How often do you actually use your volume knob?...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Claymore, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. Claymore


    Nov 10, 2019
    Rhode Island
    (Gratuitous shot of my P that has no volume) 0FDAF8F4-4E81-4A70-BAF2-9E92DCDC822D.jpeg I was wondering how many of you actually use their volume and if so, how often and in what context. I realized that I had never touched the volume on this particular instrument and that seemed like a waste of knob. So, what was the volume is now the tone with a push/pull killswitch and sitting in the former tone location is a Bill Lawrence Q-filter. I could have left the tone where it was but it felt better moved to the volume spot. Overall, I do not miss the volume at all and would do the same thing if I ever get another P (unless it's vintage). How often do you use your volume? Do you start off around 75%... That way you can adjust your level on the fly mid-song? Or maybe use it to tame really hot pickups? I know it depends on the bass but let me know your thoughts.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Every time I’ve ever played my bass.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I typically use it more like an on/off switch. So if I am standing around waiting, I will roll the volume off. Also, out of habit, I roll the volume off before unplugging. This is so the next time when I plug the bass in, the volume is off.

    The only time I tend to use volume as a volume control is when I do gigs without an amp. During soundcheck I will roll the volume off to about 60%-75% or so. The idea is so I can reach for extra headroom if it is needed in the middle of the show, instead of making a scene trying to get the audio techs attention.

    When I am running an amp, I usually run the volume wide open. With passive basses I usually run the tone controls wide open as well. With active basses the tone controls are run in the neutral or nominally flat positions (center detente).

    If the amp's tone controls cannot get me exactly the sound I want, I will use the bass's controls as a last resort. Also if I need to make subtle tone changes from one song to the next during the show, I usually make those changes on the bass if possible.
  4. Good advice. :bassist:
  5. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    Every time I play live, but more like an on-off switch, with the exception of a few songs we begin with a volume swell.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  6. Never on this bass.
  7. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Same here, I often use clip on tuners so I'll kill the volume to tune and at times between songs or whatever I don't want the bass to make any sound :smug:

    I will occasionally do volume swells. I particularly like swelling a really low D, C, or B (I'm a 5 string guy) in slowly under mellow intros
    31HZ likes this.
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Not often. But not never.
  9. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Every time,all the way up.
  10. Claymore


    Nov 10, 2019
    Rhode Island
    On a VVT configuration, I usually dial back the bridge pickup volume a bit if I want to get rid of phase cancelation.
    Tbone76 and PennyroyalWe like this.
  11. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i play the ax with volume at 75% - 90%. i go to 100% if/when needed (e.g., change tone for a solo + volume 100%).

    per the OP: regularly.
    teh-slb likes this.
  12. Lizooki


    Feb 24, 2008
    I'd be lost without it.
    I use it all the time!
    Amano, rollie 55 and Brad Easley like this.
  13. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    For gigs/rehearsals, I run my volume pot @ ~80%. I like to have a little extra on tap “just in case” which is easy to get to quickly. I also think I’ve come to prefer the tone it produces in that spot, slightly warmer and more subdued.

    For home & headphone practice, I seem to always set my amps to where the bass volume pot is ~50%. I really don’t know why, but it’s just become a habit.

    for these reasons, I subsequently prefer a blend knob on 2 pickup basses.

    so... always!
    OldFunBass likes this.
  14. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    All the time.
    Amano and rollie 55 like this.
  15. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    I use the volume knob every time I play my bass.

    it is my in reach mute switch
  16. JohnnyBottom


    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    Its either 100% or 0%. imho goal is to never change what is going to FOH mid show.
    If, after sound checks I still need to be louder or softer its at the amp or somewhere post FOH.
    Having to boost during a set, ie with a pedal, is pre planned and checked during soundcheck.
    edit.. Certainly if no FOH...ignore this post :)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
    SwansonEricJohn, mcnach and MYLOWFREQ like this.
  17. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    all the time. whether to mute it, change gain on a dirt setting, or to just lower volume when appropriate to the song, but all the time
    Amano, rollie 55 and Gearhead17 like this.
  18. Normally used as off between songs, but I will back it off a little for a laid back feel if is what the song calls for. :)
    rollie 55 likes this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    On a one pickup bass, seldom, other than turning it down at the end of a set - I get a level and keep it there - fingers can handle most dynamic changes. Same with tone - the only time I touch it is to turn it to 0 to get more of a "quick flats" tone. But still good to have.
  20. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    It is my standby switch. Mostly used at the beginning and end of a set. Also, if I am bending over to pick something up, which is rare.

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