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#1 Biggest User Error

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I was helping a customer out yesterday. He was complaining about lack of feel and thinness. I asked him what his Master Volume was set at. He said 1.5. I asked "why so low?". He said "because that's where I set it on the real amp". I explained that the MV on the Axe-Fx has a much gentler taper than real amp and that 1.5 on the real amp is probably around 5 or more on the Axe-Fx. So he cranked the MV up and exclaimed "wow, that's what I'm looking for!".

The MV taper on the Axe-Fx is a Log15A taper. This means the output is 15% of the input when the "pot" is at noon. Most amps use a higher taper than this, say 30A or even a linear taper. This is done as a marketing ploy. The unsuspecting customer sets the MV to 2.0 and goes "wow, this amp is loud". Thing is the amp doesn't get much louder. This also makes adjustment difficult because most of your volume range is constrained to a small fraction of the dial rotation. The Axe-Fx uses a gentler taper so that you can fine-tune the MV easier.

So don't be afraid to crank that MV up. When the MV is turned up the virtual power amp works harder which causes the virtual power supply to sag which adds compression which adds feel. It also thickens up the tone when you play harder because the power amp is distorting. You'll get much better results if you learn to find the sweet spot. While playing, turn up the MV until the volume stops getting louder. At this point you are driving the power amp into heavy distortion. Now back off the MV until you get the desired tone and feel. With practice you'll learn to identify how much the power amp is being pushed and where the sweet spot is.


(Ugh, re-reading this I see ended at least two sentences with prepositions, oh well).
 

Larry Largen

Inspired
I never thought of the axe having a sweet spot before. That's pretty cool. I completely agree with the way most manufacturers "rig" there amps to be set at 2. It's like you can't hear it at all below 2 and anything after 3 just creates overdrive without actual volume.
 

slinky005

Power User
I was helping a customer out yesterday. He was complaining about lack of feel and thinness. I asked him what his Master Volume was set at. He said 1.5. I asked "why so low?". He said "because that's where I set it on the real amp". I explained that the MV on the Axe-Fx has a much gentler taper than real amp and that 1.5 on the real amp is probably around 5 or more on the Axe-Fx. So he cranked the MV up and exclaimed "wow, that's what I'm looking for!".

The MV taper on the Axe-Fx is a Log15A taper. This means the output is 15% of the input when the "pot" is at noon. Most amps use a higher taper than this, say 30A or even a linear taper. This is done as a marketing ploy. The unsuspecting customer sets the MV to 2.0 and goes "wow, this amp is loud". Thing is the amp doesn't get much louder. This also makes adjustment difficult because most of your volume range is constrained to a small fraction of the dial rotation. The Axe-Fx uses a gentler taper so that you can fine-tune the MV easier.

So don't be afraid to crank that MV up. When the MV is turned up the virtual power amp works harder which causes the virtual power supply to sag which adds compression which adds feel. It also thickens up the tone when you play harder because the power amp is distorting. You'll get much better results if you learn to find the sweet spot. While playing, turn up the MV until the volume stops getting louder. At this point you are driving the power amp into heavy distortion. Now back off the MV until you get the desired tone and feel. With practice you'll learn to identify how much the power amp is being pushed and where the sweet spot is.


(Ugh, re-reading this I see ended at least two sentences with prepositions, oh well).
Guilty as charged.
Need to play around with MV a lot more.
 

firmani99

Inspired
I am new to the axe but I am getting the feel for it fairly quickly. But I have a question. Wouldn't turning the master volume on an amp up cause the clipping lights to come on? Is there a way around this? Is it as simple as turning down the level on a cab block or is there something else that I am missing? Thanks!
 

faulknier

Inspired
I am new to the axe but I am getting the feel for it fairly quickly. But I have a question. Wouldn't turning the master volume on an amp up cause the clipping lights to come on? Is there a way around this? Is it as simple as turning down the level on a cab block or is there something else that I am missing? Thanks!
The clipping lights are separate from the power amp distortion you get from turning up the MV. They indicate the level between blocks is too high somewhere. Turning up the MV might add some volume that'll clip if you're already close. But as far as i can tell, they seem to be independent of each other.

Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk
 

ethomas1013

Fractal Fanatic
Yes, turing up the master volume will increase the output level and can cause the clip lights to come on. I compensate by turning down the output level on the amp block. I also use the amp block output to level my presets. I think most experienced AxeFX users do the same.
 

Shask

Inspired
Guilty as charged.
Need to play around with MV a lot more.
I need to play with this more also. I typically turn the MV down to get the tight, focused, high gain sound I like. Having it higher brings in this thuddy, mid-congested type of tone. However, always looking for ways to get a more authentic, dynamic feel to the tones. The type of feel you get from a Triple Rectifier or VHT Deliverance D120. Massive depth and touch sensitivity.
 

toasterdude

Experienced
Wait a minute. For years the common cure for axe higher gain tone probles was to lower master. Now it is crank the master? Lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dsimms

Inspired
For the factory presets, don't you already have their master vols set to what you considered the sweet spot?
 

thunder100

Inspired
Dear Cliff

Was it same on the old Fenders?

The Vibroverb had a (loud ) sweet spot at 3,2-3,4 and at 3,8 the world break apart.

Thanks for enlightening

Roland
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Dear Cliff

Was it same on the old Fenders?

The Vibroverb had a (loud ) sweet spot at 3,2-3,4 and at 3,8 the world break apart.

Thanks for enlightening

Roland
I was talking about Master Volume. Fender's do not have a Master Volume. They have a Volume that is called "Input Drive" on the Axe-Fx.
 
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