volume master knob for play solos

J Bird

Synchromatic
Dec 2, 2016
757
Enumclaw
Several years ago, I shared the stage with a fellow who played a SRV strat into a delay into a 5e3 clone. He would roll his guitar volume down for rhythm and roll it up for leads. This provided an excellent clean tone and a blistering lead tone.

He has since moved, much to my chagrin, to amp modelers into the pa. I really wish he'd go back, but once that investment is made, you can convince yourself that it's better.
 

Jim Krause

Electromatic
May 2, 2022
92
Lawrence, Kansas
Does anybody here use the volume knob for increase volume (and gain) before to do solos? I find really cool to play without pedals and I can use this simple way as a "booster" when I switch between a rythm part and a solo. It's a little difficult at the beginning, but with a bit of practise, it becomes super funny.
No, not really. Back in the day, when I was playing in a band, I used to set the volume & gain on my amp, and leave it alone. Then I would set the volume controls on each pickup such that when I moved the selector switch to the bridge pickup, I got this just-on-the-edge of breakup. It was a great sound for numbers like "Six Days On the Road"

Then for that sweet, clean as country water sound for finger picking, I would move the pickup selector switch to the middle position. When I discovered I could achieve all that with the selector switch, I thought I was pretty clever. In truth, probably any of dozens of guitar pickers thought of this before I did.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,723
Tucson
I use the master volume, a fair amount. I have the knobs indexed on my guitars so that the set screws are pointed straight up, as in parallel to the neck, when the control is dimed. I never use the individual pickup volumes, so they are always dimed (at ten). imset the master volume 90 degrees counter clockwise from full up, as a starting point, and adjust the amp volume to the desired level when the master is at 90 degrees CCW. If I need more volume for a solo, I get obtain it at will, by turning up the master volume.

Having been early and nearly exclusive to Gretsch guitars, the lack of a master volume control drives me crazy when I'm playing anything else. Especially the Gibson/Epiphone four knobs in the corner. The lower horn is a far more accessible and convenient location to be reaching for a control.
I find the four know control set not to my liking, either. If you roll the overall volume down, you sort of need to do both pickups at once. I understand that there are advantages to this control set, but for my purposes, it’s not optimal.
 

Cryin_Caleb_Aaron

Friend of Fred
Gold Supporting Member
Aug 15, 2018
7,691
Auburn, Maine
In my current band I’m just the “lead” guitar player, and in that project I use my guitar volume knob on almost every song.

I don’t use it to turn up for solos, I actually use it to turn down for verses/quiet parts etc.
Well, isn’t that the same thing, you ask? Maybe it is, but not to me.
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,639
Firenze, Italy
In my current band I’m just the “lead” guitar player, and in that project I use my guitar volume knob on almost every song.

I don’t use it to turn up for solos, I actually use it to turn down for verses/quiet parts etc.
Well, isn’t that the same thing, you ask? Maybe it is, but not to me.
That's the way I always used it as well. ;)
 

Falconetti

Synchromatic
Sep 18, 2012
575
Bagsville, Oxford UK
Yeah I use the MV knob to turn up for solos because that is what I have always assumed it is for. I never learned to do it any other way. I am not really a big pedal user. Bit of chorus, a looper and a tuner and that’s me mostly done for live work. Now I play in a band with a dedicated lead player who is into pedals and switches and Apps and modelling and all kinds of stuff. He has precisely ZERO control of his volume because his rig is far too complex and it is unreliable. This is a real problem for me. Good band, he gets some good tones and he’s a nice guy but unless he wises up he won’t be sticking around.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,723
Tucson
Another place where it comes in very handy is when I play octaves, using my thumb in place of a pick. I definitely need to boost the volume, when I do that.
 

Berington

Gretschie
Jan 6, 2014
125
Los Angeles
I think of the MV in kind of the opposite way. I usually play my Gent or Tennie wide open, for the brightest tone and fullest send to effects, etc., but turn it back a bit when needed, to bring the guitar back into the band mix. It's awesome for that, and a little easier to control than a foot volume, which I DO use a LOT, depending on the song we're playing, & if I'm not playing a Gretsch. The Strat MV works much the same way. Problem with the Strat is constantly bumping it & inadvertently bringing down the volume! (A GREAT fix for that, BTW, & ANY similar situation - on pedals, too - is to get small rubber faucet washers from a hardware store, pull off the too-easily-turned knob, slide a washer over the shaft, then replace the knob. Works like gangbusters! Keep a few in your tool kit!)

I've always appreciated the MV so much, I actually installed one (same position as a Gretsch, lower cutaway - where I got the idea, of course!) in my beautiful '62 Gibson ES-330. IMHO it actually enhances the appearance of the guitar, & as with Gretsches, it's not only a major tool for volume control, and especially in 4-knob Gibsons, it's MUCH easier to use quickly than the indiviual pickup volumes. Cheers!
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,987
Where the action is!
I don’t use it to turn up for solos, I actually use it to turn down for verses/quiet parts etc.
Well, isn’t that the same thing, you ask? Maybe it is, but not to me.
I get what you're saying and agree. My goal when tweaking my setup is geared towards optimizing the wide open tone, with dialing it back the secondary concern.
 


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