#1
Hi,
Just a quick equipment question.

A friend loaned me a Chinese made "strad" that he had and I notice that the volume dial is... strange.

Basically, it almost does not effect the actual volume at all, but it creates gain in the speaker.

When it is turned down all the way, sound comes out clean, but when it is turned up to 10, then it is a little louder, but the sound has distortion now. When it is at 5, the sound is almost the same as at 1, but there is a bit of distortion in the sound.

This is all without touching anything on the amp and it happens on any amp.

Other than that, the guitar is normal and there is no noise on any of the switches or dials.

Any idea what this is?
#2
Can you get a picture of it? Could you be using the tone knob or something instead?
#3
if this is happening when you're on the distorted channel of the amp, this is completely normal except for the fact that there should not still be any sound when the volume is turned down all the way. This is an effective way of controlling the amount of distortion in the sound without having to adjust the amp settings.

There shouldn't be any sound when it's turned down all the way to 0 though. Not sure what might be causing that...
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#4
I wonder if it's blending in one of those Black Ice passive distortion circuits. The fact that something is changing but not the volume makes me think this was on purpose. As mentioned above, a malfunctioning volume pot will either do nothing at all, or will still drop the volume to zero at some point. It would be very unusual for one to malfunction like this.
#5
Quote by CMCM-CMCM

When it is turned down all the way, sound comes out clean, but when it is turned up to 10, then it is a little louder, but the sound has distortion now. When it is at 5, the sound is almost the same as at 1, but there is a bit of distortion in the sound.


Guitarists, particularly those playing Les Pauls, have "cleaned up" their sound by rolling off the volume for years. The process doesn't affect the actual volume all that much, but it does reduce the signal the amp is processing. If there's nothing special in the guitar itself, then this is likely what's happening.
#6
I don't see anything strange here. It's normal, after all the gain knob on a guitar amp controls the strength of the input signal hitting the preamp, and you're basically doing the same thing with the volume pot on your guitar.
#7
Quote by Roc8995
I wonder if it's blending in one of those Black Ice passive distortion circuits. The fact that something is changing but not the volume makes me think this was on purpose. As mentioned above, a malfunctioning volume pot will either do nothing at all, or will still drop the volume to zero at some point. It would be very unusual for one to malfunction like this.


that's what i was wondering, assuming it's not just the usual "dropping volume will decrease distortion- that's normal" answer (maybe the friend's guitar has hotter pickups and have driven the amp into distortion while his own guitar's pickups are still clean).
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#8
Quote by JackovSlayer
I don't see anything strange here. It's normal, after all the gain knob on a guitar amp controls the strength of the input signal hitting the preamp, and you're basically doing the same thing with the volume pot on your guitar.

He said it's clean (read:still making sound) at zero, and has little or no volume change over the entire sweep. That isn't consistent with input level (which is not always the same as preamp gain).

I'm not convinced that this is just the knob cleaning the amp up. If it is, it's certainly the most extreme example I've ever heard of.
#9
Thanks for all the input.
A few details-
1. the guitar is used, so i have no idea if something has been changed on the inside aftermarket.
2. it happens on the clean channel. and it happens on any amp that functions normally with other guitars.
3. if I put the volume all the way down and twist it "past" 0 and hold it there with my hand, then the volume cuts out completely. once i let go of the volume knob, then the sound comes back at a soft volume.
#10
Quote by Roc8995
He said it's clean (read:still making sound) at zero, and has little or no volume change over the entire sweep. That isn't consistent with input level (which is not always the same as preamp gain).

I'm not convinced that this is just the knob cleaning the amp up. If it is, it's certainly the most extreme example I've ever heard of.


good point
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#11
Quote by CMCM-CMCM

3. if I put the volume all the way down and twist it "past" 0 and hold it there with my hand, then the volume cuts out completely. once i let go of the volume knob, then the sound comes back at a soft volume.


This, I think, is the key new piece of information here. I think your volume knob is acting normal, except that there is something obstructing the full sweep, and you're not actually getting it all the way to zero. You're able to push it all the way to zero, but whatever is giving you resistance is pushing it right back just a little bit as soon as you let go.

That's my idea, at least. If you're comfortable opening up your guitar and tinkering, take a look. Or take it to a tech.
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#12
I can't imagine what would make it do such a thing, though. A simple obstruction on the pot wouldn't cause added distortion and it wouldn't explain the fact that it cuts out but then does not change the volume significantly otherwise. Adding distortion is rather unusual. I still think it's blending some sort of circuit in. Forcing the pot past the stops could just push the wiper off the end of the trace so it would make sense that it would cut the sound.

At this point it's just idle speculation, we'd need pictures of the circuit to say any more. But I don't think that a broken volume pot makes sense here. I've never seen one do anything like what's being described.