Hi. I more of a guitarist than a bassist, so I'm a bit confused here...

My bass amp (Ashdown perfect 10) has an "input gain" control. Being a guitarist, I would think that the point of this is to add distortion, but it doesn't clip the signal at all. Is it only there to boost the signal or something? If so, would it actually give it some distortion if I had an active bass? (Not that I need any distortion, I'm just interested).

It's use is to give a more powerful signal, the same as a gain control on a guitar amp, but it's not usually as powerful, so it can give more bite to your tone without getting distorted. It could probably give you distortion if you maxed out everything, but it wont sound very good at all. You're better off getting a proper distortion pedal. They're made for a reason.
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
^ Ohh, I thought that my tone sounded weak.
I don't have any immediate need for distortion though, and I'll just use my RP80 when I do, even though it sounds horrible.

Thanks brah.
Quote by Casketcreep
Clipping and distortion are very different things altogether.

Isn't distortion just when the signal is clipped excessively?
Quote by Casketcreep
Clipping and distortion are very different things altogether.

Clipping causes distortion actually. In tube amps you get something called "soft clipping" that sounds good. we call it "overdrive" usually.

In solid state amplifiers clipping sounds horrible! SS guitar amps have special circuitry in them that just emulates what happens to tubes when overdriven. The more signal this circuitry gets, the more distortion you hear. If you don't have a distortion channel (and most bass amps don't) then you aren't meant to get a distorted sound without an effect pedal.

And, yes, the Gain knob is usually used to add a bit of bite/attack to your sound.
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