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How high do you keep your amp gain?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AlstottMVP2, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. AlstottMVP2


    May 9, 2007
    From 0 to 10... where do you usually keep your gain?

    Also, do you always/usually play with your bass volume all the way up?
  2. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    I set my gain at about 1 o'clock...sometimes 3 and then (on my passive jazz bass) put my bridge pickup at about 2/3 or 7/8 full with the tone all the way up.

    then I set my output volume.

    the neck pickup rolls in low end, and if I turn down the tone I can really warm up the tone and drive with both volumes full and use the volume and tone as an interactive EQ.

    I need/want noiseless pickups.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Actually that question doesn't make sense, although I know it seems like it should. Every amp is designed with a different amount of gain. Every gain pot is designed with a different amount and (pseudo-logarithmic) taper controlling that gain. Even with similar amps from one manufacturer, they may use different pots on different production runs, meaning turning the knob to "6" for instance wouldn't necessarily mean the exact same thing when comparing two of the "same" amp.

    The important thing is to choose the input gain and output levels that sound best with your specific rig, in your specific room.

    I usually leave my bass volume at 100% if adjusting my relative pickup levels doesn't change the overall level; but for many basses, adjusting the pickup levels does change the overall level, meaning it's wise to adjust the bass volume accordingly.
  4. Listen to bongo, grasshopper. :)
    I run my D-180's master at 10 & gain between 2-7 depending on the venue.
    Basses, usually full-on unless the amp's too loud & I need to drop volume NOW.
  5. EB3er


    Aug 27, 2008
    Brampton, ON
    Makes perfect sense to me and thousands of other bass players....don't overthink simple things like this.
  6. derelicte


    Dec 25, 2007
  7. 1000 depending on the lead used! ;-0 Sorry!!!!!!!
  8. Yeah but..... don't underthink it either.:smug:
    I need totally diff gains for my 4001 and Musicman- volume always on full. Outputs are not even in the same ballparks so I wouldn't know how to answer the OP.

    ....but generally speaking I run the gain stage just under clip- wherever that is on the knob.
  9. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
  10. quigg


    Jul 27, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    Depends on what bass/amp/cab I am using and what sound I want. Subjective questions with subjective answers, go with what sounds best to you. Remember that the music played by TBers is very diverse so our opinion of what might sound best for us might not be what sounds best for you. :bassist:
  11. I'm by no means a techie or sound engineer but my small experience with recording tells me that the "best" way to set up your gain and bass volume (wheather live or recording) is to set your bass volume and gain as high as possible whilst making clipping impossible no matter how hard you play(turn it up untill it clips then set to 90% of that). then use the master volume (power amp) to set the actual volume you want to hear.
    I'm sure someone can explain this better but my basic understanding of this is that by increasing your signal at the bass and pre amp gain. you are boosting the orginal signal more. If you leave all your "boosting" to the power amp then youwill also be boosting more dirt and background noise created by you amp electronics. Basically get you signal as high as possible before it enters other electronics.

    To take it a step further imagine how far the signal is travelling (and how many times it is Analogue/Digital converted and back again) if you are D.I.ing your bass. the signal will be going across stages through mixing desks/monitor desks/ etc. etc. and finally have ALL the signal (and any background noise gained on the way) amplified at the front of house amp -- best to get the signal as strong as possible to begin with!

    Thats the technical answer and I have found it to work...the other answer is what ever sounds best (it will most likely be the above).
  12. UI depends on what configuration of cabs I'm using, but I set my gain and master to the point where A) it's loud enough for the venue as well as being present in the mix and B) in a larger venue, so that I get my limiter lights to blink on my hardest attack but not clip the amp.
  13. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    i set the gain so that i get a slight grit when i hit the strings hard.

    i replaced the volume pot with an on/off switch.
  14. I want my amp to be clean as possible so generally I run the master fairly high and then use the gain to get just as much volume as I want.

    On my Markbass SA450 this generally means master around half to three quarters and gain on about a third.

    Bass' volume is always on full.
  15. If you want your amp to be as "clean" as possible then that is the exact opposite to what you should do. If you ever have even a beginner course in doing PA or recording then one of the first things a sound guy will do in a sound check is "Set the gains", this means getting the most from the signal coming in using the gain and then setting the volume after all the eq's and send/recievse/inserts, hence why sliders at the bottom of mixing desks are more accessable than fiddly gain nobs at the top of the mixing desk, cause when the gains set you dont want to touch it.
    After all a bass amp is just a mixer with less channels (gain->eq->send->receive->power amp) Treat it like that and you'll get a cleaner sound.

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