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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Gain/Volume advice needed

Big Bottom Willie

My guitarist plays an Eric Clapton strat with active pickups (or active EQ - anyway there's a 9V battery involved). He usually keeps his volume knob on the guitar at 2 or 3, very low. My question is: Is he losing out on some sound or dynamics by keeping his volume that low? Will keeping his volume that low affect the gate on his Zoom 9.2tt floor unit? It often seems like his sound is being "crushed" when he plays. And when I plug in my passive Tele to his Zoom unit, I can hardly get a sound I like.
Any advice or insight on guitar volume/gain is appreciated. Thanks.
October 31, 2012 @03:12pm
R Whittington

My guitarist plays an Eric Clapton strat with active pickups (or active EQ - anyway there's a 9V battery involved). He usually keeps his volume knob on the guitar at 2 or 3, very low. My question is: Is he losing out on some sound or dynamics by keeping his volume that low? Will keeping his volume that low affect the gate on his Zoom 9.2tt floor unit? It often seems like his sound is being "crushed" when he plays. And when I plug in my passive Tele to his Zoom unit, I can hardly get a sound I like.
Any advice or insight on guitar volume/gain is appreciated. Thanks.

Hi Willie,
Are his pickups active?...or is the battery there to facilitate a mid boost/push which is a pretty common feature on Clapton strats? Generally speaking the sound of the guitar will change. Usually you'll hear this is as high frequencies being rolled of slightly... as you roll volume back on the pot. There's a circuit some people use called a "treble bleed" which is a relatively simple mod that helps with this problem. I personally found that it thinned the sound too much and removed it from my guitar. One trick to try if at all possible is if he has an amp or pre amp system that has multiple presets available...have some of those set up for cleaner sounds. That way he can keep the guitar turned up and get the full benefit of the pickup's tone and power and still get the desired cleanliness he's after.
October 31, 2012 @03:30pm