#1
uhhhh, i'm dum
what does this mean? master volume vs non-master volume amps?
#2
A master volume amp has a volume knob for each channel, and also has a master volume knob for all channels/the whole amp.
You balance the volume between both knobs.

A non-master volume amp just has volume knobs for each channel.

It isn't a huge difference, and IMO doesn't matter at all to me, but some like having that slight bit more volume flexibility.
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#3
If it's a hundred watt amp
the master volume will let you play it alot quieter
a non-master volume 100 watt amp is basically gonna be unusable at bedroom volumes
since it's so loud
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#4
master volume has pre-amp volume (aka gain) and master volume (aka volume). non-master volume has one knob that does both, so it has to be loud to get gain.
you know, ive owned 8 different guitars over my lifetime, and right now i have 3. i wanna know what the hell happened...i mean the picks and cables are understandable, they disappear into thin air all the time, but guitars?

#5
thanks for all of the flame-retardant responses! appreciated
so a master volume would be SORT of like an attenuator of sorts?
i have a mesa 50 caliber
it says it has
1. gain (i suppose that's the pre-amp volume)
2. master
3. lead master

the "master" works in both channels, but the "lead master" only works in channel 2. but my channel 1 doesn't have a "rhythm master"... if channel 1 was named "rhythm channel". and its very hard to OD my clean channel or else i'll blow my windows out and get evicted.
#6
i guess the point of the lead master is to get both channels to an even volume. and i wouldnt recommend overdriving the clean on a mesa anyway, if you were looking for a crunch sound go marshall or orange, or even a pedal. but yes, any clean channel would need to be very loud to get any natural overdrive.
you know, ive owned 8 different guitars over my lifetime, and right now i have 3. i wanna know what the hell happened...i mean the picks and cables are understandable, they disappear into thin air all the time, but guitars?

#8
Quote by Faux~Affliction
A master volume amp has a volume knob for each channel, and also has a master volume knob for all channels/the whole amp.
You balance the volume between both knobs.

A non-master volume amp just has volume knobs for each channel.

It isn't a huge difference, and IMO doesn't matter at all to me, but some like having that slight bit more volume flexibility.

No, a single channel amp can have a master volume.

Basically any amp that allows you to control preamp gain has a master volume. A master volume is a volume control that you put after the preamp, that allows you to control how loud you're running the power stage.

A non-master volume amp for example would be... a Delxue Reverb, (or any vintage Fender for that matter) or a Marshall plexi, JTM45, or early to mid '70s JMP. Amps that did not give a "gain" control, if you want distortion, you need to turn the volume up, there is no way to attenuate the power stage. I use a non-master volume amp (a JTM45) and to get that real nasty crunch out of it, I pretty much have to turn the volume to 6 or 7 and deal with the loudness, otherwise it's pretty clean until 4-5 on the volume dial. I still prefer non-master volumes though, you really need to get the power stage of a tube amp running hot and push the power supply to get all those sweet harmonic overtones and that real dynamic feel out of the amp.
Last edited by al112987 at Mar 14, 2009,
#9
So I imagine, on amps like Peavey JSX combo with gain+volume on each ch and the master volume, you'd be able to get a distortion and all amp's tones on bedroom level? Is it so or you still need to set the master volume higher to achieve the heavy distortions?

Thanks
#10
^ yes and no, the JSX can run bedroom levels with a ton of gain, but the amp will not sound its best until you can turn it up a little. These amps sound good at bedroom levels, but sound much better a mid-mid/high volumes.
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#11
As explained above about your .50 cal+.. it only has one gain pot for both channels.

It's a very common complaint with the .50cal, it's partially why I didn't get one. You can get it modded to have both, and you'll get much usable volume changes between clean and lead.
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#12
Quote by injected
As explained above about your .50 cal+.. it only has one gain pot for both channels.

It's a very common complaint with the .50cal, it's partially why I didn't get one. You can get it modded to have both, and you'll get much usable volume changes between clean and lead.


i need to get my amp worked on, so maybe i'll get it modded at the same time
thanks for the info
#14
it really depends on what you mean by "master volume", i think. on many multiple channel amps, it means an independent volume knob which is active across all channels, i.e. you can set the relative channel volumes so they all balance, then set the overall volume of the amp with the master volume.

however, it can also be used to mean a preamp gain control- if someone is talking about a vintage-style amp having "no master volume", then that generally means that to get any overdrive or distortion out of it, you have to turn it up, as you have no independent gain control to allow you to get preamp overdrive at lower volume levels.

obviously you want to make sure of which type of master volume you're talking...
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#15
Master volume gives more volume flexibility to the amp, by giving more tuning range when the volume knob is too sensitive.

Basically, an amp works like this : input>preamp(=gain)>effect loop>master volume in the end of the FX loop>poweramp(=volume)>speakers.

Since master volume it's just a volume "fine tuning" you won't be able to push the power tubes harder without cranking up though ..

I you want to use the entire capacity of your tubes, you'd better get an attenuator (between powertubes and speakers) in order to get nice crunch at low volumes.

Hope this helps