#1
Hello ultimate-guitarists,
As many other guitar players find when they play live, I have realized a need for a "boost" during solos. Particularly, I want an option without the use of cumbersome pedals. Currently, I have no desire to use pedals what so ever. I have used them for many years and they are often more trouble than they are worth.

My present guitar rig is a peavey valveking 100 half stack, which I realize is equipped with gain and volume boosts. However, neither of these are dramatic enough to stand out in a live mix, and would require the purchase and use of the VK footswitch. Also I have a Viper 301 with passive emg hz pickups.

Mainly, I want a clean boost but I can tolerate some gain as well. Considering I have emg's my favored options are those offered by emg. EMG features two "boost" products that are supposed to work on active or passive guitar pickups. These products are the Afterburner, basically a tone knob with gain and a push pull feature, and the PA-2. I have been leaning toward the PA-2 because I could switch it just like I do between my pickups. The simple on/off format with trim pot hidden away for gain is appealing to me.

Are there any other options/opinions out there on boosting without the use of pedals? My main concerns are the level of boosting (how much you will stand out over a full band in a live mix) and how much gain does this object produce that may muddy up tone?

Thanks in advance,
Jacob
#3
I suppose the Volume Knob on your guitar is too simple...

Set the guitar volume at say 6 or 7, adjust your amp levels according to your normal rhythm playing. Then crank guitar volume to 10 for a boost.

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#6
Or set one pickup at the rhythm level you want, the other at the lead level you want; pickup selector switch boosting action!
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#7
(to those suggesting using the volume knob)

..it's easy to have your volume at 6 or 7, then quickly turn it up to 10 for a solo boost, but what about when you want to switch back to rhythm quickly?

..its not quite as easy.


sure, you could install a 'cut' switch, that lowers the guitars output to what it would be with the volume at 6 or 7. but if he does that, he might as well make it a boost, and open up more possibilities..


TS, I don't have much experience with onboard circuits, but the PA-2 seems like a good choice to me. EMG makes everything with quick-connect ends, so it should be easily compatible and simple to install..


edit: and to the above post, thats a more valid suggestion that playing with the volume knob. still, though. tonal changes between the pickups might affect the sound in a way he doesn't want..
Last edited by james4 at Sep 29, 2009,
#8
Why are you so adverse to using pedals, but would get something installed in your guitar? Do you have a phobia of touching things with your feet or something?
#9
Or set-up the tone and level of the neck pickup for rhythm, and the bridge pickup for leads - then switch between the two.
#10
Quote by james4
(to those suggesting using the volume knob)

..it's easy to have your volume at 6 or 7, then quickly turn it up to 10 for a solo boost, but what about when you want to switch back to rhythm quickly?

..its not quite as easy.


sure, you could install a 'cut' switch, that lowers the guitars output to what it would be with the volume at 6 or 7. but if he does that, he might as well make it a boost, and open up more possibilities..


TS, I don't have much experience with onboard circuits, but the PA-2 seems like a good choice to me. EMG makes everything with quick-connect ends, so it should be easily compatible and simple to install..


It's no more difficult than learning to pick specific strings without looking at your picking hand...

Practice practice practice...

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#11
Maybe you could alter your pick-up heights so that you get a boost when you switch between them. This is assuming you prefer different pick-ups for solos and rhythm playing, like I do.

That is what I usually do...
#12
Quote by james4
(to those suggesting using the volume knob)

..it's easy to have your volume at 6 or 7, then quickly turn it up to 10 for a solo boost, but what about when you want to switch back to rhythm quickly?

..its not quite as easy.



it's not easy rolling back a knob quickly? it's all muscle memory as far as distance goes, and last time i check, there isnt more applied friction on the potentiometer turning counterclockwise as there is turning clockwise.
#13
Quote by jonmo1
It's no more difficult than learning to pick specific strings without looking at your picking hand...

Practice practice practice...

meh..
in the end, flicking a switch will probably still be easier than rolling the volume back, even if you can do it fairly quick

when it comes down to it, if turning the volume back down works, then ..well, do whatever works, I guess. just saying it's a less natural movement, without being able to know how fast TS has to switch between rhythm and lead tones
#14
I have another idea - though this requires a little more patience. You could install a switch which when turned on introduces an appropriate resistance in parallel with your output jack connection so that your volume gets reduced to an extent. When you start to solo, turn that switch off and you get your high volume.

I could post a circuit diagram if you're interested.
#15
Also, what is the purpose of the volume knob then? If not for this reason?
Don't say it's to turn the volume down during a break...
If that was the purpose, it would be an on/off switch, not a knob allowing variable level.

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#16
Quote by Skierinanutshel
it's not easy rolling back a knob quickly? it's all muscle memory as far as distance goes, and last time i check, there isnt more applied friction on the potentiometer turning counterclockwise as there is turning clockwise.


He means that it's going to be hard to get the exact pre-solo setting on the volume pot after the solo. Even a slight difference can change your tone substantially.
#17
Quote by 667
Or set-up the tone and level of the neck pickup for rhythm, and the bridge pickup for leads - then switch between the two.



+1. also, you could change the dynamics. for example strumming/picking at a medium intensity but then for the solo attacking those strings if that fits with the song.
#18
Quote by rocker_01
He means that it's going to be hard to get the exact pre-solo setting on the volume pot after the solo. Even a slight difference can change your tone substantially.

this

and I agree that the purpose of a volume knob isn't for turning it down during breaks/ between songs. I use my guitars volume often for tonal/gain changes alot..

I just mean it's easier to flip a boost's switch than use the volume knob mid song..
Last edited by james4 at Sep 29, 2009,
#19
Quote by james4
meh..
in the end, flicking a switch will probably still be easier than rolling the volume back, even if you can do it fairly quick



If playing guitar was easy, everyone would do it..
Like someone above said, it's just another muscle/memory thing.
You should have that kind of msucle control already to be playing guitar.
With enough practice/repetition it will be 2nd nature.

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
Last edited by jonmo1 at Sep 29, 2009,
#20


Sure does look like it's a lot of trouble to deal with.

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#21
i've never had a problem getting back to the original tone pre-boost with the volume knob. also, if you are a little bit off, that is why we were made with a little finger (yeah, the pinky finger).

lastly - if you've ever been to a live concert and can tell me the exact difference in being 1mm off in rotation, than i'll bake you some cookies.
#22
Thank you for all the replies so far!

First, I saw a lot of suggestions for the volume knob option. While this is a valid option, it wouldn't necessarily be the best in my case. While I could practice placing the knob in the right place everytime, a switch would be the most sure-fire and reliable way. Also, by turning the volume knob down, you lower your output signal, thus altering the gain and tone of your overall sound. Therefore a volume knob, in this case, is sort of binary; it's either on or off.

Furthermore, the pedal option is another valid option, but just not as practical in my case. I have used pedals for many years and I have no interest in using them further. Currently I do use a Morley Alligator volume as my solo boost, but the point of this thread is to eliminate and retire that pedal from my rig! I perform both lead vocals and lead guitar. The last thing I need is extra cables from the effects send/return cluttering up my stage and disturbing my stage presence. Plus, the more patch cables between connections, the more opportunity for your signal to be tainted or dulled down from a mediocre cable or pedal.

I am leaning towards the emg pa2. It solves the issue of extra pedals/cables for volume boost. It also addresses the issues that arise from using the volume knob on the guitar. Is there anyone out there who has experience with this switch? I would like to know how well it boosts your signal, as well as how much additional gain/disrtorition it adds. Is it still clear with the tone mostly unaltered?
#23
Quote by rocker_01
Maybe you could alter your pick-up heights so that you get a boost when you switch between them. This is assuming you prefer different pick-ups for solos and rhythm playing, like I do.

That is what I usually do...


Rocker, I do like this option and employ it currently. However, it is not quite as drastic as some of the other options mentioned on this forum. Please share with me what guitar/pickup setup you have and how much you have adjusted your pickup height.
#24
Quote by thunderguitar
Rocker, I do like this option and employ it currently. However, it is not quite as drastic as some of the other options mentioned on this forum. Please share with me what guitar/pickup setup you have and how much you have adjusted your pickup height.


Every guitar is different and passives need to be further away from the stings so they don't affect sustain - so you cant really go by someone else's setup.

Since your pickups are active, they can be set close to your strings (optimum output) without affecting sustain. Get them so that the volume from both are equal and then lower the non boost pickup until it's at the desired volume.
#25
Quote by thunderguitar
Thank you for all the replies so far!

First, I saw a lot of suggestions for the volume knob option. While this is a valid option, it wouldn't necessarily be the best in my case. While I could practice placing the knob in the right place everytime, a switch would be the most sure-fire and reliable way. Also, by turning the volume knob down, you lower your output signal, thus altering the gain and tone of your overall sound. Therefore a volume knob, in this case, is sort of binary; it's either on or off.

Furthermore, the pedal option is another valid option, but just not as practical in my case. I have used pedals for many years and I have no interest in using them further. Currently I do use a Morley Alligator volume as my solo boost, but the point of this thread is to eliminate and retire that pedal from my rig! I perform both lead vocals and lead guitar. The last thing I need is extra cables from the effects send/return cluttering up my stage and disturbing my stage presence. Plus, the more patch cables between connections, the more opportunity for your signal to be tainted or dulled down from a mediocre cable or pedal.

I am leaning towards the emg pa2. It solves the issue of extra pedals/cables for volume boost. It also addresses the issues that arise from using the volume knob on the guitar. Is there anyone out there who has experience with this switch? I would like to know how well it boosts your signal, as well as how much additional gain/disrtorition it adds. Is it still clear with the tone mostly unaltered?


Actualy a boost is to be used straight from the amp. One extra cable. That's all.
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#26
Quote by james4
edit: and to the above post, thats a more valid suggestion that playing with the volume knob. still, though. tonal changes between the pickups might affect the sound in a way he doesn't want..
I kinda agree, but if you set your pickup heights right and make good use of the tone controls you can have a huge amount of control.

---

I'd still rather use a simple pedal for this though; EHX LPB-1 or something similar (as above).
404: Sig not found.
#28
An on-board booster won't help you. it's pre-distortion boosting. it will only increase your gain and change the overall EQ of the guitar. What you need is a post-distortion boost, like that CAE booster or many other clean boosters. or even the Peavey's booster.
For example, I use my Rivera's built-in booster for solos, it gives me more volume and a bit more gain. When I'm using the house amp [usually a Fender HRD or alike] I use my Tubescreamer as a solo boost.
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