I see some amp with drive and some with gain. And I'm also quite confused with the difference between overdrive and distortion

Could anyone lighten me up?
Well one of my crates has drive IDK why. Generally Tube amps have "Drive" IE Overdrive, overdriving the tubes to create saturated distortion.

Gain is generally more solid state.
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well Drive and Gain are pretty much the exact same thing. like on the Kustom amps they have Balls in place for drive and gain. as for overdrive and Distortion. distortion is exactly what it is. but overdrive is kinda of a signal boost its pretty much adding extra distorion to your signal for stuff like better squeals, dive bombs, or just more noise lol.
hell if i know
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Damnit, can't we put a sticky up there titled 'The Difference between Distortion and overdrive'.

When i saw this thread, i felt really queasy cause the same exact question comes up like 5 times a day, and I think someone would agree with me, that replying to these threads with exact same answers just starts to boil blood.

and dont worry about the name they give the distortion knob on most practice amps. they can name it the peanut better knob.

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gain is the input volume, which means how much signal the preamp is receiving. old amps didn't have master volumes, just gain, which was labeled volume. then they added master volumes, labeled volume, so they had to relabel the input volume as gain.
Drive is another label for gain, as turning up the input volume (gain) DRIVEs the preamp harder. Overdrive is when you run out of headroom and the signal is no longer clean and the signal, which is a sine wave, is 'clipped' at the top and bottom before going to the speakers. Distortion is how some people describe the sound coming out of the amp, i.e. not clean. Distortion can be from an overdriven signal, or it can be from speakers pumping out more than the rated capapcity (speaker distortion), or it can be a signal from a pedal that specifically emulates an overdriven amp with various characteristics at low volume. At least this is how I understand it.
so turning up the gain half way means that its receiving half the signal from the humbucker or coil?

and drive pushes the amp harder causing to be distort a little? at higher volumes?
any confirmation on that ^^ --- my amp booklet says gain knob turns up the pre amp gain .... gee thats helpful. I thought that gain sort of just makes your sound hEAviER .. or does it allow your full signal to go through... now i am confused
Gain halfway has nothing to do with how much signal goes from guitar to amp. The guitar knobs do that, i.e. guitar volume on 10 means all signal goes through, on 1 just a little. That is why on a lot of amps, the sounds cleans up as you roll down the volume. The gain is how much signal the preamp is sending to the poweramp. Input volume is preamp volume, which is heard by the power amp. Power amp then amplifies the preamp volume and sends the signal to a load, usually a speaker. Then the signal is heard.

"gain knob turns up the pre amp gain" means the gain knob turns up the input volume, which is the same as gain knob turns up the preamp volume.
Last edited by blackreign at Mar 23, 2008,