#1
What exactly are the differences between them? something to do with the preamp signal? Whats the point? How is gain normally set?
#2
It depends on the amp really. As far as i can tell, the gain knob controls pre-amp volume while the volume knob controls power amp volume.

I'm guessing that the reason the gain control works like it does is because the pre-amp doesn't amplify as much as the power amp does and can therefore be pushed harder while keeping a reasonably low volume.
#3
If it's a tube amp it makes all the difference in the world.
#4
Quote by bboyjon
What exactly are the differences between them? something to do with the preamp signal? Whats the point? How is gain normally set?



Gain IS volume, and volume is gain. They are the same thing. It's not until the last 3 decades ( it might be 4 ) that pre-amp volume controls started getting labeled as "gain". People often equate gain with distortion, but this is not the case. Here's a quick run down:


The signal you send to the power amp is generated in from your strings, and is then transmitted by your pickups to the pre-amp. The pre-amp is all the knobs you mess with like the EQ settings and the "gain" knob, which is simply a volume control. That signal and that volume level is then sent to the power amp. If the power amp, sometimes called the post amp, is set at a level BELOW that of your preamp signal, it has to clip the big signal coming from the pre-amp to "make it fit", if that makes any sense. That's why people call overdrive and distortion clipping sometimes. Any time the pre-amp signal ( pre amp volume, or gain ) is larger than the power amp setting ( master volume, or post amp ), you get distortion of varying degrees. Light distortion has been termed overdrive, but overdrive is simply a mild degree of signal distortion when it really comes down to it. The bigger the pre-to-post amp ration is, the more distortion you get, which is why your amp distorts more the higher you turn on the gain ( i.e. turn up the pre-amp ).


That should get you started, feel free to ask more questions.


#5
Gain is volume.


P.s Lumberjack got to me before it, and more comprehensive. Read his post.


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#6
I always thought that Gain was additional too volume meaning like a boost. Thats why they are separate. So thats why like if you have a set volume it sounds clm and clean through your speakers... but then you add gain it starts sounding nastier because you are adding something like a boost to that set volume
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#7
Ahhh I see. Is it bad in the long run to leave the gain up higher than the volume (enable the distortion/clipping)
#8
Quote by bboyjon
Ahhh I see. Is it bad in the long run to leave the gain up higher than the volume (enable the distortion/clipping)



No not at all. Distortion is a lovely thing, and doesn't harm anything.

Quote by Hardcor101
I always thought that Gain was additional too volume meaning like a boost. Thats why they are separate. So thats why like if you have a set volume it sounds clm and clean through your speakers... but then you add gain it starts sounding nastier because you are adding something like a boost to that set volume


Read my post.
#9
Quote by bboyjon
Ahhh I see. Is it bad in the long run to leave the gain up higher than the volume (enable the distortion/clipping)


Nope, completely unrelated. On some tube amps, maxing the gain can wear out preamp tubes faster though.
#10
Essentially, gain IS volume. The only difference is that it's before the preamp, cranking the master volume won't get more brutal distortion the way that cranked gain will.
#11
the way i understand it is that gain comes before volume in the circuitry and controls more of the preamp as opposed to the volume which controls more of the poweramp, meaning cranking the gain and controling volume with the volume will make the preamp will be pushed hard into clipping while the poweramp stays at low level
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