Another question about gain control

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Oleg BassPlayer, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Oleg BassPlayer

    Oleg BassPlayer

    Feb 4, 2016
    I'm just curious where exactly the gain control is usually located - before preamp or between preamp and power amp? Are there any standards? Or does it depend on the amp and are there no rules at all?
  2. On my Yamaha amp the controls are gain and master. The gain on that one runs the pre amp and the master runs the power amp. On my Ampeg amps , the controls are gain and volume. The volume runs the pre amp and the gain is the power amp. It can be either way. Well , that sure confused things , didn't it.
  3. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Some amps have three controls: Gain, Volume and Master. It gets confusing.
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  4. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Gain is usually between the Input and the EQ.

    It boosts your instruments low level signal into the pre-amp.
  5. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    Yes, it depends on the amp. Gain is often after the first stage, it is used to set the instrument level as high as possible without distorting, or with distortion (overdrive) if you want. Master volume is often, but not always, after the preamp before the power amp. Often this is an attenuator, when on full, it is close to not having it in the circuit, when turned down it is lowering the preamp level. This allows you to set the preamp so it is distorting and keep the power amp output at a low level. An example of an amp like this is an Ampeg SVT-CL.

    But it can get nutty in terms of volume controls and complexity. I have a Mesa MKIV amp that has one instrument input, three gain controls at the front, rhythm 1, rhythm 2 and lead. The channels are switchable. Then there are three masters, one for each channel, finally there is a volume control. On the back there is a recording out volume, a slave (DI) level control, and a reverb level control. That’s ten volume controls!
  6. Gain doesn't mean anything since gui****s corrupted it to be a synonym for distortion. Your bass pickup signal gets multiple gains on gains on its way to your speakers.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 23, 2022

Share This Page