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As I am learning more about amps, I have so many more questions.

I see people talking about amps with and without master volume...what is the difference? Many people seem to prefer amps without a master. Why? Do you get better tone without it?
 

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pickslide said:
As I am learning more about amps, I have so many more questions.

I see people talking about amps with and without master volume...what is the difference? Many people seem to prefer amps without a master. Why? Do you get better tone without it?
Implementing a master volume that doesn't suck the life out of the amp when you turn it down is tough. There are some manufactures that do a good job but allot of other don't.

Allot of people go with a non master and use an attenuator, they want the power tubes working as well. Non master also has one less thing in the signal path, simpler is good. IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What about on a really high quality amp such as a Roccaforte? I would think that Doug would be able to make a master volume that doesnt suck on anything lol.
 

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pickslide said:
What about on a really high quality amp such as a Roccaforte? I would think that Doug would be able to make a master volume that doesnt suck on anything lol.
Sure it's possible, but I don't know for sure. James Peters master volume implementation is pretty good as well.
 

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pickslide said:
What about on a really high quality amp such as a Roccaforte? I would think that Doug would be able to make a master volume that doesnt suck on anything lol.
Some amps have a great MV... for example Bad Cat, Two Rock, and yes Roccaforte too. If it's designed well it should be defeatable anyways - either by turning it up full or switching it out of the signal path. I don't play out much and usually like to play a fairly low volume, so I love to have good MV amps. Attenautors are bigger tonesuckers than most MV's IMO.

Pete
 

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Having a master volume is a lot more practical...But I guess that if you always play really loud and really only need one sound , a non-master volume amp can be fun to have .
 

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I was wondrin' about getting a good non-MV amp and having a London Power scaler installed . . . anybody have any thoughts on a great amp to do this with?
 

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Brian G said:
I was wondrin' about getting a good non-MV amp and having a London Power scaler installed . . . anybody have any thoughts on a great amp to do this with?
If you're going that route, I would suggest checking out London Power, Stephenson, Reeves, Soultone, Suhr, or one of the other amp companies that are offering this as an option.

I'm a big fan of power scaling and currently have a Stephenson LJ-15.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great responses. I also mostly play at home, so it seems like a MV is a pretty good choice for that.
 

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IMO you have to consider how the amp is designed to determine how the MV will work and whether it will do what you want.

If the amp in question derives its overdriven and distorted tones from the power tubes, what will happen as you roll the MV down is that you will dial out the OD and Dist and make the amp quieter ... no real need for a MV here ... just turn the volume down either at the amp or your guitar!

If the amp generates preamp distortion then the MV will reduce the volume of the amp while still allowing the OD/Dist tone generated in the preamp to be heard. That can useful. Keep in mind that the placement of the MV will affect how the sound changes as it is rolled down.

Having said that, there are different ways to design a MV control ... bascially different places to put it ... before the phase inverter or after it, etc. I suggest that you ask the designer what their MV is supposed to do and how it behaves.

Hope this helps!
 

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Sneaky said:
If it's designed well it should be defeatable anyways - either by turning it up full or switching it out of the signal path.
Ya that is key.

I personally don't use master volume amps. For situations where I need to play quietly I just have a smaller amp.
 

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torndownunit said:
Ya that is key.

I personally don't use master volume amps. For situations where I need to play quietly I just have a smaller amp.

This is my approach also....
 
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master ? yes !

after 24 years of running 2204 and 2104's , I have no complaints other than some form of loop and d.i. would be nice.
I get plenty of gain and plenty of clean and all in between.
if I want a little kick in the gain section I run a boss fa-1 straight into it.
a little noisy but at 120db+ whos' hearing that ?
I've though of trying a hot mod,to get more of todays gain, but why spend for a gimmick ?

its pretty simple to set up....
more distortion , gain up and master vol to desired setting...
clean sound ? master volume up & gain to desired volume level...
work off the bottom or top of your guitars volume pot and you can make a lot of things happen.
yea plexis are great, I have a stack that collects dust, but had to have it..... great and the benchmark that most amps are judged by,,,but to get the sound you want/expect youre cranking the hell out of it with a hot plate or some form of attenuator... which only equates to replacing tubes more often and paying though the nose for the vintage ones that are supposed to be in there

so masters for me are a hard to beat rig...
I've owned and played many of the boutique amps, and though there are things I liked about many of them...I still return to my old marhshalls..
in some cases one needs a flight manual to operate some of the new crap thats out...
case in point mesa's road king.... talk about overkill...

for a the money one pays for todays boutique and the hassles weeding through endless knobs to find that special sound, one could a/b between 2 vintage marshall master vol 1/2 stacks and have spare change to retube with quality vintage ones.
 

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david henman said:
...the master volume on my old blues junior pretty much turned me off master volumes, for good.
David,... Did you sell that Blues Jr. or throw it in the Humber or something.
 

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The Suhr Badger has both a master volume and power scaling. Putting either or both on full bypasses them (respectively). The best tones are found by balancing the master and the power scaling combined with dialing the eq to taste (tone controls that actually do something). Combined with a greenback, VH at reasonable volumes is easy.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm pretty close to buying a Peters 50W. I explained to James what I want and he assures me that his amps are made to sound great at lower volumes. I guess I dont need "bedroom levels" as I dont live in an apartment or plan on playing at 2am, but just something that wont the tear the house down or kill my ears.
 

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Robert1950 said:
David,... Did you sell that Blues Jr. or throw it in the Humber or something.
...yeah, i got rid of it. i couldn't make that thing sound like an amp no matter what i did. it spent a lot of time in buzzy's shop. buzzy is a well-known fender amp guy.

-dh
 

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pickslide said:
I'm pretty close to buying a Peters 50W. I explained to James what I want and he assures me that his amps are made to sound great at lower volumes. I guess I dont need "bedroom levels" as I dont live in an apartment or plan on playing at 2am, but just something that wont the tear the house down or kill my ears.
Good choice... James' amps do sound great at any level.

Pete
 
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