What does a tone knob actually control?


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malfee
07-27-2008, 05:50 PM
You know, that other knob on guitars next to the volume controls. I mean, clearly there is a huge sound difference, but 'tone' is such a vague word, so what do these knobs really change? I rarely ever keep my tone knob off of its max setting, because the lower I go, the muddier the tone is (who would have ever thought?).

P.S. - I did run a search, but just including the word 'tone' in a search gave me about 11 pages to read through, so...no.

stevo_epi_SG_wo
07-27-2008, 05:56 PM
the capacitor filters out high frequencies

the knob controls to what degree

tone at 10=full sound

tone at 0=high frequencies cut out

redult: bassier, slightly muddy tone

cleft11
07-27-2008, 05:57 PM
from what i know, tone controls the type of signal wave, from a smooth wave to a slightly 'jagged' wave

MusicalMinority
07-27-2008, 05:58 PM
Just controls the amount of brightness you get, I'm guessing. I've never had to use it, really...

I'd guess though, that it'd be useful on starter guitars/basses where it's next to impossible to adjust pickup height and where the pickups are obnoxiously bright/trebley.

anonamooseguy
07-27-2008, 05:58 PM
the capacitor filters out high frequencies

the knob controls to what degree

tone at 10=full sound

tone at 0=high frequencies cut out

redult: bassier, slightly muddy tone


+1
I have been playing for 30 years and my tone still stays at 10. I do my adjusting on the amp.

animetard
07-27-2008, 06:00 PM
I usually keep mine at 7-8 and go to 10 for solos so it stands out more

SylvaShredder
07-27-2008, 06:02 PM
Going low on the tone doesn't always mean it's gonna be muddier. Sure, maybe on a crappy guitar (my first guitar was a Johnson by Axl and it did get muddier the tone was ****), but on something like a Strat, where you aren't playing through a lot of distortion the tone knobs are VERY useful, you can control a lot of your sound just at the flick of a knob. I'm sure it has different results when using large amounts of distortion, though.

Lil Macker
07-27-2008, 06:05 PM
Eric Clapton had his on 0 to do get his Woman Tone.

I do it all the time aswell.

Discgolf
07-27-2008, 06:06 PM
Also, certain songs sound much, much better with a smaller tune. Sunshine of Your Love is one example that comes to mind; it sounds best with the tune turned to 0.

Switchmunky7
07-27-2008, 06:09 PM
I never used my tone control so disabled it completely, the result: a tighter, even sound with more output.

malfee
07-27-2008, 06:17 PM
Hmm, interesting responses guys. I was looking for a technical response, so thank you stevo, but thanks to you other guys for the input.

notonlybutalso
07-27-2008, 06:44 PM
i can't adequately define the word "tone". but the tone control of a guitar is just a high pass filter, the filter frequency is then controlled with the tone nob.

valennic
07-27-2008, 06:49 PM
On my X40, when I'm on the bridge pup it makes for a decent rhythm tone.

When I'm playing clean I flip it to the neck pup, roll back the tone to 0 and pull the coil tap switch. It gets me an AMAZING clean tone.