Maybe I've asked before, but.... Amp or Guitar for volume control

panhead6zero

Country Gent
Jan 17, 2015
1,112
The Motor City
So I have heard it is best to max the amp volume and use the guitar volume to control volume and I have heard the opposite. What is the general consensus among all of you fabulous wonderful Gretschies? I am playing with some friends Friday night at our club Fish fry and I think I would want control on the guitar. Maybe mid way is okay or better?
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,433
Commack, NY
Use both and find the spot for the time you are playing.

I used to keep the guitar at 10 and tweak the amp years ago. Now? There is the guitar volume, preamp volume and power amp volume. I have an attenuator on my Roland amp so I like to dial that in with a shared preamp/power amp setting that is a sweet spot. This usually takes me to a point where 10 on my guitar is a bit too loud so then I have room to roll it off using the guitar volume.
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
2,001
Albuquerque
Seems to me you just have to try all the combinations.

Do you play mostly clean or dirty? SS or tube amp?
Clean it may not matter much but dirty you want the guitar to hit the preamp hard for overdrive. So dirty, guitar at 10 (but it may not matter with a SS amp).
And which pedals do you use?

So many variables, we can't know. You'll just have to try it as many ways as you can.
I use modelers with (mostly) guitar at 8-10 and amp at half, JMO.
 

panhead6zero

Country Gent
Jan 17, 2015
1,112
The Motor City
Thanks Everyone!! I am going to try to use both and find a balance where I can just use guitar volume. I will be using a Kustom PA-50 with a reverb pedal. (I am not taking pedal board). We are doing Cowboy songs so it will be all clean. Some songs twangier than others!
 

TSims1

Gretschified
Jun 18, 2013
12,428
Atlanta
Thanks Everyone!! I am going to try to use both and find a balance where I can just use guitar volume. I will be using a Kustom PA-50 with a reverb pedal. (I am not taking pedal board). We are doing Cowboy songs so it will be all clean. Some songs twangier than others!
So basically you need a Telecaster. Lol. Neck pickup for milder, mid spot for filler, bridge to cut those solos! Volume pot works fine, though a volume pedal will allow you those steel bends that I use in church(shhh, don’t tell anybody!). Have fun!
 

sgarnett

Synchromatic
Apr 14, 2020
919
Kentucky
On Gretsch, I use the master volume as a drive control as described, and in the middle position I use the neck volume as a bass cut and the bridge volume as a treble cut.

In other words, the knob I use least to control my tone … is the tone knob. Not saying I don’t use it at all, ‘cause I do, but ….
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,480
Tucson
On my Gretsch guitars, I tend to keep the pickup volumes all the way up, set the master volume at 90 degrees CCW from max and set the amp volume to fit the needs of the situation.
 

Hammerhands

Country Gent
Aug 26, 2011
2,404
Winnipeg
Often when you turn the guitar volume down you darken the sound. That may or may not be desirable.

On my Gretsch I use the volume controls to balance the pickups, like a subtle tone control. I was taught to roll the master volume control back to about 7 or 8 for a reserve.

I like to use a volume pedal and/or a solo/pad pedal, the solo pedal has a treble bleed.

I have one guitar that just has a pickup with no controls. I like the sound of that guitar.

My favourite amp guru said to leave the guitar at 10. I expect he believed in the superiority of the design of the electronics in amps.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,480
Tucson
Often when you turn the guitar volume down you darken the sound. That may or may not be desirable.

On my Gretsch I use the volume controls to balance the pickups, like a subtle tone control. I was taught to roll the master volume control back to about 7 or 8 for a reserve.

I like to use a volume pedal and/or a solo/pad pedal, the solo pedal has a treble bleed.

I have one guitar that just has a pickup with no controls. I like the sound of that guitar.

My favourite amp guru said to leave the guitar at 10. I expect he believed in the superiority of the design of the electronics in amps.
You make a good point. On some guitars, rolling off the volume darkens the signal. Two of my Gretsch guitars have treble bleeds on the master volume, because they tended to lose presence when the volume was rolled back. The other two Gretsch guitars don’t seem to need that.

Like you, Hammerhands, I like to keep some in reserve at the master volume.
 

panhead6zero

Country Gent
Jan 17, 2015
1,112
The Motor City
On Gretsch, I use the master volume as a drive control as described, and in the middle position I use the neck volume as a bass cut and the bridge volume as a treble cut.

In other words, the knob I use least to control my tone … is the tone knob. Not saying I don’t use it at all, ‘cause I do, but ….
Funny, I have a Hot Rod! No tone control!!
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,178
PNW
My opinion is if the amp is too far up, you lose control, a minor tweak in the guitar volume takes a huge jump.
I also like to have the guitar volume at 7-10 , using 10 for a sharper edgier tone for lead etc. So that's just me.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,480
Tucson
So basically you need a Telecaster. Lol. Neck pickup for milder, mid spot for filler, bridge to cut those solos! Volume pot works fine, though a volume pedal will allow you those steel bends that I use in church(shhh, don’t tell anybody!). Have fun!

Heresy!!!
I'm with Tony on this. I'm a faithful Gretsch guy, but Teles are magic.
 


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