#1
I've seen guitars with no tone knobs especially for the ones who play metal and harder stuff which is the type of music i play.... mine happens to have on and i always keep it all the way up because i think it gives a kick/attack to the sound i dont think i've ever lowered it from 10 when actually playing a song... i mean i can lower it all the way and it'll mud up the sound but i can just make some eq adjustments and its back to how it'd be with the knob all the way.... i've also never understood what people think of when they say "use the tone knob" i think i may have a different perspective of it.... when i think of using the tone knob i think of floring it cause it gives me more attack to the sound.... but then i've seen a post on some other guitar forum saying that "why would u use your tone knob, it takes away the attack" but thats weird cause to me when i use it adds attack to it... when i lower it all the way down it takes away that attack and makes it muddy... do you guys have a different perspective of "using the tone knob"? i have a feeling that those who say the tone knob is worthless think of "using the tone knob" as lowering it all the way down and not using it would mean having it all the way to like 10.... do i have a different perspective of using the tone knob or is my guitars tone knob switched up?
#2
I think you have a misunderstanding of how the tone knob works. When you have it dimmed like you do for attack, it might as well not be present. It's wired such that when you turn it down it starts having an affect on the sound. Having a guitar with no tone knob is pretty much the same as just having your tone all the way up.

As for using the tone, well it can come in handy to help soften things when playing clean. Sometimes i like to roll the tone most of the way back and use the neck pickup when i'm doing some mellow clean stuff. However, as with you, I play mostly metal so my tone stays maxed out, that is, effectively not doing anything to shape the sound from the pickups.
#3
Quote by NotTheMessiah30
I think you have a misunderstanding of how the tone knob works. When you have it dimmed like you do for attack, it might as well not be present. It's wired such that when you turn it down it starts having an affect on the sound. Having a guitar with no tone knob is pretty much the same as just having your tone all the way up.

As for using the tone, well it can come in handy to help soften things when playing clean. Sometimes i like to roll the tone most of the way back and use the neck pickup when i'm doing some mellow clean stuff. However, as with you, I play mostly metal so my tone stays maxed out, that is, effectively not doing anything to shape the sound from the pickups.


thank you now i understand.... it actually is pretty useless then.
#4
For just all out metal yeah, you don't really need a tone knob. Just switching between the neck and bridge pickup will be enough of a tone shift. It's all subjective though, and really depends on the individuals tastes.
#5
Well because for the most part, metal guitarists have two sounds--clean and max gain lol. That's all they really need because metal is, at its core, a brutal onslaught of balls to the walls sonic assault. Other genres may require a greater variance of tones, and there are guitarists--me included--that are always fiddling with the tone/volume knob to get hundreds of unique tones.
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#6
It's also dependent on so many other factors that shape your sound, that it's pretty much impossible to make decent generalizations.

If you're playing metal on a Tele (yes, some do), you might roll tone off on the bridge because it's simply too bright sounding. You may kick it back up when you switch to the neck for cleans because you want the additional bite.

Again, saying that it's pretty useless is only applicable to you - we all have to pioneer our own sounds, and that's one of the purposes of the tone control.
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#7
You can use it as a wah-wah by going "0~>10" on the knob very fast and "pull-off~>hammer on".

You can use it to control your tone, that's why it's called "tone knob" (I know, the name is not very clear or obvious)..

See it as a remote control of your amp/pedalboard. You have some idiots who come with millions of pedals to control their "tone" *laughs*.. It's like standing up and walk the 5 feet to your tv to get into your settings of your tv and adjust it while you have a remote control to do it (not a good metaphor, but you get the point).

In my case; the bridge pickup (even when active as a humbucker) sounds to harsh time to time (depends on song/genre I'm playing), so I have to get the tone to 5 or even to 0.

Anyway, it is usefull. Just throw away all of your pedals and get an amp with only the volume knob. You'll be amazed what your tone control can do.
#8
^^ So turning up my tone knob will give me delay, chorus, compression, and fuzz!?
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#9
I never use tone knobs because my amp is EQ'd in such a way to deliver the best sound from the guitar when the tone control is maxed out. I hate the sound of the guitar with the tone knob down. The only reason i haven't disconnected it on any of my guitars is because i want to preserve the wiring if possible.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at May 18, 2013,
#10
The tone knob can be the holy grail of tone when paired with the volume knob.

small tweaks and turns can reaaaaaally make your sound pop. For instance when I go for an overdrive tone, I leave my amp distortion on low, maybe around notch 2 or 3 and play through my neck pick up. the rest of the tone shaping I do with my volume and tone knob, I will put the volume to around 6/8 and tone at about 6. this will give me a very convincing over drive tone and I dont even have a tube amp/OD pedal.

Players who leave the volume and tone on 10 are, in my opinion missing out on one of the funnest parts of creating their own tone, and style of playing. One example of training your ear to hear the slight to vast differences in tone is to get a small bit of distortion or overdrive, start with your volume knob on 10, play a few notes, turn it down slightly, you will hear it cleans up ever so slightly. now turn it down a little more and play more notes, when combined with the right picking technique on my strat, if I have volume at 7 or 8 I get a crunchy sound, but it really POPS out at you, and has a beautiful SNAP to it. If you turn it down again, to 5 or 6, you will start to hear it clean up, what started as light distortion/OD is now clean with a little gain to it. the further down you go the cleaner it will get.

Bottom line is it all comes down to personal taste, if it sounds best to you with all your controls left at 10, then that is what sounds best to you and I wont try to change that. I imagine you play with loads of gain and distortion so its probably hard to notice any change in the tone. You may start at 10 and not hear a difference in sound until it gets to around 0-2. I could be wrong though.

I say start on a clean tone and play around with different combinations of the volume and tone knobs so you can sort of train your ear to hear even the most subtle of differences. it takes time and patience but eventually you will start to hear it.


I play different style then you, and I am sure a couple people may disagree with what I said but this is just my opinion. Tone knob + Volume knob = more dynamic range in tone control then any other knob
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#11
Quote by Acϵ♠
^^ So turning up my tone knob will give me delay, chorus, compression, and fuzz!?


For you https://soundcloud.com/mramr/tone-knob-control-wah-wah-like
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And "luvs2gro" there is right. Volume knobs and tone knobs ARE usefull, not everyone just appreciates them. OD/Fuzz pedals + volume and tone knobs are magic.
Last edited by AmirT at May 18, 2013,
#12
The more knobs. The harder I throb.

So, typically.... I like tone knobs. As stated before me, you can get some nice sounding shit with them. Of course you can use an amp and effects but something about keeping it more "natural" just suits me better.
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#13
Hell, I've got guitars that don't even have volume knobs.
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#14
The point of a lack of tone knobs is no tone control...
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#15
having no tone knob is kinda like having your tone knob on 11. it gives you slightly more output and treble. if you never use a tone knob it can be worth considering- though it's also worth pointing out that, since it's slightly brighter than having your tone knob on 10, even if you always have your tone knob on 10, removing the tone knob may make things too bright.
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#16
Quote by NotTheMessiah30
I think you have a misunderstanding of how the tone knob works. When you have it dimmed like you do for attack, it might as well not be present. It's wired such that when you turn it down it starts having an affect on the sound. Having a guitar with no tone knob is pretty much the same as just having your tone all the way up.

This is wrong. A tone knob at 10 will offer it's max resistance, so a 500k pot will offer 500k(or whatever the pot actually is, since they vary a bit) of resistance to ground. A 1 meg tone knob is closer to not having a tone knob, tone-wise, but there is still some bleed-off to ground. In order for the guitar to sound like there is no tone knob, the path to ground has to be completely removed. This is usually done by either creating a no-load tone pot, or using a push-pull pot.
#17
One: what we're calling a "tone knob" is actually just a treble rolloff. It's a tiny wave at some kind of tone control. Gibson has others in its arsenal. In the mid-70's, the original L6S had both a treble rolloff and a mids rolloff. The L6S reissue has a treble rolloff and a bass rolloff. The Gibson Neal Schon Sig LP had a passive sweepable mids rolloff that varied the frequency that was rolled off but that had a fixed *amount* of rolloff. The Fender Eric Clapton guitar has a Chandler Tone-X in it, which is an *active* sweepable mids boost of about 16 dB. The AR-4000 Ibanez reissue from a couple of years ago has a three-pot active EQ that targets different frequencies each. The old Carvin active preamp had a four-knob setup that consisted of a master volume, a master bass (it both cut and boosted things 15 dB) a master treble (again with the cut and 15 dB boost) and a blend knob. My old Moonstone has actives with a couple of treble boosts (I think one is 27 dB of boost and cut/boost tone controls.

The simple treble rolloff is probably the weakest attempt at a tone control on the planet for guitars.
#18
Some 'purists' bypass the tone control as every single pot and cap in the guitars passives electronic chain alters / loads the pickup response output. Then can do tone shaping at the amp or by EQ.
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#19
The purpose is to get the brightest, and in the case of a twangy guitar, twangiest, lead tone possible. If all you play are leads in standard tuning than it makes a great deal of sense.
#21
I would use tone knobs if they were as accessible as volume knobs. I don't really use it on my Strat but my RG can be too bright and punchy at times. I use the tone knob to tame it. I only started using it when I started relying on my hands for tone over the amp.
#22
I prefer to set tone and volume at full, and adjust everything else at the pedals or amp. I occasionally roll back the volume for a clean part. If you set your tone with those knobs midway there is a risk you bump them or fiddle with them between songs and mess it up. Best just to max them out cos then you can avoid trying to find the sweet spot on stage. The less that can go wrong the better
Last edited by innovine at May 19, 2013,
#23
I back off my neck tone on my Les Paul for da jazz through a JC-120. Generally throw it to about 7-8 or something. I just leave the BMT on the amp all between 4 and 6 and just use my tone knob. For the jazzy shit anyway
#24
Quote by W4RP1G
This is wrong. A tone knob at 10 will offer it's max resistance, so a 500k pot will offer 500k(or whatever the pot actually is, since they vary a bit) of resistance to ground. A 1 meg tone knob is closer to not having a tone knob, tone-wise, but there is still some bleed-off to ground. In order for the guitar to sound like there is no tone knob, the path to ground has to be completely removed. This is usually done by either creating a no-load tone pot, or using a push-pull pot.


I realise that. I was trying to offer a simplified explanation to the TS.