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SETTING YOUR BASS VOLUME

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by So Low Bass, Apr 7, 2009.


  1. How do you set your volume?

    How high to you keep the volume up on your bass. I have a -69P and lately have have the volume all the way up, controlling the total volume totally through the amp.

    By contrast, do you have your amp "more hot" and control volume through your bass?

    Are there trade offs?
     
  2. PBass101

    PBass101

    Jul 3, 2008
    Illinois
    I have both controls of my Precision open all the way up, and the input of my Ashdown almost 3/4 of the way. The only volume control I use is the master out of the Ashdown.
     
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    My bass is active, so there's not as much change betwenn full and 1/2 volume. I think with a passive bass you can have some tone issues if you don't run the bass wide open. I may be wrong.

    I basically set my gain structure with the bass full on. I use my master volume on my amp to set stage monitor volume. FOH does their own. I onlu use my bass volume on occasion - mostly at church for fades. I may get a volume pedal to do that.
     
  4. I would absolutely NEVER use the "volume" on my bass to actually set the volume.
    On guitar, i use the volume to control the amount of distortion i want, by driving the next gain stage harder when i turn it up. I turn it higher for more distortion, and lower for less distortion.

    On bass, i use the volume sort of as a tone control. I turn it up and down for more/less brightness. When you turn the volume down, you subdue some of the highs a bit, though not as drastically as a tone control.

    Passive volume controls are not really volumes, they affect the tonality as well. Some people try to avoid this with treble bleed circuits and such, but i use it to my advantage to further shape the tonality of my instrument.

    I run my instruments thru a studio rig, so volume control is done on a fader on my mixer. I guess keeping your volume adjusted properly would be a bit harder with an amp, but you should try to use the master volume to do it.

    Of course, volume changes by nature have tonal affects as well.
    Tube amps tend to sound better when the tubes are being pushed a bit at higher volumes, and there is also the Fletcher Munson effect to take into account.
     
  5. So Low-
    With my P bass, it doesn't seem to start 'breathing' till it's on 7 or 8. So I leave it pretty full and control my volume by touch. It's a pretty cool thing.
    My Carvin is fully operational at 3. I guess the pu's are hotter.
     
  6. otto802

    otto802

    Feb 4, 2008
    Detroit
    I always keep my bass volume to 10, unless we are between songs.
     
  7. GlennW

    GlennW

    Sep 6, 2006
    I don't use volume or tone pots in my basses (all passive), but I do use a cap or cap selector switch for a tone cut and fine tune at the amp if necessary. Amps have at least one volume knob.

    This isn't really true, but I think it's more true than false:
    Volume = Tone
    Play your bass and notice how the tone gets darker as you decrease the volume. You can stick a resistor in there to counter the effect, but I prefer the sound and simplicity of no pots.
    And...
    Tone = Volume
    Play your bass and notice how it gets quieter as you turn the tone knob towards bass.
    It's just the way people hear; more treble sounds louder.
     
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Volume wide open on all the basses, active or passive. I set the amp for the volume I need for this gig, and control the different levels for different songs by how hard I play.

    jte
     
  9. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Bass volume cranked, EXCEPT on my Ric 4003, where each pick up has it's own volume control, I find that to get max volume out of the bass, one or the other has to be lowered, just a smidge.
     
  10. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I control the volume from my amp. I use the gain and the two volumes on my bass (VVT) to make subtle tone changes (think of them as the guitar's gain controls). I have a foot switchable solo volume control on my amp that I use in conjunction with volume controls; if I roll back the volume on my bass, I'll hit the solo foot switch to turn up the volume a little on the amp.
     
  11. True, but MUCH more obvious with a Jazz than with P, in my experience. YMMV.
     
  12. UncleBalsamic

    UncleBalsamic

    Jul 8, 2007
    UK
    I have to use the volume on my bass because my amps volume control has broken :(
     
  13. I have a graph that shows the tone effect of the volume control clearly. This is shown as response for different percentage of volume as a linear pot. With log taper much of the effect will be in the first 30% of travel, like turning down from ten to seven.

    This is for a typical p bass type circuit. The effects depend on component values.

    [​IMG]

    Les
    L M Watts Technology
     

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