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Master at full and adjust gain for volume question

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by shawshank72, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. shawshank72

    shawshank72 Supporting Member

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    For some reason today while hanging around the threads i came acroos three different people saying they did this.
    One person was having issue with GC because they said it was his fault it was defective for running it that way.
    Interested in trying this but worrying if it will damage anything.
    I guess you learn something new all the time, but didnt know people did this.
    What is the benefit of doing this?
  2. dmusic148

    dmusic148

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    In theory it will give you the cleanest possible sound because there's virtually no chance of clipping the input stage. The downside is increased hiss. That's it.
  3. mbelue

    mbelue Supporting Member

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    More overall volume before preamp overdrive. More clean volume.
    Will not hurt a properly working amp.
  4. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls. Supporting Member

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  5. eagle67

    eagle67

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    The GK MB 500 (solid state) instructions say Master at 3:00, adjust Gain for volume.
  6. shawshank72

    shawshank72 Supporting Member

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  7. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

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    Yeah, I ALWAYS run the "Master" up full or near full (3 o'clock) and adjust the volume with the "Gain"!!!

    EDIT: ^^^ With both SS and Tube bass amps - the only exception is with guitar amps.
  8. shawshank72

    shawshank72 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the vid.
  9. zachoff

    zachoff

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    Huh, interesting. Never heard nor thought of doing this. I adjust the gain to be as gritty as I need it then adjust volume to make that sound louder or quieter.
  10. C.Linton

    C.Linton Supporting Member

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    Well, that's another way to do it if you're looking for a little grit in your tone.
  11. mambo4

    mambo4

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    important question.

    oversimplified:
    gain effects tone and volume
    master only effects volume.

    The gain stage in a tube amp, when pushed louder, effects tone in ways that many people like. Some solid state amps try to emulate this.

    The problem with the approach you mention is that if your desired tone is a more 'pushed' gain stage then your maxed out master volume needs to come down to compensate (if your band enjoys continuing to hear)
  12. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    The reply to this question is exactly the same as in Jellinwellen's thread. You cause no damage whatsoever by having the Master on full and using the Gain as a volume control.
  13. chillerthanmost

    chillerthanmost

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    I run all the amps that I have with a master volume fully cranked and adjust volume with gain. That goes for a SS (Sunn Beta Bass) and all my tube amps that have a master. Only "damage" would be faster power tube wear and damage to your ears. Perhaps damage to speakers depending on what you're plugging into.
  14. dmusic148

    dmusic148

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    Makes you wonder why amps have a master at all.
  15. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

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    I think John summed it up nicely:

  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    For solid state or hybrid amps, I prefer turning up the gain till I hear it distort, then backing off it slightly and using master to control volume. For tube amps, I prefer cranking master and using gain to control volume.
  17. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls. Supporting Member

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    That's pretty much what I've been doing as well. After learning about how gain structure actually works, that's how I prefer my set up.
  18. deathsdj

    deathsdj Supporting Member

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    I don't run my SS amps like that. I never dime anything. I use a Firebass head though so I don't need to. I like a ton of clean punch and then I use my pedals to get grind or distortion or whatever else I need. A lot of time I have my master and pre set to about the same volume.

    Cheers!

    MJW
  19. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast

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    The master volume can be implemented different ways so how it works depends on the design. For example, it can be a stage volume control or it can be an attenuator. How it is implemented can affect the tone of the amp.

    Many amps have the master in the last stage of the pre-amp. The SVT CL is like this. Other amps could have it in the power amp after the phase inverter before the power tubes.

    Don't worry about hurting the amp. Use your ears and experiment to find out what works best with your amp.
  20. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

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    I have always set my gain first, then used the master to control volume. Setting the master at full and using the gain to control volume is just inviting noise issues. I would imagine it's more difficult to control your volume, as well. A small move of the gain control would net a larger increase in volume, meaning you would have less control.

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