#1
I am trying to figure out how they work.

By three volumes I mean ones with a gain, volume and master volume control.

My Knowledge: The gain knob controls how much preamp distortion is in the mix. The Volume knob controls how much power tube saturation is in the mix. The Master knob controls a final power tube output stage that determines how loud the amp will be.

IF this is true, then it is possible to get a good power tube saturation sound by maxing the volume knob, turning the gain knob to taste and then adjusting the master knob to taste.

IF this is true, what is the need for power attenuators if you can just control the volume of a saturated amp with the master knob?
"teh most gains"
#2
Quote by mountain2012
My Knowledge: The gain knob controls how much preamp distortion is in the mix. The Volume knob controls how much power tube saturation is in the mix. The Master knob controls a final power tube output stage that determines how loud the amp will be.
Your Knowledge is incorrect.

Gain:
controls volume in early early preamp stages

Volume:
Controls volume in later preamp stages.

Master Volume.
Controls volume at the power amp.
Either at the input to the phase inverter or in some cases, immediately after.
Meadows
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#3
Got a specific amp in mind? My Yale is the only one I have seen with this arrangement and its SS so all that control gives it an almost tube-like sound. I never heard of anything like it on a Valve amp.
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#5
I'm still confused as to what the gain, volume and master volume knobs on a three-volume amp like the Mesa Boogie Rectifier do. If someone can describe what they do in layman's terms, that would be great.

Are both the volume and gain knobs pre phase inverter?
"teh most gains"
#6
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
Your Knowledge is incorrect.

Gain:
controls volume in early early preamp stages

Volume:
Controls volume in later preamp stages.

Master Volume.
Controls volume at the power amp.
Either at the input to the phase inverter or in some cases, immediately after.



This post answers your question perfectly, what's not to understand?
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#8
pre, i'd have thought.
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#10
Quote by mountain2012
^ Is the volume and gain knob pre or post phase inverter?
arrrrgh. PI is in the power amp, just before the output tubes.

gain is early in the preamp.
volume is in the middle or late stages of the preamp.


Let's go back to your OP for a moment.
Quote by mountain2012
IF this is true, what is the need for power attenuators if you can just control the volume of a saturated amp with the master knob?
The knowledge you based that on was wrong. So is the conclusion.


1 - With any volume-type control, you are attenuating the signal going to the stages that come after, when that control is turned counter-clockwise.

2 - If you use the Master Volume to reduce the output level you CAN get distortion in the preamp section if gain and/or volume are high enough but not in the power amp. You CAN NOT get distortion in the power amp with the Master Volume turned down.

3 - The ONLY way to get power amp distortion is to have the Master Volume high enough and have a large signal in the power amp.

4 - The ONLY way(s) to reduce volume while still causing distortion in the power amp is to attenuate the signal after the power amp, OR scale down the maximum power possible by that power amp.

5 - Power amp distortion is the tastiest of all, because of the high concentration of odd-ordered harmonics, if it's a push-pull configuration.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#11
^ that should be stickied or something
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