.

    But also, the question is a little bit black and white. I am constantly touching the volume knob on my amps. I start at a comfortable level and as I get into what I'm playing I find myself cranking the volume more and more.

    On the Strat, I tend to use the guitar volume a lot more. On the Lesters, I don't like how the tone gets dark when I lower the volume.
     
  20. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I like to use the guitar volume to control pickup character. Some pickups take on a different tone (not treble, but tonz) when you run them at different settings. They also hit the front end of the amp harder when rolled up. This is especially true with humbuckers. So, using them for volume setting with the amp on 10 is a non starter for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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